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Aug. 29th, 2016

strength - peter

(no subject)

I made my doctor happy today! Seriously, she was beaming at me and practically bouncing.

What, you ask, could do that to a doctor? (OK, you didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway.) I followed her advice and made some lifestyle changes, successfully.

Since the last time I saw her, which was in April, I've lost 11 pounds. (I didn't diet, so I was surprised by this. Delighted, actually.) I've been working fruits and veggies into my diet through having a smoothie every day, I've been gradually cutting fat (*sniff* I miss my sausages), and I've started exercising again. What really made her beam was when I told her that I was making changes slowly, one at a time, and that rather than depending on willpower (or won't-power), I make each change so easy for myself that I don't mind doing it.

She says I'm going to be the poster child for lifestyle changes. LOL! I doubt I'll be one of those before-and-afters that you see sometimes, but at least I seem to have the right idea.

Aug. 27th, 2016

whatever happens

(no subject)

Speaking to my sister, I remarked on what a lot of walking we were going to be doing on our vacation. She said she'd be fine - she's gone back to working out, and she's doing well. When she told me how well, I realized I was in trouble. When I told her what I could do on a treadmill, all she said was, "Oh." Let me tell you, rendering my sister too polite to speak her mind is quite an accomplishment.

So I am now motivated to go back to working out, and I made today my first day back. I've taken out a lot of the elements of my normal workout, focusing on stretch/warm-up for the walking, then longer on the treadmill. I did 20 minutes today, at a slow pace, but my heartrate stayed within the normal zone and my feet and legs don't hurt now, which is all good.

Nothing like the spectre of having my sister go "You're tired? Already?" to get a person motivated to work.
happy dance

(no subject)

It's really going to happen. I'm so excited.

I don't think I've mentioned that I planned a trip to Florida in October. My sister wants to share some wonderful things in Orlando with me. She and I spent many years estranged from each other (we both have ferocious tempers), but we bonded again when my mom died. Since then we speak on the phone at least once a week, and we play Wizard 101 together. She suggested this trip when I expressed envy that she had gone swimming with dolphins. She said, "I want to go again, so come with me."

I've been saving for months for this. But all the time, I kept seeing it in the abstract, as if I was afraid I'd lose it if I believed in it. But nope, it's gonna happen. I've bought my (nonrefundable) airline ticket, and Terry has made all the (nonrefundable) reservations. I'm really going!

We're going to Discovery Cove and Sea World. We're going to have close encounters with dolphins (swimming with dolphins!), whales, and sea lions. We're going bell diving. We're going to have two glorious days of fun with sea animals.

It really is kind of weird that we are so compatible about this trip. Everything I want to do, Terry wants to do. Everything I don't want to do, neither does she. We don't have to make any compromises, as I usually do when I travel with anyone else. Of course, we'll probably murder each other after days of being together all the time, so if I don't come back, check the Orlando hospitals and jails. hee.

Anyway, I'll be gone from October 9th to October 14th. I have a lot of planning to do, to be sure that Randi and the animals will be OK without me, but I also have over a month to get it together. I can do that. This is also going to (temporarily) kill my savings account, but the fun and the memories will be well worth it.

Another thing good? I had to make my own flight arrangements (thank you, Nick from SWA, for helping me!), but Terry scheduled everything else. I mean everything. She's pretty amazing. But don't tell her I said so. Anyway, I have nothing to do but get myself to Panama City and home again. And have fun in between.


Aug. 25th, 2016

whatever happens

(no subject)

I'm posting a meme I got from a friend. Why are these things so irresistable to do?

memeCollapse )

Well, that was exhausting fun. Thanks, trellia_chan, and welcome back.

Aug. 2nd, 2016

whatever happens

(no subject)

I just thought I'd toss out two random things. Why not?

I am currently reading Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton. I recently read David McCullough's biography of John Adams. I have enjoyed both books immensely. In high school I had a fascination for the American Revolution, and this has been revived. I tend to react emotionally to the people involved and have definite opinions about them, as if they were current politicians. The appalling thing is that the warring two-party system and the grounding of grievances that led to the Civil War are all present in the early years of our country. Reading about Washington's first term in office is little different than what I'm listening to now. The two parties that were just forming rallied behind their "heroes" and supported them, right or wrong, while vilifying the other side.There were no libel or slander laws, so the newspapers acted like the Internet currently does, a podium from which opinions could be spewed forth, complete with illogic and generalizations, and without restraint. Nothing ever changes. We're repeating history. It's sad.

If anyone wants my opinion of the Founding Fathers, I'll give the brief rundown for those I actually have firm opinions about. I like and admire John Adams with all his faults for his incomparable genius (and I love Abigail); I admire Hamilton (even if he was an idiot at times) and think he was a visionary, ahead of his time, despite the faults of capitalism; I feel sorry for Washington, thrust onto a pedestal he didn't ask for and embattled so late in his life; I think Madison was a tool; and most strongly of all, I loathe and despise Thomas Jefferson, that elitist hypocrite, so much that my roomie wants me to quit reading the biographies because Jefferson makes my mood so foul.

The second thing I want to babble about is much more innocuous. In my struggle to eat more rationally, a battle that is not going well, I keep trying new things. I have three in particular that have succeeded pretty well:

  1. I regularly have a cheese omelet for breakfast. I love breakfast food. But to cut the fat, instead of cheddar cheese I use mozzarella. And when that's too bland, I sprinkle on a little feta or a bit of salsa. Yum.

  2. I've been making fruit-and-veggie smoothies for lunch. Some genius came up with the idea of freezing the ingredients, so there's none of the chopping and preparing that makes it so easy for me to quit. I just toss two handsful in the blender with 3/4 C apple juice, whirrrr away, and have a treat that's good for me.

  3. I recently found a recipe for a side dish that I like. It's a bit of trouble to prepare, especially for a kitchenophobe like me, but it's really healthy. It's a quinoa-black bean-salsa mix. Good stuff.

Jul. 1st, 2016

whatever happens

(no subject)

I've been surprised at myself for the number of times per day that I check Facebook. I always used to look down on people who had to check FB, Twitter, etc., all day long. I still look down on people who constantly do it. You know the ones, you pass them on the street and they're staring like zombies at their phone instead of watching where they're going. Or you're talking to them, and they get a ping for a text message and interrupt you so they can read their text. And so on.

But now I understand the compulsion a little better. I'm in a rural area, and my only good friend closer than an hour's drive away is my roomie. I never felt isolated before because my life was so full of stuff I had to do, like commute, work, sleep, eat, feed the critters, and other chores. The little free time I could wrangle from my days was spent alone, but not in loneliness, but in blissful peace.

Now I have enough free time to feel lonely, and the Internet has become important to me. Even Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a snob. I'm not doing Twitter - that's just way too busy. And most of the stuff on FB is crap. But the rest of it is like a window to the outside world. So I check FB several times a day. But not constantly!

Jun. 15th, 2016

whatever happens

(no subject)

When my coworkers and bosses asked me what I would do when I retired, thinking I'd be bored, I had an easy answer. "I'm going to sleep. And write."

The first year or so, I got plenty of sleep, but I didn't write. But last November, I tackled the fantasy novel that I'd been trying to write for the last two Nanos, Path of the Dragonfly. I loved the characters too much to give it up, despite two dismal starts. This time, I really got on a roll. By the time I finished the 50K, I could see the story changing from the limp little adventure I'd planned into something really special and exciting. I kept going, and by the end of May, it was complete. Finished! All 155K words of it. Yay! (I'll be doing the rewrite as my Camp Nanowrimo project in July.) But I couldn't bear to leave my characters, so I kept writing about them, doing stories of their lives after the story ended. I have so far written over 62K more words about them, and I am still eager to keep going. I have some "prequel" ideas, even.

So I seem to finally be doing what I imagined I would. I used to not be able to write unless I had at least two hours free, and I couldn't write after grocery shopping or after dinner. That's changed. Now, most of my days go like this: Breakfast. Write. Lunch. Do a chore or two. Write. Dinner. Watch a movie or play Wizard 101 if my friends/sister want my attention. Otherwise write. After the movie/W101, if applicable, write more. Go to bed. Rinse, repeat. I can write even in a 20 minute space while waiting for something else. I can write until 2 in the morning. I can write as soon as I put the groceries away and grab a bite to eat. Woohoo!

I sure hope this lasts!

May. 2nd, 2016

whatever happens

(no subject)

April's Camp Nanowrimo is over, and with 20,252 words, I more than made my goal of 20K. I think I'll set July's goal higher. Maybe 30K.

The good thing is that this story is really rolling. My roomie is still saying it's the best writing I've done, and she hasn't yet gotten bored with it, which is amazing, since it is, at present, 107,288 words and 169 single-spaced pages. The darn thing started out with a world-weary ex-soldier and two kids, and it's becoming an epic! LOL

Apr. 23rd, 2016

whatever happens

(no subject)

I'm just doing an "I'm alive and still have an internet connection" post here.

My roomie is about the same as always, which is good. She continues to improve, but slowly. The animals are all healthy, thankyouGod. On the other hand, I seem to be falling apart. I have "trigger finger" on my left pinkie (I never heard of such a thing until I got it). I have done something to my left ankle that is painful enough for me to seek an X-ray to see if I broke the bone again. No break, but my PCP is referring me to a specialist. I've been hobbling around on the thing for a month, and it's getting annoying. I probably pulled a tendon or ligament, dragging my feet through the mud in front of the barn.

No, don't worry, I'm not going to start whining about the mud again. What is there left to say?

I joined Camp Nanowrimo this month, and I've already reached my goal of 20,000 words. I need to set a harder goal when I do the camp in July. I'm working on the story that I started three years ago, when I blew two Nanos in a row, due to life (boss from hell, my mom died, etc.). The story is now about 3/4 done. My roomie loves the characters and plot, and she says I'm doing some of my best writing. Unlike most writers, my style tends to be spare to a fault, and this story (with my roomie's comments/demands as she gets each scene hot off the keyboard) is teaching me to "fluff out" the scenes. My plot and character backgrounds are in my head, but I tend to forget that my readers can't read my mind. With the constant feedback I'm getting right now, I'm slowly learning to reveal more, and that is good.

Apr. 4th, 2016

whatever happens

(no subject)

So... I bought a shotgun. For the snakes. (Scary snake story is under the cut, for those of you who haven't heard it.)

Scary snake storyCollapse )

Note that I'm not afraid of snakes, per se. I am, however, wary of poisonous ones, especially anywhere near my dogs. We have had several snakes around the house, at least two of them poisonous, so after the copperhead, I decided it was time to get that Texas country accessory, a shotgun. I took a while to make the decision, then took a while finding one I wanted (I bought it from a friend). It's a pump action, and I keep it in the house in case of a break in (as unlikely as that would be, with two German shepherds on the porch, one 79 lbs and the other 93 lbs, and both of them barky and toothy).

I've been told that the pump sound is so well known that I wouldn't even need to load it, just make the sound to scare off any burglar. My friend told me, "Make that sound anywhere - make it in Albania! - and everyone will know what it means."

The weird thing is that, although I've only handled a rifle once in my life, this one seems to fit me. I'm very comfortable with it, and I automatically held it properly (probably the result of watching so many action shows) and put it to my shoulder properly. I haven't yet fired it, however. My friend is going to show me how, as the only other time I've fired a rifle was long, long ago. He is also going to get me the right kind of shells for snake killing. I'm hoping I never have to use the thing, but I feel better for having it.

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