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This is, what...day 5?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Hmmm...this is probably the first cinco de May (I don't know how to spell May in Spanish and I'm too lazy to look it up) that I haven't been happily swilling margaritas. No, it's (unfortunately) not because I'm a good li'l dieter, it's because I'm too damned tired. I spent all day loading and unloading square bales of hay. They don't weigh much until about the 400th one, then they start to creep up a bit.

But that does bring me to the 5th thing that Makes Me Special (and if you don't know what we're talking about, and you want to know, look at yesterday's blog): I'm not afraid of hard work, and will stay in there with the boys until the job is done (or done for the day, as in this case - still have another thousand or so to go.) Like a good draft horse, I may not be fast, but I'm strong, I've got a lot of endurance and I don't quit because it's 4:00 or whatever. (However, the guys at the other end - the unload-and-stackers - quit because it was 4:00, and I may be tested tough, but I'm not stupid.) emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/7/2011 11:36AM

    RAWR!!! Go woman GO!
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SUZYMOBILE 5/5/2011 8:49PM

    Just think of the cardio! You can do ANYTHING, I think!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/5/2011 8:37PM

    You are strong!!! I can't imagine!!! I admire pioneer women like you!! emoticon

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JANEDOE12345 5/5/2011 7:09PM

    Finally a link to the article. Thanks.

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(Edited) Okay, HIPPICHICK1, I'll take your challenge and raise you one quality...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The deal was to say one thing about yourself each day that made you special.

I agreed to try it, and promptly claimed that for my first delightful attribute: I'll try anything once, as long as it doesn't involve parachutes.

Day two already posed a challenge. I can drink the boys under the table? Nah....that's not exactly a positive attribute (although it can be an interesting one)....okay, I've got this: I know my grammar, I do, I do. I know when to use an apostrophe and the difference between it's and its. I understand less vs. fewer. I recognize the difference between forte (fort) and forte (fortay), although most people don't believe me. I even realize that I use too many ellipses (...) but I ignore that, because when you know the rules, you can bend them to suit you.

Day three: I function extremely well early in the morning. I can, if necessary, even perform complex tasks before I have coffee. If you need someone to get up at 4:00 with you, I'm your girl. (Sadly, that efficiency wears off by about 10:00 a.m., but that's not what we're talking about here.)

Day four: I have excellent color perception and can carry colors in my head, so I can go buy fabric for draperies without taking the paint strip with me. Just for fun, take the following test:

http://www.colormunki.com/game/huetest_k
iosk

I scored better than either of my daughters, one of whom currently colors online things for hefty commissions while the other is a professional photographer.

I suspect that by the end of the month I'll be saying things like, "I can grow very strong fingernails!" or, "I know the correct plurals of matrix and terrarium!", but we'll see.



EDIT:

I've been treating this lightly here, but I do believe there is a great deal to be gained from this exercise in terms of personal insight and positive outlook.

Thanks to HIPPICHICK1, who keeps me honest, here's the link to the original article:

Spark Daily Blog written by By John T. Jurkiewicz (JOHNTJ1)
http://www.dailyspark.com/bl

>og.asp?post=yes_we_can

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARLASUE 5/19/2011 8:02AM

    Interesting challenge. We rarely stop and focus on our good qualities. Most of us tend to harp on out shortfalls. Love this. Great job. You won't have any trouble making it through b/c you have so many shining qualities.
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JRSWHIMSY 5/4/2011 1:54PM

    So what IS the plural of matrix?

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EVERLEARNING 5/4/2011 11:54AM

    Brilliant!
What a great idea for an exercise in self care! I'd seen the article, and thought it was a good idea, but seeing actually being used is truly marvelous.

I may have to join you......

Thanks for doing this.......for YOU, and for the rest of us!

(I, too, over-ellipse.......) emoticon

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JENERIN01 5/4/2011 9:53AM

    That's really cool. I like the idea of finding things about yourself that are positive. I might have to borrow this.

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ANATASHIKI 5/4/2011 9:50AM

    I got 4 ! I had no idea I had such great color acuity, I always thought I'm terrible with colors! great blog , great idea and you're very funny!
emoticonkori

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SUZYMOBILE 5/4/2011 9:42AM

    Okay, I think I found the link you're talking about: John's Daily Spark blog, right? Now I'm working on the color test, but my eyes are crossing! emoticon

Got a 4 though.

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 10:05:58 AM

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RACERXGIRL 5/4/2011 9:32AM

    Excellent! I think I need to add this to my blogs.... :)

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/4/2011 7:55AM

    Great blog! You are obviously very special (and you can add funny to your list!)

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2BMYOWN 5/4/2011 7:45AM

    You are too, too funny, Scooter! I take it this is a team thingy? LOL I sadly suck at keeping colors in my head......it's paint strip all the way for me....

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HIPPICHICK1 5/4/2011 7:11AM

    Hey JANEDOE12345
Here are the details of the challenge:
I ran across this in Spark Daily Blog written by By John T. Jurkiewicz (JOHNTJ1)
http://www.dailyspark.com/bl>og.asp?post=yes_we_can

From the last paragraph:
"A few years ago I ran across an exercise in building self-esteem. It's called Special Me. It challenged me to write one thing about me each day, for thirty days that was special and unique, something that set me apart. The first few days were easy but it got harder for me. I had to dig deep and it was uncomfortable.

"Every morning, before I do anything else, I read that list. Not a quick glance but a lasting, sincere view and lo and behold I am becoming that special person who works hard, deserves success and hangs around with most excellent people – Like You. "

I challenged myself (and now SCOOTER has too) to do just what John describes.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/4/2011 6:51AM

    Matrices and terraria, I hope! Hey, I loved this so much better than those silly "25 things about me" chain blogs--to which I, of course, succumb from time to time.

Being able to drink the boys under the table, as opposed to the reverse, is a very good attribute.

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 6:51:48 AM

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JANEDOE12345 5/4/2011 6:47AM

    What? What is this challenge? May I compete? I am a good speller and have strong fingernails!! I am in...now where are the guidelines?

PS Please no sharp parts....

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 6:48:23 AM

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Finally! Good news for Mac users who are BodyMedia devotees.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

You know how you always have to use Safari (which is to Mac as Explorer is to Windows...only better) and then half the time it doesn't see the Java software, and even if it does, you have to go through the whole yes-I-see, USB, plug-in-now-and-maybe-I-can-update deal?

Well, Body Media has new software!!! If you plug your armband into your Mac with a regular USB cord, Mac now goes, "Hey, look! An armband recorder!" and updates immediately in Firefox (!) with no intermediate steps. Mac has always been able to do this with cameras and the like, but this is really, *really* nice for those of us who rely on the BodyMedia armbands to record our activity and sleep. I'm a very happy child right now.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/3/2011 9:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JRSWHIMSY 5/3/2011 6:53PM

    Firefox is my friend.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/3/2011 6:13PM

    YAY for you!! Glad you're happy! Technology can be such a pain!

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The Spring Into Shape Challenge

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Well, yesterday was supposedly Day 1. I was going to start yesterday, I was, but got derailed, first by not having enough space to do a grapevine right, then by an unexpected bout of crushingly bad depression. emoticon I had just talked a friend off a (figurative) ledge, then my daughter came home, all upset about money. emoticon She apparently feels that she works so hard, it isn't fair that she has an empty bank account (been there, grew out of that.) Money is the one thing about which I do not worry - it comes, it goes, it comes again and then goes again, and it all works out somehow, or else you are forced to change something and then that new thing works out somehow. As long as everyone is still breathing at the end of the day, it's a success. emoticon

Since my husband died, though, I find I'm much closer to the edge of stress, less able to pick up or deal with "one more thing", no matter how minor. My daughter came in around 4:30, all panicky about having her card declined at the grocery - something that happens to the best of us upon occasion - and I just lost it. I didn't yell at her or anything, just did the rest of the chores (feed the dogs and bring them in, fill the furnace, etc.) and went to bed ... at 6:00. Came down around 11:00 (after having slept for four hours, which messed up the rest of the night) and got a sandwich, emoticon then went back to bed. Up today at 4:30 this morning, which is early, but not unreasonably so, for me.

But I don't feel too bad, and I haven't yet eaten anything I'd be ashamed to track, emoticon so I may start today. Still have to clean the living room - I swear, I'm just going to throw out the bag of mismatched socks and lug the stuff to the storage myself instead of waiting for my daughter - but then, yes, I think I'll at least do Day 1. Maybe Day 2, depending upon how Day 1 goes. It's my impression that you can catch up that way, and we're not that far behind yet. I've never done a month's challenge - short attention span, I guess.

I'm sorry that I allowed myself to get so out of hand last night, but pleased that I wrangled it back under control in only one night (it used to take me days to recover from a bout of misery.) "Normally", I'd use that as an excuse to overeat emoticonand overdrink emoticonand remain couch-bound for another week or so emoticon, especially since the weather is grey and foreboding. emoticon However, I'm really actively trying to turn my life around, and the self-discipline of a month's challenge seems like a good place to start. Perhaps with someone else steering, I"ll be less likely to run off into the ditch.

I just have one question: I have probably a dozen big plastic storage bins (five of which are in the living room) and another bin full of big plastic storage bin lids. How can it be that NONE OF THE BLOODY THINGS MATCH??? emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYC53 5/16/2011 4:57PM

    I've been so busy with school that I've gotten behind on my friends' blogs - so I looked back at yours and I'm starting here with the beginning of May, when clearly you're on the cusp of CHANGE.
I started the Spring Challenge too, but I didn't start until Yesterday!! (May 15th) So, don't feel bad :-)
You've been through so much... but clearly the pieces are beginning to come together. Sending you big
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And yeah, the thing about the mismatched lids -- a universal problem!!
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Cindy

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/3/2011 10:38AM

    I think your perspective is great!! What a quick bounce back for you!! Hang in there--Day 1 will happen.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/3/2011 9:39AM

    The mismatched lids come from the same place that wire clothes hangers breed and socks are sucked into oblivion from the inside of the dryer.

Does your daughter live with you? If so, she has a support system in place, which is good, but it's a shame that it's taking a toll on you. I'm glad to hear that you bounced back from it relatively quickly. You ARE a resilient lady.

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FITMARY 5/3/2011 8:51AM

    I love the challenges for that very reason! They keep me going when I'd rather just sit back down on the couch. But getting off that couch for even "just 10 minutes" has made all the difference for me. Maybe my "just 10 minutes" mantra will work for you? You can even set a timer if that helps. Do "just 10 minutes" of some exercise, even if it's just walking in place in your living room. That almost always helps me do more, but on the days that it doesn't, at least I've done "just 10 minutes." Try it! Baby steps have been a life-saver for me.
p.s. The "just 10 minutes" works with clean-up jobs too! Good luck with it all!
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VALERIEMAHA 5/3/2011 8:46AM

    You're doing a GREAT job, all things considered. And reflecting upon the "hows" of yesterday's boondagle is useful in plowing through to new ground and...rebbing up...ta DAAAA: DAY ONE!

One bag of mismatched socks + a dozen big plastic storage bins/ big plastic storage bin lids: none match = perfect metaphor for the utter chaos and playfulness of LIFE!
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Maha

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STARLASUE 5/3/2011 8:29AM

    We can start today. Tell me when you want to and we'll do it again. I can't do the grapevine with my foot but will work up something else.

Sending you a bright cloud to push that dark one away. emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/3/2011 8:28AM

    Sorry to hear that things got off to a rough start on the 1st day of a challenge. SUX!!
Mismatched sox sux too, not to mention freaking out about no money (I hope it's her last time and she figures out that she needs some savings) and mismatched bins/lids. The bright side to the last point is that they are all (usually!) recyclable.
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May Day.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

I skipped my usual trek to downtown to witness the Morris dancers and the Beltane Festival which occurs at 6:00 a.m. every May 1st. Lots of reasons, none of which alone would have been persuasive, but added up to passing on it this year. I think this is only the second time in twelve years that I've missed it (the first time we would have been there, but SATs had to be taken and we didn't have time to do both.)

Anyway, I took a major hike around the farm which, at roughly 200 acres, can take a while if you're not in a hurry, and I wasn't - I was looking for spring. I made an error in taking my phone instead of my camera, so I have to email myself all the photos and that hasn't happened yet. But found some spring beauties, some trillia (trilliums, if you insist) not yet in bloom, trout lilies just coming up. Found two more good-sized areas of ramps (wild leeks), which is good.

I gathered some of the ramps, some French sorrel that I planted years ago, and some dandelion greens (from the garden, where I'd only end up pulling them anyway) and made a wonderful May Day salad with a hot hard-cooked egg, a couple slices of bacon (left-over from another culinary adventure) and a teeny bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I brought in some of the daffodils that just started blooming the other day and put them on the mantlepiece, along with 50% of my hyacinth supply (one.)

I'm so glad it's spring (summer, if you prefer the old Celtic way of figuring the seasons, which I do.) I feel like I'm waking up from not only winter but some kind of long darkness of the soul. I haven't finished mourning my husband - not by a long shot - but I'm starting to feel like maybe it's worth making a life for myself. If I'm anything like my mother and grandmother, I've got another 30 or 40 years ahead of me, and just sitting on the sofa staring into space isn't going to cut it.



Then came fair May, the fairest maid on ground,
Decked all with dainties of her season’s pride,
And throwing flowers out of her lap around:
Upon two brother’s shoulders she did ride,
The twins of Leda [Gemini]; which on either side
Supported her like to their sovereign Queen.
Lord ! how all creatures laughed, when her they spied,
And leapt and danced as if they had ravished been!
And Cupid himself about her fluttered all in green.
— Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VII. Vii. 34

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 5/5/2011 7:46PM

    The leeks sounded great I love Leek and Tatie soup, Oh so good but I have never been able to grow them over here.
I still have not eaten dandelion I will get there some day.
We used to love the Maypole and the Morris dancers. One of my brothers friends was a lead dancer in the community, and he was really well respected. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/2/2011 12:30PM

    Happy Beltaine to you!

Glad to hear there are signs of spring in your 'hood. I spotted some trillia as well yesterday - leaves only and blooms on the end. My daffs aren't blooming yet but there are a few with yellowing heads. Crocuses are up and almost done. Dwarf irises not far behind. Wild strawberries that I let grow in my garden last year are really multiplying!

Thank you for Spenser.


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SUZYMOBILE 5/1/2011 9:20PM

    Couldn't agree more. Spring is a new beginning.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/1/2011 8:31PM

    Spenser's almost as extraordinary as you are!
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Maha

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/1/2011 7:20PM

    Happy May Day!! Sounds like you're doing well!! Loved hearing from you.

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BUNNYCATS 5/1/2011 5:23PM

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful prose. Your May Day salad sounds delicious. Happy May Day! emoticon

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