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.)
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:
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.
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)
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.
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. I had just talked a friend off a (figurative) ledge, then my daughter came home, all upset about money. 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.
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, 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, 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 and overdrink and remain couch-bound for another week or so , especially since the weather is grey and foreboding. 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???
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
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