Thursday, January 31, 2013
so I figure it's the best time to set some goals - better than a month with 31 days, anyway. Hey, baby steps.
So I wrote all of the below, then got an unexpected call from daughter #2, who took her car in to be looked at by a local mechanic. He's a father of three daughters himself, and she said that when he looked underneath her car, he just blanched and told her that she could have been killed, literally any moment, driving that car. Apparently the steering is so bad that it's a hairsbreadth away from locking in a right turn, sending her into the car next to her or over the cliff (and in Pittsburgh, there are plenty of cliffs.)
The thing is, she got the whole steering thing replaced a year ago, so this mechanic is going to have words with the place that did it, and with any luck she can work out a way to get the other things fixed on some sort of payment plan. I wish I could help her, but she makes more than I do, by quite a bit.
In light of the above shakeup, I'm considering just swearing that in February, I will be A Proper Grown-Up and set a Good Example for the Children.
I'm not even going to promise to log everything, because I know I won't do it. I won't log food - I've sworn too many times to do that, and it never happens. I'll try (and don't get on me about the Yoda thing) to check off the water and freggies, but I don't promise.
I *will* promise to do some sort of fitness thing every day, even if some days it's just the One Minute Yoga. And I *will* promise to log the fitness - I'm interested to see how much I actually do and don't do. I worked so many jobs where fitness was just sort of a side effect of daily life, like when I had the landscaping company, that it's difficult for me to make exercise a daily priority, but now that circumstances have changed, I see that I need to do this.
As a corollary to the above, I promise to wear the FitBit every day and remember to download its info. I also promise not to throw another one into the washing machine, still attached to the bra it was clipped onto - that was getting expensive.
I also promise to cut back the glasses of wine from 3-4 to 1-2 (no, it's not an every day thing.) No problem there - just need to pay more attention. That goes hand in hand with the next one:
I promise to do the dishes after every meal. (Thank goodness that doesn't start til tomorrow .) That might seem like I'm being an awful slob now, but if you live alone and hate to cook, you really don't generate that many dishes, so they're easy to ignore..
I also promise to be sure I'm getting a sufficient amount of protein.
That's enough for now. February isn't a great time to swear to eat more vegetables or fruits, since I'm pretty much devoted to local produce and right now there isn't any. I'll promise that in another couple months.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
(Hey, it worked for Seinfeld.)
No, I never really thought the world would end on December 21st. Even though I get a great deal of enjoyment out of Doomsayers, I have more intellectual respect for Weird Scholars, and the Mayan expert at a nearby Ivy League university told us early on that all this was being misinterpreted. He seemed to have his head on straight, and his hat wasn't covered with tin foil (which I suppose is actually made of aluminum now...was it ever made of tin?) so I went with his opinion.
Anyway, the one thing that I was interested in never came to light - I wanted to see if there'd be a huge rise in the number of people who would "Buy It Now, No Payments Til 2013!!!" on the theory that they could enjoy the product, then the world would end before payments were due.
A somewhat related question was whether people would hold holiday parties earlier (to get them in before the Apocalypse) or later (to avoid the whole thing), and whether Christmas spending would be significantly up ("May as well spend it now, before the cataclysm") or down ("We'll need all our resources for fighting off the zombies after the 21st.")
And speaking of zombies, I never did find out why The Zombie Survival Guide is on the list of NYT Bestsellers under NONfiction. Personally, I find this troublesome. No, I have not read the book, so perhaps the title is misleading and the book has nothing at all to do with zombies. Still...
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Okay, where I live it's been cold as...let's see, "hell" isn't cold....I don't like "witch's tit"..."ice" is so cliché...I remember an old phrase, probably WWI era, about freezing the brass balls off a monkey - or possibly the balls off a brass monkey - , but I don't recall the derivation any more...
All right, let's just say it's been really cold here. Single digits on warmer days, wind chills into the negative 20ºs. (for all you folks who live where it gets colder than that...God bless you.)
What really bothers me is when you go to The Weather Channel or the NOAA weather site on your computer, and they say " Low of 3º " when it is currently -1º. Obviously, " Low of 3º " is incorrect.
What's more, I believe that even I could write a quick and dirty program to fix that, and I'm no coder (I remember guys in my class - this was a long time back - saying they input something-or-other "...and it gave me a Mode 4 Error!" then helplessly collapsing in gales of laughter. I had Not A Clue.)
I hate when it says we're to have a partly cloudy day, but when I let the four-leggers back into the house, they're all wet. Rain, obviously. Not "partly cloudy."
I remember one day not long ago when the local Weather Guy gave the following forecast: clear early, then some wind and clouds, rain or possibly sleet or snow developing. Come on! What the !@#$ else is there? I'd rather he'd just shrug and say, "I dunno. Weather's changeable around here. "
When I still worked as a landscaper, I had in my truck at all times a tank top, flip flops and sunscreen, a rain suit, boots, a knitted cap, a sweatshirt, three pair of socks and a change of jeans and underwear (because no one wants to be wearing soggy underwear after an unexpected downpour.) I understand the nature of living in a place where, for some reason, it's difficult to predict the weather.
Still, to come right out and promise that it won't get any colder than Xº when it *already is* X-3º is just...stupid. And annoying.
Thanks for listening. I feel better now.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
I've been debating where to start, how to explain, how much detail to go into before I bore you guys (and myself) stupid with the Continuing Saga. I've decided to do what they tell you to do when you're packing for a trip - put in everything you want to take, then remove half. So I'll write a short novella here, then edit out at least half so we don't all go out of our minds. Deal?
Due to financial, employment schedule and travel issues, I couldn't go see my daughters and they couldn't make it here. I spent Christmas and New Year's alone, just me and the snow and the four-leggers, without a functional vehicle. Well and truly housebound, I discovered how much there was to eat in the house (quite a bit, if you aren't fussy, and I'm not) and how many lovely books I hadn't read in years (many, many.) Funny... I was braced to be devastated, depressed, and was oddly okay with the whole thing. I think partly it was I was freed of decision making and responsibility - I had no money and no car, so that was that.
The job at the candle company (which won the Martha Stewart Award for American Made Excellence back in September) was fabulous and they thought I did a great job. For reasons largely beyond my control, and to a degree theirs as well, I don't work there any more.
Now I have a job at a local - as in, Very Small Town - EZMart sort of place - gas, cigarettes, deli, strange assortment of random items, lots of (mostly nasty) brands of beer and fresh coffee pretty much any time. I make the same money I made at the other job, only it's a third the distance. And they gave me free T-shirts. *shrug* Money's money.
Working on several other things - you know I'll tell you as soon as I have something concrete.
Fine, thanks. Lost a little better than 40 pounds last year (forty to go), mostly because I ate what the CSA gave me and pretty much only that. Getting out of the house more (because of jobs, both paid and unpaid) caused many fewer alcoholic beverages to be consumed, also. The doctor insisted that I come in for a check-up because it had been several years since she'd seen me - hey, I wasn't sick! All the things that they check - BP, temp., HR, and basic blood work was all great. Looks like I've got a few miles left on me.
Suck, for the most part. Last year I had the phone, tv and finally internet all turned off for lack of payment, and got seven months behind on my home equity loan (I paid off the mortgage years ago, but the line has a substantial balance.) Student loan people very displeased as well. Everything I made at the candle place wound up going into new snow tires and auto repairs. However, I got a new contract for haying, and the advance on that allowed me to get caught up with the equity line, get the internet turned back on, and get everyone else (the electric company, the tv, the phone, etc.) all paid off, although I opted not to have the landline restored and didn't get the tv turned back on (didn't miss it enough to bother.) Student loan deferred. Taxes still an issue, but I'm working on them.
WHERE TO LIVE:
I'd resisted even the idea of moving from here with all my strength and determination, but somehow, somewhere in my brain, a switch flipped recently and I realized that I was desperate to stay here because it was a place my late husband loved with all his heart, my children had grown up, and where I'd been happy, none of which has anything to do with The Now.
When I'd sold my mother's house (she and my dad had bought it when I was three months old), I'd reluctantly realized that there was nothing for me there anymore - it was all memories, rather than future. I've - like in the last ten days - realized the same thing about here. I'm 57, and given that the women in my family tend to live well into their 90s, unless I want to live 30 or 40 years with my eyes on the rear view mirror (and I don't), I have to allow for the possibility of moving. Just as in Philadelphia, there's nothing for me here. There are people I like well enough, sure, but neither they nor I will fall apart if I go. So I'm working on a deal with some local Amish folks (two separate families have indicated genuine interest) to sell not just some acreage, but the whole shootin' match. Details will undoubtedly follow as they get worked out. I'm not in a big hurry, but I feel completely free to do whatever I want to do. I think I'd like to move back to the part of PA that's quite near both where my daughters live now and where my mother's family comes from. Maybe there's something to that "land being in your blood" thing.
Lost a friend of 30+ years because I got tired of letting her Always Be Right. I'm very live-and-let-live, and whenever we'd have a disagreement, I'd just let it flow over me, because, well, that's pretty much how I am. I don't have to be Right ( I won't generally agree that I'm wrong, but I won't fight about it.) Recently she crossed some lines that just weren't to be crossed - embroiling my children in controversy, labeling me as mentally ill because I didn't agree with her approach to life. I saw us as different; her view that she was Right and I had to be mentally ill not to see that and agree with her position.
Realized that sometimes you have to be willing to let go. Discovered that real friends give you a shoulder you need in times of crisis, rather than arguing about whether you should need it or not. Also that people who haven't been in a particular situation have no clue about how you feel and most certainly have no business defining the "correct" way to respond. Allow people the dignity they deserve, even if you don't understand how they could possibly live as they do.
Working at the EZMart, dabbling in This and That, sorting through decades - hell, centuries in some cases - of Stuff. I realized just how much of this Stuff is the accumulation of other people's lives, and even though I wound up with it, I'm not its Designated Keeper. Lots of things I'll hang onto for no reason other than I think it's fascinating - the war ration coupons, for example. I love history and Old Stuff in general. I'm doing The Big Sort in the barn, and when I'm finished, I'll probably have the local auction people take it out and auction it for me. Not sure I have the patience for a yard sale. I dunno - I'm a long way from that point.
Yeesh. This still turned out to be waaaaay too long. Anyone who's still here, thanks for hanging on - it's been a hell of a ride. 2013 is going to be very different from previous years for me, and I believe for a lot of people - in a good way.
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