Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good Thursday Morning

It was a balmy 21 degrees this early morning. That may not sound too attractive to some of you but when it's been in single digits or worse, anything below zero, 21 feels balmy. 21 is balmy. It was colder yesterday morning and will likely be colder tomorrow morning, but on this morning it is 21 balmy degrees.

There is snow and ice everywhere, still. Though balmy, 21 degrees will not alter scenery. Not even the 32 we surged to last weekend made much difference to the landscape. There was however, enough warmth to warrant caution especially around buildings. Falling ice. The forecast calls for a similar warm-up this weekend. Caution Falling Ice signs will again appear.

Though in the midst of colder than average temperatures, seemingly never-ending snow and ice covered streets, I am good. Heck, compared to what some folks woke up to this morning, I am more than good.

I've only fallen down twice (yes, again since the stairs event) this season (so far). Once again, the daughter was there to witness my lack of grace. Still, I am good. Heck, more than.

The warmest parka from last season has been replaced. The zipper that failed, was replaced, failed again and yet again replaced (or repaired) held up for a time, but then began to fail. On one of the colder days, it failed multiple times causing many moments of mid-section freeze. So I got a new parka. I like this parka much, much better. One, it's warmer than the other parka. Two, it has an excellent zipper. Three, it has pockets. Many glorious pockets. Patch pockets, slash pockets, inside pockets, even a hidden pocket.

So yeah, it is cold, snowy, icy and more. But I have the comforts of home, am surrounded by the glow of love, and a new, even warmer parka. So, on this day, at this time, I am good.

I wish good, heck, more than good for all those finding it otherwise this Thursday morning.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One Leg-Warmer Short

The long cold day and finally come to an end. What a relief.

Sitting on her bed, finalizing the de-layering process, Deborah was interrupted from leg-warmer removal by daughter popping her head in the room to tell a tale of the day.

One leg-warmer off, Deborah moved into the kitchen for further discourse with daughter and to check on the status of dinner. Laughter and teasing ensued. Satisfied that dinner was moving apace, Deborah moved back into the bedroom to resume leg-warmer removal.

With both leg-warmers now off Deborah moved to stow them away. Only one leg-warmer was present. Twisting and tuning, looking about the room, the bed, under items not yet stowed, no second leg-warmer. Wha….?

Daughter returned to doorway looking to add to her previous tale stared at Deborah with mirth in her eyes and a questioning smirk on her lips. Deborah asked, “didn’t I have on both leg-warmers?” Daughter replied, “I would guess, since you have two legs.” Wha….?

Deborah stowed the one leg-warmer, checked that the other pair was indeed, a pair for they would be needed the next day and let the one leg-warmer ease off her mind assuring herself that it would turn up.

The next morning’s routine was just that, routine. Deborah rose, fed the cats, brewed the coffee (well tried to brew the coffee…coffee must be put IN the filter/pot), showered, prepared her own breakfast, and prepared to get dressed.

She looked about her feet, taking note of Buttah (the orange cat) and his examination of the new scale. There, next Buttah and the new scale was the second leg-warmer. Deborah checked the drawer to see, yep, there in the drawer, one leg-warmer and a second leg-warmer on the floor.


Buttah looked up at Deborah, meowed and sauntered away (in triumph?)


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

If at First You Don't Succeed . . .

Yesterday, I was on a mission. Through no fault of my own (or maybe it was) the mission was not accomplished.

Today I was going to write about the mission and failure of same, but the cat (the orange one) wasn't having any of that.

He's being particularly needy this evening.

I'll try again tomorrow. Of course, it might not be about the failed mission by then.

We'll see.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Four-Hundred and Sixty

My twenty-three year old daughter, as you may know, lives with me. We are the best of friends, mostly and the arrangement is agreeable, mostly.

Being here together and being women we tend to share some things. My socks, my sweats, my cash, come immediately to mind. We don’t, however, share shoes because her feet are bigger and she wouldn’t want my shoes because she hates my shoes, mostly.

Which leads me to the point, which is, what we don’t share generally, is taste in clothing or rather, style. Granted, our age difference is 25 years and we probably shouldn’t be interested in the same style of clothing, and believe me, we’re not, but what I’m talking about goes beyond that.

And while she prefers mall shopping, I’m a catalog (electronic mostly), mail order kind of gal.

Still, periodically clothing catalogs arrive addressed to her. Most are addressed to me and some are simply addressed to our shared first initial and our shared last name. Usually, it is crystal clear as to which {D} would be more interested in the contents of a particular clothing catalog. The division between what (and from whom) we buy is pretty definitive.

Sometimes, however you can’t tell by the cover.

Last week’s mail yielded a few catalogs. All but one addressed specifically and directly to one or the other of us. THE one, company unknown, product line borderline, was claimed by the younger D with her saying, “there’s cute girl-y stuff in there, this isn’t for you, you don’t do cute.”

Huff. (sorta)

She continued, “well, you don’t! You got that butch thing goin’ on. Hey, that works for you.”

I countered with, “butch can be cute.” And she said, “yeah, but not girl-y cute.”

She’s a cutie, that daughter of mine.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday PM Ramble at Random

You know the difference between minus 10 and minus 17? No, me either with the possible exception of my toes starting to tingle 5 minutes sooner in minus 17 than they did in minus 10. Let's hear it for 25 degree days. YaY!

My mom and I don't see eye-to-eye on many topics. So says she, I've contradicted her from the time I was twelve. I think more likely, it probably started at age twelve when I felt the confidence to be vocal about certain things.

I've had much more fruit in the past couple of weeks, oranges among the lot. My daughter notes that I don't eat oranges sexily, "don't eat them in front of your girlfriend." I beg to differ. Perhaps. Though, I'd have to agree, the display my daughter witnessed could not have been construed as sexy. I'm sure it was a messy display. It was a very juicy orange and it was cold. Why my daughter made a connection between me, eating oranges, and sexiness is a question for another time, perhaps another forum.

Speaking of oranges, allergies kept me from eating them (and other citrus fruit) for most of my life. Only in the last couple (or three) years have I been able to eat oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes with any type of consistency without suffering irritating outbreaks. Yuck into Yum.

That said and allergies aside, I avoided all things orange for quite a while in part because of my older brother's mis-hap and partly because oranges (and other citrus fruits) require peeling and can be messy, especially for someone like me. Though I eat oranges (and other citrus) now, I still do so in relative private and not when I'm out and about. I never even considered the sexy (or lack thereof) aspect.

Moreover, though I like oranges, I'm not wild about orange flavored products. I'm not even all that wild about bottled juices. Much too sweet for my taste.

And just one more thing about oranges, the juice of 4, combined with a bit cumin and honey make a pretty good glaze for chicken being roasted. If you cut up some veggies (potatoes, onions, celery and carrots), place them under the rack while the chicken coated and basted with the orange-sweet and savory concoction, you've got yourself a yummy side.

My quest and involvement with the group getting on a scale, acknowledging, and recording my weight has become a weekly ritual. I've gone back and forth not only with the weight, but with the value of the scale. I've gone through cycles where I avoided the scale, while still trying to maintain, there was some level of success. For a time I felt that obsessing over the number on the scale was counter-productive to the over-all goal, so I didn't weigh, except at the doctor's office and there was some measure of success there as well. I don't know which is right, which is best, never-the-less, it is my life now and in a few hours I'll know how I did this week.

While channel surfing yesterday I caught a movie somewhere in the middle. I stopped because Jennifer Beals was on screen. I read the synopsis and mildly intrigued, watched for a bit. Shortly after, my attention was diverted to something else, so I didn't finish the movie and I don't know how it ended. I'm not sure I want to know, but I'll probably seek it out on purpose at some point. Still, it got me to thinking, if there is such a gene and I do indeed possess same, it might have been nice(er) if action with the realization could have occurred sooner in my life rather then the later. Still, better later than not ever at all.

You "L" fans know that the sixth and final season begins today and of course by now you've heard or read the thrust of this new and final season. I won't spoil it here in case you haven't heard, but suffice to say, if the writers do what I fear I'll be royally ticked. But only for awhile. It's only TV, I'll get over it soon enough.

Finally, hunger is present. But not a hunger for food or even a particular food. No, not food at all.

Just to feel her, to hold her in my arms again . . .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Chill In My Bones

. . .and everywhere else. It was block two when I realized which part of my body was in-sufficiently protected from the biting winds (oh yes, biting) and sub-zero temperatures. Have your thighs ever been so cold that it felt like they were being pricked with one million needles only to then begin to like they were being set ablaze?

Daughter gave me a lift to the train, after the short train ride to the work 'hood, I had a walk. On normal days, it is a leisurely, 6 or 7 block jaunt that I've made often. I usually add intensity by stretching out the stride, amping up the speed.

This morning, I sped up (as much as I could, what with the snowy, slippery sidewalks) because to slow surely meant to be frozen in place. Keep On Movin' looped over and over in my head, keeping my feet in timed motion.

My first action upon reaching our building was to take the quaint elevator to our floor and head directly to the women's room. The friction my pants caused rubbing against my thighs made me shriek, just a little. My thighs, ice cold to the touch, had taken on a lovely shade of red. They kinda looked like Boston Baked Beans. The friction made me shriek, the squat made me scream, just a little. However, I took the opportunity to rub my bruised and bewildered thighs ever so gently. Recovery was nearly as rapid as the assault and by the time I'd finished, I was feeling closer to normal.

Still, I'm getting myself geared (and layered) for my afternoon walk and even more so for the commute home. Hey, gotta keep movin'.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Soooo Not About Cold or Snow

Buttah's adoption papers report an approximate birthday date of 2/8. February 8th is a BIG day around these parts, beyond his Buttah-ness. However, more about that later. Now, back to Buttah. He'll be two on his birthday and in his short time here has stamped his imprint onto and into every corner of our world.
A few more observations about Buttah, formerly Tacoma.
He's a top. Every time I catch he and Pete in their more-than-brotherly embracing, Buttah is clearly, driving the action, so to speak. Pete will sometimes instigate but as soon as Buttah's engines are purring, Petey flops and is content to let Buttah dictate. Pre-Buttah Pete exhibited some aggressive behaviors. And while he still does on occasion, much less so, post-Buttah.
Buttah is a quiet cat. Except for meal time. He becomes quite vocal at the sight of food, any food. Buttah boy loves to eat. He has begun to nose around Diamond's bowl and that simply will not do.
He likes to be in the bathroom, but only when somebody else is in the bathroom. He will butt his head on the door and if it isn't closed properly he'll come in. He tries to get on your lap when . . . well, when you're sitting. Otherwise he'll camp outside the door until you emerge and he'll follow you around a bit as if trying to decide if you're somehow different.
Buttah is less nimble than his feline counter-part. Pete sprints and leaps at great speeds and with height and distance. I give him a 10. Buttah jogs, stops, measures, and then jumps. I give him a 6. Because of this disparity their games of IT are a bit one-sided. This is where Pete comes out on top, again, so to speak.
Anytime spent at the computer station is doubled because Buttah takes your presence there as an invite to drape himself on the keyboard, your lap, the desk. While Pete was intrigued with the screen and the moving images, Buttah seems content to just be near, to be held.
He's giving Diamond girl a run for her precious pup money in the attention getting category. Trust me, she's up for the challenge.
How cold? Wed. projected hi: 16F / low: minus 4F brrrrrrr

Monday, January 12, 2009

A First For Me, Perhaps.

I was block four into my planned fourteen block afternoon walk when I remembered what had slipped my mind last night. I'd never gotten around to soaking my feet, which meant that I hadn't gotten around to clipping my toenails. I meant to address, at the very least, one particular toe this morning because I knew with two pairs of socks and an extended walk over snowy terrain, given the shoes I was planning to wear, pain would try to become my friend.

Well, block four into the fourteen block walk this afternoon, I remembered. However, thanks in small measure to the un-even terrain and by shifting my weight over level ground, I was able to continue and complete the walk.

However, now the one particular toenail had to go.

I don't think, in my nearly 30 years, have I ever clipped a toenail at work.

I closed the door but it still felt weird.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Near Miss

Enthusiasm about going outside to do some stuff waned at about inch three. But, enthusiasm or not, stuff must be done so out we went.

I think there was nine - ten inches before it was done for the time being. I shoveled three times before calling it a day. The capper? The Titans lost. How many times has the top seed blown it lost before THE game?

In other news, Arizona's looking good. And the team's playing well too.

Thinking dry. Thinking heat.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Phone Tree

My son has a friend, Dave.
Dave has a mom, Mrs. N.
Mrs. N has a friend, Sara.
Sara has a daughter, Jackie

Jackie is employed by the same local eatery that employed son’s dad until the stroke.

Jackie discovered that my son’s father moved to Mississippi (from Wisconsin) a few weeks ago. Jackie called her mom, Sara. Sara called Mrs. N and Mrs. N called my son to tell him that his dad is in Mississippi and is walking a little bit more.

Why no direct communication? Good question.

located image here.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Getting To Be That Time

A co-worker has turned his first two vacation days request for 2009. Historically, his first two vacation days of the new year are the Mondays following the NFL Championship Round and the Super Bowl.

This year, same deal.

Though I'm not as IN to football these days (as evidenced by my very poor Fantasy record this season and last) I do enjoy the play-offs and championship games. I don't enjoy them so much that I need to take days off work, but yeah, fun.
Back when the home team was up for the big game a video was produced to celebrate, promote and raise money. The video was a big hit. So big, that my little guy's head-start decided to stage their own production that year as part of the end-of-school-year celebration.

His first foray onto the stage was not much to his liking. It took several years to get him back.

But we were talking about football and since the home team is now on vacation, Woot! Woot! to the Titans and a shout out to the Eagles.

I don't know which team or teams the co-worker is rooting for this time around but I'm sure I'll find out. Historically, he's been quite vocal about his passion for this time of year.

Monday, January 05, 2009

This Is My Quest

For the past couple, three years I’ve been trying to reduce my body mass. Toward that end, I joined a gym, WW and a couple of other on-line support-type groups, reduced my over-all caloric intake, made more careful choices regarding snacks and made a concerted effort to ramp up my physical activity.

There was some level of success. I had to dump the gym and WW. The other efforts continued to show positive results but often, I'd celebrate those results by over-eating and eating all the wrong foods.

C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E Good Times!


The pants I bought a few months ago, a size smaller than that of the previous season are a tad snug today, so I know I’ve loss some of the ground recently gained.

I could continue on the same vein and limp my way along to more 10 lb, 1 pant size losses over several months only to rebound with a 5 lb gain and so on, but I’ve had enough of that. I need a new plan of attack, new and aggressive goals, actions, and motivations.

Shrinking Piggies II and related accountability fits the bill.

It is my goal to lose 40 lbs. by July 6, 2009. If I stick to my plan for longer than the usual month to six-weeks, don't go food crazy at the first sign of jiggle-less showers, the goal is reachable.

So it is written, so it shall be done.

There, I feel lighter, more importantly, tighter already.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Odd Number Year

Now two full days in and I’ve managed to keep my food and drink intake within a manageable and reasonable level. I’ve had some giggles and a serious conversation with the daughter, an interesting and enlightening conversation with the son, a distressing conversation with the mom and a fun, challenging, serious, enticing, and invigorating conversation with the girlfriend.

In short, the first two days of the New Year represent business as usual, mostly.

I haven’t gotten the amount of exercise I’d hope to get but I think Saturday and Sunday will be my ‘get physical’ days.

Mom pointed out during our New Year Day conversation that I’ll celebrate birthday number forty-nine, she, sixty-nine one of her sisters, seventy-nine and the eldest sister, eighty-nine this year. (There are two brothers and another sister between my nearly 69 year old mother and her nearly 89 year old sister).

My mother doesn’t want to live to see 89. She told me so. She tells me so nearly every day. She reminds me how tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed she feels. None of her various conditions are, in and of themselves, life threatening, but they are debilitating and the constant pain is, well, a pain.
The meds tend to addle her already over taxed brain.

The details of day-to-day living are turning molehills into Mt. Olympus.

I, the only daughter, am in the process of helping her pare down even further her meager possessions, scout assisted living locales and file applications with the alphabet soup of government and social services agencies. Though tired, frustrated and overwhelmed she hasn’t quite reconciled her emotions to the eventual relinquishing of control over some aspects of her life.

Hopefully, the right locale, situation and set of circumstances will materialize sooner rather than later and she can move on to the next phase. Further, hopefully, she can begin to finally un-clench, relax and come to appreciate the good above lamenting the bad.

So, in short, 2009 so far, business as usual.