Thursday, July 30, 2009
today I thought I would do a new thing. I would do a Yoga video. I am not going to tell you where I found this video, because I hold you in higher regard than that. Suffice that I will never do this video again.
I always think of Yoga as soothing, relaxing and calming. Of becoming "ONE" with the Universe. Of gaining grace, poise and peace. Of walking tall, straight and smoothly, the essence of tranquility in flowing white clothing with Yoga type leather sandals. I do not own such an outfit.
To begin, this guy with such a gentle voice begins telling me all the benefits I will receive within the next 20 minutes. I will become "aware", and will have clarity in my thinking for the rest of the day. I will be "ONE" with the Universe, and be able to feel my breath flowing gently through my body. I will be serene.
Then the instructions begin. He uses words I have never heard of to describe what I am supposed to be doing. Then out comes these three beautiful, skinny perfectly-poised young ladies, all in their one piece stretch yoga outfits, and they seem to have no difficulty in understanding his words.
I watch their moves, and do the "monkey see-monkey do" thing, figuring that after time, I, too, will be able to understand his words. I am doing this side bend thing, and concentrating on feeling my breathing enter into my back rib cage, and it feels good. I close my eyes for greater concentration. Yes, indeed, it does feel good, but when am I supposed to stop??
Opening my eyes, I see they are now down on the mat. When did he say to get down on the mat?? They are doing this thing where they bring up their right foot in between their hands while having the left foot (my ignorant side) stretched way out in the back, on my toes. Ok. I am willing to try that. Just a tiny little problem. My right foot doesn't reach up to the area between my hands. Oh. Wait a minute. I am supposed to be on my FINGERTIPS. Ok. I try to grab my leg and pull it up closer to my hands, and body says "Listen up, Chicky-Babe! Any more of THIS and we are going to tip over"! But I try just a teeny tiny bit more, and we tip over.
Moving on to what they are doing now. I don't remember them saying anything about standing up. But they are indeed up, at the front of their pretty mats, and they are spreading their arms wide and then reaching up to push the ceiling with their clasped fingers. Ok. I can do that. I am reaching up, feeling my breath flowing through the body when I hear him say "Embrace the shins".
EMBRACE THE SHINS???? Did he really say that? I peek, and sure enough, there they all are, bending over and embracing their SHINS. I have never embraced my shins in my entire life. I have banged them up, cut them, bruised them, shaved them, and put sun tan lotion on them. But I have never embraced them.
Keeping an open mind, I try to embrace my shins. I am doing great to be able to touch them, for goodness sakes! I finally get my hands around to the back, and am clutching my calves for all their are worth, when I hear "Push the ceiling up with your entwined fingers". Letting go of my calves, I struggle to straighten up and entwine my fingers and reach up.
This is much better. I like pushing the ceiling. I close my eyes, feeling my breath flowing down the courses of my body, and I am at peace. I am definitely "in tune".
What?? They are embracing their shins again. I try again, and this time realize I should be focusing on what he is saying in his smooth, gentle voice. I am feeling the breath flowing down my spine, but can't get it to flow down my legs. Maybe I am clutching my calves too tight, and shutting off the circulation? Relaxing my death grip on my calves, which I am sure will be a nice navy blue tomorrow where my fingers were, I pull myself up to standing. He inanely says to pull ourselves up slowly. Listen, Buster! I couldn't pull myself up any other way BUT slowly! You arenearly crippling me!
Onward to a new move. We tuck our elbows into the crook of our other arm, then wind the arms together like a serpent. Right. I finally get my arms all entwined, and now am supposed to be bending over and feeling the "gentle breathing flow across the upper back". I feel my muscles ripping apart back there. Straightening up, we do it all over, this time with the other arm slithering its way up into agony. My shoulders and back are screaming in righteous pain, while I am closing my eyes and trying to focus on the gentle breath flowing.
Opening my eyes, I now see they are down on the mat again. I wish this guy would speak English and use words I know the meaning of! But I get down, and then I am supposed to get up on my toes with my legs straight back while my arms are in the position to do pushups. I am becoming suspicious of this stuff. I take another peak, and there they are, doing the Dolphin Pose. I get my butt up in the air, my head is on the mat, and now I am supposed to be up on my toes. I have my eyes closed for greater concentration, because he is saying all this stuff about the breath and flow and becoming ONE. I don't feel like ONE. I am sliding forward on my mat, and it is pulling my hair out. My toes are quivering. My arms are shaking. I am DEFINITELY not ONE!!
I finally lower my wrecked body to the floor, rub the places where my hair was pulled out, and get my great moment of sanity: TURN THE DAMNED VIDEO Off!
I find myself sneering with an evil gleam in my eye, reach out, and shut that sucker off.
Limping over to the CD player, I flick that on. I twist. I shout. I sing. I have ARRIVED! I am now ONE!!
Friday, July 24, 2009
I just finished a very vigorous cardio workout, and must admit I feel GREAT!! I put in my Doo-Wop CD, danced At The Hop, Twisted and Shouted like a True, Fine Mama like the Little Darlin' I am. I cooled down Everday with Buddy Holly. Then I scampered off to the rowing machine, and Rowed, Rowed, Rowed Way Up the River until it was time to switch to the bike. I got in to The Loco-Motion at Palisades Park, knowing I was the Leader of the Pack. I shouted at DH and Tell Him to Come Go With Me, and Remember Then the Lover's Question about Runaway Sue, but he declined. He is the one who never gains weight.........the CAD!! Fine. I just Can't Wait until he is ready for the Ooby Dooby. I'll Do It My Way.
All the whining about all those early exercises Heather pounded me with are really paying off. I have more energy, my outlook on life is better, and I even look forward to the workouts these days. I won't claim that will always be the case, but right now, I am enjoying being re-energized.
I didn't get all the chores done that I planned on yesterday, but I made a good beginning. The laundry is finished, the guest room is back in shape, the guest bathroom is once again shining and bright. The hardwood floors are all mopped, and fresh lavender is in the containers.
I went up my hill yesterday to cut some fresh lavender, and there was a catty person in the trees by the lavender. It started to talk to me, and I was answering. I sat on the wall, and the cat and I conversed for about a half hour. We had a very nice time. Just chatting away. I kept trying to see the cat, but couldn't. I told the cat all about the quilt show, Ally's visit, and that it was a lovely day to be out and about. Cat replied in the affirmative. She (ALL cats are "SHE's, as all doggies are "He's") made many comments once I got up and started cutting the lavender. I kept inviting her to join me, but she stayed within the trees. I came down the hill, looked back up, and Holy Cow!!! A COUGAR was standing there, looking at me!!! I made one giant step toward my front door, but she just stood there, meowing at me. So I began to talk back to her. She didn't seem to be interested in having me for dinner, and I was close to the front door anyway, so I didn't mind that she didn't come closer and just wanted to continue our chat. Then suddenly, wioth no warning whatsoever, she made a huge leap off to the lavender bed, jumped over them, and then took off into the forest.
I realize this is a one time life event. Or at least I think it is. And it was a fine event, indeed. Just not one I would care to have very often, or up close and personal.
As I look back on it now, I wish I had had a camera and recorder with me. Alas, only my memories to serve me.
Seeing a cougar in the "wild" is not the same as seeing one at the zoo. The ones I have seen behind their cages all look bored. This one was definitely NOT bored! She was alert, beautiful, vibrant. She was a fine example of nature's beauty. I feel priveledged to have met her acquaintance.
Now I am off to shower off my dried sweat and begin the rest of my day. I am meeting a new friend for an iced Mocha at five, and look forward to that. Iced Mocha is wonderful, especially when it is shared with a new friend!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The quilt show is over, the Lavender Festival has come and gone, Ally returned home and it is time to get my life back in shape.
I started yesterday by doing over two hours of gardening.I pruned hedges and trees away from the house, did watering and general clean-up. There is still so much to do outside, since I have totally neglected all of it this year.
I let things "get in the way" of my plans, which I am sure none of you ever do! Especially volunteering. I need to either stick with the goal of not volunteering for 90 days or get the T-shirt that reads "Help me NOT Volunteer!!". Probably both!
When the quilt show chairperson announced we were going to be short on quilts, I volunteered to put in 9 quilts. Some of them were finished, most were not. So I had to quilt until my brains fell out. Of course, I procrastinated on several of them, and wound up pulling two out of the show. But I did manage to finish seven out of nine, which is very good indeed.
Then I said "Oh, Goody!" when the opportunity presented itself to put up a wall about the Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers, less than two weeks before the show. Now, mind you, NOTHING was ready to go OR planned for such a wall. I called Ally and she came out to help. It was a great thing that I had her! She took over the design boards for the show, did all the computer work, helped design the quilt which had to be made, and did the collage board of photos of some of our recipients. That left me to quilt and cook. I quilted furiously, and cooked very little. We were on a MISSION! There was no time to waste, and everything was needing to be done NOW. Somehow, we got it all finished with three days left before the show.
My house is a total mess. While taking breaks here and there for Ally, we now have a lot of "stuff!" all over the place. We have cross bows, arrows, and other bows for archery. The target bales of hay have to be moved back to the barn so I can get to another flower bed that needs tending and watering.
We have guns, air guns target sheets and bullets on the kitchen table. The shooting exercises are over, and they really should all be safely put away again.
We have all sorts of microphones and recording equipment sitting around in the living room for when we recorded Ally playing the piano. That all has to be put away too.
The dining room table has one of my sewing machines sitting on it after it stopped working correctly during the quilting frenzy. DH has to fix that before it gets put away for the duration of my life.
The Quilt Room. Ah. yes. The quilt room! It is truly a study of quilt madness. Fabric, books, quilts, batting, patterns, Steam a Seam 2, tapes, all a-jumble. The long arm machine is totally covered, and there is not one bit of it in sight. It is layered with God only know WHAT! The sewing room has bits of thread and fabric all over the floor, the ironing board is totally covered over, and the cat won't even try to get to her bed in there.
My office is a study in disaster. Between books, measuring tapes, papers of all sorts, telephone books, crayons, exercise equipment and unopened mail, there is a tiny pathway to the computer, which also has a box of Kleenex on top of that.
Winsten, the dog, went over to the neighbor's and rolled in horse poop again. Lovely. The cats are driving me crazy with their in and out game.
And I have just learned that I have graduated into Stage 3, whatever that means. I suspect it means more exercise and being more careful about what I shove in my mouth.
I am really terrible about what I eat when I am on deadlines. I just grab anything that's handy, and keep moving. I used the excuse of Ally being here to eat most of the brownies and have become a favorite customer at Quizno's. I am amazed that I actualy lost one pound last week.
So, dear friends, this is what my life looks like today. There is the first load in the washer, I am making my list of chores needing to be done, and glaring at my dog who just HATES his shower. I will let DH handle that one. Think getting everything in order again could be counted as exercise points???
On top of all this, I am really tired out, too! But I need my life in order or I get cranky, very cranky. and that is not a good thing.
I am off to finding my life again. I think I still have a life; it will be a definite challenge to uncover, discover and discard until I find it under the heaps. Again, I am a woman on a Mission!
Friday, July 03, 2009
Hey Sportsfans, It has been a while since you last suffered hearing from me, so I figure it is now time to check in. Lots is going on in my house these past days. As usual, I procrastinated by being on this site for too long during the days and haven't gotten all my quilting done for the show July 16. I still have one to finish quilting, binding and labeling, one to put the sleeve on, and another to start from scratch!! So why did I take on this kind of schedule?? you ask. Because I am nuts. Yes, I admit it, I am nuts. Loony tunes. One fry short of a full order. Not the brightest spark in the campfire and a mental midget. Here's what has come close to putting me over the edge. I went to my quilt club on Wednesday, minded my own business, when Lydia (She Who Must Be Obeyed and is in charge of the entire quilt show) saunters up to me and says "Hey! Guess WHAT!! Someone just pulled her quilt from the show, and I have a 7 foot wide wall that I am turning over to you to do an Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers with!" So, as usual, I don't even give a moment to think and jumped on it with great enthusiasm. Just think! A whole wall for the Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers! She wants me to make a quilt to hang, plus have photos and all kinds of information as to what ACQbyK is all about. Plus contact information. WONDERFUL!! I CAN DO IT!! We can get the word out and hopefully get more kids covered! Life is GOOD! Uh, until I am driving home. Then the latent brain wakes up and says "You said ok to WHAT??? Do you realized just what you stepped in to?? Like you have time to make another quilt, make posters, gather photos, design another wall................Are You NUTS??" Now, you may or may not know it, but when my brain starts telling me I am nuts, that is usually a dangerous place for me. I can feel the anchors of dread weighing me down, my eyes are those of a deer in the headlights, my mouth goes dry and I am heading into a great panic attack, which usually results in a shop til I drop syndrome or something equally distressing. I would go shopping, but I simply don't have the time! What to do. What to DO???? Hey, didn't someone once tell me that asking for help is okay? Shhhhhh.....don't let my Mom hear you. She never believed in asking ANY body for help for any THING! She was a frequent user of the saying "If you want something done, do it yourself". I can still hear her saying that, even from her grave, where she has been for quite a number of years. Getting back to asking for help. Hmmmmm...........I need help in making posters. Who to ask? I know! I will "mention" it to Bossy Daughter, who has talent galore, plus Christine, age 14. Christine is one of these yoga/tofu/soy/daily run/fitness freaks who is also very artistically talented. Bossy Daughter said I would have to ask Christine if she wants to come out and help me. I am shocked by that suggestion, mull it over for about 15 seconds, and see the wisdom in it. OK. I call Christine, who is not home, but is out somewhere swinging from a tire swing and dropping into a river instead of waiting patiently for my call. She finally returns my call, we discuss what I need help with, she is confident it is really no big thing to design a wall, make posters and everything else that has to be done before the 16th, and then lays the bomb on me. She has too many plans with her friends, and can't come out for the amount of time I need her, PLUS she has a concert to go to that she paid for nearly a year ago. UGH. No help from HER! She is also the same granddaughter who asked me to quit smoking as her Christmas gift a year and a half ago, knowing (and reminding me!) that I have never said "No" to her. She is some kind of monster, that one!! So of course I say I will, because she asked, but then while I was suffering from withdrawals (actually I didn't have any because I used the Chantrix) I didn't talk to her. She never noticed, and if she did, she didn't care. She's that kind of kid. She knows when she "gets" you, and isn't bothered if you take it hard. She just goes on with her life as if she has any sense at all, totally oblivious to the fact that others are ticked off at her. She flings her blonde hair over her shoulders and heads off to another health thing. She really is "All That". Then I think again. Hey wait a minute. I wonder if Ally can take a couple weeks off her summer babysitting job to come out and help me? That is worth asking Bossy Daughter about. I get informed that Ally's summer job fell through, so she is free, and I need to talk to HER. Bossy Daughter is not a good "Middle Man", and she makes me do all my own footwork. So Ally and I get talking on the phone, and she is enthused about the project. Yes! She WILL come out!! YES! She will come out this Sunday, and stay with us through the 20th! YES! She is looking forward with a lot of neat ideas for the posters and design wall, and YES! She will be there for the quilt show, at "OUR" wall. So while she is on the phone, I get online and make her plane reservations. Dash the cost!! Full speed ahead!!! Houston, we have a LIFT OFF!!! The REAL Ally Cat will be with Krackers at the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club Show 2009 in Sequim, WA, letting the public know all about the project of the ACQbyK, how to contact us, how to donate (hopefully) to our cause, all that stuff. She is even going to bring her portable shot thingy so show on the board, along with other ideas as to what the kids do while in hospital, hanging some of the jewelry she made during her hospital stays. Won't this just be a grand thing!!! I wish each and every one of you could come to see us work the crowd together! Anyway, I have also gotten permission from my friend, Cindy, to bring my quilts over for help putting the binding on the one, labels on and the sleeve on the other at her BBQ for the 4th of July. There will be three of us quilters there, and they are eager to help with getting the quilts finished. Isn't that nice?? I have wonderful friends. Now I have to sign off and get my side of the work done. Lots to do before Sunday morning: Finish quilting one quilt, get its binding, sleeve and label on, attend the BBQ, get the sleeve on the BIG quilt finished, and make an Ally Cat Quilt by Krackers at least cut out. You probably already know that it is doubtful you will hear much from me until the rush is all over. I will take a lot of photos for you, and post them when stuff gets done. In the meantime, have yourself a fun holiday, marvel over fireworks, and keep up your support! You guys are becoming the wind beneath my wings.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I am starting all over again. I was just screwing up in the nutrition area too much. Too much fat, too little carbs and protien and for the most part, keeping within my calorie range. That resulted in a big fat flop for me. I keep getting my old ideas back about not eating three times a day (TOO MUCH! says old thinking) and believing I could lose tonnage by exercising it away. Well, it worked for inches, but the scale only moved UP one pound in the past three weeks. Time for some honest self discipline, which I am not a long term subscriber to. I made a vow and a challenge to eat three meals a day this whole week. So far I have done very well on two days, which actually seem like two months. But five to go sounds better than seven to go, so I will do today what I don't have to do for a lifetime. See? There's my friend, Denial. For most of my life, I have been bosom buddies with Denial. She and I got along just fine, thank you, until Ms. Reality stepped in to the mix. Here we were, Denial and me, having the time of our lives, living in our own reality called La La Land. In La La Land, the skies are all pink and pearly, the trees all have bright red apples on them and their leaves are teal. The grass is an appropriate Lime Green. Water is Lavender, the birds are all blue, the flowers all sing happy songs all day long with their faces smiling sweetly as we go by. Butterflies come kiss our cheeks, roses shake themselves to release their perfume to us, there are pots of gold coins all over the place and very comfortable benches to sit on. It is the perfect temperature in La La Land, and only the people who adore, agree and approve of me are allowed in. As I said, La La Land, Denial and I were in BLISS. Then along comes that party crasher, Ms. Reality. She RIPS off my rose colored glasses and tells me to "Get WITH It Already"! Now I ask you, is this FAIR?? Notice I didn't go barging into HER world demanding change. Oh NO. I was staying put in my own little La La Land world, happy as a clam, when she intrudes. She does her level best to smash down all the walls, making the colors change and the flowers to become weeds. The Butterflies who so gently kissed my cheek have turned in to mosquitos, the pink sky changes hourly, causing great confusion in my mind. The roses all need dead-heading, the brown grass needs mowing and the apples are all worm infested. The buzzards are circling around, waiting for me to give up. Reality is not my favorite place. And Ms. Reality and Ms. Smarmy are really close buddies, so while Ms. Reality is kicking my butt about what I am really eating and how much I really weight, Ms. Smarmy is doing her smirky closed lipped smile while JOY!!!! jumps from her eyes. She loves to see me catch hell. And Ms. Reality is really giving it to me. First, she demands I get on the scale. Now we all know that is an evil place. One pound UP!?! How can that BE? What does she mean by "Review your food choices, Idiot" ?? You mean I have to go BACK and LOOK at what I put in my mouth? WHY??? Just leave me and Denial alone. We were having a good time thinking of making brownies so I could have just one teeny tiny itsy bitsy brownie this week. Ms. Reality asks acidly "Forgot the Cookie Episode, did we"? Oh, she has to GO! No fair remembering stuff like that. Let's just remember the green beans I had instead. So she shoves me back on the scale after I look at my past week's intake, and sure enough, the scale is still on HER side. How can that BEEEE???? I did my cardio stuff and strength training! I even did some that I didn't COUNT! This is all sounding like a bit of whining on my part, and she doesn't even offer me any cheese with my whine. Rude. Then we get out the tape measure. Ooops, not so good. Not so bad, either, but then I see Ms. Reality's eyebrow lift while her lips twist into a sneer. Ok, ok. Get off my back already! She forces me to re-read the article on putting our body into Starvation Mode, where she points out that I am doing every single ONE of the "what not to do's", then writes out her report to give to Principal Guilty. I just know I will hear THAT one calling me on the carpet! It always takes DAYS and MONTHS to get over THAT lecture! I will take the easier, softer way. I go to my pantry and freezer, take inventory, and see what I can do for Saturday. I see left over chicken. Hey, didn't I see a recipe for some kind of curry chicken wrap on the sp site? I'll take a look at that again. Yep, sure enough, there it is, and I have everything to make it! This is good. I also spied my Rice Chex cereal box, bought about five lifetimes ago, and have a bowl of that for breakfast WITH a glass of apple juice, I will have you know! I make it through the entire day, having eaten three meals and didn't go over any of my points. I go to bed satisfied, fall asleep and dream of eating dark chocolate. (The HEALTHY chocolate, right?) Sunday morning is my usual breakfast meeting, with my 2 poached eggs and one piece of ww toast, followed by a trip to Costco........the trap. I charge right on in, head for the produce department first, grab lettuce, beef steak tomatoes, bananas, grapes, strawberried, and cantaloup. Toss in that bag of artichokes! I snatch up the chicken packets to make the dog food (Winsten is a gourmet eater), then blast myself over to the milk isle. I search for the latest date, and there it is, under a few of the older containers. I can easily slide the newer one out from under, except that when I do, the top three come tumbling down. I put them all back in order, AFTER taking the one I wanted, and avoid the glare from the man waiting with his shopping cart. On I push, heading for the cereal isle. I am looking for Special K, but can only find the boxes with those nasty red "berries", which are really colored puff peanuts we use for packing and begin to read all of labels that claim to be healthy for us. I finally settle on a cereal that reads "LIFE" on the box, because the nutrients and calories on this one seem better all over the others. I whiz past the chocolate caramel macadamia cluster sampler, and head straight for a checkout that has no one waiting. This is a God thing, I am sure, because my mind has affixed itself to those macadamia clusters, and if I don't get out of here in a hurry, I wil go back and buy one of them "for DH". Speeding out the door, driving straight home and emptying all the groceries, I go immediately in and make the curry chicken wrap, cold this time, for lunch. I serve it with cantaloupe and a glass of milk. I have 2 Oreos (a FIRST) for dessert, enter my intake and do all my point thingy, and find out I am still doing well for the day. We have artichokes for dinner, mine with no butter, but 2 TBSP mayo, and then a bowl of grapes, strawberries and kiwi. Entered. Didn't go OVER in any area today!!! Now it is Monday, and I have done my cardio and yoga, I am ready to try my Life cereal and go for another day. My mantra today is "Denial is NOT a River in Egypt". Denial is my self destruct buddy, but MY!! She and I REALLY HAVE FUN while it lasts!
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