Wednesday, August 21, 2013
" ... Begin making choices based on what makes you feel freer and happier, rather than how you think an ideal life should look. It's the process of feeling our way toward happiness, not the realization of some Platonic ideal that creates our best lives."
~ Escape Your Rat Race,
The Martha Beck Collection, Essays for Creating Your Right Life Volume 1
Of course - it's no surprise that I Martha Beck. I subscribe to a daily quote from her and often feel like I need to share it. Most of the time on Facebook but today's message seemed to fit so well with the SparkPeople theme.
Think about a weight number. Now - think about the direction from which you are approaching that number. 175 lbs feels fantastic if I'm coming down from 185. It's horrifying if I'm climbing up from 165 lbs. We are mobile souls - always going somewhere. And if we're going where we want to go - or even just where we think we want to go - we're going to feel half the pleasure of it before we even get there. Cool, huh?
An update on the Life-0-Bess - I FOUND my misplaced ActiveLink monitor. It had been missing since Friday morning and though I KNEW it was in the house, I also remembered thinking that the last time I held it I'd thought "don't put this here - you'll never find it again" and then, of course, put it there. It was awful going around without my lucky talisman. LOL. Not that it's not also a useful tool.
I really was in a quandary about replacing it - partly because it would mean starting the whole activation process all over again, but partly because I knew it was in the house, just in a stupid place. I chose to wait a bit and go through the weekly routines, which have been off kilter due to travel and weddings and sure enough - there it was - in the basket of clean laundry I brought in from the clothesline Thursday night. Glad I didn't spend the $ and start all over again. Glad too, that my weigh-in showed I was still the same weight as 2 weeks ago - and still within goal range.
That left a smile on my face that lasted the rest of the day. And here we are now, Hump Day. Have a good one.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
This year TheReunion fun and family love was too much to be contained in a single day. It needed a whole weekend to soak up all the joy, the history, the story telling and the family. So on Sunday we gathered deep in the countryside between King & Queen County and Essex, at the quaint little fork in the road called Indian Neck. Cousin J had arranged for a horse and carriage tour of several family homes and home sites.
Only a handful of us could make the Sunday rendezvous and some of them are decidedly camera shy. We met at a spot where all the cars could be parked and where the big horse trailer could be pulled up and unloaded.
Max and Tim stood by like the pet baby darling cutie pies they knew they were, ready to give out horsey love. Cousin C got in the first pets
But yours truly got the best horsey snogging.
The folks from Oakley Farm provided the transportation. A pair of beautiful Percherons, black in the wintertime and brown with black manes beneath the summer sun. This carriage held all 9 of us comfortably and it's as spic and span as an Amish kitchen.
Driving at horse and buggy pace gives you an entirely different experience. Himself and I love our auto-rambles throughout the Virginia backwoods but at this walking pace we could notice things, point out things and reminisce about things without ever missing anything. Oakley Farm is one of the old Pollard family homes (Cousin J) and of course Indian Neck is also the old Hutchinson family stomping grounds and since Pollards and Hutchinsons all married Hoskins - and Hoskins married Hailes - you know - it's FAMILY!!!
We were blessed, too with an overcast sky the whole afternoon. Tiny misty raindrops sort of coated our bare arms once or twice but it was a blissful temperature all afternoon. Perfect to go down long country roads ...
past abandoned homes ...
alongside ponds filled with lily pads ...
You have to admit - this is summertime and the livin' is easy.
One beautiful old Hutchinson home, owned and loved by a favorite library patron was on our itinerary and we were invited to tour the magnificent yard full of the deep mystery of ancient cedars and enormous magnolias, the sighing sweetness of vine covered arbors and a lush green herb garden.
Dr. W and his late wife have been favorite library visitors for years. She was a great lover of history and an intrepid genealogy tracker. At one time she told me she'd bought the old store at Indian Neck and I told her our own connection with that store - how Cousin Eddy Hutchinson had let us keep all our things there when we first moved to the country, while we were still living in Pop's old WWII tent, before we even had our cabin in the woods.
The longer we chatted with Dr. W the more love and tenderness began to grow among all of us so that soon he was being swept up into cousinly hugs. Dr. W even whispered to me that it felt like having family around. He asked us if we would like to tour the oldest part of the house and we all said a resounding YES.
The oldest part has a tiny living room with the most quaint little fireplace in an angled wall, plastered white and smooth. There's a staircase tucked in one corner and a kitchen off the end, but along the side there is a tiny slender room that runs almost the length of the house. While everyone was peeking at the kitchen I stepped into that room and came face to face with ...
Yes! This is a painting my mother did of me when I was about 19. I was sure it was at Mama's house but when we broke that up in 2005 and divvied up the paintings, it wasn't among them. There is already another enormous red painting of me that I have at my house- but where this one was remained a mystery. It's a mystery no more. Evidently this is one of the things that never got picked up from the store and when Cousin Eddy died and Dr.W bought it, they (or more likely Mrs.W) decided they wanted to keep this. So - no wonder we felt like family. He'd been living with my portrait for 20 years.
I swear - ya just gotta love Virginia and all those family connections.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
RB So what's the reward going to be?
LB How should I know - you know it doesn't count till we are both on board.
RB oh. well. yeah. so. What did you decide?
So what do you want?
RB I dunno
LB Me neither. It's always hard to do the reward thing, isn't it. and besides, a reward implies rules obeyed and ... well - that's not your strong point.
RB Oh so it's my fault, is it? I suppose you're talking about that second frozen yogurt bar I ate last night.
LB yep. I am.
RB so why didn't you stop me?
LB 'Cause I forgot about it.
RB Does that mean no reward? Are we out of the challenge now?
LB No it doesn't - to either question. The rules said if you stumble just get back up and keep going. I think that's part of what we're supposed to be experiencing - the Don't Give Up stuff. And I want to keep trying.
RB Oh. Good. So do I, then.
LB Really? I'm glad about that.
RB So what are the rules - what are our rules, that is? and what are the rewards? What's in it for us?
LB Hmmm. I think the rules should be that for 31 days we make the effort to perform those 3 tweaks - no sneaky bites at breakfast , a walk if it isn't raining (like it is today) , and only ONE dessert per night. And as long as we're still trying by August 31 ... and so long as we post something about it somewhere every day - then we get the reward. How does that sound to you?
RB Sounds fair. And the reward?
LB you greedy puss. I don't know. You didn't seem to really love the options I threw out -
RB Tell them to me again.
LB Okay - what about new sheets?
LB but we really need them.
RB then get them
LB okay - what about a facial?
RB well, that would be nice. yeah. I like them. but it's just ... well... nice
LB New clothes?
RB Ugh. We have too many clothes
LB Art supplies?
RB no. We have enough of them too, right now
LB Well for goodness sake! What do you want?
RB I don't know. But I want something. I want some kind of reward for all this effort. Just not something you ought to get us anyway.
LB well - what about just the pleasure of Improving ourselves?
RB I like myself already.
LB Ugh. It's not about liking ourself. it's about getting rid of bad habits.
RB We-ull. But everytime we do something that improves ourself you just think of More Things We Have To Do.
LB Of course I do - there's always room for improvement.
RB (hums a tune) www.youtube.com/watch?v=ounJsqomcv8
LB Very funny. So - eliminating bad habits isn't good enough for you?
RB nope. I want a reward.
LB (ponders a bit) Okay. How about a day off?
RB Oooo. yeah. Now THAT sounds like a reward. But ... well, but what about ... we're already taking off a long weekend in September and a week in October ... will this be an extra day off?
LB Yeah. That's going to be hard. and besides - how will this feel special if we're already taking off so many days already? Hmmmm. How about this? Suppose we take a half day off sometime in the middle of the week. We just don't go back to work after lunch one day.
RB Ooooo. yeah. I like that. When can we do it?
LB Well - we want it to feel sort of spontaneous and we don't want to screw up something important but I'd say ... early in September. Especially since we have to be out of the office so much at the end of the month for work stuff. So. Let's say within the first 2 weeks. How does that sound?
RB It sounds GREAT!
LB It means we have to work pretty hard on those other days so that we don't get behind in the job. There's no reward worth screwing up our work.
RB I'm good with that
LB Then it's a deal?
RB It's a deal. Uh ... there's something else though
RB well, we really do need another set of sheets. You ought to order some today.
LB oh. yeah. okay.
RB Love ya
LB Love ya back.
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