Monday, September 07, 2009
It's a rainy day. I did manage to get in my walk, and am doing quilting. My sister just sent this one to me, and I thought we can all use a little humor, so.......
God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day.
He inquired, "Where have you been?"
God smiled deeply and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."
Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said. "What is it?"
"It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a place to test Balance."
"Balance?" inquired Michael, "I'm still confused."
God explained, pointing to different parts of earth. "For example, Northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while Southern Europe is going to be poor. Over here I've placed a continent of white people, and over there is a continent of black people. Balance in all things."
God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."
The Archangel , impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land area and said, "What's that one?"
"That's Washington State , the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills, and plains. The people from Washington State are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and humorous, and they are going to travel the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, carriers of peace, and producers of software."
Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then asked, "But what about balance, God? You said there would be balance."
God smiled, "There's another Washington . Wait till you see the idiots I put there."
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Hey there, Sports Fans! As some of you know, I joined a challenge within sp for walking one mile a day for the month of September. My pedometer now is reading a total of 8 miles.
I can already feel the difference in mind, body and spirit. I am happier, body is getting firmer (especially the booty and calves!) and my spirit is soaring.
today I did 2 .25 miles. I began with my usual track within my neighborhood with DH and Winsten, then DH spotted a deer trail. He encouraged us to veer off the path and follow the trail.
Off the beaten path, we head up the hill. And I mean UP THE HILL!! We are following the path, so a lot of the briars were already tred upon by the deer, so I didn't get too many scratches on my bare legs. Enough, but not too many.
We keep climbing, and come to a huge open meadow. Winsten is having a ball, sniffing all those deer prints, and I walk the circumference of the meadow. DH stays with Winsten.
DH is not into walking like I am, but he at least goes with us. He has been having some problems with his ticker, so the walking, even at a slower pace than mine, can only do him good.
While I am walking the meadow, I look off to my right, and here is what I see :
The deer are not afraid of us one little bit. They study us for a few minutes, then calmly go back to grazing. Winsten doesn't spy them, so he does not go dashing on over to meet them and make friends.
Winsten makes friends with everybody and every thing. He is a Golden Retriever, after all. When we first moved up here, he would chase the deer. They would all go bounding away for the first year, then they got wise to him when the Elk herd tromped through the property.
Winsten went charging off toward the elk, most of which trotted at a quick pace to get away from him. But one of them had other ideas. That elk wanted to eat those apples from the trees, andwasn't about to let a mere DOG chase it away.
It turned around, faced Winsten, lowered its head and charged! At first, Winsten thought the elk was playing. But then the charge began to become more aggressive. The elk was not playing, and Winsten found out after being head butted and rolled across the yard.
Winsten no longer really chases deer, and certainly not elk! He makes a little show of going to charge them, but then just comes back home, staying away from them all.
Back to the trail. As we are hiking around, we hear this loud "scree!!!!!". It is an American Eagle flying overhead, probably hunting that meadow.
As we turn our faces toward home, we admire the beginning of the changing colors, the seed pockets, and the incredible beauty.
Once I reach the road again, I pick up my pace and continue on to complete 2.25 miles for today, bringing my Sept. challenge miles up to 8.
In just five days, I can already see and feel the difference. My calves are firmer and even are beginning to show dileniation. My butt doesn't jiggle quite as much, and my abs are feeling firmer.
I have lost inches in the hips, thighs and chest. My weight, however, went up one pound.
Perhaps those cookies at the quilt class have something to do with that?? Or maybe it was that piece of chocolate Bundt cake last night? Nah! It's gotta be that intentionally harmful scale, right?!
I need a shower, and am taking Winsten in with me. We both are in need of one, since I did all that walking and hiking, and Winsten found horse poop along the way today. Enough said.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Yesterday I did a quilt class with Marsha McCloskey. That is not where the story really starts, though.
I am Education Chairperson for our quilt club, so I get to choose our visiting teachers, communicate with them, negotiate contracts, find their lodgings, feed them, entertain them if necessary, and set up and take down the class rooms. It is a very fun job, but also a bit challenging at times. Yesterday was one of those times.
I have a committee of three other people who usually are available to help me during the classes. Yesterday was not one of those times. One was heartbroken over having to put her doggie, Scarlett, down the day before. Another was loaded down with out of town guests. The third had to work. That left me.
First, I had to go get all the supplies from our regular meeting place and haul them to the church where the class was meeting.
I loaded irons, ironing boards and coffee pots. I hauled baskets of kitchen supplies and power cords. I packed fruit for the teacher's and my lunches, and stopped at Quizno's and bought her a ham and cheese sandwich. I did NOT get a sandwich for me.....Woo Hoo!
I manage to get everything in the back seat and trunk of my car in one load! I have a 92 Cadillac De Ville, which comes with a trunk about the size of a small pickup. LOVE that car!!
Swinging in to Home Depot, I make the mad dash for the paint section where I find the rolls of blue tape, of which there was none in our supply closet and I need them to tape down the cords so no one trips over them. There is a special sale going, so I grab one of the 1 1/2 inch packages of six rolls, and run to the check out counter.
Wouldn't you know it?! There is a lady in front of me in the only line open. She has one of those flat carts that is loaded to the gills. I try to catch her eye so I can let her know I only have one item and need to set up a quilt class, which I am sure would take precedence over whatever project SHE has going, but she is GOOD! She KNOWS I only have one item, but she avoids eye contact until after the checker has started her truckload of stuff. Then she turns to me and says "Guess you must be in a hurry, because I saw you running up here". I dare not open my mouth! And I even avoid doing the deep sighs.
I get to the church, start unloading the car, beginning with the kitchen supplies and coffee pot. Coffee is now on, cups are out and so is the creamer, sugar and sugar substitutes.
I dash into the big room, and see that I need to set up all the tables for the teacher (3), and for 20 students. The tables are those long kind that are heavier than heck and almost impossible to handle alone. I sweat my way through getting them up and then sprint for the chairs. Four chairs per table, two quilters per table.
Ooops! Nearly forgot about setting up tables for the lunches! Break four nails in getting those puppies up. Slam the chairs around them, too.
Back to the car, to hoist the irons and ironing boards in. These have to be done with one iron and one board at a time, totalling four of each. Got them set up North, South, East and West walls.
Back to the kitchen I jog, and set up the snack bar, tea supplies, cups. stirrers, and smack the fruit on plates. Then take the plastic wrap off the cookies. Eat one cookie.
Leaping out to the car, I grab my own sewing machine and fabric. This takes two trips, too. I fling all this on the table closest to the teacher's so I will be handy for her at any moment's notice.
Blasting my way back to the beginning of the room, I drag the huge box of cords to the middle and get ready to begin taping them down for the quilters.
I turn around and look, and here comes the quilters and their thousand questions and needs! YIKES! It has begun!!
Now I am bolting from one end of the huge room to the other, shooting off in all directions like a bezerk ping pong ball. I have at least six different people all calling to me at the same time, and I am keeping up as much as I can when in walks Marsha McCloskey, the teacher!
Great! I am out of breath, sweating, holding two rolls of blue tape in one hand while hanging on to some cords with the other, and this is how the poor thing is greeted!
I can see the questions in her eyes, and know she is a bit startled at me, and then she lets me know she would like some help in getting herself set up. Ok.
I put rolls of tape on the front tables, and shout to the group "TAPE YOUR OWN CORDS DOWN, AND I WILL CHECK THEM LATER. YES, COFFEE IS MADE. THE THREE TABLES UP FRONT HERE ARE FOR MARSHA, SO DO NOT USE THEM!". I'm not kidding about the shouting thing.
After more stretching, bolting, running, jogging, crawling on all fours and even managing to slow down to a walk at times, everything is finally all set up, and the class begins. I grab a cookie.
I make it to my chair and realize I don't have any of my own stuff set up and ready to go, and there it all sits in one big pile. SHEESH! The class doesn't wait for me, so I am setting myself up as quietly as I can, knowing that my activity is a bit distrubing to Marsha, to whom I cast apologetic looks at. Ok. NOW I am ready!
I look at my pedometer, and see that I have logged over three miles since leaving the house today! I take the pedometer off, put it in my bag and go on withthe rest of the class. It is now just 9 o'clock.
The class is about Blended Quilts. This is much more difficult than it looks, because I am used to the old rule of light, medium and dark. This time I am going to attempt BLENDING the fabrics. I am an in-your-face-with-color kind of gal, and here are all those muted, soft colors to deal with.
The class lasts for six hours. I get one Ohio Star block done in between helping others and the teacher. I grab a cookie.
Now it is time to take down everything I set up for the class and get it back to the club building and put away.
The quilters are great in helping me do most of the stuff. Vicki cleans the kitchen for me, and hauls out the kitchen supplies to my car. Loretta does most of the sweeping. I wipe down tables, empty trash, and put away tables and chairs. I grab a cookie.
With my car loaded, I head to the club building, unload it all, and then head home. I am tired, exhausted and satisfied that this was definitely a productive day. I grab a cookie.
Then DH comes strolling in to the kitchen and says "What's for dinner?". I must have looked rather dangerous, because he says "Never mind. I will put together something", which saves his life.
I am in bed by 8:45. I'll clean the kitchen tomorrow. The cookies are gone.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Yes, I hit the dusty trail. I joined a SP challenge for the month of September to walk one mile each day. One mile down, twenty nine to go.
I walked my mile in 27 minutes, which is good, I think. I walked on our road in our neighborhood. There is a pretty steep hill at one end, and I kept swinging my arms and hiking right along the first time. It was more difficult to keep the pace the second time.
I felt really strong in the first lap. Swinging my arms, noticing the weather and the beauty. I kept to the outside of the big cul de sac at the top of the hill so I would get in more distance. It didn't seem like I was exercising.
On the way down the hill, I noticed one of my neighbor's property. I had been past their place a number of times, but never really noticed how well groomed it is. Even her scarecrow in her garden is well groomed!
Then I pass my lavender beds. It really needs attention. I resist the urge to stop and begin weeding, and continue the walk up to the other end of the road.
Winsten is right along with me, having a great time. It is obvious he likes this walking idea, and it is good to have his company. We come back from the mailbox, and he thinks we are going to turn in for home, and he leading the way.
I walk right past the house and continue down the dale toward the steep hill again, and he leaps with joy that we are off again.
By now I am noticing my heart rate is higher, and my breathing is deeper. Oh. Yeah. I forgot the I am supposed to be holding my tummy in. I check my posture, too, and see that I am leaning forward a bit too much.
Corrections made, I begin to climb the hill again. I think my booty got heavier while I was walking, because it is a bit more difficult to drag it up the hill. I can feel the muscles begin to get a bit sore, which is a good thing. That means they are getting a workout.
I have to keep pushing myself a bit to get up the hill, and it takes concentration to keep my pace going, tummy tucked, good posture and deep breathing, all at once.
I check the pedometer, and sure enough, it is moving very close to the one mile mark. HA! I'm actually doing this!!
Just one tiny little thing, though. In keeping track of our fitness, it doesn't have a 27 minute mile. I need to do three more minutes to keep tracking honest.
Get the three minutes in by walking around the lavender beds! I can do that! I have a hill to climb there, too, so up I go.
The lavender is in a mess. It is desperate for harvesting, so I plow my way down the hill, get the shears and a bucket, and back up the hill I charge. Three minutes have past.
I begin pruning the lavender as I think about Diane and Christopher. Christopher is in remission from his cancer now, and he and his mom Diane love lavender. I know some of this lavender I am harvesting will go to them.
I took the photo of the drying lavender to show you just a small portion of how much I have. I didn't prune all of my bushes because the bees are still buzzing around, collecting and transferring pollen.
The lavender will dry on the tarp, then I will beat it to gather up the pods. The pods will then go in jars for cooking and baking, some in soaps and some in sachets. I will put lavender in my closets to keep out any crawly or flying things, lavender in my bathrooms as a deodorant and I will make lavender lemonade. I will make eye masks to soothe tired eyes. They make wonderful Christmas gifts!
I will place a lavender sachet on my shoe rack and in the area where the kitty litter pan is. I will wrap a bit of lavender in cheesecloth and put it in a spray bottle for ironing. I will tuck lavender in between the sheets in the closet. I will add lavender buds to cleansing cream to make a facial scrub.
I don't have a press, so I won't be able to make lavender oil, which is just about one of the best oils one can use.
I will mix lavender in melted bees wax and use it to heal wounds, cuts, scrapes and chapped lips. It also works great as a foot and elbow scrub.
All this and more from one plant that doesn't care if it is neglected or never watered!
Lavender is in abundance where I live. Until I moved here, I had no idea as to all the ways to use this wonderful plant.
I am sure Diane and Christopher will have a good time learning all about lavender in ways they never heard of. I must remember to include some recipes for them! Like the recipe for lavender salmon and lavender chocolate bars.
Now it is time to get showered and on with the rest of my day. My girlfriend is bringing another quilter over to look at my quilts this afternoon. Imagine! Three quilters, all in the same house!
May your day be fresh as a lavender sachet!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Yesterday I told you that if the scale didn't show less tonnage today, out it would go.
After weighing in, I have given the scale a reprieve. I am down nearly 2 pounds, , and am feeling smug about that.
Why SMUG? That is certainly a question, isn't it. Why not Proud, or Joyful, or Giddy?
Smug is not my favorite emotion. It seems cheap and arrogant, which for me, IS cheap and arrogant. It is also snotty.
To be Smug, one has to feel superior. Am I feeling superior to my SCALE? Taking a few minutes to reflect, I find that, YES, I am being smug to my scale.
So how MATURE do I feel with this revelation? Actually, it is a bit embarrassing.
According to the Oxford American Dictionary, "smug" is defined as being self-satisfied. MY definition is self-satisfied with ego attached. And there-in lies the danger.
I can do wonderous things with my smugness. I can be superior to others (Ms. Smarmy). I can "rightfully" punish people just to prove my superiority, and get the sick satisfaction that they are being punished by me.
Whenever I do this, I always wind up making things much worse. After a while, the smugness and ego begin to take a toll.
I begin to take the scales off my eyes and see the damage I am causing, just to prove a point. I see that I have hurt the other person (right back atcha!), and have hurt myself equally.
I don't think smugness is a two way street. I think it is a dark ally leading to a burning crash into a brick wall.
Upon reflection, I can clearly see where the smugness, many times, has led to unrepairable endings. Endings of relationships, jobs, friends, and lovers. Ending of marriages, ending of peace. Ending of communication due to smug words being said, words that can never be taken back by a simple apology. Smugness leads to ruination of its entire surroundings.
I have, too many times, "stuck to my guns" instead of dropping the ego and need for retribution. Sure, I may have felt retributed for a while, but when sanity returns, my retribution always turned into regret. Regret that most times, cannot be recalled or repaired. The shattered glass lies on the floor, never to be whole again.
I heard a friend say yesterday that "You can't play tennis by yourself". At first I thought that was very clever. Then I started to really concentrate on it. It is a very impactful meaning. Let me explain.
I have been in situations where there has been harsh words said, or some behavior that shouldn't have happened. The "offender" apologized, but I didn't forgive. Oh no. I was too engrossed in continuing the victim role and the need to punish. In other words, too smug. I exercised my snugness and ego, which is always the role of the victim, and punished long after the event or circumstance.
I have proudly held on to grievances, all due to ego, no matter the destruction I was causing.
I totally destroyed the relationship. I was the biggest loser. I was the one left alone, holding only my tattered Victim banner, rather than the hand of a friend or lover. Let me tell you, holding a banner does not even come close to holding the hand of another!
Smugness can bring on a soul-eating loneliness. I know. Been there, done that.
Right now, right here, this very minute, I am changing my emotion FROM smug (self satisfied) TO self appreciated. I will be kinder today than yesterday, I will speak softer today than yesterday, and I will smile more than yesterday.
I will be more gentle, more forgiving, and more supportive. I will be more encouraging, and I will find something to play with.
I will remember those who have given so much to improve my life, and I will be grateful.
I will keep in mind that I am not "ALL THAT".
Today I will keep in mind that I am where I am on this journey because of all the others who have stepped on and off my path, being there at exactly the right time.
I will remember those who have packed my parachute!
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