Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow, Snow, Go Away……

Ok, I’ve had 24 hours of snow….now go away!

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This is the lake from our walk yesterday morning with the dogs.

DSCN0480 Savvy and Noel practiced “dog skiing”.  With the smooth soles on her boots and Noel’s strength, Savvy slid around the lake.

DSCN0468So instead, we are missing Captain John Hawkins and the mayor of Kingston-on-the-Hull today at Ren Faire rehearsal.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

End of Vacation and an Art Project

Yep, vacation is at an end.  The ice in the pond is slowly melting with the warming temperatures and I have one last thing to do.

I received last month a little craft project in the mail with instructions to use and post my results.  Easy enough.  In fact, Texter took over and wanted to save the project for friends coming over for New Year’s.

Well, that didn’t turn out, so this morning I decided I needed to “experiment” and try out this glue.

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I had not heard of Uhu Glue when I got their sample in the mail with the project.  The project was to make little glass bead magnets.

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I pulled out some samples of things I had in my scrap paper file and applied the glue to the back of the  glass bead and stuck it onto the paper.

I have to say I am really impressed with the holding power of the glue.  The first one I put too much glue on and thought it would just slip around.  IT STUCK!  And the glue dries just as clear as can be.  I think the pictures which were simple and black and white came out better under the bead, but was very pleased how the magnets turned out.

DSCN0467I have them on a tin bucket I put pens and pencils in by my desk so I can use them on my magnetic note board.

The Uhu Twist & Glue bottle is very innovative twisty cap and by turning the cap you can do little dots or a thin stream of glue.  Turn the bottle and you can make a wider glue stream.  I’m impressed and can’t wait to use it on other projects.  It seems to dry fairly quickly and very clear.  I’d buy it.  Check Uhu out.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Day 10 and 11 – Another Day of “Errands” and a Day of Planned Nothingness

Yesterday was suppose to be our ‘weather’ event.  Schools in the area delaying opening by 2 hours due to the anticipated snow/ice.  Result….at 430am it was about 40 with a little rain.  Needless to say, our ‘weather event’ was like a bad date…nothing happened, just a waste of time.

However, Savvy had her physical to go to, so we did some book exchanging on campus and then off to the doctor.  I am doubtful of how much ‘doctoring’ actually went on as there was a lot of laughter coming through the wall at the doctor’s office.  And I was left stilling in the waiting room with 5 year old magazines.

Dropped Savvy off at her house and then come home of find the Texter had slipped getting out of the shower and really messed up her knee.  Of course, by this time the regular doctor was closed and it was off to the urgent care office.  So about 8pm we get back home, her knee wrapped and instructions for a week of ice packs, motrin and rest.  But where’s my drugs!

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So this weekend is COLD!  But luckily the ice is confined to the pond.  My plans for today….a little studying, a little reading, a little nothing.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Days 8 and 9 – Books on the Ice

It has been a busy couple of days.  School started again and I am glad I am on vacation to get “stuff” underway.  However, the school was not cooperating, or rather the vehicle they deliver our courses over.  It’s been really ‘buggy’.  They upgraded the system since last semester and it’s not working all that great.  Plus, this old dog has to learn some slightly new tricks with Blackboard.

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But this is the line-up….World Religions, Geology, Anthropology and Biology.  A full load.  Should keep me off the street and out of trouble.

While I am working away in the pre-dawn hours (doesn’t that make you feel sorry for me) this is what everyone/everything in the apartment does….

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They curl up on the nice and toasty bed and sleep.  Please note I do not consider setting the printer on the bed right behind me as ‘being lazy’.  It’s convenient.

However, while the brain is all hot with all the thinking I’m doing, outside is another story.

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It’s hard to see, but the pond has a layer of ice over the top except where the fountain is.  We have been below freezing for days now.  Our normal temperature at this time of the year is in the 50’s.  We’re in the 30’s.  Snow is possible tonight.  I’m doing the anti-snow dance.  I would invite you over, but it’s not a pretty sight.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Day 9 – Shrinking Donuts, Meyer Lemons, and More

Today, since up from Sarge walking at 530am, I took myself over to work to use the fax machine to fax 16 pages to the insurance flexible spending account people to ‘document’ purchases made almost a year ago.  What I would really like to do to the pay flex people is illegal, so I had to be content to give them more paper than they could possibly need, so maybe they will unfreeze my account.

So anyway, on the way home in the dark and 19 degree weather, after putting gas in the car, I decided today was ‘donut’ day.  I haven’t been to Daylight Donuts in over a year, so breaking down today.  I reside in the home of Krispy Kreme, which despite my fondness for sugar, I really don’t like.  They are too heavy.  Donuts should be light, with a light coating of glaze, preferably warm from just being fixed.  Daylight Donuts does it for me.

Now I realize things change in your memory, especially if you have been away from them for awhile.  But honestly, I picked up the donut and it’s almost 1/2 the size it use to be….but of course no change in price.  I was dismayed.  Not that I needed full size donuts anyway, but really!

Another thing (one of those weird things you think about) which has been on my mind is Meyer Lemons.  I watch the cooking shows and they all use them and go on about how good they taste, sweeter than regular lemons, etc, etc.  So I had Meyer lemons on the brain lately.  And I found some yesterday at Whole Foods.

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They are more orange in color than a lemon, but shaped like a lemon.  And their skin looks a little thinner.  So I am going to fix lemonade with them for lunch today and try and save the peelings or go ahead and zest them and save it for future use.  Stay turned for Meyer Lemonade review later on.

Today is ‘clean’ day, starting with my room.  Get it back to serenity status before school starts tomorrow.   And do laundry at the same time.  I have a stack of laundry a horse couldn’t jump over from the past week.  Texter is putting up Christmas stuff, back into the boxes and back into the closet.  Then I might let her try my lemonade.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Day 8 – Yoga Toes

I can now continue my quest to become a true yogini….

I have ‘yoga toes’ now.

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Not expertly done, but at least I could bend over far enough to get to my toes.

Of course, they were suppose to be this color.

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But the nail polish was in the post-apocalyptic room of Texter and even yoga toes was not worth opening the door and venturing in.  I did not want to lose my “Zen”.

So Savvy and Noel are back at their ‘dorm’ – ie dad’s home.  Another doctor’s appointment for Texter also accomplished today.  And past medical ‘stuff’ was unearthed for insurance payment verification.  I really hate insurance companies.  Now there I can lose my ‘Zen’ without even trying.  Only one errand tomorrow to fax all the papers to the insurance company.  I plan to bury them in “verification” and then resume my feeling of calm and housework.

Wednesday school starts!  Hurray!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Day 7 – There is only so much room!

Right now, with the holidays, Savvy is over from her dad’s staying here.  She AND Noel.  And there is another friend here also.  So I have 4 people, 2 dogs and 2 cats in a 2 bedroom apartment.  There is just too much living beings in this space.  And with it cold outside, I can’t send any of them out to “play” (although Savvy has been departing for several sleepovers while all her gal pals are here from their far flung schools).

So this is the scene on my bed this afternoon.  Savvy was on the my bed with her laptop.  Then Carroll jumped up on the bed where Blaze was already sleeping, waking him up.

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Blaze was like “what the f…? MY bed!”

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Carroll is “there is room for two”.

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Blaze says “not hardly” and shoves Carroll off the bed.

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“When I say move it, I mean move it!”

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Noel says the floor is just fine with her.

 

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Day 6 – Word for the Year - “ME”

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“Everyone” was talking about their word for the year.  Word for the year seems to have replaced resolutions to some extent.  Last year my word was ‘DO’ and I think I at least semi-achieved what I was heading for.  I did ‘do’ more exercise and I did eat a little better (keep your hands off my sweet ice tea, thank you very much) and I did start my college courses.  So when asked to have a word for this year, the first think that popped into my head was ‘ME’.

Sounds awfully selfish doesn’t it?  After all, the world doesn’t revolve around ME.  Or does it?  Then I stopped to think about it.  If I don’t take care of the things I need to do, then everything in my world does start falling apart.  This includes my health, my finances, my spiritual being, my artistic self, all aspects of me.

So while I am sitting here in the early morning of day 6 of my vacation, I am weeding through all the blogs I try and at least semi keep up with.  I have a ton of blogs saved and if I sit down to go through them, it can literally take a whole morning.  I am being brutal and keeping only a few (as compared to what I did have) and have updated my blog listing on the side.

I found the purging a little eye-opening.  My interests have changed.  I have been interested in art journaling for years now, although my own art journaling has been very limited.  But over the past year I have gone back to just writing as my primary means of journaling.  I still cut out pictures and cartoons and words which speak to me, but for the most part my journal is strictly writing.  And that’s ok, because that is where I want to focus a lot of my efforts, on ME writing.

Oh, I’m still staying creative in areas other than my writing…

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Savvy’s friend wanted rice cakes kettle corn and earrings for her Christmas present, so we made up this gag gift when Savvy realized it was kettle corn she really wanted.

So, besides really sore shoulders this morning, I have nothing planned except making a coconut cake as Savvy’s belated birthday cake and fixing dinner tonight and maybe catching the matinee of “Sherlock Holmes”.

 

Friday, January 01, 2010

Day 5 – My Sun Didn’t Quite Set (Yet)

I had signed up at a relatively new yoga studio in town, Yoga Garden, for their New Year’s Day Yoga Mala….108 Sun Salutations.  My mind was thinking “great way to start of the year taking care of ME (that’s my word this year-more on that later)”. 

Currently, my yoga practice (as also my entire exercise program) could be called “in the fledging” stages.  Actually, it could be considered to not really have hatched at all.  Just laying there in the nest, like a little lump, all pink and beigey. 

I have forsaken Wii Fit yoga for Wii Active, coughing up an additional $12.99 for the Wii Dum (and that is not referring to myself) - the dumbbell attachments for the remotes.  But no real “practice” and especially not yoga.  (Does laying on my mat and ogling Rodney Yee perform yoga count?)

I was primed.  I had my yoga stuff, I was mentally in the right place.  However, someone forgot to inform my back.  New Year’s Eve, Savvy and I stopped by Target on our way to drop her off for a sleepover.  The good news was I was there to get a belt to hold up the two remaining pairs of blue jeans I have from falling to the floor.  The bad news about half way through the shopping experience, my lower back said “ENOUGH” and spasmed.  Got Savvy where she needed to go and back home.  Crab walked up 2 flights of stairs and into the door, past Texter who wanted to know what was wrong.  I hated to advise her that her mother had died, but I did.  A couple of Doan’s pills and the heating pad and I celebrated New Year’s Eve in bed….alone….except for 1 dog and 2 cats.

The next morning I get up to find Texter has decided to pay me back…..by having cramps and is laying on the bathroom floor in pain.

Now part of the whole “yoga” thing is not just body, it’s soul too.  And despite the desire to just step over her and continue my day I went to Wally World for drugs and heat patches for her.  This morning my back was ok.  And despite the fact the stop lights in town where conspiring to see how long it would take to loose my ‘zen’ and scream at them for not changing, I got her meds and took them home.

Something told me if you are planning on being kind to your body in the new year, stopping by Dunkin Donuts would not be the way to start off.  So I came home, had a grapefruit and some yogurt and trotted off to class (after walking both dogs).

I had not been to the actual studio before, but had a pretty good idea of where it was.  It is in one of those places where I have always fantasized about living, above the shops in a little downtown area.  Margaret, who runs the place (and looks incredible by the way) took me on a quick tour since I was there early and I sat myself in the back corner since there was suppose to be a full house and I didn’t know how long I was going to last.  Everyone coming in seemed to have been doing this (yoga) for awhile and I was the only neophyte.

What was I exactly expecting?  I’m not sure.  I have done some sun salutation sequences with Rodney (Yee) in my living room before.  Ok, he was on the DVD.  I should have put two and two together to realize if I can only make it through the sequences with him for about 15 minutes and I’m thinking 108, am I really thinking at all?

But was not all about the poses.  We started out with some meditation to get our intentions and breathing aligned.  Some gentle warm-ups and then Margaret, who was leading the first set of 27 walked us through the sun salutation, giving us a couple of ideas of alternative moves for those more or less advanced.

Did I mention it was a tad on the chilly side in the room?  Did I mention I ended up sweating like a hog about halfway through.

I did manage to make it through the first set of 27.  One-fourth of the way through and I’m thinking “OK, still moving.  Boy, I need a pedicure.  Everyone’s toenails are polished!”  I am sure that is not what a seasoned, mature yogini should be thinking, but anything not to focus on the fact I am lifting 200 plus pounds up and down and was out on my back the night before.  Now what did the chiropractor/acupuncturist say about my range of motion in my neck and hips?  I had none.

After resting, while Margaret read us some inspirational and very soothing words, Brittany came and lead us in the next set of 27.  OK, one, two,tttthhhhhrreeee, foooouuuurrr, it’s getting a little tougher now.  Just focus on the breath.  I did have to take a break of a couple of salutations and then get back into the flow.  But everyone had assured me it was ok before we ever started.  That’s the great thing I have found about a yoga class.  It’s not about competition, the way other exercise classes are, it’s about you and what you can do at that moment in time.  No judgement involved….except on my part.

I seemed to have taken a partner along for this class.  My inner critic tagged along and stayed for a while before I was able to send him off to find his own mat elsewhere.  So I can’t bend over and touch my toes and I know they (the other participants)  are my age and they can do it!  No, I can’t push them over when they are in down dog!  Go away!

Brittany let us rest, much like Margaret did, with a few readings, letting us focus on our breathing and the centeredness of the moment.

Then David came up.  Well, I figure they placed the guy there to make us work our way through the hard third of the class.  We were over halfway there, the ceiling fans were on and off we went again.  David had edgy music playing and I made it though the first few before I had to sit down for a while longer.  I was focusing on my breathing and not on how everyone else was still up and down and down and up and the breathing was really heavy and all in unison.  And David looks a little like a not quite as beefed up Vin Diesel.  Ok, I’m sweaty and pooped, not dead and my blood sugar is tanking!

Then Margaret came back to finish us up.  Actually, I was pretty much finished up already.  All I needed was to be taken out with the trash.  Soon all 108 sun salutations were finished, we cooled down.  Did I mention I excel at the corpse position?

What did I learn on this first day of the new year?

1.  I can challenge myself and don’t have to 100% perfect at it.  Trying is the main thing.  I figure I did over 50% of the salutations and next year I will be in a place to come closer to the whole 108.

2. I will be back…oh, that’s Arnold and not Vin…anyway, with work and school and LIFE in general I am going to count my pennies and try and make it to a couple of classes a month.

3. A grapefruit and a container of yogurt is not enough to see you through something like that.  While a huge breakfast would not have been advisable either, something more substantial should have been consumed…..and no, not Dunkin Donuts.

4. I seriously need to get in and work with the chiropractor.  I may not be an owl and turn my head completely around, but I should be able to look over my shoulders more.  And the flexibility in my hips?  We won’t even go there.

5. What color should I paint my toenails?  Should I go for subdued or something really wild?

Namaste