Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Some Things I Saw On The Internet

I'm having a rough morning over here.  Something is wrong with my AC again.  I woke up to it completely frozen.  It made me cry a little.  I'm praying that it's nothing but low on Freon. I can't really afford for it to be anything else.  Let's focus on something (anything) happier, like some things I've seen on the Internet.
  • I dare you to read this article from ESPN on the rower from the African country of Niger and not tear up.  These moments are what make the Olympics truly great.
  • I'm already thinking about the new fall TV shows, and from what I've seen so far, this is the one I am most excited about it.  I love Connie Britton anyway, but Nashville looks so good!  And they are taping on location in Music City, which I love.  Hayden Panetierre was actually at CMA Fest doing a little promo work for the show.  Can't wait for the premiere!

  • I have a thing about taking pictures of birds.  Needless to say, these pictures were absolutely mesmerizing!  The closest I've ever come to that many flamingos is this:   
Not exactly the same thing...
  •  When you hear about so many celebrities' selfish demands when it comes to performing, I was thrilled to hear that Paul McCartney essentially volunteered to perform at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.  You can read more about it here.
I'm off to my parents (yet again) since it's going to be so ridiculously hot here (yet again).  Not how I planned on thing going today. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Let's Make A List

  • If I haven't mentioned it, I haven't watched anything but the Olympics since Friday.  And I love it!  Just wish we got to watch a few more things live with a few less commercials (looking at you, NBC).
  • Food wise, I had a really bad weekend.  Lunch with Amber followed by an impromptu celebratory dinner in honor of my little sister, LuLu, who passed her nursing boards.  And I showed no control.  To make matters worse, I was not feeling well so I missed Saturday and Sunday's workouts. I will do my best to get back on the wagon today.  
  • I really thought I had more to say today.
  • We start school in just a couple weeks.  Actually, I will be back starting next week for the most part.  The summer both seems very short and very long.  But I am ready for a new school year.  I think.
  • Watching the Olympics makes me feel a little like a cougar (predatory woman, not the big cat).  I see this very attractive guys, admire them, then here the announcer say that they are in their teens and early 20s.  And it makes me sad.  
  • When I am working out, my calf muscles keep locking up.  Anyone have any suggestions how to stop that (because it is unpleasant)?
  • Amazon Prime may be the best/worst thing I ever did for myself.  But I love getting books and DVDs and whatever else in two days.  Impatience at its best.
How was everyone else's weekend?  Do anything interesting?  Are you an Olympics junkie like me?  Got some other piece of random info to share?  Do it!  I dare you.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Fighter

I'm spent most of my waking hours today watching the Olympics, reading tweets about the Olympics, or Google-ing things because of something someone said on the Olympics.  The Summer Olympics is my favorite thing that happens every four years, and I tend to get the most out of it.  I'm feeling kind of lousy, too, which isn't exactly keeping me away from my couch.  

So, imagine my surprise when an article on People.com about the absolutely adorable gymnast John Orozco told me something I didn't know.  He plays the lead in the video for what has become the official workout theme song of my latest episode in weight loss, "The Fighter" by Gym Class Heroes featuring Ryan Tedder.  (I could listen to Travie McCoy all day long.  I have no clue what the attraction is, but it's the truth none-the-less.)  I had heard a little about John's story watching the Olympics last night--from the Bronx, family sacrificed so he could follow his dream, persevered through an excruciating injury--but this video did me in.  He is a fighter, for sure.  And I'm glad he's one of the men representing our country.  Give 'em hell, John!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Family Tradition

So, yesterday's post has kind of blown up a little after a friend posted a link to it on Facebook.  But everyone has been really nice about it, which I appreciate.  What I am hearing is that there is a majority who just wants to talk about things in a civil way, but they can't be heard over those who don't.

Anyway, yesterday was the first day that I didn't get in a full workout.  And I felt it during this morning's, let me tell you.  It's not like I have to have a reason to miss, but yesterday's was pretty good.  It's time to start the process for wine making.  My family doesn't have a big vineyard or make it for consumption of the outside world, but we have been making it for many, many years.  I can remember many of the wine-making days of my childhood, where we spent more time running up and down the stairs than we did actually helping.  It was always a big party, with various friends and family members helping pick the grapes from the stems and get them into the holding barrel.  It's not been a great season for the grapes here, with it being so dry.  So, instead of waiting for a Saturday when everyone could be there, we had to take care of things right away.  And by we, I mean my dad and me.  Don't worry,  I took some pictures (with my phone).

We didn't have the 13 or 14 bushel I remember seeing as a child to pick thank goodness.  We only had five, and Dad had already taken one down by the time I got there.  This one has been Instagrammed, so it's extra fancy, the rest?  Not so much.
 This is one of the better looking bunches.  The grapes were falling right off the stems, which isn't really a desired effect.
 We hand-pick our grape from the stems.  I'm told you don't have to, but it makes for a lot more sediment to strain out when you get to the cooking down process.
 This is the grinder.  It's looks a little like a medieval torture device, but it totally does the job.  And what is the job?
 It takes the grapes and pops them out of the skins and juices them into the bucket before they go into the big barrel to rest. (And ferment.)
 And this doesn't look like a big barrel, but it is.  I can't even see into it unless I stand on my tip toes.  The grapes will hang out in there for a couple of days until it's time to cook them off.
While the picking was a family affair, cooking them off is not.  It's something that the various men (Grandpa and Bob in my childhood, my dad and uncle today) do.  Mostly it involves a lot of arguing about how we did it last year.  When we were young, I remember sitting on the upstairs vent and listening to the good-hearted grumbling coming up from the basement.  

 Making wine may be a lot of work, but drinking it makes it totally worth the effort!  And our family's is something special!

I'm going to spend the evening watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies!  (And most of the weekend!)  Hope you have a great one!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Because I Just Can't Keep My Mouth Shut

You've seen it on the news, probably to the point that you groan every time someone says anything about it.   It's all over your Facebook news feed.  Joyce actually did a much better job of talking about it this morning than I am about to.  That's right, I'm going to say something about all this fuss over Chick-fil-A.  And if you don't want to read  it or it's going to make you say mean things, feel free to stop reading right now.

It doesn't really matter what I think about this situation.  And I have no intention of pushing my views off on you.  What I will say, as a teacher of the Constitution, is this:  It is Dan Cathy's right to donate to whatever organizations he wants to donate to.  He owns a business, and that business has given him the means to do as he pleases.  If you, as a member of the public, disagree with that, you don't have to eat there.  You don't have to shop at Hobby Lobby either.  Or JC Penney or any other business whose values don't meet yours.  And I will even say that it's your right to tell others of your opinions, if you want to.  But, please, oh please, use a little decorum.  Also, if this is your stance, you should look into the practices of every other business that you give money to and make sure they align with yours.  (Wouldn't want to do anything halfway, right?)  Oh, and mayors of various major cities: don't use this situation that has been blown out of proportion in the most ridiculous way, as a method of political gain.  

What no one brandishing the flag of equal rights wants to say is that equal rights means everyone has rights under the law, whether you agree with their practice of those rights or not.  What I wish is that people would get as outraged about things that really matter as they have about this situation.  You want to really talk about donations and influence, let's look at where politicians get their campaign money.  Let's get outraged about child trafficking or abuse.  Let's talk about helping America's veterans. Let's stop worrying about where a guy who sells chicken gives his dollars and talk about something that actually makes a difference in the world.  Please?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 7/25

1. The Summer Olympics officially begin this Friday night...will you be watching? If you could see just one event in person which one would you pick?

Absolutely!  I'm actually thinking about making it a little party if I can get my house cleaned in time!  (That doesn't sound like it should be that hard, but it totally is!)  This whole one event thing has me really torn.  The Ryan Lochte lover in me wants to say swimming, because have you seen the man?  But the track coach says the Men's 100 Meter Dash over at the Track and Field complex because it is most certainly going to be fast...I'm guessing under 9.8 seconds.  And that fascinates me to no end.

2.Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?

It depends.  Sometimes it just makes me feel worse.  But other times, you need a lazy day to just rest and recharge.  Once school starts I'm sure I will be longing for a few more lazy days.

3. July 25th is 'officially' Threading the Needle Day...can you sew? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being Betsy Ross-like, how would you rate your skill with a needle and thread?

Oh my.  I would have to say a -10.  I can't really sew at all.  My mother is very good at it, but I didn't inherit any of that.  My grandmother tried to teach me embroidery as a child and she gave up on me.  It's really, really bad.

4. 'Threading the Needle' can also mean to walk a fine line between two things or issues (think awkward social situation). When was the last time you had to 'thread the needle', figuratively speaking?

I am socially awkward.  So I'm pretty much threading the needle all the time, in that sense.  In some situations I am really quick on my feet (like in a parent meeting, for instance.)  But in others, I'm pretty much hopeless.  Especially in times of grieving, because I tend to process things slowly and have a penchant for laughing at the wrong times.  

5. Kidney, pinto, black, or navy...your favorite bean?

None.  I don't really like beans, except in soup or chili.  And then there better be lots of other stuff going on to make me forget about them.  It's a consistency thing.

6. Have you ever hosted a garage sale? Was it more success or bust?

I have!  There's little town festival every year, and we usually set up a yard sale in my front yard.  It depends on what we have to sell, but most years we have done pretty well.  Speaking of, I better start rounding things up for this year...

7. What makes you roll your eyes?

Teenagers rolling their eyes at me.  The Bachelorette.  People who create drama when they are entirely too old for all of that.  Liars.  People who think they are very good singers but aren't.  I could go on and on...

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I know I said that I wasn't going to weigh myself.  But I bought a scale tonight because I just couldn't stand not knowing.  My goal is to weigh once a week, no more.  When I weighed, the number was the highest that has ever been associated with me.  Instead of being devastated, I'm a choosing to be motivated.  Along with exercising every day, my goal is to complete an additional exercise session (another walk, a cardio set) at least five days a week from now on.  I may not be able to keep that up once school starts, but I have about three weeks before that is the case.   Now is the time where I prove just how serious I am about this.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Even When I Don't Want To

I'm sitting here trying to convince myself to workout.  I will, I promise.  But some days, I need the convincing.  I'm on my third week of working out and have managed to get at least a mile in every day but two since I started.  (And those were in the first week!)  Some people might be able to set a schedule of three to five days, but for now, I need it to happen every single day in hopes that it will become a habit.

The truth is that I have been hoping that it will get easier.  Spoiler alert:  It's not.  My legs hurt and it makes me whine and there have been days where I hate every sweaty moment of it.  (On the other days, it's only every other minute.)  But here's the thing:  it's the only way.  It's the only option I am allowing myself to even consider.  I'm trying to eat healthier, to make better, more educated choices.  Most days I am.  I don't flip out if I don't.

The thing that continues to be a great help to me is our little support system.  Having people who will both cheer and commiserate with you helps tremendously.  In the past, goals and rewards haven't really done much to entice me.  I don't know if they will this time, but I'm starting to make a few small goals.

1) I want to be able to wear the boxes of clothes that I own but cannot currently fit into.  (at least two tubs and half of my closet.)

2) To be down twenty pounds by my birthday (October 1).  Just found out yesterday that Tara (and Macy) are going to be here visiting, so I can't wait to get all of my girlies together for a celebration.  Hoping 31 is going to be my favorite birthday ever!

3) To be able to really run by spring.  (As in most of my workout.  Or at track practice.)

Those are what I have so far. But I am adding new ones all the time.  Also, I've been thinking it's time to revisit the old bucket list.  Maybe we will do that later this week...

I know several of you have shared that you have started your own little revolutions.  How's it going?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Let's Focus On The Weekend

I am not feeling like myself today.  Maybe it was the sleeping in, but I think I earned that seeing as how I was up with the hiccups at 4:00 AM.  I get really hard hiccups, so waking up with them is its own kind of terror.  I've actually gotten up about 4:00 the last several mornings, sometimes going back to sleep and sometimes not.  At least this morning, I did.  I've just been kind of a mess ever since, though.  I didn't make it through my full workout and I just can't seem to focus.  It's definitely Monday.

But, let's focus on happier things, like what I did over the weekend, because I had a pretty awesome one!  Friday night, Casey and I hit up a local winery because the Swamp T's were playing.  There's something about sitting outside with some good food and an ice cold Corona Light that feels right.  We got bored and ended up going for frozen yogurt before heading home, but we wouldn't be apart for long!  On Saturday, LuLu, Casey and I went junkin'.  If you aren't familiar with the term, it's like antiquing, but buying the things that only you see may see the value in.  I bought a weird assortment of things, which I have already put into their places in my house. What's that?  You want to see some pictures?  Well, lucky for you, I took some when I got home!

I found this set of plates for next to nothing.  And since I love poker and weird theme plates, it was a perfect match.  They were still in their original hat box style container.
 And here's the print...
 They will go perfectly with this set of cocktail inspired plates I bought at the beginning of the summer!  I still can't get over this find!
 My office has a giant set of movie/CD towers that I like to decorate.  It would seem that I have a thing for blue animals (blue is my favorite color), but there's really more of a safari thing happening in the bigger picture. (When I get it finished, I will have to show you!)   Here are the newbies.
 Blue birds of happiness!
 And this guy, that I got for $4.00 at TJ Maxx at the beginning of the summer but forgot to show you.  I love him.
 I got this tiny tin sign for my entry way, which I hope to actually finish this week.  I have all the signs, it's just the getting them hung that is so tricky.
 I screamed a little when I saw this.  Something about the graphic was just awesome.  And being both a history buff and a Broadway theater person, I had to have it!
 Finally, I saw this video camera several weeks ago when I was visiting Laurie's shop.  I didn't buy it then, but have thought about it ever since.  When I went back Saturday, I was bummed when it wasn't there, but figured it had been picked up by another collector.  Imagine my happiness when I found it on my way to the check out!  It was meant to be!  It's so awesome and looks great with my other cameras!

So, those are my purchases.  Casey and LuLu got some great things too.  Are you a collector of kitschy antiques?  Do you love picking like I do?  Please tell me I am not alone!

Friday, July 20, 2012

In Waves

It would seem that Crys may have ignited a revolution.  Over the last two weeks, we have created a community of people who have decided that this will be the time they commit to health.  If you follow me on Twitter, and you totally should, you've probably noticed this.  It isn't the only thing I talk about, or at least I'm trying hard to make sure that it isn't, but there's a lot of encouragement going on.  We hear about the ills of social media, and there are some, but there's good to be had as well.  On the days that I do not want to work out, there's someone there to say, "You can do this."  To be honest, I think that kind of accountability is what I have been missing before.  Well, that and a willingness to let myself off the hook too easily.

I'm the only one who can do what has to happen to make me lose weight, short of a team of plastic surgeons, and that thought gives me the willies.  (Have you ever seen video of a liposuction or a tummy tuck?  I don't think that is what Mr. Hoover intended with the vacuum.)  Crystal has been talking about dependence on God for what she needs to get through, and always a step behind, I am slowly learning what that means too.  I want to be better.  Not to impress some guy, or brag about a number, or for any other reason than it is just time.  I need balance in my life in every area, and it starts now or not at all.  (And God shakes his head and smiles, because it's only taken me the entirety of my adult life to realize how out of balance I am, but I willing treat it as a new revelation.  Mostly because for me, it is.)

Today, as we watch and mourn the news coming out in Colorado, we are reminded again that life is short.  There is no place for regrets and what-might-have-beens.  It was said to me this week that we make our choices and we have to claim that.  It's no else's fault.  Gaining this weight was a series of choices.  Losing it is going to be the same way.  But I finally feel like I am moving forward.  And the gratitude comes in waves.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Divine Appointments

You hear it all the time:  Everyone has a story.  Tonight, God reminded me of that in the best possible ways. I've said it before, but I am amazed at how willing most people are to share their stories if you just ask.  In fact, that's really all most people are waiting for.  I had not one, but two such conversations like that this evening.

One was with one of my GED students.  She's shared some of her story with me before, but tonight we had a chance to really talk.  I don't think she could have ever known what an inspiration she was to me.  I won't go into details, because this is neither the time nor place, but I've not faced a tenth of the struggles she has.  And through it all, she looked me square in the face and said, I know that God delivered me from where I was and that He will get me where I need to go.  If you have been around "church people" long enough, you've heard someone throw that around, but I could tell she meant it with everything that she has.  God had laid it on my heart to get to know her, to listen, and I am so thankful for what has transpired.

As if that wasn't enough, I stopped by to grab a paper from my grandma and we ended up talking for almost an hour.  We've had a million conversations, but she was in a mood to really share things, and without knowing, she encouraged me on my path.  And I made an appointment to visit her next week, so that I can get to work on gathering information for my genealogy project.  

Have you ever had a divine appointment, a situation or a conversation that you know was a gift from God to your soul?  Isn't it just amazing how a little interaction can change you?  If you can, I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 7/18

1. The Summer Olympics begin next week and London is playing host. If you had the chance to go in person which (non-Olympic) London site would you most like to visit?

Buckingham Palace.  I'm a total royal watcher so, nothing would make me happier than seeing the palace in all it's glory.  (Also, can I just say how excited I am about the Olympics and how I plan to watch it every single day!)

2. What is something in your life right now that feels like an Olympic event?

Getting ready for school.  I have a lot of things to do and very little time to accomplish all of it.  But it's time to buckle down and get my crap together.  (And I know I said that last week, but this time I mean it!)

3. What's your favorite supper to prepare and serve when it's too hot to cook?

Salad.  Because you don't have to heat up the oven and it is nice and light in all this summer heat.  Also, I don't really cook much, in case you hadn't heard.

4. July 18th is National Get Out of the Doghouse Day...when was the last time you were 'in the doghouse'?

An interesting question.  I don't really know the last time I was in the doghouse.  I got in a little trouble for not getting all my documents turned in on time last semester at my second job, but it wasn't really a huge deal.

5. What television advertisement do you find particularly irritating or inappropriate? You may not answer with 'all of them'. I know some of you were thinking about it.

There's a local car dealership who seems to be spending the summer seeing how many annoying advertisement it can air.  And I am so over them.  I also really dislike any advertisement for Bachelor Pad, because the only show I dislike more than The Bachelor/ette is a spin-off with some of the cast-offs. 

6. Share one piece of interesting news from the year you were born.

I was born in 1981.  Hold please while I Google some interesting stories...  Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales were married.  MTV was launched.  Muhammad Ali retired.  Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears were born.  (You know I couldn't just keep it to one!)

7. What's the best part of your average day?

Lately, it's been taking a half-hour nap in the afternoon.  After getting up early to work out, it feels really good to just rest a bit in the afternoon.  And my days of the afternoon nap are shortly coming to an end.  (How boring is that?)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This working out thing seems to be going okay.  The only thing that I've noticed is that I am hungry all the time.  And don't tell me to just drink more water, because I am drinking 128 oz. plus a day.  So, whenever I'm not in the bathroom, I jonesing for the fridge.  I stocked up on fresh fruit and veggies and am trying to eat high protein things, but it's a little crazy.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Author In The Family

My grandma, now in her late 80s, was the youngest of several siblings, most of whom I never had the chance to meet.  I've heard the stories and thumbed through the pictures, but as I get older, I find myself wanting to know more.  For instance, I would love to know more about my great aunt, Marie Campbell.

Marie taught in the Appalachian Mountains in the mid-1900s.  Do you remember the TV show or book, Christy?  That was pretty much what her life was like.  Later, she became a professor at Amherst College in Massachusetts.  Upon retirement, she wrote four books, based primarily on Appalachia and Appalachian folk tales.  I was given original copies of these books when I graduated high school, but I never read them.  They always sat on my shelf, special and protected, but I don't know that I had ever even looked in them.

On Sunday, I decided to open them up and look around to decide which one I was going to read first.  These books were bought from the original owners, and were full of all sorts of sweet things, like inscriptions and even enclosed letters to the owners from my aunt.  I'm going to start reading the books, starting with this one, but it's really only making me want to know even more about my family.  Luckily, my two grandmothers are still alive and I am looking to interview them soon.

What about you?  Are any of you into genealogy?  Have someone in your family that you want to know more about?  Share with the class!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Because It Isn't Real If You Don't Talk About It On The Internet

UPDATE:  An interesting article on this very topic was on MSN.  Turns out we should all be a little nicer to ourselves.

Remember in June when I was talking about how I needed to lose weight and then did next to nothing about it (short of making some low-fat chocolate cake)?  Well, I am finally getting serious--getting up early, walking outside in the heat, hating every minute of it.  But I am doing it.  Because I am so tired of being fat, so grinning and bearing it is all I have.

I've often thought about what motivates me.  The answer is not much.  I'm not inspired by The Biggest Loser.  (As it turns out, fat people crying about their drama and leaving their own lives with personal trainers isn't that inspiring.)   The latest books or fad diets don't interest me.  The thought of Zumba terrifies me.  (I'm serious about the lack of dance skills people!)  I have a closet full of clothes I want to wear and can't.  Even knowing that I need to do it for my own health doesn't get me going.  But, the conclusion I've come to is that my will can overcome the missing motivation.  It's not about the why, at least for now, it's about just putting one foot in front of the other and doing it.  Maybe the motivation will come, maybe it won't, but I shouldn't let that be one more reason not to do it.  I'm lucky that I'm not doing it alone.  It seems like many of those around me, including real-life and blog friend, Crys, are buckling down. (Don't expect to see me running just yet, though!) And like everything else, it's easier if you aren't having to go it alone.

So what about you?  Are you trying to lose weight?  What motivates you?  Tell me all about it, friends!

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Life Verse

The pastor at the church I've been attending has been talking about life verses recently.  Which got me to thinking, do I have one?  It didn't take me very long to come up with what mine is, for this season of my life at least.

I am someone who has a real fear of the future.  I always have been a little on the high anxiety side.  I mean, I used to freak out if I was in a store too close to closing time.  (I have no idea what I thought would happen to me, but it was a fear just the same.)  But I don't have to be afraid if I believe in God's plan for my life.  And I'm really trying to do that, even if I question the plan from time to time.  I want God to teach me how to live in the way that He meant for me to.  Even more, I want to learn to be brave and courageous in the waiting.

Psalm 27

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.
Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
    Do not reject your servant in anger.
    You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
    O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.
11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.
14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What Exactly Have I Been Up To?

I have so many things that I should be doing right now.  But I feel like there are things I need to update you on, so brace yourselves.

  • My summer is more than half over.  It makes me sad.  It also makes me panic because I haven't made near the progress that I should on my school prep.  But there's still time!  I just need to focus.  Let's hope.
  • Twitter is pretty much my favorite thing ever.  If you are a Tweeter, you should follow me. (And I will follow you right back!)  I promise I am every bit as intriguing as I am on here, just in real time.  :)
  • I've been working out with my sister early each morning.  I used to think that those people on the weight loss shows who cried the whole time they worked out were wimps.  Let's just say I am rethinking that theory.  Even though it's not fun, it is necessary because I have got to get my weigh under control. 
  • My bathroom project is on hold for a bit after the unfortunate failings of my AC and paying property taxes.  Even though I am a little disappointed, it's also given me a chance to put some new ideas together.  I think that the final project will actually be better than what I was originally planning.  So, I guess that's worth it, right?  *sigh*
  • I'm addicted to low-fat chocolate cake.  For example, I just had some for breakfast.  It's easy to make, and actually tastes pretty good.  (And it's only 5 WW points for 1/12 of the cake!)  All you do is substitute one cup of plain Greek yogurt for the eggs and oil, and add the recommended amount of water from the Devil's food cake mix box.  Bake for 30 minutes and you have a dessert that won't make you hate yourself after eating it.  (Though I am of the opinion that you should enjoy every dessert!)
  • I've really been jonesing for a junking trip.  If I have any money left over from my summer job paycheck, I am going to go and see what I can find.  To look around my house, you would think that there couldn't possibly be another decorative piece I needed, but I find that not to be true.  And yes, I know that's what the hoarders say.  It's just so much fun to hit up all the local places to see what I can find!  Some of my favorite things in my house were found that way.
  • My sister and I have been on a movie kick this summer.  We have seen Madagascar 3, Brave, Magic Mike (c'mon, it was a girls' night out), and Katy Perry: Part of Me (3-D).  All have been varying shades of good, though wildly different, but I think my favorite was the Katy  Perry concert documentary.  It was truly interesting, and you felt as though it was a very real depiction of her.  It might have made me a fan.  
Well, that's an update on me.  (Riveting, right?)  What's new with you?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 7/11

1. How often do you check the weather? How do you check the weather?

I check the weather all the time because I check it on my phone.  It has one of those handy-dandy little animations right on the home page, so I see it a lot.  I've forgiven the weather for that stretch of terrible days we had there.  I'm thankful it's a little cooler now, and we've at least had some rain.

2. Since this is volume 84 of the Wednesday Hodgepodge, and since I got married in 1984, and since I'm attending a wedding this weekend it only seems right to post something related here.

"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."
Agree or Disagree. Why?

Well, since I'm not married, it's hard to make a real call on this one.  I really think that happiness is a fleeting thing anyway, and that we shouldn't always trust our feelings.  I think that a healthy marriage requires an incredible amount of work on both sides for it to stay healthy.  And that you have to come to some sort of agreement as to how all that is going to work out if you aren't going to be in constant struggle.  (How's that for talking in a big ole circle?)

3. Do you like to dance? Have you ever taken dance lessons?

I don't really dance.  I lack coordination.  For this reason, I also never took lessons.  If I am feeling good enough to start dancing, it's probably time to cut me off.

4. Fresh from the oven peach pie or home made peach ice cream? Pick one.

Home made peach ice cream.  I don't like pie all that much, but I will eat ice cream any day of the week.  Also, peach ice cream in particular always makes me think about all of the times my grandma would take me down to the local greasy spoon as a kid and let me get chicken strips and fries and a big cup of their peach ice cream for dessert.  Makes me smile just thinking about it!

5. Should people accept unfairness and learn to make the best of it?

Yes.  Life isn't fair.  If you spend your entire life focused on how you don't have what you think would make life fair, you will miss out on the joys of life.

6. The top five all time summer movie blockbusters (released between May and August and grossing at least 100 million dollars) are-Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (the original), Ghostbusters, and ET. Which one's your favorite?

Um, as much as I love movies, none of those really do much for me.  I know, I know.  You'd think I didn't grow up in the 80's.  But here we are.  If I had to pick, I would probably go with Raiders of the Lost Ark, because Harrison Ford is just too much.  (Definitely an old man crush, after my darling Stanley Tucci.

7. If given the chance, would you like to visit the moon?

It would be a pretty amazing experience.  But I'm not sure I would be okay with some of the more uncomfortable things about being an astronaut.  (see: going to the bathroom.)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

You don't realize how amazing AC is until you don't have it.  You also don't realize how used you are to living alone until you aren't.  My parents were awesome and I loved not having to cook and having a nice cool bed to sleep in, but I have grown used to my little routines.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I had all these great posts to write for you.  And then my AC went out.  It was temporarily fixed for a minute.  And then it wasn't again.  So, I've been living at my parents' pretending I was in high school again.  (But not as dramatic, mostly.)  But, now my trusty AC guy has been back again and fixed my air.  Which means, that I am writing to you from my office, sweating, but not for long.

Since I can't write when I don't have my little set-up here, I owe you some posts.  Get excited!  Well, maybe not too excited, because then you might be disappointed.  Just know that I am officially back, and ready to talk to you about all manner of things.  Thanks for not leaving me in my time of sweaty distress.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Mixtape

I'm old enough that I still remember making cassette tapes from radio shows.  I probably shouldn't be, but it took a while for CDs to get out to the country.  I do still remember my first CDs, though--Suzy Boggess's Voices In the Wind and Tanya Tucker's Can't Run From Yourself.  What can I say?  It was 1992 and I wasn't always this cool.  Anyway, I say all that to say that I have always loved music and specifically, the mixtape.  So here's another installment of what I have been listening to (not necessarily new music to the world, but new to me), in which there's probably something for everyone... (As always, I will be using the "Song"-Artist-Album set-up.)

"Brooklyn" - Wakey!Wakey! - War Sweater EP - I actually heard this song on One Tree Hill.  Watching Michael Grubbs play the intro might be the only thing more dramatic than listening to it.  And the lyrics just melt me.

"Always Summer" - Yellowcard - Always Summer-Single - Because more rock bands need violins and I dare you not to dance around your living room to this.

"Loaded Gun" - Tyler Hilton - Forget The Storm - This song is dirty.  And it makes me giggle like a middle school girl.  But when you turn it up on your summer drive, you will feel like a total bad a$$.

"Queen of California" - John Mayer - Born and Raised - Okay, so John hit a rough patch there for a bit where he came across like a total jerk.  Hey, maybe he really is one.  But he has gone back to making music that is almost as good as Room for Squares.

"If Tonight Is My Last" - Laura Izibor - Let The Truth Be Told - Another One Tree Hill find.  And she is every thing that is good about R&B.

"Whiskey" - Jana Kramer - Jana Kramer - Okay, so I am a total One Tree Hill fan.  Say what you will, but the music they used is some of the best out there. (I own all the seasons.)  Jana shared her talent on the show as Alex,  but has proven this summer that she has what it takes to be a bonafide country star.  This is my favorite song, on an album of great ones!  (Perfect for summer...go buy it...I'll wait.)

"Stars" - Grace Potter and Kenny Chesney - The Lion The Beat The Beast (Deluxe) - If you know me, you know that I have a thing about stars, so my love for this song comes as no surprise.  But there's something about their voices that is just perfect.  (see also:  "You and Tequila")

"The Wind" - Zac Brown Band - The Wind-Single - This is a wisp of a song with a great bluegrass/country feel and I can't get enough it.  I think it will also be on their new album which drops sometime this month.

"The Party" - Regina Spektor - What We Saw From The Cheap Seats - Featured this one recently, but I still love it.  My sister likes to rewrite it, with gems such as "You taste like Thanksgiving, you look like President's Day..."

"Race You"  - Elizabeth & the Catapult - Taller Children - There's something about this song that is just so freeing.  She does a great job of capturing what it's like to be a kid in the summertime.  (Whether that was her goal or not!)

"Little Talks" - Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal - I love a good "Hey" in the chorus.  Also, saw them perform on Leno last week and they were so good.  (As always, bonus points for being good live!)

"Springsteen" - Eric Church - Chief - Speaking of being good live, I wasn't really a huge Eric Church fan until I saw him play at CMA Fest.  But being part of 50,000 people singing along made this song even sweeter.

"God Help My Man" - Joey + Rory - Album Number Two - Every girl needs to know at least one good cheating song.  This is my new favorite.  Makes me think of Loretta Lynn.

"Gold" - Steve Kazee - Once - A New Musical - If there was one show I really would like to see, it would be this one.  They were so brilliant on the Tonys, also.

"Somethin' 'Bout A Truck" (Acoustic) - Kip Moore - Up All Night (Deluxe Edition) - His voice is raw with a nice growl and that makes it perfect for this acoustic version, which I like much better than the radio cut.  (Imagine that, me loving something acoustic, right?)

I could go on forever.  But I will stop here.  I've been listening to a lot of country, so I may do a country-only post soonish.  But the real question is what have you all been listening to?

Monday, July 2, 2012


If you haven't been here since the fall, you probably missed me talking about all of the things that broke in a span of a few weeks.  But since then, we have been disaster-free.  Until Saturday, when my AC went out, in the middle of this most ridiculous heat wave.  Seriously, when did I move to Phoenix?  Anyway, long story short, the heating and air guy, who came to my rescue this fall, has come to my rescue yet again.  I have never been so thankful as when he said the AC was fixed!  And Delilah is pretty happy as well.

But, what I was planning on talking about was my visit on Friday to meet the Michael and Lauren's sweet baby girl.  First thing first, she is darling!  Not that I expected any less.
What really stuck me after my visit, though, was how nice it was to just catch up with friends.  One of the things about living alone is that you spend a lot of time with your personal narrative.  Sometimes I don't know if I am just thinking things or if I am actually saying them out loud, because you just get used to it.  Aside from the wonderful hospitality showered on me (Lauren fixed an incredible lunch!), there's just something wonderful in having a conversation with old friends especially.  You don't have to give all the background knowledge because they know it.  We shared and talked all afternoon and I left feeling like my soul was the better for it.

What did you do over the weekend?  Anything exciting?  Please share.