Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Busy Little Elf

Times are tough, so instead of buying Xmas gifts, I'm crocheting them for the younger set. This has been going on for a while--ever since this summer I've been crocheting, and sold many of my creations at the two area crafts bazaars I signed up for.

It's not a real big money-maker, although I do manage to make back the registration fee plus a little bit for extra. The problem is that when you consider the time it takes and the investment in yarn, you're really not netting a profit.

But it's been fun! Above are two critters that I designed myself, and which will be gifted to a niece and nephew. Too bad I didn't keep track of what I was doing, because I'll never be able to reproduce them.
One is Sophia the Siren, a tanned and lovely mermaid, and the other is T-Rex, a fearsome beast with a little twinkle in his eye. I love them both. Let's hope they are loved by their children.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've known that old joke from my cradle

How is it that some people can read a book, toss it aside and say, "Oh, I guessed who the bad guy was right away," when I can't figure it out until, like, a page before the heroine does?

Maybe they are good guessers. Or maybe they are just lying their heads off--a reviewer once said she had the mystery in MY book figured out right from the start. But my book was a romance. There wasn't a mystery there in the first place.

Anyway, I just finished Angels Fall by Nora Roberts, and enjoyed it thoroughly. I didn't know who the bad guy was until the very end, and I thought the whole story was very suspenseful and well done. Also, I liked the way the relationship between the hero and heroine developed. There weren't any Big Misunderstandings to keep them apart, just their own fears and attitudes. And the heroine was so traumatized that you could really understand why she did what she did, and why she wouldn't shrug off some of the weird stuff that was going on like a typical non-traumatized person would.

Then, as I usually do, I read a bunch of the reviews to see what other people thought of it. I don't know why. Maybe I want validation for my opinion. Maybe, after I read a book and like it, I am just spoiling for a fight and want to snort indignantly about these pea-brained morons whose opinions differ from mine.

All About Romance liked the book. RT liked it. A few bad spellers on didn't like it. Dear Author liked it, but had a problem with colloquialisms in the dialogue--to which I say, "Hey, lighten up. It's dialogue, okay, and people talk like that."

Not that you could convince some of the guys I have been working with lately. The biggest proponent of 25-cent words in that group has been over-sensitive since some parents in his community complained about a grammatical error he made in a letter to the editor of the local paper last year. But that's what you get for having a community full of college professors--relentless snarkism over grammar and other minutia.

I'm going to bed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Double Grrr

Oh, why, oh how, oh WHY has my life suddenly spiraled out of my control?

I'm furious at a new person today, a condescending idiot who has assumed that I know nothing about my job. I need to work with him, and (although it pains me to admit it) I did do something wrong, so I had to listen politely to his insufferable smug superiority.

And of course since it's Friday afternoon, there wasn't anyone around so I couldn't get the permission I so badly needed to straighten out the mess. It's like fighting with goo. Sticky, gloppy, frustrating goo, that gets all over you and never lets you go.

The person I was angry at before was just plain insulting to me, and I had to get over that guy, too. And I didn't do anything wrong there.

I don't know exactly what I'm supposed to do about that. I feel like it's all my fault for being a doormat and not standing up for myself. But am I a doormat?

I don't know. Oh, well, I suppose someday it will be good fodder for a book. I hope someday comes soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall is in the air

The hummingbirds have flown away--or gone into hibernation--and the yellow leaves are piling up on the ground. Where did the year go?

Back in 2001, my mind boggled at the thought of 2008. What would my life be like? Would I be really old? How would I handle turning 50? My baby would be in elementary school. (Not pleasant being old enough to have parented the moms of his classmates, but what can you do?)

Now here it is, and I look back in amazement at my innocent wondering. I'm not quite where I hope to be--the mountaintop is still pretty far away--but it's closer than it was.

Here's what I'm aiming for:

1. Writing and selling best-selling novels
2. Regular exercise and good health
3. Fixed-up house, with someone to clean it for me (that's why the books have to be best-sellers)
4. Happy family: healthy husband, thriving son.

I've got some optional goals, too: visit England, take a really nice vacation, see a Broadway show, go to an Ohio Light Opera performance of Gilbert and Sullivan, have access to Gilbert and Sullivan's papers.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dread in the Suburbs

Thank goodness DH came through his surgery with flying colors. His doctor used a CT-scan machine to help remove the last remnants of the tumor cells that were excised from DH's sinus cavity back in August. The tumors are benign, but have an irritating habit of growing back--hopefully this procedure will eradicate them all. The docs in Pittsburgh are amazing; I was delighted to have him released from the hospital the same day.

When this type of thing was done at the James, it took a week of recovery in the hospital and a month at home before DH was back to himself. This time, with the minimally-invasive procedure, DH was helping me clean up after our son's sudden barf attack that same night. (Not that I'm advocating this, you understand, but it goes to show how well he felt.)

So now all that remains is for me to go through the colonoscopy recommended for 50-year-olds. I'm all nervous now, too. I'm convinced that they're going to find evidence of some horrible condition and I'll be doomed.

So naturally I tried to turn it to my advantage: What a boon for weight loss! Maybe the docs will tell me sternly that I will have to have an operation--and by the way, I can expect to lose 100 lbs. in the process. Of course, I won't be able to eat the way I'm used to. But this will be a sad necessity forced upon me by fate and not a choice I made for myself.

Why does it seem easier to have it be medically required rather than my own choice? You'd think that I would rather put myself on a diet than be told I will throw up if I eat X food. But when the decision is out of my hands, I let go and do what I have to do.

Another benefit: You can't die of Alzheimer's if you die of cancer first. Grim? Well, yeah, but if you've got to pick a disease...

But I would rather stay here and live a long and healthy life. I want to see my son grow up. I want to fulfill those dreams I have of best-sellerdom, of a silver anniversary, and of living and loving for a long time.

I'm told the best way to approach the subject is not to think about it. Don't worry, don't brood, don't imagine yourself sick. Imagine yourself well. Imagine yourself healthy. imagine your life in a perfectly healthy body, full of energy and vitality, breathing the sweet air and laughing out loud for sheer delight.


Monday, September 22, 2008

One final note

P.S. I joined this women's workout center in February to help lose weight, then had to quit going because the temporary job I'd acquired made it impossible to get there on a regular basis--and by the time I'd finished the temporary job in June the place had gone out of business. C'est la guerre.

Arrgh! Already off-schedule

How can I already be so far away from my intended schedule when I'm not even one whole day into the week yet? This is crazy.

I was supposed to write this morning, but instead I worked on my part-time job. Now granted, the job involves the promise of payment much sooner than my writing will, but is this any way to run an army? I think not.

Well, if I can get over my procrastination (and adding posts to this blog is a form of procrastination) I have at least an hour to dedicate to writing.

Once I start, I love it. It's just getting that darn document open. Fear and loathing.

I'd better go.

43 Things, sort of

It looks like I should expand the purpose of this blog, and hopefully it will be more useful -- and encourage me to post more often.

Instead of being all about my weight loss (considering that I didn't lose any weight, and except for periodic self-flagellation on the subject I didn't really try), it should be about my goals in general.

For instance, here are some of the things I want to see in my life:

1. A fit, healthy body, off medication for various ailments.
2. A well-organized schedule for making the best use of my time.
3. Cut down on meat in diet.
4. Pilates, yoga, and walking for exercise.
5. Completed manuscripts.
6. A healthy bank account balance.
7. A spruced-up, attractive home.
8. Family members healthy and happy.

I need to get working on those things right away.


So my original goal was to lose all my extra weight by July 1, 2008, my 50th birthday.

And it didn't happen.

So now what?

Monday, April 21, 2008

I need to re-think my life

Not that I'm not having fun for the most part, but I've been reading the YOU Diet book (Waist Management) and took the personality quiz today. Evidently I have no trouble whatever in the food or exercise category, but as for moods and coping skills--whew, I'm a train wreck.

Nothing but stress, life totally out of control, no time to even think. A recipe for diet disaster! And so it is. I started with a women's workout center, one of those little franchise places that pop up everywhere, and now I'm totally honked off with how inconvenient it is. it takes at least 30 minutes to get there, 30 minutes to exercise, and 30 minutes back--God! An hour and a half chunk wrenched out of my day! This can't go on.

And yet, and yet...Here I was talking about how I needed to prioritize time for myself, how I never do exercise on my own anyhow and need people around to motivate me. Now I grudge every lousy moment I spend on it. Spend on me, right?

Hence, I need to rethink my life.

Have I lost any weight, now that I've done this exercise thing for a couple of months? Maybe not a lot, although I do feel better. But I'm panicking over money, as in, I don't have enough to afford the monthly fees plus the gas to get there.

And it's the time, too. I need the time to write. God, where does the time go? I'm panicked that I'll never get this manuscript out the door, and then I'll never achieve my wonderful dream of a life as a writer.

This, clearly, is the major point in need of re-thinking.

If I croaked tomorrow, I hope I would have enjoyed the journey, as far as I got. If I don't ever make my goal, will the work itself be enough to make me happy? Sure, it's frustrating leaving a project half-finished, but if there is no pleasure in the doing then it's not really worth the effort after all.

That's the real goal--pleasure in the doing. Not feeling lousy until that shining moment when I've achieved the perfect weight. Not driving myself crazy until someone else decides my work is worth running up the flagpole.

I hope I remember this tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Renewal, or possibly Fear of God

Okay, so it's been a month, but finally I'm making progress. I signed up at Ladies' Workout Express because they offered a combined program of diet and exercise, and it wasn't too expensive and it's only supposed to last 24 weeks.

But here's the kicker--I have to visit the LWE 3 times a week, and I have to fill out an online diet journal 3 times a week, or the program is extended, week by week, until I do so--or until 2 years have passed, whichever comes first.

This was enough to put the fear of God in me. It's too much money for me to waste by not getting value out of it. So I am moving heaven and earth to make it happen.

Amazing how money will do what health threats will not. High blood pressure? Nah. High triglycerides? Ho-hum. But charge me $30 bucks a month and I'm there. Well, it's $50 with the diet thing.

The upshot, after three weeks of this--I'm doing the workout faithfully. The place is pretty ratty; there's a cheap boom box for a sound system and the owner never bothered to finish painting the walls or attaching baseboards to the rough, splintery bottoms of the drywalled partitions of the "changing cubicles." But the machines are all one really needs to get the job done.

The workout is not too high-intensity (which is what usually sinks me at the beginning of these exercise attempts) and it's quick, and there is accountability, both in terms of the number of times I have to do it and the presence of other people. I just don't like to exercise alone. I need other people to make it worthwhile.

The diet thing is pretty much a bust, though. I have yet to get myself into a routine with that, because the actual diet program is intensely limited in terms of food choices and I just can't bring myself to do that yet.

It's not a bad idea in concept. But where it falls down for me is that you're just supposed to enter your food intake in the online journal after reading the book. Once again, no human contact. Oh, sure, you can ask questions and email all you want, but what good is that?

There's no content of interest on the site. There's no friendliness, no personal attention, no feeling as though you're part of a community even though you're on line. It's dull and solitary, which is the problem with all these diet and exercise things.

however, I did pay money, so that's acting like a goad to get me to start filling in the journal. Of course, my hectic life and the fact that I'm actually moving is enough now to make me lose some weight, so it will be a while before my failure to actually follow his intense no-carb only protein and veggie diet will cause a problem.

So we'll see.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I am so aggravated, so ticked, teed, honked and pissed off, so annoyed, furious and generally frustrated that I want to strangle somebody. Preferably someone in the health care and/or insurance fields.
First of all, I was counting on this being a normal day, which of course it isn't--it's a snow day so my young son is ramping around the house. That means that everything I had planned for today is canceled.
Work is canceled--now I'll have to make up by working twice as many hours tomorrow.
My exercise was NOT canceled, because I brought my son with me, but it made the exercise a total pain and waste since I couldn't really work out--I had to spend half my time and energy shouting at him to stop as he trashed the workout place, imperiling his own life and limbs in the process.
Writing? Hah. No writing possible with this diminutive dervish whirling around. I can hear the thumps and screeches from above as I'm writing this, but since we're at home I'm resigned to a wrecked living room.
Plus, because the entire day tomorrow will be devoted to my part time job, there will be no writing tomorrow, either.
And just to add insult to the many paper-cut injuries that are currently bleeding me to death, I have been blithely informed that I will be taking medication three times a day now. Three times a day!
In the morning is the Synthroid, which has to be because it has to be taken on an empty stomach with a full glass of water. But it's hard on my poor empty stomach, so I can't take anything else.
At night I used to take the other pills--blood pressure medicine, high triglyceride medicine, allergy medicine, calcium, and calcitriol.
But now, I have to take anti-tuberculosis medicine too--don't take it with a meal, don't take it with calcium or other antacid, beware all the nasty side-effects. So the evening calcium is out.
I called the doc and said, now what am I going to do?
Of course, he being an experienced medical professional, said, "Take the calcium at lunch."
God almighty, save me from these persecutors, these bastards who are forcing me to take every goddamned pill ever invented! How the hell I ever wound up exposed to TB, for god's sake, I'll never know. But nine fucking months of this shit?? Monthly doctor visits, blood draws, pills every day?
I just seriously want to kill someone.
I'm very much afraid it's going to be me who gets killed, since I can already feel a stabbing pain in my right shoulder. of course, it's probably not a heart attack, but still.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Creaking into the future

I think I need exercise, but then again, every time I get some I feel like I've gone a dozen rounds. And lost against King Kong.

Honestly, with a son who's obsessed with bowling (when he's not obsessed with Star Wars, or the Polar Express, or tornadoes, or Jimmy Neutron), there's nothing a person can do to avoid being trapped in the bowling center for hours at a stretch. The place has a three-hour "all you can bowl" special on weekdays and holidays, and we have to bowl until the final minute of our time expires. Then, more often than not, we're dragooned into a re-enactment of the Duel of the Fates when we get home, so there's no rest for the weak-kneed.

One might think that all that exertion would add up to a bit of weight loss. But noooooo.

Somewhere, somehow, I need to come up with a plan for introducing exercise into my day. Something that actually works, that makes me feel better and not worse, that can be done relatively quickly and without having to shower and change a half-dozen times a day.

There's got to be a way to shove the wedge into the wall, to break through all this difficulty and get it done. Pardon me while I hunt for cracks. Keep yours to yourself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The days rush by, the weight hangs on

Well, I accidentally got on the scale a couple of days ago and get this--I weighed exactly what I weighed when I first started this blog. Sigh.

I suppose in a way that's not too bad, considering the holidays were one long and joyful food-fest and the month of January has evidently been chosen by my body as the time for one loooong period, with all the concomitant hormone fluctuations, emotional disorders, bloatedness, and chocolate cravings. C'mon, menopause.

One of my favorite bloggers has started a 30-day raw food diet (DH asked, "So how's the raw chicken working for him?") and I admire and envy his self-discipline. All veggies and fruits, nothing processed at all--except for juicing--so even though he's usually a vegan a large portion of his diet has been curtailed. I think it sounds dreadful.

Dreadful on the tongue, that is. I can imagine how good it must feel to his body. I am still trying to get my head into the place where I can cut out the truly unnecessary food items from my diet, and my head is stubbornly still stuck in the self-indulgence zone.

So, I downloaded the free EFT manual. EFT istands for "Emotional Freedom Techniques" and it's a system of affirmations and an accupressure-like series of taps that is supposed to help a person overcome all kinds of conditions., if you're interested.

I actually tried it out on DS yesterday. He's been terrified to put his face in the water, which has thrown a major roadblock in the way of progress in his swimming lessons. But I tapped on him in the prescribed places, and whispered, "Even though I am afraid to put my face in the water, I'm still an awesome kid," over and over.

Amazingly, it worked--he did it! He was a lot braver this time around, got his hair wet and managed to get wet up to the eyebrows. I mean, he's not Flipper or anything yet, but it's a big stride forward.

So maybe I'll try the EFT on me, trying to get my head in the right place for both exercise and diet. I'd really like to cut down on our meat intake, eliminate the sugars and desserts, and introduce a morning exercise program. heck, the EFT doesn't hurt, and since I'm here in the basement it's not like anyone will notice me acting silly.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Well, although this blog is ambitiously named, it doesn't appear that I've taken anything off so far. Not weight, anyway.

In fact, I'm pretty sure I've gained weight over the holidays. I'm so depressed about it. But not,you understand, depressed enough to actually do something about it.

The most I've done is to pull "8 Minutes in the Morning" off a shelf and look at it. I thought it would be great--a combination of an early-morning start plus a diet. But so far I haven't managed to get up at the normal time, much less 8 minutes earlier. This morning I groaned, "Just let me sleep a little longer!"

I feel like I slept on cement rubble. My shoulders ache, my head feels like it got glued onto my neck crooked, and my back cracks and pops every time I move.

Okay, let's make tomorrow the starting day of the new year. Today I'll go get some olive oil and flaxseed oil (essential parts of the diet, it seems). Tomorrow, I'll get up when DH does, do the 8 minutes of exercise, and take it from there.

the sun will come up, tomorrow....