RUTHXG   44,804
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Curry! plus the indispensable goal

Monday, January 02, 2012

My son gave me a book of curry recipes for Christmas--it had been recommended & was on my wish list. I also have a slow-cooker curry book. AND I live within walking distance of both an Indian-Pakistani area & Little Vietnam, both of which have numerous Asian markets!

So as soon as I finish this blog, I'm going to sit down with the books & start a list of ingredients that will send me exploring in those neighborhoods. I figure it will be good exercise & will offer opportunities for mini-adventures! First the adventures involved in exploration of these fascinating parts of Chicago, then adventures in cooking new curries!

That's my plan for fun on an upcoming Saturday. As I think about the new year, I have a more essential goal too. I NEED TO GET IN THE HABIT OF GOING TO BED BY 11:00 AT THE LATEST. This is the key to getting in solid exercise every day, & also to leaving early enough for work that I can take public transport instead of driving--& taking public transport in turn is what allows the reading & writing & praying times that I crave.

So tonight I won't look at curry books past 10:30. I will be in bed by 11:00, & then tomorrow morning up by 6:30. By 8:45 I'll be on the L, very pleased with myself & ready for my quiet time. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZYWM 1/8/2012 12:14AM

    Ruth - Happy New Year! I love reading your positive focus and lovely plans. I hope this is a year full of joy, peace and blessings for you!

BTW - love the photo of you with your grandaughter. So sweet!

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JSPEED4 1/7/2012 5:40AM

    I love curries. And I love getting to bed by 10 PM. Sometimes I go to bed at sundown, but I get up later and do some email or reading, then go back to bed. Breaking-up my sleep helps me when my back is stiff.

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CTEMPLE 1/3/2012 4:22PM

    Great plan, fortunately I'm not a night person so I don't tend to stay late.

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RUTHXG 1/3/2012 11:50AM

    Well, I did get to bed last night at 11:00. But this morning I awoke a little after 8:00 a.m.! Apparently when my alarm went off at 6:30 I got up, turned it off, & got back in bed. I don't remember doing it. Anyway, it meant no exercise, & I had to drive so as not to get to work terribly late. emoticon

But I'll stick to the proper bedtime; surely tomorrow morning I'll be able to get up on time.

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BEATLETOT 1/3/2012 11:42AM

    Going to bed early sounds like a marvelous idea!!! Enjoy your commute!

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RUNNERRACHEL 1/3/2012 1:12AM

    New curry recipes sound good!

Your goal is a great one and will lead to more time for you in the morning, more time for reflection and prayer, which will have many positive effects! I'll support you in your goal!


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SHANSHE 1/2/2012 11:38PM

    Your adventure sounds fun and I think your goals are GREAT!

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RASLALIQUE 1/2/2012 11:34PM

    Have a good tomorrow Ruth. Happy new year to you too! My Indian friend gave me some curried potato and roti this evening. It was divine. Lucky you for being able to find the authentic stuff.

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Such a happy New Year's celebration

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy new year, Sparkfriends!

Yesterday I drove an hour west to the home of my older sister, C, to spend a couple of days. Another sister (M) had come from California to spend some of the holidays with us & yet another sister (E), much younger, & her little kids. C's daughter & son-in-law joined us for New Year's Eve, along with E & the three little ones. I had brought several word games, & we chose Beyond Balderdash & had a hilarious evening playing it. It involves making up definitions for words or initials that no one has ever heard of, or one-sentence descriptions of movie plots. You vote for the one that seems most credible. I had fun being goofily creative & ended up winning the game--but not by much, because we were very evenly matched.

We also had some great snacks & drinks; I made a passion-fruit cocktail for those who imbibe, & the hummus & fruit & cheeses & other goodies were super-delicious. I think there is a time for feasting--but it should be TRUE feasting, on sumptuous food & drink that's worthy of the occasion. That's how this was.

This morning only C was up when I got up; I took off for a brisk walk down the Prairie Path & then cut across to the road leading to the cemetery where our parents are buried. I noticed that there was lichen & discoloration on their gravestone, so when I got back to C's house we researched how granite markers should be cleaned. C assembled a bucket, rag, brush, scrubbers, & filled a jug with water, & this afternoon M, C & I went to the cemetery together & scrubbed down the stone! It looked great by the time we were done; we took a few photos for our other sibs & said prayers before leaving.

It was a WONDERFUL memory-honoring, sibling-bonding activity to start off the new year! I love exercise with a purpose beyond itself.

In 2012 I am looking forward to losing the rest of this weight (including the feasting pounds), with lots more purposeful exercise &, of course, mostly moderate eating rather than feasting. I'm looking forward to growing stronger, having precious times with my kids, granddaughter, & sibs, working on my poetry craft so I can write some compelling poems, hopefully finding a publisher for my next book, deepening my relationships with my church family, making my home more orderly & beautiful, & working for social justice & the earth's healing.

Looking forward to sparking with you all! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 1/3/2012 4:21PM

    I hope all your wishes come true dear Ruthie.

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LINDY2202 1/3/2012 8:29AM

    Seems like you had a very good time! So happy for you! Happy New Year dear friend! emoticon

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SHANSHE 1/2/2012 7:12PM

    It sounds like you all had a GREAT time playing, feasting and just being together! Love being with family when it is like that!

Your goals for 2012 seem to be very reasonable and reachable for you and i know you will succeed.


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BEATLETOT 1/2/2012 3:43AM

    This is a beautiful blog...your writing is really spellbinding!

I also love your plans for 2012. They are wonderful--just like you--and I'm glad I get to be near you (virtually) as you achieve them, because I know you will!


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MTULLY 1/2/2012 12:58AM

    Your year is off to a great start. You are looking forward to some wonderful things this year, and I have no doubt they will all happen for you. Best wishes for a healthy and enjoyable 2012!

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COLLINSCJ2012 1/1/2012 6:50PM

    I am happy that you had a good time with your family. You will reach your weight loss goals this year.

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A postscript

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I forgot to say that this past week or so I've been getting to work early, & often leaving late, to get work done on an urgent project--the 6th edition of our Spanish-English dictionary. It's going well & I'm going to make my deadline, yay! But I'm fully aware that I hardly got in ANY exercise because of the pressure. My body is craving it & next week will be very different, I promise!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPANESE 12/28/2011 12:19PM

    Andale! Andale! Feliz Ano Nuevo!

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LINDY2202 12/27/2011 6:28AM

    I am working on forgiving myself too after devouring everything in sight....all day long on Christmas. Ugh, I feel like heavy and stuffed, still. Hoping this feeling passes soon.

Comment edited on: 12/27/2011 6:28:37 AM

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SHANSHE 12/26/2011 11:15AM

    I agree with the below comment, your job ROCKS!!!! but it also sounds intense!
I am sure you will be back to exercising soon, it seems to be part of who you are and that is great, huh?

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BEATLETOT 12/25/2011 10:20AM

    You have such a cool job! Merry Christmas, Ruth!

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BABY_GIRL69 12/24/2011 3:04PM

    I have been ripping it up & now I am so tired after all that Christmas shopping. My feet are dog tired but I am going to try to get in a workout later today.

God bless & enjoy everyday!


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CTEMPLE 12/24/2011 4:33AM

    Have a great time!

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CZARINA_TV 12/24/2011 4:12AM

    I've been having a rough few weeks too. Just get back to it as soon as you can. This is a lifelong commitment...

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RUNNERRACHEL 12/24/2011 12:27AM

    You don't have to be sorry! Forgive yourself. Give yourself permission not to be perfect--at least not all the time! emoticon

Next week you will have more time and we all go through busy times and times we can't do as much as we would like. It's ok.

Have a great week! emoticon

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Friday, December 23, 2011

I am STANDING at my new stand-up desk posting on my new computer, in my new office! I am not at all a techie, so it feels magical to me that this afternoon I could just bring this gorgeous machine home from the shop (where the contents of my old computer, may it rest in peace, were transferred to it & updated software was installed), figure out EASILY how to plug in the computer & get the wireless keyboard & mouse turned on, & have it WORK! Magic, I tell you!

It's a Mac with a lovely wide screen. I am generally very thrifty, but over the years I've learned not to buy cheap computers or shoes. Macs hardly ever get viruses & hardly ever need repair, so in the long run I think I'm saving time & $$.

Haven't had extended time to test it yet, but I do love my stand-up desk so far! I think I'll get small platforms for the keyboard/mouse & the computer monitor so that they're at optimal height--I'm pretty tall. Other than that, I love the clean verticality of it, & the fact that I don't need to crowd this small room with a chair. And I REALLY love the fact that I'll automatically be more active--my rear is in gear, not planted on a horizontal surface! I can engage my abs while I write or read online. emoticon Coolness.

What a blessing it is to reorganize parts of my home at this time of newness in my life, & to be able to get a much-needed new computer. My old one was freezing up multiple times a day; I would have to shut it all the way off, count off at least 10 seconds, then turn it back on & wait for it to start up sloooowwwlllyyyyy so I could sign in & then wait for the desktop to come up. I'm going to have more time now for good stuff like exercising & keeping in touch with people & getting my paperwork organized.

Tomorrow morning I head off for St. Louis to spend Christmas with my son, DIL, & granddaughter. It's kinda goofy how many presents I got for Bea . . . next year, when she's more aware of things & more susceptible to greediness, I'll definitely tone it down. But tomorrow I'll be driving a little Honda hatchback that is loaded down with gifts! I feel like Santa Claus.

I won't forget to weigh in & post before I take off, though! I have no intention of LOOKING like Santa Claus, heehee.

Merry Christmas to all, & may you enjoy time with your dear ones over the holidays. I'm so thankful for my Sparkfriends!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAREN_NY 12/29/2011 6:01PM

    Merry Christmas Ruth!! Sounds like a lovely sleigh ride, lol! :)

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/29/2011 5:29PM

    Congrats on your new set up and computer! You deserve it!

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LINDY2202 12/27/2011 6:26AM

    Ruth I LOVED this blog!!!! So great to see you in great spirits! The desk and computer sound super cool and exciting, I hope you enjoy them both so much! I hope the little one enjoyed your gifts but I bet you enjoyed the gift of giving even more (I know I do)! I got to play secret Santa this year and it was amazing. Merry Christmas to you! emoticon

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SHANSHE 12/26/2011 11:13AM

    WOW on your new desk and computer! KUDOS to you for making it work and sounds like you needed a new computer for sure, happy for you!

Awww, on getting bea all those presents, i bet she LOVED the wrapping paper and bows too! :)

Sounds like you are doing great!

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RUNNERRACHEL 12/24/2011 12:23AM

    Your new desk sounds great. Enjoy your Mac.

Have fun spoiling your granddaughter! Enjoy the time with your family!


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BABY_GIRL69 12/23/2011 10:37PM

    Spend your $$ how you see fit. You can spoil them when there is only one grandchild. When there is more than that, it can get hectic. I only have one & Izzy (Israel) just loves opening gifts & taking plenty of pictures. His first year, I did same thing but found he wasn't interested in most of them. So now I buy specific gifts that I know he may play with more than once. lol St Louis is a nice little stretch to get out of the city & enjoy some fresh country air.

God bless & Merry Christmas!!


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BEATLETOT 12/23/2011 9:06PM

    Congrats on all your new gear!!! Give Bea a kiss for me! Merry Christmas!

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RUTHXG 12/23/2011 7:06PM

    Just thought of something else that's nice about having a new computer: I can get back to my Lumosity brain training! It got too frustrating on the old computer. Now I have all the speed capacity I need for those games. emoticon

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COLLINSCJ2012 12/23/2011 7:05PM

    Have a great Christmas with your family and congrats on your new baby Mac.

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NOT off to a stellar start, but I will improve!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Even though I have more schedule space than usual, I have LOTS to fill it up with. This weekend, for example: last night I went to Thai dinner & a beautiful beautiful Chicago A Cappella holiday concert with a friend; tonight I'm going to a Colombian party; tomorrow evening a friend & I will be going to another friend's flamenco recital.

At work I've been putting in as much time as possible on one huge project to get lots done before another huge project has to be addressed this next week.

I had a VERY time-consuming commute home last week: part of the L train was closed down because police were trying to get at four gang members barricaded in a nearby building. Exciting for them (they did eventually arrest the guys), boring for us, as we had to wait wait wait for shuttle buses to arrive & pick us up, or we had to walk a couple of blocks & wait wait wait to catch a regular northbound bus. I opted for the latter, & it took me 2.5 hours to get home. Whooooooooo . . .

Then there was the gas leak crisis yesterday: our basement was smelling of gas, & I ended up working from home so I could be here to deal with the gas company guy who came to identify the leaks & put up temporary fixes--he found SIX leaks in various places!! Then I had to wait for someone from the heating company to come & start to permanently fix those problems. I could get work done while waiting, but while the guys were here I had to spend a lot of time talking with each of them.

And along with all this busyness, I'm fighting depression. It's definitely related to winter cold/darkness, & doubtlessly also related to my lack of time to exercise--yeah, because of needing to get to work early & juggle all these other issues, I've not been getting in enough sweaty movement! Badly, badly needed. Even today it's been hard; I've been super-busy getting my office components ready to move, & making my batch food for the week (chili in the crockpot! yum! & cooking chicken pieces in the other crockpot), & baking muffins to take to the party tonight. The cooking/baking does help fend off depression, though--it's so good to work with my hands & smell/taste yummy things.

I AM going to squeeze in a bit of exercise too: I'll at least fast-walk to the grocery store to get a few items that I'll need to cook dinner tomorrow for friends who just had a baby. And tomorrow afternoon I'll also take a 3.5-mile brisk walk to return a library book.

Throughout the coming week I'll eat more mindfully & get in at least those 10 minutes of exercise each day--& hopefully the scale will notice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDY2202 12/13/2011 2:45AM

    Hang in there Ruth. Try try try to get in a little exercise, I believe it will help you. You know it will too. You can do it. Just hang on in there. emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 12/11/2011 2:26PM

    I love all the things you are busy doing. I am such an introvert & stay in every though I am invited out.

God bless & enjoy everyday!


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CZARINA_TV 12/11/2011 9:44AM

    Woah -- looks like life is intruding on your best-laid plans there... Just hang in there!

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CTEMPLE 12/11/2011 8:06AM

    What a lovely soulful blog!

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COLLINSCJ2012 12/10/2011 11:34PM

    I get depression in the winter and I use a light box. They are expensive though. Vitamin D is a good alternative.

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RUNNERRACHEL 12/10/2011 9:23PM

    You are doing so well fitting in so much to your schedule and fitting in fitness. I've been fighting depression lately, too. Related to the cold, and my own lack of exercise! I also feel better when cooking, baking so I've been doing that lately too. I am so glad I read your blog. It's nice to read how you are fitting in brisk walks on your errands and doing things to help others and keep yourself healthy.

Have a great weekend. emoticon

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SHANSHE 12/10/2011 8:32PM

    Sounds like the space in your schedule came at just the right time, LOL! ;) Hopefully, things will settle down enough you can get your exercise in to help that depression.
BIG HUGS to you,

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BEATLETOT 12/10/2011 6:44PM

    In two weeks, the days will start getting longer again, thank goodness. Just hold on...

Definitely try to make time for yourself! We love you!

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