Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Way last January, our oldest friends dropped by with some important information. SAVE THIS DATE for their daughter's wedding, the first weekend in October. Not 2 months later we got news from beloved cousins to SAVE THIS DATE for their daughter's wedding, the first weekend in October. It was a tough choice, but we let family trump friendship on Saturday but we made sure to spend Friday evening up at the farm (a different farm) with P&T and their brideful daughter, D and all their new (and old) family. Our hearts were so filled with long ago memories - T bringing P over to our house on their first date. Playing the music at their wedding 2 years later. T's dog Clancy going crazy at the spring, as we flipped gourds of water over his head. P taking me to VaBeach during a hideously difficult period I had to plow through in the 80's.
This is an old friendship - a sweet strength in my life and I treasure it. There was a softball game and there was fried chicken. There was a bonfire and there were oysters. This is, after all, Tidewater Virginia. And though we couldn't be at the wedding I've seen pictures. It was adorable and the bride was beautiful. Just the way it should be.
For us, though, Saturday meant an early start to Bedford where COUSINS live and where another wedding was gearing up. This is the family of cousins whose little girls came every summer to Bess's Girls Camp - to play with my big girl art toys and swim down the red moon path. The bride was the great granddaughter of our precious Aunt Anna - the family matriarch who never abused her power but who also made her thoughts known to all, even if she didn't drive and lived 200 miles away.
We are just one thread of this vastly woven plaid of a family - the Tidewater thread that glides under and around the Arkansas thread, the Tennessee thread, the South Carolina thread, and all the other Virginia threads - glimmering and winking our own colors to blend with the beautiful cloth that is family.
The drive is one of my favorite pathways across Virginia. At least a quarter of the way is down Rt. 60, a long steel-blue ribbon of highway that shakes itself out over the rolling landscape of Piedmont VA, through Powhatan, Cumberland and Buckingham counties. We got to the motel in good time and ran straight into the bride's Uncle R, in the lobby watching the Arkansas/Auburn game. So yes. I took the clothes upstairs - a dress, a small overnight bag and a suit (I thought).
Only. It was not a suit. I had taken BD's suit coat to the cleaners that week, along with some summer things of mine that needed to be prepped for winter storage, but not the trousers. I packed the overnight case for us both but assumed someone else had gotten his own suit together. Teach me a lesson, right? There at the motel I discovered that while I could take the top half of my husband to a wedding, the bottom half was not going anywhere with me. Not in those ripped dirty jeans.
"I'll just have to go as I am" was his first flippant effort to mask panic.
"Not with me you won't," was my reply. "There's at least a Walmart in this little town - we can find you something that's at least clean"So off to the tiny shopping center we went to discover a Goodwill store right next door. A very nice Goodwill store with a pair of size 38 grey suit trousers that were as close a match to his jacket as anybody could wish - certainly a closer match than anybody looking at us would notice. For $3.50. See?
With that kind of luck I should have bought a lottery ticket!
The wedding was just about the happiest, smiling-est, hugging-est wedding I've ever been to. I took lots of very fuzzy photos - the bride's were the worst - but I got some good snaps of huggin' cousins and while the rest of my pictures aren't worth displaying, they're sure fun for me to look at.
Best of all? With TWO weddings and all that travel, which means that much less opportunity to exercise, I gained only .4 lbs. And yesterday I was back in the gym at the bootcamp class. I plan to reach my goal before the November winds chill my little corner of the world. Here's a picture of me with Himself, all dolled up for the festivities.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Himself and I are watching one of those Great Courses on video, picked up at a used library book sale; The History of the English Language. It's fascinating to see how language changes and moves and becomes something different depending on where its speakers go and with whom they come into contact. All sorts of quirks and oddities pop up in English - more than in almost any other language, in large part because the language lends itself to borrowing. The contranym in the title of this post is a great example of eccentric English.
We have an idiom "You can't lose with ______" that means you will win with whatever it is you have. You are unable to lose, with lose meaning 'fail'. But when the verb 'lose' is used in a particular context, it can have an unspoken but implied object which, in the case of Spark People, is the word "weight". Thus it means "you are unable to lose (weight) without also having __________." And in my case and on my journey to optimum health, the blank must be filled with exercise.
For the past 3 weeks my exercise routine has been sorely interrupted. Out of town trips, afternoons in the city, new baby puppy, sudden work details (you know the sort - the kind that Must Be Attended To) cropping up just at 5 o'clock. Throughout most of September my visits to the gym have been hit or miss - and mostly miss.
I like my routine which is 4 days in a row at the gym, (M-Th) a day off (F) a day of heavy duty housework (S) and long walks on Sunday. I do different things at the gym on different days. I may swim or use the elliptical or do strength training - but those 4 days are the core of my fitness routine. When I'm regular about them my body grows stronger and fitter and more stable. But when I miss a day here or a day there - YIKES! - not only do I feel 'off" but I also gain weight. Not good.
The past 3 weeks my weight has crept up by ounces and the past 3 weeks I've only made it to the gym one or two days a week. So on Sunday I pulled out my ancient thick foam step-aerobics step and popped one of my old favorite CDs into the player and worked up a great sweat.
Ahhh. It was like meeting up with an old friend. I remembered all the reasons I loved step-aerobics - the speed, the snappy music, the quick elevated heart rate. It's not the hip cool exercise these days so there aren't any classes in my rural, sparsely populated area. Zumba is the big thing here, but I am less attracted to it - though it's fun enough. It's just that there's something about the regularity of step routines that satisfies my little orderly Virgo soul.
(see? even Spark People doesn't have a step emoticon.)
And so - It's obvious to me that with all the Other Interruptions that will naturally intrude on my autumn routine - and believe me, there are many! - I had best incorporate Step-Aerobics back into my week: on Sundays for sure - and perhaps on some of those days when I know I won't be able to make it to the gym after work.
Oh .. and the scale this week? It was down again - I am still flirting with goal - but this time it's the 'come hither' flirt, not the 'stay back' one. Let us hope that this week, in spite of TWO weddings on the weekend - I shall stay within my calories and post another loss on Tuesday.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Well. As our dear Robert Burns reminds us, the best laid schemes gang aft agley, and if there was ever an agley September, this was it. Whew. Everything just seemed to interrupt everything else. It was a "lower my head and plow on through" month.
Mind now - it was not a bad month. It held a Birthday - complete with 3 deserts, 2 happy birthday songs and presents. It had a New Puppy in it. It included buying a completely Bess-like dress at way more than I usually spend. There were a number of parties and there were may loving birthday wishes too. But ... it was also a doughy month - a 'swimming-in-pudding' month - a long hard tough chew of a month and for the first time I can ever remember - it was a September I was pleased to bid goodbye.
All the astrologers are giving me uplifting October horoscopes though, and I am ready to welcome them into my life. Ready for life to be a little bit easier, a little bit more predictable. Adding a New Habit to your life is difficult when things turn all upside down from day to day. Let us hope this more settled period will help me score higher on my Habit-0-Meter.
First off - the habit for October is:
10. Ditto at work - Select something from the 5-year Plan and step one step closer to achieving it - or to realizing it's not the goal we wanted to achieve and getting it out of the plan.
This is the mate to "reading the 5-year Plan every day - September's habit. I won't be able to tell if I'm actually forming this habit (which I have always heard as "Good For You") unless I stick to September's habit - a good thing since I did not do all that well at reading the plan every day last month. I started off with enthusiasm but crowded days and a little internal anxiety about Other Things made it easy to drift away from my focus. Now that I acutally have to do something each day besides look at it - maybe I'll look at it more often. But ... Daily is a bit of over-kill. Weekly will be often enough.
As for the score card on the rest of my habits, let's just have a quick review.
September: Read 5-year plan daily - uh. hmm. how about 10 times or 33% which is a failing grade except that .... even that 30% was a Big Help. I will pass me - but, just barely. D+
August (and September) Draw every day ... well. I drew about 20 days out of the month - whic is about 66% of the time so - see above, right? Another D+
July: Charles Schwab List at work - yes. even when I didn't obey it at least I knew if I was slipping off the point. Not perfect - but I would say a B+
June: One Step Towards Big Life Goal .... I'm still blaming the kinds of things that were happening last month so I'll give myself a C
May: Compliment someone every day hmmm. my bad. another C
April: Exercise even here, with my beloved exercise I was a slacker. C- for me
March: Water - nope. Pretty bad with this one too. Not a failing grade but maybe a D+
Feb: Prayer - here I did much better. I made a conscious effort to pray every day. Not always at the same time - which I think would make it easier to do - but every single day I took some time out to pray. This was an A fer sure.
Jan: Track what I eat. Well. I did. I tracked all those coconut cakes and did you know an Applebee's shooter desert - yeah - I'm talking about the small desert - is 13 Weight Watcher's points which translates out to 650 calories or 1/3 the daily total for an adult female. Yikes! Not good. So. I tracked. But I gained weight - and I don't track for the fun of it. I track to some purpose and the purpose is weight loss or weight maintenance. Not weight gain. So that is a C as well.
Hmmm. C habit maker. Average. Not, alas, what I hoped these Good Habits would lead me to. I can be aveage without trying. Let us hope I will do better this month. At Tara.
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