Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday already?

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries." - A. A. Milne

I had 9 of the 10 things for Tuesday written and proofread and then poof! I must have hit a wrong key as it was all of a sudden gone. I didn't have the time that late in the day to try to reconstruct it. So, here I am here again on Wednesday doing a TTT.

1. I successfully completed my re-qualification exams and practicals on Monday. It's always such a good feeling to get them over with, the stress lifts and then though it's a crazy busy day (we have to demonstrate each and every door and window exit, fire fight, re-qualify in CPR and AED and so on) I always look back upon it and feel good about having had the refresher and feel very on top of things that hopefully I'll not have to use in the real world in the upcoming year.

2. We had an ice and snow storm last night. It's beautiful though treacherous outside and the world is just beginning to wake up with school being cancelled and most folks going into work late. Unfortunately I do have to leave the house today so I'm trying to get motivated enough to go clear off the car and shovel the sidewalk. I really do not like winter so when the weather gods rear their ugly heads I try really hard not to have to go out in it.

3. My long wait is over! I had seen that a Wii game/disc for workouts was getting good reviews on Weight Watchers and other places so I went looking for it a few weeks ago. It's called "My Fitness Trainer" and I've found it available online and in stores for $49.99 which is way too expensive. I kept looking and found it on sale online for $19.99 and ordered it only to find out it was out of stock. I was patient and it finally came to me late last week. It takes awhile to set up the profile but I did that Sunday morning before I left for Chicago. I did my first workout yesterday with "Maya" (the trainer) and it was a great workout and actually did push me quite well.

4. I didn't go to the fitness class yesterday because of the snow and I'll probably skip today. I'm not losing my motivation, just going to work out at home with Maya. I followed up yesterday morning's MFT work out in the afternoon with 30 minutes of aerobics with the Wii fit.

5. I gained again last Saturday when I had my weigh in at Weight Watchers. I am following the program and certainly exercising more than I used to before the new year, but I keep gaining small amounts. I go see the Doc today, am going to ask for something for my vertigo/sinus/ear that doesn't have any steroids in it. Maybe that's it, I don't know. It's worth a try. I'm getting frustrated. Maybe it's time to begin to NOT use my "additional 35" points that you get per week in addition to my daily 21. Maybe it's again not drinking enough water. I don't know.

6. While I was showering I thought about sharing something I enjoy...sounds silly but I really like good smelling handmade soaps. I don't like commercial ones, they extrude all the glycerin and they don't feel or work the same. I have one for my body that is made by a lady outside of Gettysburg, she sells them at the farmer's market in the Spring and Summer. That one is Cucumber and Melon, it smells wonderful and feels so very nice on my skin. The one I use for my face is made by "The Soap Factory" in Wailua (very small business on Oahu that is situated in one of the old Sugar Cane mills) and that one is made with Kukui nut oil and has scrubbing grit. It is Pineapple/Papaya, though I do love all of their scents and soaps. I'd rather scrimp and save on something else, I have to have my nice soaps. I also use Kukui nut moisturizer on my face and I haven't had a zit issue since I started using the soap and moisturizer. They're so inexpensive too!

7. I came home Monday night to some very clingy cats who thought I wasn't coming home and weren't happy with the prospect of having to survive upon dry kibble for the night. (I got home near 10pm). Their dad had left very early in the morning for a business trip which they're more used to than my being gone overnight. Everyone wanted to snuggle with me at bed time which doesn't work well because of the tensions between Gracie and the kittens. Belle was nipping at my legs, she's never liked the eau de' airplane that she detects when I come home from flying, and Rosie sniffed at me like she wasn't sure it was really me. Last night was better, though Grace decided to sleep in Rosie's spot at the end of the bed. That violated some unwritten law with the kittens so they were not happy with her. Still, they all have had lots of loving and been fed well so everything is happy for them again.

8. My dear daughter called and related that she'd finished her taxes yesterday. I haven't even gotten all the paperwork yet nor the program with which to do them, so that'll have to be on my agenda in the next few days. Every year I try to do them early but dread doing them because it literally takes me days and sometimes more to finalize the business year and get them done. Still, I've been working feverishly on financial matters and I feel a lot more in line with things. I set up a budget yesterday which is something that I do periodically to get more on top of what's going out and what needs to come in. Since we usually get a small refund, I need to get moving on that.

9. As I read blogs, I find that those that are not spell checked or use horrible grammar are much more difficult to read, and more difficult to figure out what the author intended to say. I have actually cut a few out of my "reads" because it's just not worth slogging through them, especially knowing how easy it is to at least spell check them. It's mostly those that use things like "text abbreviations" such as UR for your (c'mon, it's only 2 more keystrokes to type the word!), or are very hard to read. In any case, I'll be more careful to proofread my own and to spell check them since there is a spell checker on all of the blogging platforms that I'm familiar with. That way none of my dear friends and readers will have to roll their eyes when I've made and not caught an error.

10. Along with talking about blogging, I, like others of you, have decided to be more careful of my computer time. I have to constantly be on the computer for my business, but I find that I spend more time here than I have to by sitting and doing non-essential things. I still have to do orders, invoice, emails, and all those responsible business things, but I'm limiting my blog reading, posting, commenting, chatting, and face-book reads to once a day. No more "just checking" after the morning read to see if there's anything new, it's a tremendous time waster for me. I'll still endeavor to blog in the "at least once a week" range or when I have new pictures, but I won't have the time to comment on everyone's blog that I read. I'm sorry, but I have other things that are sitting around unfinished that I want to get a move on.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Aidan update

It's been awhile since I've shared any grandbaby pictures and Jenn just sent some so here they are! There are some from Aidan's discovery of the wonders of Bubble Wrap (a personal favorite of mine!), some from visiting the beach and looking for Honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles) in the water, washing the car with dad, and a great one of Aidan hugging Baaa and Elmo. :) Gosh I miss the entire family, I wish they were closer.

With thanks to all their "honorary Cat Aunties"

Well, look who's here on the floor playing with toys! It's our little Gracie, who is gaining weight and getting healthier all the time. :)

I never thought it was going to be possible when Grace was so sick, but she seems to be all better and is up and around and acting like a much younger cat. Thank you to all of the girls' helpers, those wonderful friends that offered encouragement and good advice when I first took her in out of the cold and was trying to nurse her back to health. I really appreciate it, as does Gracie. Here she is going after the favorite toy of all the girls, "Da Bird". Here's a cute one of Rosie exploring the snow outside. She got to go out on her harness and explore that strange white stuff. The girls are all indoor only cats so they get to take walks with mom and dad while on harness and leash.

Here's Belle out on her harness too. She gets so excited when she is getting her harness fastened, she knows she's going to get to go outside for a walk. When they came inside they were very playful...too bad they're cats and can't have hot cocoa and marshmallows!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ten Things Tuesday, a day late

I do apologise, it's Wednesday already and my husband reminded me that I hadn't done 10 things on my blog yesterday. So here I go, a day late (and always a dollar short).

1. I took the same fitness class today that I did almost 2 weeks ago and although I certainly feel it, my hair and toenails don't hurt quite as much afterward. I've been trying to spend a bit of quality time with the Wii fit each day and I'm finding that the yoga, strength training, and aerobic exercises there help me out a lot. They're no substitute for going to the classes at the gym, and though I can do a 4 minute run in place with Wii fit, doing once around the track (1/10 of a mile) still gets me in person. I suppose the important thing is that I keep at it and I've been able to move in that direction so far. When I'm not hurting from sore muscles, I really feel good, and I HAVE noticed that I have quite a bit more energy.

2. I'm doing a lot of cooking since I've been home quite a bit. I do enjoy it. In fact, on Sunday I made 2 dinners, one was to eat then, the other for left overs for lunches during the week. I did chicken chili with rice for the main meal, and baked ziti with chicken for left overs. I also made my zero point Italian soup on Sunday and have been enjoying it this week. When I win the lottery I'm going to do a complete kitchen make over with all the gourmet cook tops and 2 ovens and such.

3. My dress is nearing completion. I made the collar and cuffs last night (hand sewed all the lace on those) and pleated and put the skirt on the waistband while watching the Biggest Loser on TV. I attached the skirt to the bodice today by machine and I really don't like the way it looks so I'm probably going to take it apart and reattach it, this time by hand. I know though I will be able to wear it as is (most of the part I don't like won't show when I put a belt with the outfit and I made a belt to go with the dress)but I won't like it and it'll bug me until I fix it. I now have to hand sew on the collar and cuffs and put hooks and eyes in (about 4) and I'm finished if I postpone the ripping out and fixing. I did end up putting a ruffle all around the dress, and it looks nice. I'll have to have hubby take a picture on Saturday when I wear it.

4. I weighed in last Saturday at Weight Watchers and I actually gained 0.2 pounds. I know that isn't a lot, but I was hoping for a loss, especially with watching what I eat (except for Saturday which is our "evil" day) and exercising quite a bit...certainly more than when I was doing nothing!!! I was pretty upset about the gain for a day or two and now I'm just hoping for a loss this coming Saturday. My personal goal is 4 pounds off per month which isn't unrealistic, or so I thought.

5. My annual re qualification is coming on Monday. We have to spend 8 hours in person practicing our training and being tested. There's a lot of pre-work online and testing there too. There's quite a bit of memorization that goes with it, I have to always know those things (emergency response things) but the wording is always changing and this year for the first time we're being tested orally. Needless to say I'm in a bit of a panic mode, but I get this way every year and it always ends up going well. I'll study the next couple of days and it'll be fine. I guess just knowing I have an all-day event on Saturday is kind of getting to me, and then Sunday I fly to Chicago for the night as the training is there.

6. News on the challenging son: He put on Facebook how his kitten was in heat and absolutely miserable as his status message (for those of you that aren't on Facebook, you can leave a message that says "Vicki is: " or just your name and you fill in the rest. They're a good way to let people know what you're up to.) And to remind, he and I are not yet speaking as he hasn't apologised. So anyway, I know he's had trouble finding a job, and our vet likes to spay females before their first cycle, he had all kinds of good reasons. The shelters do it at 6 weeks now. All the medical research that I've read said that it's better to do it early and they don't have to go through a cycle first... So long story longer, I wrote him a message on facebook and gave him the website for a free or reduced rate spay or neuter clinic in his area, thought I was doing a good deed to him and to his little kitten. WELL, never a good deed goes unpunished! He changes his status to "(and I'm de-snarkifying this a bit) Jonathan is: To those that think I'm a bad cat parent, I'm not having her fixed yet because the vet and I think it's better to wait until my kitten has a couple of cycles beforehand." So you see, I tried to be nice and I tried to help and that's my thanks. Not even a personal message. Lesson learned. I've moved on.

7. Hubby took the kittens out on their harnesses and leashes yesterday to see the snowfall firsthand. Grace had of course been out in the snow while she was a stray, but the kittens had never gone outside in it. I was shocked at how much their harnesses had to be let out before I could fasten them around the kittens' bellies! They were adorable and really enjoyed their experience (yes, I took pictures, I'll upload them later) in the snow. They were so playful and energetic when they came in that they romped and played for quite awhile afterward. He took them outside one at a time because they always want to explore in opposite directions and I was busy so I didn't have time to help. Rosie just lay down in it at first...then she decided to go walk around.

8. This week, hubby gave me the money to mail in to go to the "Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860's" conference in March in Camp Hill, PA. I've always wanted to go, it's organized by the lady that teaches the Civil War era history and sewing classes ( and just about everyone in the classes enjoys going to the conference. There's a lot to do for the menfolk too and I didn't want to go by myself. So we're registered and I'm excited! We're signed up for a full day of lectures and seminars on Saturday, half day on Sunday, but Thursday, we're going to a behind-the-scenes look at the Gettysburg National Military Park archives and collections which is really going to be great! Our unit is going there for a field trip just 2 weeks later in March but they won't have access to the research areas like the conference participants. I can't wait to see old friends and make new ones too. :)

9. I bought tickets to the Valentine's Day Ball in Gettysburg for hubby and me...Civil War Dancing called by a couple that we really love. No new dress for that one, but I am going to take the ball gown class next November so I can do justice to the yummy silk I bought for the dress I want to make for that class. I have another dress I can wear, besides my 3 old Ball dresses that are pretty farby (or NOT period correct) so I'm excited about that too. Of course I have a trip on that day, but I hope to get it off so I can take hubby to the Ball. It's in a very old and beautiful hotel ballroom, and Civil War dancing is really beautiful to watch (all the swinging crinolined skirts-nicer looking when people wear proper shoes and under pinnings!) as well as being a lot of fun to participate in. I even feel like I might be able to keep up if I keep exercising beforehand.

10. We have at least one baby fawn in the backyard woods. :) It was with his/her mom in the woods during the snow, it was so sweet as the Mother was licking the fawn and getting the snow off it. There are deer that live back there, and though I don't see them often, I always enjoy seeing them when I can.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rosie says: I'm "on the computer"

If you've sent me an email and it's taken me awhile to answer, it might be because Rosie likes to get "on" my computer and is difficult to dislodge. She does insist on her own computer time, loves to watch me when I'm on my laptop, and she watches TV with me too. Rosie's favorite website to watch is but the sound upsets her so I keep it on mute. lol

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Typical day in our house

funny pictures of cats with captionsUh huh, Belle is a real daredevil about getting on the counter. She has her own perch on the top of the covered trash can right by the counter so she can watch what's going on up in food land. But then again, she loves to watch food or a coffee cup go around in the microwave. What? The microwave is on the counter? oops! Aw, mom, you caught me again! Now, if I act really adorable and mew with a really pitiful voice will I still be in trouble?

On another note...Grace seems doing fine now though I do worry about her food intake. There is canned food put down each morning and evening in 3 bowls in 3 different spots in the kitchen. The kittens hop right to eating, but Gracie doesn't seem to want anything in the bowls when the kittens are around. I've even put some out in the hallway for her and she doesn't usually touch it. I leave kibble out for them during the day and night (it makes for a nicer early morning for me). I suppose that she's getting enough to eat, but she's still very thin so I worry. She is a real attention lover and enjoys snuggling up while we're on the sofa. Like the other two, she likes to sit next to but not on, our laps.

As far as I can tell, the "pecking" order is: Belle is the Queen, she growls and hisses and chases Grace away with a rare moment when she leaves Grace alone. Grace has become pretty afraid of Belle, but occasionally Gracie has enough and lashes out at Belle. I can't tell if there are claws out from anyone, it all usually happens so fast. Then Grace takes it out on our sweet girl, Rosie who seems to be the one that is always trying to make "nice" and hiding or just trying to get along. Poor Rosie is usually just minding her own business and trying to walk by with no eye contact and Gracie bats her and snarls at her. It gets a bit better at times (last night Gracie slept on the bed with Belle on the pillow on the chest at the foot of the bed and Rosie up on the other side by my pillow for awhile.), but then it gets bad again with hissing, swatting, and growling this morning. I know eventually they'll either work it all out or they won't, all I know is that we love ALL of our girls and we try to treat them all equally.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Ten Thoughts for Tuesday

1. Most of you know that I love to sew and I do Civil War reenacting. I take classes at the Genteel Arts Academy in Gettysburg whenever I can on period sewing techniques and construction of period clothing, and I took one this past weekend. It was all about "yoked bodices" and included study of period garments and period photographs of others, and then we went on our own to create our own bodice. The classes are 8-5 on both days and in that time I got this bodice almost finished (except hand finishing the piped edges of neck, waist, and sleeve edge). It's hard to see the ruffle at the edge of the yoke or the pleating on the lower edge in the photograph but they're there. Since I lost all day yesterday to having vertigo, today I want to try to find some trim and perhaps buttons to help pop the color of the burned orange dots of berries in the fabric, which is very subdued.

2. Along with that "love to sew" is that I'm going to try to get the skirt and the rest of the above dress finished to wear to a division meeting in less than 2 weeks. It shouldn't be too much of a problem, the skirts usually take me just a couple of days to complete, I just have to get the motivation to go upstairs and clean off my cutting table to get it all laid out and also get the skirt facing cut and sewn and edged. I might put some ruffling on it too, depending on how much fabric I have left after I do the skirt panels.

3. I lost yesterday completely due to having to take some medicine and it making me sleep all day, so I feel like getting myself going, but I'm going to kind of take it easy so I don't overdo things. I probably have a sinus and/or ear infection coming and that's why I had vertigo bad enough to have to take my meds. I don't want to push myself and then be sick the rest of the week. I'm supposed to fly a few days this week, but if I'm not feeling up to par, I'll put in a request to have them off so I don't have to go to work feeling crummy.

4. Last week I told you'all that I'd started Weight Watchers again. I had a weekend of excess since we always order lunch out in our sewing classes and then eat out on the way home from Gettysburg, but I'm back on track now and charting everything I eat. I even went back and charted the weekend food and I'm still within my week's points. We do our weigh in on Saturdays and I lost 1.4 pounds last week, not a lot, but it's something. Last week I did exercise quite a bit though I'm getting a slow start this week since I'm not feeling great, but I'm going to try to work on it.

5. Along those lines, last week we got a Wii so that we could use the exercise features of the Wii fit. We're not into video games but the exercise games are fun and get you moving and even sweating. Hubby and I really like it, and I've been trying to at least do some at home each day. The yoga has helped to stretch and to point out that I have virtually no upper body strength, so that is my focus. I'll continue to go to classes at the gym as I can and work especially on my upper body and my back. I love the hula-hoop game as well as the step aroebics, and the strength training and yoga are good too.

6. It's cold winter here but I'm already thinking about the Landis Valley Plant Faire which is always Mother's Day Friday and Saturday in May in Lancaster, Pa. They have many plant vendors of everything imaginable, and since Mother's Day is the beginning of gardening season here in northern Maryland, I look forward to it very much as it signals that we're finally coming out of the deep sleep of the winter. I always get herbs for cooking, and some new perennials for the garden which gets bigger each year, and hubby gets some interesting tomato plants for the deck garden. There is a wonderful Iris farm that brings incredible Iris plants so I have quite a collection in my garden and always wonder what will come back and what didn't do so well over the winter. Even if I were to leave without buying anything, I still enjoy being on the living history farm for this event, it gets me in the mood for spring. I enjoy my Iris "children" most of all, and I look forward to each and every one of them blooming. I think I have about a dozen different varieties now, I collect a few each year if I can.

7. I ended up going to the fabric store and found some perfect buttons and ribbon for my dress. But when I opened up the car door when I got there it smelled like rotting garbage in the air! It was terrible! We have a couple of plants nearby, one makes cups and such for fast food places, the other makes spices. I don't even want to know what they were making today! I got into the store quickly so that I didn't have to smell the air more than necessary.

8. I went through this month's issue of cooking light and I'm now going through this month's Weight Watcher's magazine. I'm tearing out new recipies to try on the weekends when hubby is home. The ones from Cooking Light all have the nutritional information so I can calculate points per serving so I can decide if they're a good use of my points every day. Speaking of points, I went to Subway today on the way home from the fabric store to get one of their $5 footlongs...not everything is $5. The lower fat ones that I usually get such as Turkey or subway club weren't $5 which was disappointing. The ones I usually go for are 5 points for a 6 inch with no cheese or oil or mayo...but the Chicken Breast one I got is 6 points for half of a foot long. I'm saving the other half for supper. I get 21 points a day so that's just fine with me.

9. I'm disappointed in myself not doing any spinning lately, but honestly I probably have enough yarn made to make several projects and I'm getting more behind in the knitting or weaving phase. I want to let go of my own expectations for myself because then my hobbies become like chores...and just spin or knit or sew because I want to and not because I have to.

10. Today I'm making a better effort towards drinking more water. I feel better when I drink more water (usually I drink next to none) and my body functions better, so I'm going to make more of an effort, not just after I exercise.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My new boyfriend

I tried a new fitness class for beginners or older adults this morning. Some of the classes that are not for beginners are so fast and demanding that I never think I'll get caught up and on step! But today was different, the teacher is a wonderful guy, gets to know all the students by name a bit about everyone, and also encourages socializing and friendships within the classes. Because you can work to your own level, (and there are some pretty senior citizens in the class) because I pushed myself, the class did work me pretty hard.
It was great for strength and stretching especially and with the big band era music for the aerobics, I really had fun. The group is very friendly and it's perfect for a beginner like me, so I'll be going back as many Tuesdays and Thursdays as I'm able. I did a little research on the teacher, thought I'd share...

Honoring Rocky Rosen: Senior Olympic Champion

Maryland’s 2008 Senior Olympics was held recently in Landover, Maryland and the JCC was proudly represented by staff member Al “Rocky” Rosen. He won eight gold and two silver medals in Track and Field events.

Not only is Rocky’s JCC family proud of him, but so is the State of Maryland. On January 26, Rocky will head to the Maryland State House in Annapolis to be recognized in both the State Senate and House of Delegates. Rocky will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Introductions in the Senate will be made by Senator Bobby Zirkin and in the House by Delegate Dr. Dan Morhaim (both JCC members, themselves.)

You can learn to be fit like 85-year-young Rocky at his Body Rock and Circuit Xpress classes in Owings Mills on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My outlook entirely

This came up on my "Never Not Knitting" calendar which was written by the "Yarn Harlot", Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. (I must add that my bestest friend gave me the calendar and must certainly have known that it was perfect for me and makes me think of her each time I look at it! :) Thank you again, Loraine!)

Purls of Wisdom for Wednesday, January 7, 2009.

"You don't have to feel bad if you are the sort of knitter who doesn't finish a lot of stuff. Many of us are in it for the process rather than the product, and this has only to do with personality differences, rather than moral superiority. Sure, it's hard to remember that when other knitters sit smirking in their new sweaters and you are starting your 57th first sock of a pair, but keep this in mind: It's called "knitting", not "sweater making".

Ok, I'll admit, I have several single socks started, several large projects, several small ones, a shawl in the car, 2 scarves in the living room, and I bought all the yarn to make this "Viking Chicken Hat" (the pattern is free on the internet, just google it) for the baby whom it will no longer fit and I haven't even started it yet. I've often told hubby that I use knitting for entertainment value, and even if I don't finish, I'm enjoying the process. That goes for spinning, too, I generally spin my own yarn (I enjoy the process) rather than buying it unless something that I can't make well is specified in the pattern such as for the hat. So now I feel vindigated, I'm a "knitter" by Stephanie's definition.

And by the way, if you're so inclined, knitter or not, Stephanie's blog is really funny and worth a look:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Just working on my list of things to do

funny pictures of cats with captionsAs usual, the cats are into everything. I put away shoes in the closet in my sewing room, and one of the cats got stuck in there, I didn't see her go in. I was packing my sewing things for my class this weekend, I have a rolling tool box that I use and I had the top and bottom halves separated while I got my things together. I went to put my box of feet in the bottom half and there was a certain grey tabby sitting in there. I was consolidating cat food bags and airtight containers and the same grey tabby jumped up on top of one of the containers and was eating kibble out of it. Now mind you, it's the same exact kibble that's in her dish, but eating that wouldn't be nearly as much fun! The girls certainly are entertaining, that's for sure. :)

TTT with thanks to Diana

I've not done a TTT before, but since I'm off on Tuesdays this month, I'll try to get one in on Tuesdays at least in January.

1. I've really got to get myself to put away all the winter clothes that the three Hawaiians (daughter, son in law and grandson) left here after their visit. There is a box in the basement for them to go into, but I have to do some rearrangement down there in order to get it to fit. I told them to leave their cold weather gear since they really don't need it all until they come back probably for Thanksgiving 2010. It's on my agenda for today.

2. I took my first yoga class yesterday, definitely low impact, no sweating, and I thought I would have no problem with my muscles from this class, but when I got up, it felt like I've been run over by a truck so I decided not to kill myself to make it to this morning's fitness class. I might go walk at the gym later but I'm not going to push myself too hard and get discouraged and then quit. I think that's a good way to think about most things, I usually go like gangbusters at first and then burn out or get discouraged, but I'm going to try to be like the tortoise and stay slow and steady.

3. I'm trying to let go of the things that stress me, and the clutter in my house definitely stresses me. So each day I'm trying to work on one small area. Today on my agenda is packing my sewing things for my class this weekend, and I'm going to do some cleaning and cleaning out in the sewing room. Yesterday I set aside a plastic bin (and filled it) for the cardboard and newspaper recyclables so that corner of the kitchen wasn't so messy looking. Baby steps.

4. I set up igoogle to handle my various calendars and to send me alerts of appointments and such on my phone. I read about it in a magazine and so far I like it. It's free, and you can add a "to do" list and the calendar to your page, as well as various other things...I'd had the calendar on my one computer in my office, but I couldn't bring it up other places so this works well. I can also interface with hubby's calendar (when/if he sets one up) and have him have access to mine. I have 4 different calendars that all overlay in different colors (fitness classes, reenactment events, household events, my personal events). It took some time to set up but it's worth it.

5. This week I must finish the pre-work for my requalification exams that are coming up the 26th. I've only got a couple of units online to finish and then I will begin to study the items I need to refresh myself on from the manual. It's on my to-do list.

6. I've done well counting points so far this week and keeping my food intake to a level that is in line with my weight watcher's guidelines. It makes me feel a bit better to be in control. It was almost a defiant feeling just eating what I wanted this summer and fall, but I was only hurting myself, and I have the weight gain to prove it!

7. I got some yoga pants and a few tops yesterday on sale at Target. They're comfortable and more able to move than my usual work out clothing, and I finished pulling the tags off and getting them put away last night. Usually putting things away is not my forte...same as with laundry.

8. I'm learning to just let the cats hiss and posture and go after each other without trying too hard to get into the middle or to try to orchestrate good feelings with them all by giving treats when they're close to each other without agressing. They're going to have to figure out who's the "Chairman Meow" and I'm going to love on all of them despite the fact that all three want to be my favorite. All three want to get on the bed with me, but the kittens don't like Grace up there, and she doesn't like the kittens there, she wants me all to myself. It stresses me because I would dearly love them all to get along. I'm learning not to stress so much.

9. After discussing it with other moms of grown children, small children, and no children, I've been making a conscious effort not to let the situation with my son stress me anymore. I had to cut him off, "tough love" him because he'd spoken to me inappropriately and "told me off" for the 3rd time in about a year's time. I told him that he knows where I am when he figures things and on how to speak to his mother and I haven't had contact with him since. He has told me that since he's now an adult, we're equals and he can talk to me as he wants. I told him that unless he can give birth to me, we're never going to be equals, and that I don't want someone so negative, disrespectful, and argumentative to continue to be giving me stress. He's been in our town a few weeks ago and didn't call or send a message, and that in itself sends a message. Everyone says that if I don't stand my ground, it's just an invitation for the behavior to continue and to get worse and I'm not going to be a part of that. Don't even ask me about all the $ he owes me. lol It is a shame because I do miss the good parts of spending time with him.

10. I made two new fleece throws from fabric that was on sale at Joann's, just finished the second one last night. Now the cats all have places to lie on the sofa that have warm fleece on them, and I even get one to put over my legs when I'm watching TV. It was a win-win situation all around. :)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Working toward a better 2009

Everyone is talking about New Year's Resolutions, and I try very hard every year not to make any because they are so easy to break. But 2008 was challenging for a lot of reasons for me, and though I can't change a lot of things, but I can work on changing some of them.

Unfortunately due to stress and some medication I was on during 2008, I've put on weight to the point that much of my clothing doesn't fit. I actually had to hit the after Christmas sales to get a couple of items to supplement the clothing that I can still wear until such time that I can drop enough of the weight to get back into what I already have. But losing weight alone is not one of my "resolutions", rather it's to get more fit and healthy. So I went back to weight watchers, and I'm on the program again. And I'm trying to move and get stronger and fitter again, it's been too long since I was there. I've been going to the gym at least to walk whenever I can, and we took a "beginner or older citizen" class the other day that kicked my butt! The median age in that class was probably 65 and they seemed to be participating with more ease than I could manage on my first visit...but everyone was so incredibly friendly and supportive and I am going to go back whenever I'm not flying. I'm going to a beginner yoga class tomorrow before the fitness class. Hey, I just want to lose a bit of weight and not have such a hard time getting off the couch!

With that one comes retaking control of my eating and my more grazing, rather I'm going to be planning what I make and pack for lunch and dinner when I'm flying, and what we eat when I'm home. Saturday night is our "night out" but I am trying not to overdo it those nights either. It had been a fun summer and fall not worrying about what I was eating, but that's over. The leftover cookies got thrown out on Friday along with the fudge. lol

Another "to do" list item for the new year is to try to reduce the amount of clutter and material things in my home and in my life. It's overwhelming. I've already learned to say no to a lot of items that I might in the past have acquired, partially that is economic, but partially because I don't have room in my home or my life for it. Part of that item includes working on and hopefully finishing projects that I've started and when I need or want to do something that isn't yet started, to do so with the materials that I have here at home. (For example, next weekend I'm doing a Civil War sewing class, and I'm going to use fabric and trims that I have in my stash exclusively. Nothing new.) Along with that goes cleaning out and "rehoming" things that I don't use often here.

Hey, I'm a work in progress. I believe in positive thinking...In Louise Hay's fantastic book "You can heal your life" (which I've gotten a bit away from) she suggests making positive affirmations and saying them often while you take the steps necessary to make them true, and so that you change your life to live them. Here's mine for today:

I approve of myself. All of my relationships are loving and fufilling. I am healthy, happy, and prosperous. I am fit and in control of what I eat and enjoy being that way. I am letting go of those material items that no longer benefit my life. I see the grace and beauty in my surroundings.

Have a great day, everyone!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Attitude is everything

I'm happy to report that Gracie (the chocolate long hair) is feeling much better in this new year and has gotten back her energy and her spunk. She's a love to us, but to the kittens, she is a real tough one. It'll be a month next week since we took her in. Belle (the Grey Tabby) still doesn't like her much, there's still hissing going on and a lot of claw swats between her and Gracie. Rosie (Tri-Colored Calico) really wants to be friends with Grace, so she is too agressive about seeking friendship, often following Grace places, and trying to get to close and it gets Gracie telling her to "leave me alone" quite forcefully, often with her paws and claws. In general the three are managing to co-exist though on not too friendly basis. I think that food and "hoomans" are an issue, there is probably some jealousy going on about each of those especially us humans, and they all are possibly trying to establish who is the dominant. Belle has always been the Queen and I believe that Gracie probably didn't have cat siblings and is quite a bit older, so there is a lot of posturing going on. Rosie is just sweet and lovable and when she gets Grace in her face she looks bewildered. I'm sure they'll all get better as time goes by, maybe never being best friends but at least living in the same home with a minimum of stress.