Saturday, May 31, 2008

Separation Anxiety....or I'll kill that damn dog!


Don't let that sweet face and innocent look fool you.....this is the "if you leave me I'll make you regret it" dog. We leave, and she looks for shoes (mine of course) to eat the inner soles out of or the shoe laces. Or better yet, she torn up and bent a metal knitting needle from a clapotis I was knitting. Luckily, it was in a yarn I personally did not really like, but the ton of stitch markers....well, I'll probably find them in the end, if you get my drift! And then I had a shawl started for a raffle prize for work and she had mangled 3 balls of yarn.


It's not like I leave them on the couch, they are up on a table. So now, even if we are going to be gone "just a minute" she has to go into a crate.

And the best part of the whole thing is SHE KNOWS SHE'S DOING WRONG! Instead of meeting us at the door, she is hiding on the landing because she knows she will be in trouble! But I can't blame her too much. I know this is a problem, but I still go off and don't bother to crate her.

My only problem is in the new apartment where to put her crate. I really don't want it as a "focal point" in the living/dining room area. It is a large wire cage, bigger than a large shipping kennel a lot of people use, so she has a lot of room. There will be room, I think, in the utility room, with the washer dryer, but that is where I was planning on putting the litter box and cat food and she will be kind of cut off from the rest of the apartment going on's. Of course, she will only be in it when we aren't there.

I don't know. Darn dog!

Six Weeks!



I can't wait! Went yesterday on my way home to see exactly where I will be living as of the 10th of July. The apartment complex is closer to work, still close to the high school and right behind a small strip shopping center with a Kroger, Chinese food, 2 sandwich shops, Blockbuster Video, pizza, McDonald's and Mexican food. And across the street from the library and a bus stop (should we ever need to ride the bus).

But the exact location within the complex is great! It is at the very back and my apartment will overlook a small pond with a water fountain thingy in it (so it keeps the water moving), so I will have water sounds to listen to. The pond has willow trees along the far side and I won't have to look out directly into someone else's apartment. I have to walk around 1 other building to get onto the paved pathway which leads to the pathway around the bigger lake. Or to the wide access area on the other side.

I can't wait. To sit out on the balcony (and I'm on the top floor) and listen to the water while drinking coffee.....come on July!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Morning

Still no pictures this morning. Having problems with the space bar on the laptop. If I try and space with my right thumb (normal), it doesn't always space. So I am having to space with my left.

Anyway, back to work today for awhile. Last night I fixed a wonderful dinner. Fresh green beans, asparagus, tomatoes, home made yeast rolls, sweet potatoes and some beef kabobs. I also have strawberries and watermelon. OD received a quart of blueberries which she carried off to Animazement.

My BF went to Texas about 2 weeks ago to see her father remarry. Then her hubby misstepped and broke his ankle in 3 places. Since there are mobility problems anyway, this is definitely not a good thing. So this week, hopefully he will be released, loaded in a van and brought back to North Carolina. This week I need to go to their house and do some moving and shifting so a hospital bed can be brought in so he can get in and out of bed. And still pack.

SSSoooooo, my plan is to veg yesterday (did that) and today after work. Off work tomorrow for the holiday, so I plan on doing some sorting and packing here. Then after work next week, I'll go over there and do some stuff.

Walking, not as much as I had hoped. Only 59 miles for the month so far. If I get going tomorrow, I might do another long walk. Well, back to getting ready for work.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

No Pics.....just Stuff

Finished up last night a cosplay costume for one of OD's friends. A little, plaid pleated skirt and a necktie to match. This is Animazement 2008 weekend, so no OD. She will be off shortly and won't be back all weekend. If I had the time and money, I would be there also. I chaperoned a couple of years ago and had a blast. People watching here is better than at the Ren Faire!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dog Tired....and so is the dog


Yesterday, after working 4 hours, I decided to try my luck again on the American Tobacco Trail. From the parking lot on the New Hill-Olive Chapel Road to the parking lot at White Oak Church Road and back is about 12.5 miles. Weather Sunday was mid 70's, humidity up and down it seemed, breezy at times.


Now I must mention the last time I decided to do this, which was also the first time I decided to do this was about a year ago or more, no walking experience under my belt, just a wild hair. I am now pretty use to the 5 miles a day to/from work, but that is 2.5 miles each way with 8 hours in between. And the dog walks are .32 miles to about 1.04 miles around the neighborhood, but nothing really long at one time.


So at 12:50pm, Noel (the dog) and I step foot on the trail. Did I mention that other than the pee and poo walks, Noel doesn't get out much? Did I mention she is scared of riding in the car? (She was found abandoned and starving beside the road) Two trail mix bars, 1 banana, 3 bottles of water, 2 poo bags and a bowl for her water in a light backpack.


The American Tobacco Trail is a great walkway. The end I walk on is very rural, so you are hemmed in by woods for most of the hike. You are sharing the walkway with horses and bikers and runners and walkers. We will not go into the RUDE cyclists who don't know to call out as they come up behind you and pass you.


But, I averaged about 20 minutes a mile and was fairly consistant throughout the walk, except for that last mile. The last mile was about a mile too long.


Noel and I made it. I do find it humorous that when we reached the parking lot at the end, she was "there's the car, there's the car, get in the car, get in the car". And the rest of the evening she really didn't want to bounce around very much.


Last time I did this I couldn't move for a week and thought I was going to die before I finished the walk. This time I finished the walk. Somewhat sore, at 4:30pm. Of course, instead of going home and taking a hot shower, I got in the car and drove Texter back to her dad's and ate dinner then soaked in the tub a bit. My feet bothered me from the heel spurs Sunday evening and some Monday morning, but actually feel fine.


Won't do it every day, but feel really good about myself that I did it and it was a challenge, but not unbearable. Next time, ditching the dog, so I can concentrate more on jogging/walking, rather than dog.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Other sights I see....


This is a yard I pass by on one of my "dog walks". I think an older couple live here, but I would like to have their garden. It is filled with
all kinds of iris, roses, peonies, and tons of other stuff.








Beside their house runs a creek which snakes quietly through the neighborhood. As it goes by their property, it is rock lined and down a ways has a wooden bridge over to their neighbor's house. If you look in the middle of the picture you can see the bride and on it sits a rock gnome fishing and something else sitting beside him I haven't figured out yet. You have to look to really see them when you walk by.




There is also this big vegetable garden on the other side of there house. I have to believe it is theirs also, since only someone with that much of a garden in their front, side and from little I can see back yard, would have this pretty veggie patch.



But you go by this lovely display and right around the corner is this beautiful Victorian reproduction home...turret and all. I will not hurt your eyes by taking a picture of the plastic flowers they have stuck in the ground all along their front fence. Some things are just too ugly!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday's 2nd Post....Hidden Benefits of Walking

I don't think there is anyone around who has not heard the benefits of walking, at least on the physical aspect. I know, personally, after being about 250 a year ago and starting to walk more and more, I am now down to 212 and besides the thrill of getting into a size of clothes I had not been in for DECADES, I do feel better, physically and about myself mentally also. I have also suffered from depression over the past few years and I know some of it has to do with my self image and mentally, I am feeling better than I have in years.

However, there are other parts of me which benefit from walking too. These are things which aren't mentioned in articles on walking, but I feel are just as important as the physical benefits you derive from walking. All your senses get engaged while walking.

TOUCH

I don't get to "touch" much as I walk, but I am more in tune with my body than I use to be. I do have problems right now with "heel spurs" in my left foot and after walking and sitting at work or home, my hips do stiffen up. So walking is not a totally pain free thing for me. But I "walk" through it. My body now tells me to get up and walk and gets antsy if I don't walk on a daily basis, even if it is only taking the dog for a longer walk. In fact, my body is telling me to up the pace and start a little jogging in there. I have a good friend whose now ex-husband had told her for years "you can't run", ditched him and started running. She is now running miles and miles a week and has participated in marathons. I want to start running now so I can add to my "just commuting" routine.

SIGHT and SMELL

This is one of the real benefits of walking. I have noticed things I would probably not have if I had been driving by. These are some shots of my walk which I mainly take the dog on.

This is a little rose garden which sits about 6 feet from the road and is about 10 x 4 maybe. And filled with roses. Old roses which have the most intense colors. And the scent is wonderful. Even this far away as I walk by I can smell the roses. In the mornings, even though it is just starting to get light, I would know where I was just by the smell alone.

If I was driving by I would never know how wonderful this one little patch of earth smelled.
Of course, I am very tempted to come by with a pair of clippers and "trim" the rosebushes.

But the roses also bring back some childhood memories. My grandfather had roses and that's one of the things I can remember from early on in life - roses (when the world only had black and white roses as OD would say). My parents have a wonderful rose bed and these pictures do nothing to capture the deep beauty of these flowers.














I do admit I have a fondness for the yellow/orange roses. Or the really deep reds. But they all have to "smell". I don't like the modern roses which are all pretty and no smell.


And when you speak of smells, after I pass through the roses, being the South in the warm months I am delighted by the smell of both honeysuckle and magnolia.

The honeysuckle you don't often see, but somewhere, as you pass by, there will be a bank of them, perfuming the air.

And while my neighbor's magnolia is not actually blooming yet, there are a couple of areas which I walk through where they have been planted and I get these huge, creamy white flowers and this overpowering lemon smell. I often get a flower from my neighbor during the blooming season and bring it indoors and my house will smell heavenly.




SOUND


This is a little side area I walk by. You can't really see it, but there is a little water feature in this garden area and as I walk by in the morning or evening I can hear the trickle of water. If I wasn't already relaxed, this would do it. It sounds so peaceful. So much so I have been tempted just to sit in the road and listen to it.

During the morning hours especially when I walk, although I listen to my podcasts mainly, I can't help but hear the birds. Everywhere there are hundreds of different bird songs from the trees and bushes. When I am walking Noel, I don't listen to my podcasts, and the jingle of her tags on her collar makes a good counterpoint to the birdsong.

So all my senses are engaged when I walk. Even my sense of taste. Sometimes the smell of the flowers is so heavy you can taste it, but mainly it is the anticipation of my coffee or tea after the walk. Or the taste of salt when it is hot enough for me to sweat some.

I have become a worshiper at the altar of the Goddess of Walking!

Mother's Day and I'm a Bad Daughter


This is the clapotis I have finally finished. Actually, I think I could say I started and finished it in about 2-3 weeks. I started it originally when the clapotis was all the rage and everyone was doing it. I used a really soft and drapey 35% cotton/65% PA (whatever PA is) and had it about 1/2 done. But unfortunately, my brain was just not wrapped around the directions and it was giving me fits. If you have knit the clapotis or have wanted to, it is not a difficult pattern. So I had put it aside.

In my resolve to declutter, I came across it again and decided to finish it up. My office is cool and if I wear sleeveless tops or tees to walk to/from work in, then there are times I get chilly. I needed something to throw across my shoulders and felt this would fit the bill. I pulled it out and after looking at it, frogged it and started over and this time the pattern and I clicked!

About 3 weeks, working mainly at work, and it was finished. And soft and drapey and great as either a scarf or shawl. And tons of compliments. I have had so many, one of the ladies at work wants me to make one for her. So I am sending her off to the yarn store with yardage requirements and I'll knit one up for her. In the meantime, I am working on a Charlotte's Web Shawl and am about 3/5 of the way through it.


But I am a bad daughter this Mother's Day. My Mom's Mother's Day present is still laying on the table, waiting to be decorated. I did find some more fabric paint in my decluttering/packing this past week, but didn't find the time/energy/resolve to finish it up. Maybe today since it is suppose to be a cool, rainy day and I don't plan on any packing, just vegging today. One day off on Mother's Day.

Texter is suppose to drop by today (bringing back my laptop I hope) and OD is resting. They have about 3 more days of practice and then the "Much Ado About Nothing" musical at school is performed. She spent about 8 hours in rehearsal yesterday and is dead to the world. She does need to take clothes up to her room, etc., but am going to cut her some slack today. Even I don't feel like doing anything.

Last month walked almost my 100 miles, 96.5 miles. Down to 212 pounds. So far this month it's 24.95 miles. The rain is my enemy. I don't mind walking when it's cold....really cold even, but the rain. No way. Also, part of my walk is out in the open and I can see myself, with my big umbrella, getting zapped by lightening and going to work fried.

Off to get my toast and slather it with the last of my strawberry jam from past year. Will probably make some more next weekend since strawberries are in. And then I plan on just catching up on blogs and drinking coffee and waiting for the rain.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday....early....



Just took the dog out for the early morning "Pee and Poop" walk and I have about 3 hours before I have to be at work. Yawn.

Yesterday was pretty good. Got off work and strolled with OD around Peak Days celebration downtown. It was a beautiful day, not too hot and for once, no rain. I think the last 3 years they have had rain at least part of the day. So they should have done really good this year. Shared a funnel cake and lemon smoothie and picked up some freebie pens.

Started on sorting through books. Made it through the majority of my fiction and while I am doing this making a list of my favorite authors' books so I can fill in the gap. That would be Laurell K Hamilton (love the sexy fang and fur and fae!), Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Butcher (warlocks rock!), Susan Wittig Albert and Janet Evanovich. Those are the ones I will go back and reread. Just finished up Small Favor by Jim Butcher......great read and am waiting for Blood Noir to come out by Laurell K Hamilton.

Then OD and I watched the latest Alien vs Predator movie. Bummer. The first Alien vs Predator movie was good, really liked it. This one was just blood and guts, no real story. But it did allow me to get a little further on finishing up
clapotis scarf. I had started it, got about 1/3 way through and just could not get the hang of it. Put it aside. So pulled it out about a month ago to "finish" it, ripped it all out and started over and this time it clicked. So I am about 5 x 12 rows, decreasing each row, to having it finished. Maybe in the next day or 2. But it is done in a cotton blend yarn so I can wear it during the day walking to work while it is still a little cool and then at work as protection from the dreaded vent, but won't be too hot. Then 2 more lacy shawls to go.

So today, work a bit, come home and load up several bags of books. Stop by the local used book store to see what they will take in trade. What they won't take, I'll give to the library for the next book sale. Then books will be out of my way.

After bookstore, then on to the Volunteer Appreciation function at a local pub which is one of our sponsors, Tir Na Nog. Free food, won't have to fix dinner. Drop Texter and a load of her clothes off at her dads and back home to bed to start the new week.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saturday Morning and miles to go.......


Well, 51 hours worked last week and have about 6 more weeks of them so I can get the money together for the move. Mainly I want extra so I can hire someone to move me. The days of getting a few friends together and moving are long over. None of us are up to moving washer and dryers, etc, etc, so need a few extra $$$$'s in order to get someone to do it for me.

But the packing and sorting is still mine. Already made it to the local liquor store (called and ABC store around here) for boxes. They are nearby and have a plentiful supply of free boxes. I just look like an alcoholic moving, but what the heck.

Do have 1 project I need to get out of the way before I move. One project I need to get the cat out of the way of before I can finish it. I cut up and sewed together the pair of overalls like the direction in Cloth, Paper, Scissors a couple of months ago. It's going to be a gardening overall for my mother for Mother's Day. Did a little doodling with a bleach pen already on it. Need to get it out of the way. So hopefully, after work today I can finish it up.


Strawberries are in season now. Got some last weekend and will swing by and pick up some today at the Farmer's Market before I come home. They are soooooooo wonderful, not that plastic strawberry taste of "imported" ones. OD and I have already had our strawberry "margaritas" a couple of times and plan on having some since the Texter is here this weekend. Grilled hamburgers and strawberry margaritas are a plan for dinner I do believe. And for those of you who don't know from last couple of years, my margaritas are faux, no alcohol since I have kiddos, just strawberries and the mix and it makes a wonderful "smoothie".

So off for coffee, go to work for 4 hours, strawberries and then home. Oh, and stop for some boxes. Hopefully I can sort through books this afternoon and get home room pretty well knocked out so I can start sorting and storing packed boxes in that one room.