Thursday, December 08, 2011
...pointless. But eh, it's an ordinary day, and t'ain't nothing wrong with ordinary, is there?
Made the last Christmas cake today - the last one that has to be done ahead of time, that is. Even so I'm a little late getting to it, but I think it'll be fine. Cards are done except for the local ones that we deliver to the door. (Saves postage and provides a good excuse for a walk, doncha know.) I've got two packages to get mailed, which I'm late about too but this one's not my fault. I've had to wait for someone to get back to me.
I've got a couple small things hidden away for Himself. (Good thing he doesn't read these blogs!) And except for any food that has to be cooked on 'the day' that's me done. I think. I HOPE. Much as I don't like the temptation when I go to someone else's house, I think I'd rather deal with it - plans in place - than have to run around and do so much preparation myself. There was a time I really enjoyed that, but now - why, it's like an ordinary day: I prefer the peace and quiet.
I've been rooting around in the genealogy a little today, which had kind of fallen by the wayside during NaNoWriMo. My nutrition has gotten sloppy; I'm still doing okay portion and calorie-wise, but not really so good with carbs and things. I was busy all afternoon so supper was on the fly, which in our case meant fruit and yogurt. Healthy foods, yes, but it really put my carb-count for the day up.
Fitness? What's that?
Howling gale winds out there tonight. I'll be glad to be tucked up in bed, snug and warm. Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
p.s. And nobody noticed I typo-ed yesterday's day. It was 341, not 441. 'course, I didn't notice until I was setting up tonight's blog. I could change it, but... wotthehell, as Mehitabel would say, Consider it a reflection of my mental chaos.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
That's as in 'new math to calculate holiday indulgences.'
There's been a lot of chatter on SP about the holidays and how to keep on track and how to make healthy food choices and so on.
I wasn't specifically looking for articles along those lines - Spark has some excellent articles on-site - but a few have come to my attention in the last day or so, and I thought some of you might be interested in two of them:
Some of their tips are things I already do - planning ahead, making sure to drink plenty of water - but some things were totally new to me (I love that 'three-bite rule' idea) or were good practical ideas I'd overlooked (picking the time to indulge, and building in 'recovery' days).
The Washington Post article comes with an interactive calorie counter to help you plan:
It's rather simplistic, but anything that nudges me in the right direction is a good thing. Thinks me. And it was fun to play with.
Except for the usual housework it's been a quiet day here. Which suits me just fine, as it'll be noisy soon enough. The Rounds start this weekend, and with a couple guests expected during the holidays, I'll probably be glad I had the calm before the storm.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Today's pithy teabagtag reads: 'Meditate, and let things come to you.' I'll think happy thoughts. I can use some good things.
There was a very good thing today (we won't talk about the rest of the day; think positive, think positive, think positive). Santa was early this year.
It was nice not to fight the glare this afternoon. But it never occurred to me how good these blinds would look at night. I closed them, and my library looks 'finished' now. Plus they are cutting a draft I was getting off of the windows, and this time of year, that's a definite benefit!
That's pretty much it from this side of the pond. Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Monday, December 05, 2011
The weather has turned, viciously. The understatement I heard today: 'One would almost think winter has arrived.' Indeed. The blustery gales and almost-freezing temps and last night's thunderstorm (yes! thunder and lightning in December, of all things) has me convinced winter is upon us.
* * *
I wrote the above about 9 AM this morning. It's now about 9 PM, and during those twelve hours, we've had several bouts of hail (pea-sized pellets, not softballs, but even so), one thunderstorm, torrential downpours, and the temperature has dropped to about 40, but it's expected to go lower overnight. I know that's not cold compared to some places, but considering our temperatures have been in the 50s or higher, it sure FEELS cold!
* * *
Tomorrow people are coming to install vertical blinds in my office. I am glad of that: my desk faces a double corner window, and with the macular degeneration the light sometimes bothers me a great deal. The blinds aren't room-darkening, and don't need to be - I went with a very basic, plain style. But to be able to slant them and block the brightest light in the afternoons will be genuine relief.
* * *
A brief word to you Faithful Readers: as preoccupied as I was during November, I still found opportunity each day to read comments on the blogs.
Thank you so much for your responses. I can't tell you how much I appreciate my fellow Sparklers for taking the time, not only to read the blogs, but to comment. I am grateful for the feedback, and even more, I enjoy learning more about those of you who use some of the concepts I included.
I don't pretend that the suggestions and tips and techniques are original. But as I'm working to improve and progress, it's helpful to know if you've tried some of them, what's worked for you, and what hasn't, and what you think about the ideas. It's encouraging, to say the least, and motivates me more when I hear of others' experiences.
I'm hoping that even with the approaching holidays I'll have more time now to read and catch up on your blogs, and other Spark communications I've been missing.
* * *
Although the article highlighting the book was published last August, I just happened across it a day or two ago. The link:
There's a link in the article directly to Amazon, where you can buy the book. I find the selection of pictures used in the article harrowing to view; I'm not sure I could withstand an entire book of such photographs. If I get the book I believe I will have to look at a few at a time - I don't think I could look at all of them in one sitting. It wouldn't do them justice, and would be far too difficult emotionally.
That's not to say they are all grim, or that they portray only the poorest people - some of them are of children from comfortable homes, and who obviously enjoy a privileged lifestyle. The photographer's intent was to show kids from all walks of life, from all over the world. He injected realism, and of course the reality is that not every child has enough to eat, or nice clothes, or an easy life.
But if ever there's a time of year when we can use some consciousness-raising, it's now. And if ever there's a group of people we should reach out to, it's children. Surely we can help, however small the effort. The plight of some of these kids is beyond heart-breaking.
* * *
And that's it for another day. Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Q: Where were you all month in November?
A: Except for the couple of 'days off' for Thanksgiving, I was working on a book at Na(tional)No(vel)Wri(ting)Mo(nth).
Q: Did you finish?
A: Sure did!
Q: Can we read it?
A: How shall I put this... no.
Q: Why not?
A: Oh, among other things, it's not finished... it's so rough as to serve as sandpaper. Coarse-grained sandpaper. It's a total mess, but - at least I got something on paper.
Q: Are you going to finish it?
A: Dunno. Not anytime soon, that's for sure. Never let anyone tell you writing isn't hard work - I have a whole new appreciation for people who earn their daily bread with it.
Q: Are you going to do NaNoWriMo next year?
A: At this point, I don't think so. I need to get over 2011 first. Let me get back to you on this, say, next October.
* * *
Seriously, I was mostly wrapped up in working on trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days. A fellow Sparkler (you know who you are... Barb) put me onto this and I thought, what the hey, I'll give it a whirl. Man-o-day, that's brutal. And what's worse, all that effort but hardly a calorie burned. 'Tisn't fair.
The main reason I reran the alphabet blogs from last winter is because I knew I would be tied up and too written-out to write more each day. I had those already in the can except for the last few. It worked out pretty well, to my mind.
Since I had the resolution to blog every day this year I haven't missed a day. (Am I jinxing myself here? lol) There've been some reallllly short ones, but I've managed to get something online even when the 'net and my computer have been acting up. Gotta love that cell phone--!
Hard to believe we're into December. I've gotten Christmas cakes (British-style) and a 'plum pudding' (also Brit) underway. I can cook that kind of stuff with no problem, as it doesn't tempt me one bit. They're full of fruit and liquor, and for my money, aren't very tasty.* Kind of makes me think of a dark fruitcake or a damp, stodgy dark fruitcake, depending on whether it's the cake proper or the steamed pudding.
*I'm not talking about MY cake and pudding. Ha ha. I've never made a real, honest-to-goodness Christmas pudding before. I've got a funny contraption to steam it in, and it has to be 'fed' with brandy pretty much up until The Day, when it gets steamed again. Cross your fingers they come out okay. One of the stepsons has problems with any kind of nuts, plain, toasted, cooked, peanuts, walnuts, you name it. Not an allergy, just a severe digestive problem. The commercial English desserts all seem to have nuts of one kind or another, usually almonds, so by making these I'm omitting any nuts so he'll be able to join in. M'self, I'll take pictures, but darned if I'll eat the things. I'll have to rely on them to tell me if I got it right.
I started the Christmas card addressing today. Sometimes I think it's about the only holiday tradition I still keep up with, now that I'm so far from the US and the kids are all grown and gone. It remains a 'don't miss' for me, as it reminds me of bygone days and keeps me in touch with people.
That's it from me. Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
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