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Nose to grindstone

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I am back after a fabulous time at the Boston writers' workshop & then at my niece's LA wedding-on-the-beach. I feel so blessed to have had these weeks away.

Now, however, I have to put my nose to the grindstone & work feverishly to try to make an interim July 15 deadline for my huge freelance project. I'm going to have to stay away from SP till mid-July to free up every spare minute. emoticon

Rest assured that I'll be back, though. Turns out I gained some weight on my trip (probably mostly in LA, what with the wedding reception & some abundant meals with family members), so I'm going to have to work hard to take it off & get all the way down to 142. I'll be jotting down my exercise activities/minutes so as to update my SP tracker when I come back. I will miss my Sparkfriends & look forward to catching up with you all in a couple of weeks.

Oh, & I'm having occasional hot flashes again. Not nearly as frequent as before, though, & I'm sleeping well, so they're not getting me down. I'm loving the summer weather & am in good spirits. Tomorrow is my 54th birthday. Life is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUPERMOM17 7/3/2008 1:43PM

    I'll look forward to your return. Happy Birthday! (And I thought all those fireworks were for our country).
Joyce emoticon

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SHANSHE 7/3/2008 1:32PM

    You will be missed, dear friend!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow! Woo hoo!

I just kow you will have that weight off in no time AND oh my, I bet that was a LOVELY wedding on the beach and great time spent with family!

So glad you are feeling good!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Apparently my menopause symptoms are gone! No wood around to knock on, but I'll do so mentally.

I haven't had a hot flash in 2-3 weeks now. What's even better is that my sleeping is just delicious these days--& I can drink tea again with no ill effects! At a Vietnamese restaurant a week ago I sipped a couple of small cups of jasmine tea--no problems sleeping. And the past several days I have drunk rather large cups of black tea--no problems sleeping! I'm so happy; I love tea & it's good for me (lots of antioxidants).

I'm continuing to love the workshop. Last night I was up late working on a poetry assignment that involved some research; it'll be interesting to get some responses tomorrow in a special class on "working with sources" (such as old letters, news clippings, reports). Today I came back to the dorm in early afternoon--I had already attended the presentation that was important for me, & I was needing time alone to work on my freelance project & just be. Tomorrow I'll be refreshed & ready to spend the whole day working/listening hard.

Many participants in this workshop come back every year. I can see why! I would like to come back as often as possible myself, though maybe in the future it will be for one week instead of two. It has been so very nurturing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 8/20/2009 9:55PM

    very anxious to read on and see if you're still relieved of menopausal symptoms; that would be great - hasn't it been a year or a little over?

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CTEMPLE 6/25/2008 3:29AM

    Hi Ruth
Ah! if one could live like that with everything working fine and doing only things that we like and no housework or shopping or chores: ideal.

My hot flashes came back after months of not having them and I'm very disappointed. My sleep is messed up more than normally ( I am a bad sleeper) because I'm staring to feel anxiety about leaving the cattery and the house to go on hols in August. I avoid thinking about it during the day so it comes and haunts me at night. I will keep resisting with all the tools I know. I know that I've organized every thing in the best possible way and now it's a matter of letting go.

Glad about the tea, it's a great comfort.
Keep having fun

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SHANSHE 6/24/2008 8:00PM

    Sooo glad that menopausal symptoms are not there and the tea is not messing you up!

Glad you are enjoying the workshop!

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Saturday in the computer room

Saturday, June 21, 2008

There are no workshop events scheduled for the weekend. This morning I got up & eventually went running around Boston Common! Lots of tourist crowds, so it wasn't as peaceful as on weekdays, but it was still good. I ended up exceeding my weekly exercise goal, so I'm pleased.

After a late breakfast I came straight to the computer room in the dorm & have been doggedly working on my freelance project for about four or five hours. The room is kept open & the computers on (sleeping) 24/7, so it's very convenient. Today I've been alone a good deal of the time. The overhead lights go out periodically--at first I was mystified, but then I realized that they must be on a timer with a motion sensor, so that if people aren't coming & going they turn off. (Good for the university for saving energy.) When they go off, I just walk or roll my chair out toward the middle of the room & they come back on. emoticon

Now I'm going to my room to call a friend from the workshop; she lives in Boston & proposed that we go out to eat together. It's nice to have something social to look forward to when one is plugging away at work.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to church on the train (I found one online that looks interesting). Then I'll go to brunch with a friend who is driving in from New Hampshire (an hour-plus) to meet me! We have been online friends for a couple of years, so it will be great to meet in person at last.

In the afternoon I hope to do a walking tour, alone or with Judith, of one of Boston's historical areas. At the visitors' center I picked up a couple of free guidebooks with maps.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 8/20/2009 9:53PM

    Sounds wonderful. Glad you were able to meet an online friend. Sure hope to meet you some day. Still catching up on you.

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SIERRASAGE 6/22/2008 3:43PM

  EDIT: Oh wow, just saw that you are in your 50's, menopause etc. (From your teams anyhow.) Me too. I thought you were in your 20's! Don'tcha just LOVE being back in school later on in life? I returned to school in my 40's/50's & had a GREAT TIME not worrying about things (like life--haha), just having wonderful, enjoyable days like you've described here.


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SIERRASAGE 6/22/2008 3:37PM

  Just came upon your blog. (From Writers Support Group.) Have to comment! :)

This sounds like 2 FABULOUS, FANTASTIC, AWESOME relaxing "me time" days. So lovely!! Just makes me want to "be in your shoes"--lol.

All I can say is ENJOY! (Which you are certainly doing.) Keep it up. :)


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SHANSHE 6/21/2008 8:00PM

    Ruth, this sounds TOTALLY relaxing, to be somewhere by yourself to do as you please to come and go without the bother of others unless you jsut WANT to!

I hope when you have to go back home that you are totally refreshed and relaxed, and full of peace!

BTW... I appreciate so much your words of wisdom, guidance and encouragement on my blogs. That friend you are meeting tomorrow? It will be HER blessing to meet you in person.


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CTEMPLE 6/21/2008 7:24PM

    Oh Ruth it all sounds so much fun and me time! I'm glad you're making the most of it.
Our holidays are now 6 weeks away and because it's the first time in 4 years that we are leaving someone in charge of the cattery and going together I'm having terrible nights. I refuse to give my fears any room during the day, so they come up at night.
Hope you continue to have fun!

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Thriving in Boston

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It has been pretty blissful so far to hang out in Boston with a bunch of activists who love words & are serious about their writing. I'm pleased to find that the content & the people are at a good level for me: most fellow participants have been writing for years & publishing their work, just as I have, & it's great to do exercises together & share what comes out on the spot. The instructors are dedicated & caring.

I'm an introvert, though, so it's a relief to have late afternoon & evening off today. I needed a break, definitely. At the residence hall where I booked my stay, I signed up for a double room--but so far I have it to myself! (Oops--had to edit that because I had mistakenly typed "single"! Heehee.) I've been sleeping well & waking up at a good time without an alarm.

Today I did some strength training in my room. I haven't gone out running yet but hope to tomorrow morning. I think I've given up on the idea of running/walking all the way to campus. The weather is perfect for it--in the 60s & low 70s--but I haven't come across a good map to plan my route, & (more important) I don't know of a shower I could use on campus after arriving. Maybe things will fall into place at some point, but for now I'm just going to run around/through Boston Common, which is just around the corner from where I'm staying. emoticon

I'm eating very sensibly (Vietnamese food last night with a few folks from the workshop--yummy!) & am enjoying the challenge of finding good nutrition & taste without spending lots of money eating out. Breakfast at a nearby residence hall is included with my housing; fortunately it's good (hot foods every day & lots of other options too) & I'm taking full advantage of it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 8/20/2009 9:49PM

    Good to catch up on your summer workshop. I checked your blogs and when I went back, was almost right on the day I had last commented on your blogs. I'll read on.....

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SUPERMOM17 6/19/2008 4:45PM

    Hi Ruth,
Glad to hear you are having a good time in Boston.
Joyce emoticon

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CTEMPLE 6/19/2008 7:49AM

    Ahh that's soo good. I go bananas if I'm with people all day long. Glad it's upto your expectations.

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SHANSHE 6/18/2008 7:24PM

    Hey Ruth, it sounds refreshing! I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay!
Take care,

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My bags are (not yet) packed

Sunday, June 15, 2008

And I'm NOT yet ready to go--but I'm getting closer. I just came back from a brisk walk to CVS, where I got some 3-oz containers for my shampoo, lotion, cold cream, etc. I want to take only carry-on bags so that I can zip off to my workshop as soon as I get to Boston tomorrow; I arrive at noon & the orientation session begins at 1:00! Fortunately Boston is not a huge sprawling city.

It was been a good weekend overall. Yesterday I went running by the lake, worked on my freelance project, met with a couple of neighbors to go over our condo association finances, & attended a friend's birthday party with my husband. Today I got up in time to make sweet potato muffins (a Sparkrecipe!) before showering, eating breakfast (unfortunately the muffins weren't yet ready), & going to church. In the afternoon my son & his wife came over for a quiet Father's Day lunch with us; my son brought some yummy veggie burgers he had made (the recipe includes brown rice, bread crumbs, walnuts, sunflower seeds, & egg) & I contributed hash browns, baked beans, a big salad, & the muffins for dessert.

The hash browns were made from shredded radishes!!! I had gone looking on Sparkrecipes for something to do with radishes, since our CSA box OFTEN contains them but we don't particularly like them in salads. We all thought it was really funny to make them into hash browns, but they turned out great! The recipe includes an onion, olive oil, thyme, salt & pepper, & paprika; look it up if you have a surplus of radishes. emoticon

While I'm in Boston I hope to be able to go online every day or two, so I'll let you know how things are going & catch up on your news as often as I can.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEPHANIEDIAN 6/18/2008 12:37PM

    Wow, sounds like a great weekend....those radishes as hashbrowns is definitely interesting....i love radishes, i just may have to try that one....

i hope you have a safe trip! can't wait to hear your updates!

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SHANSHE 6/16/2008 2:29AM

    Sounds like you had an awesome day Ruth! I am curious about the radish hashbrowns and will have to look those up and see if I like them or not!

I'd love to visit Boston someday... shoot, I'd like to visit ANYWHERE someday, LOL!


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CTEMPLE 6/16/2008 1:01AM

    Hi Ruth you sound very organized and that's the best way to be. I will immediately look up the radishes recipe I love them and have them raw with a bit of sea salt for snacks when they appear.
Australia's fathers day is in October( like the UK) so my father misses out because in Argentina it's the same day as in the US. I follow our calendar so tough.
Hope that the workshop is as good as it gets, what a thrill! I'm going to a 3 day Writers Festival in Byron Bay ( 90 Km south of where I live) with my friend Nicola and we can't wait, it's 3 days of running from one tent to the other one for different talks, interviews, lectures etc. We used to go for a day but in the last couple of years we stay there and enjoy the 3 days, it's very stimulating.
I'm reading the Oscar Wao book that won the Pulitzer and loving it, Junot Diaz was here a couple of weeks ago.
Have a wonderful time.

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