Saturday, January 31, 2009

Obamacon Me--Check This Out

I found this on someone else's blog. You can go to oabamaicomme to make your own poster. I started looking at the top rated ones and when I found these that rhymed so perfectly, I had to put them here to tell a little story. I think you'll be able to tell which one is mine!

Befuddled by Facebook

I signed up for Facebook back in the fall out of curiosity because of something my niece sent me. I was rather surprised at how quickly I got requests to be friends with people. People from my High School who I had no memory of, for example--and multiples of them. People whose names I didn't even recognize asked me to be friends with them. Where were these people when I was in HS? Why didn't they want to be friends with me then? And perhaps a better question, why do they want to be friends with me now?

I mean really? What benefit can they possibly get by being friends with me on Facebook? They get to see who else I become friends with and maybe, if they're lucky, what I'm doing this very moment. How exciting! Oh, or maybe it's all about inviting me to some obscure virtual group--which as far as I can tell, are like adding your name to a club that doesn't do anything. (Kind of like National Honor Society as I recall.) Like, I think I've been asked about 6 times to be part of a help save premature babies group (not exactly the name). I don't think they ask anything of me--money or letters to congress or even a commitment to evangelize to others how to help prevent having a premature baby. They just want me to sign over my name so they will know I, 25+ years after knowing them, may share some common belief with them. I don't get it.

I don't even get why the people who I asked to be friends with from HS accepted my request. I saw their names, got excited, contacted them. And then realized, I have like maybe 2 memories of them. Not even full memories.

I see a name--Oh! I remember her, she played the xylophone in band!--I ask her to be my friend. She accepts. Then I as I start to "write on her wall" I realize I have nothing to really say to her except. . . "I think of you whenever I see someone marching with a xylophone. So do you still do that?" Not exactly something to link us for years to each other. . .

And some of the memories are so vague I can hardly put them into words. "Remember me? Our last names were together alphabetically so you had the locker next to mine. You were cool; I wasn't, but you were nice to me. Not that I remember anything you ever really said to me. I remember you swam competitively so you had kind of greenish hair and a really big neck. Did that go away. . .?"

Or frankly, my memories of them are humiliating to me. 'Oh hi! Remember how you fell back in gym to run around the track next to me because we played saxophones together so you knew I wasn't the big loser I seemed to be. Remember how I always cried in gym? Then, remember how I rewarded your kindness by challenging you in band and taking first chair away from you the first and only time you had it?"

Or my memories are embarrassing to them. "Hey! I remember you! You were the girl who sat behind me in French class and barely passed because you were so caught up in that guy you started sleeping with when you were like 14. You wrote notes to me and thought I was nice. Huh, how interesting to see that you had a kid like the second we graduated. . . You're still really pretty. . ."

Relax, I don't say these things to them. . . well not exactly in these words! I just find that after catching up on 25 years in about a paragraph, we seem to have very little to say to each other. Yet now we are forever linked on this thing called Facebook. Most of these people didn't even sign my yearbook.

Still, I feel like a cad when I delete a request to be friends. I think, I have NO IDEA who you are. Even your picture in the year book doesn't ring any bells. Why would I want to have you poking around my Facebook page? Maybe this hesitancy, this need to be linked with a few instead of the masses is exactly why they weren't my friends in HS.

Yet, I find myself wondering, what is that one memory you have of me? And do I really want to know?

College is worse. I spent more years in college but have many, many fewer names that ring bells. Much fewer memories.

To realize this is befuddling and bittersweet. It's an odd feeling to realize that people who you spend a lot of your life with can become so insignificant. Where else besides in school do you travel with a pack? Okay, so I wasn't friends with Sally, but she was a chatter and the teachers liked her and she was funny. Whether she remembers me or not, I remember her angst about not understanding and her persistence in biology class to have it explained to her until she did how it could be that not all chicken eggs had chicks in them. . . which someone rolled right into how the rhythm method worked. She was a presence in my HS. But it's like we all have such individualized memories that that place in our past wasn't even real.

When my college roommate from my sophomore year and I moved out from each other (I only lived with her a year but we do still keep in touch--the only one of all my roommates), we cried because we had the insight that it would never be the same once we weren't in on the daily comings and goings of each other's lives. Those stupid little details that you only get when you are in close space with someone else--sharing meals with them, watching them struggle with arguments they had with someone or fear of passing a test, or how they sort their laundry.
These little details bind you. Yo u don't get these details when you connect by phone twice a year or in a annual Christmas card.

Sometimes I get annoyed that my mom spends a 45 min call telling me these minute details. What she ate, who she talked to, what she cleaned that day. . . but it is that very sharing of the minutia that keeps us connected. Who else can you call when you just have to tell someone about the awful smelly gas you have??

So maybe I just don't understand well enough how to use this Facebook think. My stepdaughter says she will show me more when she comes in 2 weeks. Maybe it will provide some kind of minutia connecting device that brings me closer to people from a long ago time in my life. . . but I have my doubts.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

First Night Home, First Day of Our New Life

Yeats is home! I got a picture of her right as she squatted to poop on the wood floor. Our new life has begun.

So much like any baby--eat, play, poop, sleep. Then the same cycle all over again. Funny how it wears me out. Just watching her, bending over with her, tuckers me out. I napped twice with her!

She cute and funny, with her puppy bloated belly. She slides on our wood floor, feet tuck her, chin on ground, up and going. She plays hard and briefly before she tuckers.

Today, until now (she's asleep on the rug under my feet), I've gotten nothing done. Tomorrow, I must plan some meals, buy some food, work on revising my story so I can submit it, and do some work from home. . .hope Yeats is agreeable to my plans! (And Hubby)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Random Updates: Puppy Anxiety, Vegetarian Ventures, & Training Sirens

So Hubby and I are going through baby-arriving-soon anxiety. Only in our case, it's puppy arriving soon.
He put the crate together, and I must admit I'm a little daunted by how huge it looks! Ouf! Big doggy in our near future. We both have neurotic fears about this new little one who will join and change our lives starting this weekend. Hubby is obsessed about getting rid of my Peace lily, which is poisonous to dogs, and I find myself looking up things online like how to give a dog the Heimlich maneuver! I'm sure we'll be fine. . .

I've had a recent winner and loser vegetarian meal.
Last night's winner was something I put together in a time crunch, and thought when I sat down to it that it wasn't going to get it, but I have to say it was delicious! And every bite just got better and better! I put some veggies (multi colored potatoes, sweet potato, yellow pepper, onion, broccoli, carrots) I'd roasted following a recipe from Moosewood with Italian seasonings on top of brown rice and sprinkled a bit of shredded Swiss cheese on it. Delish! I'd eat this again and again. Too bad hubby said after his first bite, "For future reference, I don't like roasted vegetables."

Tonight's "loser" meal wasn't terrible just not a hit. I took baked delicata squash and mixed it with goat cheese. I spread that on a tortilla and topped with black beans and a little shredded mozzarella and another tortilla to make a quesadilla. Then we topped with peach salsa. I thought the delicata was a little pasty this way and the whole grain tortillas were a bit too doughy or something. I didn't have any immediate ideas how to make it tastier. Hubby suggested blue cheese instead of goat cheese.

Finally, as I was leaving work tonight (it's a crazy busy hectic time at work!), I ran into Trainer D. She's left me several voice mail messages and sent a few e-mails. I've appreciated them all but been a loser about responding to her. We chatted for a few minutes today--me pummelling her with updates--and I have to say, much to my surprise--complete shock in fact--that I found myself missing my workouts with her. She is like a siren. . . luring me to the gym.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Few Good Things: What I Did Today to Feel Proud

Tonight I made a vegetarian dinner out of my Moosewood Cookbook. It was Spinach Polenta Pie with a tomato wine sauce on it. Hubby doesn't like polenta and I usually do, but this was kind of bland tasting until we put the tomato sauce on it and kind of mixed it all together. The tomato sauce was really good--had fennel seed in it, which we really liked even though it called for ground fennel. I ended up really liking it, and will likely eat it twice for lunches this week. It was very satisfying. Hubby said he'd prefer the spinach & mushrooms over pasta. Still I was proud of myself for making dinner and not ordering out and for making something good for us! I did pretty good all week cooking and picking healthy lunches.

Today I moved around the furniture in our TV room to be able to fit the treadmill in there. I set up a little gym in there with the stability ball and weights too. I got a bit of aerobic and strength training moving the sofa bed by myself and that treadmill--it was no small feat through 2 doorways. I plan to walk when I watch The Biggest Loser. But my bigger hope, which I obviously don't feel too committed to yet because I don't believe I'll do it, is to get up in the AM and walk and do some strength training on the stability ball while I watch The Today Show. Usually I lounge around in bed waiting for Hubby to spoil me with a cup of coffee. There's a lot of time between waking and coffee that I could be revving my day with some moves. Think how proud I'll feel then. . .!

This weekend we also got a crate and a few things to get ready for our new puppy Yeats (we're supposed to bring her home between the 24th and the 31st--at least 7 weeks).

And Hubby helped me do an edit of the story I'm working on The Winter Mom Sold Don Quixote. He was mostly encouraging and not too brutal with the edits, so I still feel encouraged about it.

Oh, and today I pulled out my first level piano book to re-learn my left hand. I started taking lessons when we lived in B'ham, which is now almost 8 years ago; jesus, how can it possibly be that long ago. . .Anyhow I took a few months of lessons there and then in Boston for a little while. But I never play anything anymore. So today I had fun going back over the beginner's books. And I realized I didn't beat myself about that at all. I just said to myself, 'Oh, I don't remember the bass cleft very well; I'll get out the book to do re-learn.' And while I was playing, I was thinking, 'This is fun. And it's going to come back soon. I'll have to do this again." Then I thought what a great re-learning, go back to basics, matter of fact attitude to carry with me through with exercise. I just have to get back to the basics--mostly on scheduling myself--which I have the tools to do. And keep moving along.

A few of my friends from work went to the inauguration. I'm looking forward to hearing their stories about how it went. I gave them some tips on layering up for the cold based on my years in Boston. Around here they think it's cold when it's anything under 50!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Confessions of a NonCatholic Fat Fat Girl

I've been too down to write about how down I've been because I hate exposing my pouty, doubtful self--especially when I have no great ideas for how to get turned around.

But I got my hair cut today and my eyebrows waxed, and I know how stupid that sounds. But it just made me feel better somehow.

So now I feel like maybe I can make these confessions to you that I've been thinking about telling you, but without having to yell them up at you from the depths of despair.

So in case you haven't noticed, and even if you had, you probably wouldn't point it out to me because I've gleaned that most of this blog world is about supporting and "me tooing" to posts--not saying, "hey. . .are you sure you're doing the right thing?" or "hey, stop that!" comments (Of course I am not complaining about this as it is so easy to hurt feelings online and I like the supportive versus attacking blog land that we share.), I've been totally not following any kind of eating or exercising plan since before Thanksgiving.

And I admit it, for whatever good it does, to say that Hubby was right when he said I wouldn't be able to get back on track without feeling horrible about it when I cavalierly laid all my active and nourishing noshing ways to the side. And I let my self-caring needs become like so much trash tucked under buying and wrapping gifts that are forgotten almost as soon as they are opened and that caused Hubby so much angst for my spending. Whatever. It's done. It's done. It's over.

So here I am now. Eight pounds or so heavier. My successes are that I did create a menu this weekend and I've been sticking with it pretty well. My nemesis is exercise. I just think, "Ok, go walk now. Now is a good time." "You have a good break here, go to the gym now." But then this louder, more lazy voice, the one that must want me to keep this round face says, "Naw. . . " and my big butt stays exactly where it is. . . but there is still this little chanting inside saying, "when, when, when, when?"

And I'm planning to stop going to my PhD. I know you won't try to stop me or talk me out of it, and I'm not asking you to. Here are the reasons. First of all and mainly, I just never have really liked her. I feel like she talks to me like a Weight Watcher leader would and that feels empty. And she tends to interrupt me so we never get into many issues. And now, she's changed her hours so she doesn't have any more 5:00 appts. because she wants to take care of herself and make sure she exercises and has more time to eat dinner, and frankly, this really pisses me off and makes me jealous because I don't have this capability in my job. But more to the point, she wouldn't get me a regular 4:00 appt because she wants to "spread those around" so I haven't seen her since a few weeks before X-mas and my next appt isn't until next week and then 1 two weeks later. . . and she doesn't remember what's going on with me now from one visit to the next so I just don't feel like I'm a priority to her. And WTF if I'm paying someone to listen and they can't get it straight, screw 'em. So why am I so hesitant to call and say I'm not coming anymore? Probably because I'm not sure what to do next.

And I haven't seen my trainer. And all my paid sessions are done. And she has started her own business and though she "can" still see me at the gym right downstairs from where I work, she would prefer that I meet her in her new more private facility, which means I have to drive there. If I leave work before 6PM someone on my staff has to stay, and one of them has kids and the other one is the one who always gets stuck. This is my excuse.

WTF, I'm like a child starting to crawl all over again. I'm in the middle of the floor, and I don't know how to get over to where I want to be, and I have no idea what to do, so I think I'll just cry til I hiccup. . .

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Inspirations

Welcome back to a Monday Inspirations post--where I list some of the things I read this week from blogs I follow that I found particularly inspirational, interesting, or just funny.

The perfect diet is summed up in seven powerful words: "Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" from Maura's Toolbox.

Also inspirational, Maura’s great Right Column—Don’t Go Hungry Questions:

  1. Am I hungry?
  2. How will this food feel as I eat it?
  3. How will this food feel right after I've finished eating it?
  4. How will this food feel 1 hour after I eat it?
  5. How will this food feel 2 to 3 hours after I eat it?

And finally, check out her way of listing Daily Successes. Pointing out the positive always works for me!

And from always-thought-provoking
MizFit, the introduction of her theme for the year—personal responsibility (PR)—how our destiny—the outcome of our entire lives is in our own hands. She has a list of questions worth checking out, but the one that has provided me the most food for thought initially is: How easy is it & how often do you blame others for causing you to be where you are today? My big one here is blaming my job hours and job in general for not moving forward with my goal, when I know I could take a bit more PR for this—like getting my a** out of bed earlier as well as probably some other things. Will likely post on this later. . .

And, if you aren't already familiar with her, I want to introduce you to Maria over at Gardening with Turtles, one of my new favorite blogs to be on. Check out these great stories--Maria knows how to pack in the tales--there are 4 of them in one good, trailing post, called The Coontina/Catina--what she seems to be dubbing her porch at least for now. She starts with a slow-to-learn cat (Eli), then moves to another story about a cat--this one named Spawna Satan (now tell me you aren't intrigued?), going on to the story of sweet lawn guy who in my opinion deserves to be loaned money if for no other reason than being a good storyteller himself, and ending with a great tale of transvestites. What more could you ask for?

And, last but not least. . . my favorite single line of the week, from the post This-n-That Thursday by Mental P Mama:

Wait for it. . . .

"If you take a picture of cheese, what does it say?"

Obviously, some other clever folk have considered this oh-so-Zen-question before, as I found this new t-shirt design on flickr.

This "C" Is Well Above Average

We've made our choice. Little Goldendoodle puppy "C" is coming home with us in a few weeks and her name will be Yeats!
Have you ever seen a more beautiful, first rate little bitch?? :) I am so excited!!

Yeats' Profile about 4.5 weeks to show her "wave"

Puppy Yeats at about 4.5 weeks profile

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Please Share Your "Do" Recipes

My colleague was telling us the other day that for dinner, she made "do" for her family.

What's "do"? I asked.

She said, "You know, 'Making do'--pulling together something quick from whatever you have on hand.

She explained that they'd started using this recipe name "Do" years ago in her family when her now 11 year old was about 5 and had a little friend over. He asked if his friend could stay for dinner, and she said sure.

He asked what they were having, and she said, "Oh, I don't know, we're just making do."

And the little visitor said, "I'm not sure I like 'Do.'" And there you go. . . a family phrase was born. (BTW, her response to that was, "Oh sure you will! Do is GREAT!" Some people were just meant to have 4 kids like she does. . .!)

So Hubby & I are trying to get back to a healthy eating kick. I've been making "Do" with leftovers from the holidays, and I wouldn't call that healthy. He really wants to cut back to only vegetarian dishes and fish (we'll eat eggs and stuff because otherwise I'd be at a complete loss).

So the things I try to keep on hand and use when I make "Do" are:
  • Whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash with jarred tomato sauce (prefer to add some mushrooms & extra spices to this) or I can make a quick sauce on my own with canned tomatoes
  • Omelets (again with mushrooms and/or peppers or spinach or whatever I've got)
  • Stir fry veggies (any single or combos), often with frozen shrimp that I boil first before tossing in with the veggies

My other not so great fall backs are ordering Chinese food or pizza (or a salad I get from the pizza place but that comes with a bunch of flat bread under it). Hubby can't eat salad at night because it aggravates his GERD (he can eat tomatoes or cooked spinach, just not lettuce or cucumbers).

Hubby loves to just eat cheese & crackers. Cheese is a killer in terms of calories and fat. . . but we are trying to be more natural food oriented--not so much fat free and packaged and such. . . so I'm wondering if I can possibly use cheese in moderation and still lose weight. Quesadillas would be easy. . .

So what are your pull-together meals when you make "Do?"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Longing Glimpse Into Foreign Lands

One of the things I like about the blog world is connecting with people with places, lifestyles, and ideas that are far from mine (well, it's also nice to connect with people who share a place, lifestyle, or idea similar to mine but that's another post).

I follow blogs from Lily in Australia and Lynda in East Africa and I occasionally drop by on Braja in India and Susie in Saudi Arabia. I expect to have my eyes opened when I read them; I expect to hear new words, about new foods, new ways of thinking.

When I read people closer to home, somehow when they introduce me to a foreign concept it can be a bit more reeling for me. I'm thinking especially of this post by Lynn of Lynn's Weigh yesterday. She's writing a response to a doctor who said he hoped his patients gained weight over the holiday because, basically, otherwise they were too uptight and didn't know how to relax.

Lynn's response, in part was, "Gaining weight is NOT part of my agenda. I don’t give a sh*t what time of year it is. Choosing not to eat sugary sweets or overload on potatoes and meat doesn’t make me strict or a “dieter.” It means I’m consistent and have a plan." In terms of how she ate over the holidays she says, "I tweaked my eating a bit, but never did I “slap my wrist” or yearn for seconds. I never felt “deprived” (I really hate that word). For my efforts? I feel fabulous."

Several commenters had similar ideas:

MizFit said: I'm one who can enjoy and indulge AND not gain weight.

Lori said: Part of living life is learning how much is too much and how much is too
little. I think that's called moderation

Sarah said: Permanent weight loss involves being mindful and to plan: Not
only on Holidays but everyday of the year.

Sandrelle said: I vowed to never deprive myself again and to learn to eat consciously and on purpose and to enjoy my foods. I don't consider anything I've done "overly
strict" and I have been so much more successful because I stick to my plan,
which includes occasional planned indulgences. I can portion my way through any
holiday and celebration and have never felt better and more in control of what I
am eating.

It's not that I think holidays provide an excused time to binge.

It's not that I want to abandon all goals at a holiday.

It's just that doing it IS a struggle. It IS often like white knuckling it, like talking myself through something scary (like standing on the edge of a high building).

My constant way of thinking seems to be about "fighting" this or more truthfully probably, defending myself from it because I feel more like a shrinker than an aggressor.

The people who commented on Lynn's blog may as well have been speaking in a different language--one with a whole different alphabet and characters--because they sounded so at peace and resigned and confident with their ways of thinking and being.

I've had brief visits into their world--like the time when the ice cream server gave me 2 scoops when I asked for one and I flicked the top scoop into the trash can saying, "you're not going to F* me over." But I've never stayed in their world long enough to feel like one of them.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Inspirations

Thought you might also be inspired by these recent thoughts I've had that were inspired from some bloggers I follow.

My new motto Inspired by A Supposedly Fun Thing by Rene at Not the Rockefellers

Chat and sing as you go along—turn down the
quality control and constant assessment and
go to “full on glee.”
Whatever you do, don’t leave your glee at home.
Christine at Live Passionately wrote:

"When you paint success pictures in your mind,
you initiate an inner process
whereby your attitudes,
hopes, aspirations, and enthusiasm
are elevated
in response to an image
of a more promising future.
Every person who aspires
must first sell themselves
hope, the promise of a better life."

Here's the my food for thought about it: I like the idea of painting success pictures in my mind very much. The metaphor adds the idea of creativity, time, and revision to my aspirations.

Another new motto for me also inspired by Christine at Live Passionately, this one from It's All About Choices

To be gentle with myself in this Life
To make the most important thing
in life be warmth and affection
To be more loving to those around me
These are resolutions
I think I can
live with
without guilt.

The more challenging mantra from her post:

"Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown your own inner voice."

So hard when I'm the one seeking and longing for positive opinions . . .

And this post from Mountain Woman at Red Pine Mountain, just inspired me. Period. Here were the gems in for me:
"I resolved to make food a non-issue in my life.
I threw out the scale,
told myself there were no "forbidden" foods and
allowed myself to walk
the grocery store aisles
and buy whatever I wanted
without a feeling of

"I joined a gym and started to swim, just a few laps at a time. . .
It never was a contest of how many laps a day I'd swim
but rather a reluctance to stop swimming
because I enjoyed the peace I had
when I was moving in the water."

"I kept on eating all my favorite foods:
rice pudding, breads, pastas, sauces,
but I required less to be full."

"I made peace with my past and I savored my present."

"We are so much more than our appearance.
We have a heart, a soul.
We are kind, we nurture others, we live productive, good lives."

"Don't let your weight define you.
Be good to yourself every day.
Try to foster a positive dialog with yourself. . . .
please, don't waste your life
berating the way you look.
Life is short, precious; as are you."

And last, but not least, GA Mountain Woman from Life on a Southern Farm inspired me to add to my goals to make a Raised Bed; she also recommends the HobbyFarms site on how to build a raised bed. But I think the book I ordered for myself from my wishlist needs to get here first. . . Gardener's Fitness: Weeding Out the Aches and Pains.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Look at Our Adorable Choices!

I can't wait until next weekend! On Sunday, we'll be visiting with our new puppy and its siblings. . . trying the make the decision of which one will be the best match for our family!

Female Golden Doodles at Champions of the Heart
photo is copyrighted by Champions of the Heart and used with permission

Male Golden Doodles at Champions of the Heart
photo is copyrighted by Champions of the Heart and used with permission

We have the #4 pick. Our little one won't be ready to come home with us until the end of the month. . . so we'll have a few weeks to get ready--get the puppy stuff, read up, calm the Hubby & get his mind set on welcoming a new baby, not anticipating a big nuisance.

Thanks to Cliopatra for
inspiring the addition of Wonder as the 2nd song my ever-changing playlist.

Friday, January 2, 2009

If It Weren't So Funny, I'd Cry

One of my best friend's pointed this out to me. Gotta love the irony!It's a T-shirt available on The Onion. If you can't read it from the picture, it says, "I wish somebody would do something about how fat I am" (Ain't it the truth? Who can I turn the responsibility of this over to???) The only problem is. . . . for women, it's only available in small and large!

Here's the marketing text beside the shirt offer:

You're fat. Not heavyset, but F-A-T, fat.
It takes a lot of courage to admit it,
but you have a problem.
Strangers gape in amazement.
Children taunt you behind your back.
People have trouble looking at you when you eat,
and for good reason: you're huge.
But gosh, you don't like being this way.
You hate it as much as we do--maybe more.
What you want to know is,
how come no one is doing anything about it?

Under "fit" it says: "If you are unsure about size, consider ordering the next size larger." But I see they seem to say that on all the T-shirt offers.
If that one doesn't offend you (which I think is the whole point of The Onion, isn't it? To get people to lighten up?), this one might. But I frankly found it more funny.

Its marketing pitch is:
People often ask us when they should
teach the Good News to their house cats.
We have but one answer:
"What are you waiting for?"
Think of the alternative:
your cat mired in darkness
for eternity
because you
put off a 10-minute conversation.

And it's at least available in an EXTRA large.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Attributing Football: First Goals of the New Year

I'm not really a football fan. I sometimes watch OSU football games with Hubby, but only if I'm feeling really awake or don't think I'll feel bad about myself if I nap. Mostly when he talks about it, I say, "Uh huh, uh huh," and sometimes throw in an "interesting," until I get caught because he asks me a question. Sometimes he laughs at this and sometimes he gets mad. I can't say I blame him. . . it's just not my thing. For the last week while my dad's been visiting, they have watched innumerable games. I couldn't begin to count. But that's not my point.

My point is, understand right away that I'm no football expert, so you must take this next analogy loosely and with a grain of salt.

But I'm loosely taking a page from football in terms of my goals for this next year. That is, I'm breaking them down into smaller chucks (like 10 yards) and I'm giving myself a few chances to get there, and I'm allowing for life--that is, punting as necessary.

This year, I'd like to focus on 4 things:

1. Exercising more (I feel stuffed and stiff. I want to feel light and lean and energized.)

2. Preparing meals that I can eat that taste good and leave me feeling healthy & light, not guilty and stuffed

3. Being creative--writing short stories for this book idea I have, writing a kid's book and "illustrating" it for my granddaughters, taking photos, learning to use PhotoShop Elements, reading more, and starting to "garden" (I guess that last one could also fit into #1 & #2.)

4. Being more intimate with Hubby--not just the physical aspects like sex and cuddling, though those are definitely high on the list, but also sharing time through exercise, reading, maybe writing?, and trying to help each other past each of our addictive obstacles that keep us from being able to comfort each other and move forward

Another goal I have that I'd like to weave in less formally is to become more mindful of spending money. I'm worried about the economy. I've been laid off before; our house is expensive; Hubby's not going to work forever; my 401K is looking concave. Things to consider here are. . . dun, dun, dun, dun, Starbucks and less dramatically, becoming a library user. I'm sure more ideas on this will come to me. . .

So my plan is to set some biweekly goals for myself specific to the above 4 items. At the end of the 2nd week, I have the option of tweaking a strategy or tactic, stretching it to the next level, or replacing it entirely.

So many things happened to me last year that I did not anticipate (couldn't have anticipated--like taking on a huge new project in Feb.; my dad needing 5 bypasses in March and taking off work to be with him for a week and worrying for 3 months as he had so many downs before ups; and breaking my wrist in June; and my cousin discovering testicular cancer in July and then having a stroke within weeks; and my aunt being killed in a car accident in Sept.; and my niece's boyfriend dying soon after; and being sick for the last month of the year) that I want to be a bit more agile in my game play--with a time to adapt but keep the focus on a happy healthy me. I want to be able to adapt for the unexpected and for busy times at work and still feel like I'm accomplishing my goal of loving myself more.

So for the next 2 weeks, my goals are to:

1. Walk both days this coming weekend with hubby and at least one day the following weekend
2. Walk at least 2 weekday mornings with hubby before work (get flashlights)
3. Meet with trainer to discuss the schedule for the year (am considering asking her for a strength training plan to do on my own twice a week and only meeting with her every other week--but in her new space--that makes me have to leave my office)
Bonus goal: try the new band exercise CD Hubby gave me for X-mas

1. Plan a menu for the week so I can shop accordingly
2. Write down my menus on this blog
3. Don't eat anything that will likely lead to me needing/wanting to take a Tums afterwards

1. Finish tightening edits on my story The Winter Mom Sold Don Quixote
2. Read a few short stories each week

1. Watch a NetFlix video together at least one weekend night and one weekday night (right now we have 2 discs of The Duchess of Duke Street)
2. Pick back up on reading The Seven Pillars of Wisdom together--pick a night
3. Do the walking thing as stated above
4. Look at puppy web sites together and discuss tactics for reading our puppy books
5. Pick 2 nights to go to bed together early (pre CPAP!)