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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Weekend review and a tech sabbath

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So the week has been a good one in terms of my physical being. Although I did a whole lot more walking last night than I had counted on–easily three times my normal mileage–and I didn’t have my knee brace, I can still move (slowly) this morning. I’ll take it. Add that to several walks earlier in the week and I’ve had some good physical activity for the week and it ain’t over yet. Yay for me!

I achieved my goal of four full weeks without sugary snacks of any kind, so can I get a Woot! Woot!? I’m still seeing subtle but oh-so-welcome changes in my body as I continue to say “no” to sugar, and you can bet that I feel better overall, too. This has been such a good thing! I’ll be working on cutting down my carbs next. Wish me luck!

One last thing–I’m taking a tech sabbath starting tonight (Saturday) and continuing through tomorrow. This is something I’ve been thinking about for some time, as I spend waste far too much time online doing absolutely nothing. I think it’ll do me good to shut the computer down for 24 hours or so and rediscover life beyond this small screen. It won’t be a total tech blackout as I’ll still have my phone and will be watching some TV, but then, I don’t linger over either of those the way I do over the computer. I’m viewing this as a refreshing pause and, if it feels good, I will be taking other tech sabbaths in the future.

Oh–one last last thing–I’m taking a moment tomorrow to stop and intentionally think about my friends, to send good thoughts and hopes that whatever struggles and heartaches and burdens they may have will be easier on them. I’ll be sending my hopes for joy and a light heart and sunny days. I’ll be taking a further step of lighting a candle as a deliberate pause in my day to do this. I hope to establish this as a Sunday ritual. If it feels right to you, maybe you can take a moment or two in your day and send your thoughts and hopes and prayers to those who mean something to you, too. Life is short. Do some good while you can.

I’ll see you on Monday.


Freeplay Friday

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Here’s the deal: if I make it through today (and there’s no reason to think I won’t), it’ll have been four weeks since I last had sweets. Four weeks. That’s something to feel good about! Added to that, it’s the birthday of someone dear to me, my friend Lynne, who may just have something of her own to feel good about. Today, we celebrate!

One of those nights

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I had one of those nights last night. I slept like the dead until around 4:00 this morning, then–well, I didn’t sleep for a long while. Nights like that color the following day, because once I do get back to sleep, I tend to oversleep and that makes me groggy and it’s even harder to wake up than normal.

I’m not a morning person. Never have been. I like the night, when it’s quiet and often the only sound I hear is the soft turning of another page as I lie reading in bed–no reading devices for me, thanks, I like the tactile sensations of a real book–and my cat snoring away in her chair a few feet away.

Mornings for me are slow affairs. Coffee and email and some yogurt start my day, with maybe some knitting thrown in, and a gradual building of energy until I’m ready to fully face the day. I avoid talking to anyone if I possibly can until I’m good and ready to, particularly those chipper types who spring out of bed with a song in their hearts and stuff they’ve just got to tell you. I once worked with a woman who would sing at me when I walked into the room and I wanted to smack her so bad. Repeatedly.

I’ll take a gorgeous sunset over sunrise any day. All that light first thing just hurts me. I see the irony in that statement, because I do thrive on light. I need it to feel good, mentally and physically. But first thing? That’s just way too early.

Lyrical Wednesday

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It’s that time of year when the leaves start to change–and sadly, it won’t be a pretty fall around here because of the very dry summer–nights are cooler, and I start thinking I really should have something in blaze orange when I go out walking in the woods. It’s also time for the annual reading of Mary Oliver’s wonderfully evocative poem, “Wild Geese.”

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


An omen?

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I woke up with a mild headache brewing this morning, the product, I believe, of eating too late last night when I pushed my “no food after 8:00” rule a little too hard. Or it could be from reading too much yesterday, too. Who knows? All I know for sure is that I hope it doesn’t turn into a full-blown migraine, because it’s a spectacularly beautiful day today, with temps predicted to go into the lower 80s, and there won’t be too many days like this left this year.

I had an unexpected joy last night at the park as I sat reading–and if you’re interested, I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter series and am on Year Three right now. A flock of small birds passed overhead and landed just a few feet from me. Bluebirds! I think I love them only second to robins for their cheekiness and beauty, and they do bring happiness. Migratory creatures, the little charmers pass through Iowa in the fall and spring on their way to who knows where, and their visit is often so brief that if you’re not as lucky as I was, you’ll miss them altogether. Twice, one landed on my car’s antenna as I watched them flit about–maybe an omen of happiness to come? I can only hope.

But you know me. I always hope.

It’ll all work out

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I’m doing a little multitasking now, sneaking in a few words here while I work my online gig.

I’m in a somewhat familiar place right now when I’m faced with too much month at the end of my money and I’m also running short on some groceries. If you know me, you know I like to eat on a regular basis, with three squares and an afternoon snack my standard. I’m also getting low on coffee and that could be so, so bad–I need my hit of coffee in the morning to help me wake up and also to stave off headaches caused by caffeine deficiency.

It’s true that I could run to the bank and get some more cash, but that always feels like cheating to me. I have a monthly cash allowance, that, for most months, is plenty, but with a huge (for me) buy of necessaries at the start of the month as well as a bit of frivolity, I’m running a little¬† short of the ready.

So it was kind of dumb to order yarn this morning. The money to pay for it is hoarded birthday money from several years ago, so it’s not as if I’m robbing myself to pay for it. And I could use that hoarded money for groceries, but again, that feels like cheating to me.

The thing is, I like the challenge of making a little bit stretch as far as I can. I like getting creative about how to provide for my needs. I like sometimes wondering where the money is ever going to come from, for whatever it is, and having it all turn out just fine in the end. I like that, no matter how tight money has been for me in the past, I’ve never run out. There has always been money for what was necessary, and even for what wasn’t. That’s one of the things I like about me–an almost stupidly blind optimism that things will work out. I don’t have it in all life events, and would you believe those are the times things go awry? But in money matters, hey–there’s always been enough, and something in me says there always will be.

Best times

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I don’t know about your weekend, but mine? It’s been pretty great. Aside from the fun on Friday night, I had a day out–and one that was long overdue–with one of my knitting groups yesterday. We took a little road trip to Winterset, home of those famous covered bridges as well as the birthplace of one Marion Michael Morrison, who grew up to be John Wayne, to visit Heartland Fiber Company, a lovely and friendly yarn shop on the square. Petting the yarn was allowed–even encouraged–and we spent some happy time there after lunch at the fabulous Northside Cafe (the mulberry smoked pulled pork sandwich was incredible), also on the square.

It was a perfect day for a longish drive, with wall-to-wall sunshine (and you know this girl loves sunshine!), clear blue skies, and enough color in the trees to make for a gorgeous first day of autumn. Good people, good food, good times.

The gravy on my spuds was a night out at the community theater here in Ames with my friend, Marti, who’d scored two free tickets to Tomfoolery, a review of satirist Tom Lehrer’s songs. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time, and oh, did it feel good!

Today there are no plans, but it’s another gorgeous day out there and I’m not planning on wasting it inside. These are the best times, right here, right now. I’m not looking to the past or to the future for my happiness. It’s here, now. This moment.

Quote of the day:

Wise folks count their blessings. Fools count their problems.

–Michael Franti

Three weeks!

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Woot! I’ve officially gone three weeks without sweets, and I gotta tell you, it’s been easier than I ever would have thought. Last night was a big test for me, with two social gatherings offering lots of sweeties, but I passed that test with a 1000% score and I feel so good about it! Even better was getting up this morning without a sugar hangover and knowing my day today won’t be tainted by the pain of a migraine.

I had a glass of wine at one event and a beer at the second; neither did me a bit of harm and I’m not feeling any aftereffects, so I am fairly convinced that the times before when I’d been not so well after a social night out were the times I overindulged in the sugary fare.

I continue to see and feel positive changes in my body as I say no to sugar. This is so good. It’s taken me a long time to get to this place–I’ve intellectually known for a good long while that sugar was negatively affecting me, and Mr. F told me so more than once, but I had to come to this place in my own time, I suppose, and now that I have, I hope I hang onto what I know and feel and see. I don’t want to go back.

I still want to see if I can manage some ice cream or frozen yogurt once or twice a month, because every life needs a little naughtiness in it, but I’m content to wait for at least another week before I give that a go.

Until then, I’m going to bask in my own glow. Success! It’s a good feeling.

Freeplay Friday

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The bags are done! The bags are done! Woot! Mostly I’m glad to have my sewing machine packed up and some semblance of order restored to my living room, but I’m also glad to have those drawstring bags done. I do like them, and they’ll be useful, but I’m happy not to work on them anymore.

Busy day today–aside from normal daily life, I have Knitter’s Night Out and game night at D and S’s. I will test my resolve on the “no sweets” front at both places, but I’m determined. Three weeks down, one more to go. Or possibly more than one more? Who knows? In any case, no sweets tonight. Beer, yes. But no sugary stuff.

I’m feeling pretty good today and to match my chipper mood, I’d thought I’d reach back to the 90s for song that always makes me smile. And ain’t that the berries? The Cranberries, that is . . .


Gotta do day

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I’ve got a “gotta do” day ahead of me, filled with stuff that I gotta do. I suppose for most people that would be called a normal day, but I have never lived what you might call a normal life, and right now, with only the online job to occupy my working life, there’s a fair amount of free time that I can waste (me? Never!) or use for other purposes.

Today, my roots need some attention, and I gotta go to the store, and oughta do some laundry and cleaning and dishes, and I gotta get my sewing project wrapped up and get my machine out of my living room.

I don’t sew often–I think it’s been at least a couple of years since I’ve had my machine out–and I’m an indifferent and impatient seamstress, which partially explains why I seldom have my machine out. It’s a good thing I’m not dependent on my sewing skills for clothes and such, because they would be just laughable. Probably unwearable, too. Sewing will not be one of my post-apocalyptic survival skills when the zombies attack.

But I’m making a Halloween costume this year, and if I work it out right, the garment I’ve sewn up–and I suppose three seams can equal a garment–will serve as the basis for any and all subsequent costumes for the rest of my life. That’s some kind of awesome, I think.

So that explains why I got my machine out, and while I had the garment (no, I’m not telling you what it is. Not yet) cut out and sewn together in a couple of afternoons, it’s a secondary project that’s slowing me down. I have a small collection of simple drawstring bags for my various knitting projects, which really come in handy as I like to have something with me wherever I go, just in case. One of the reasons I don’t mind waiting somewhere is because I always have stuff to do, whether it’s reading my book or knitting away on something.

A while back, I bought some fabric to make some more bags, but I didn’t want to haul the sewing machine out for three little bags, so while I had it out for the garment, I thought I’d get them done, because they’re so simple.

Oh, sure.

So. Much. Work.

They are more work than the garment.

They are wearing me out.

This is why I don’t sew.

So please, when the apocalypse comes, don’t come to me for your sewing needs. I’ve got you covered for your¬† simple knitted goods, like hats and sweaters and blankets, provided you’re not in any hurry, but sewing? Not even.

Gotta go now. Gotta do stuff.