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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Lyrical Wednesday

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Yesterday’s glorious sunshine in the morning gave way to clouds in the afternoon that dissipated just before sunset, and it was a spectacular one. I do love a good sunset, and so long for someone to share my sunsets with. Heck, for the right person, I might even be persuaded that sunrises are nice, too.

Despite the gray, or maybe because of it, I got out for a good walk and stopped, not in one of my familiar spots, but a different one for a bit of a think. There’s nothing like a good long think outdoors, I think. The park I so often go to, and that spot in particular, made me think if my dad. Dad would have turned 103 last Sunday, and he’s been on my mind a lot these last few days. The outdoors usually reminds me of him in one way or another anyway–he loved being out in nature. A hunter, trapper, and fisherman in his youth out of necessity, he held onto his love of nature his entire life and did his best to pass his love of the outdoors onto my brothers and me. None of us developed a lifelong taste for hunting and fishing, but to some degree or other, we all love the pockets of wild we can find around here. It took me a good long while to love it, but I’m nowhere so much at peace and so centered as when I’m near woods and water. I think, more than wanting us to be hunters and fishers, Dad wanted us to find that kind of calm. He never said as much as far as I recall, but surely he found that when he was out on his own, walking through miles of woods, or floating on some clear blue lake somewhere.

In honor and memory of him, I’m posting his favorite poem. Happy birthday, Dad.

The Last Leaf

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
      And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o’er the ground
      With his cane.
They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
      Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
      Through the town.
But now he walks the streets,
And looks at all he meets
      Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,
      “They are gone.”
The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
      In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
      On the tomb.
My grandmamma has said—
Poor old lady, she is dead
      Long ago—
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
      In the snow;
But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
      Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
      In his laugh.
I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
      At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
      Are so queer!
And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
      In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
      Where I cling.

 

 

 

Workin’

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I’ve been working this morning and it’s gone by quickly. I’m glad I got dressed before logging onto work, because while it’s wonderfully sunny out, it’s still chilly and those socks on my feet feel pretty good.

It’s a funny thing about this job of mine–in the early days, I hated it. Thought it was stupid and pointless and the tasks I did were agonizingly boring. Now, though, I’m so glad of this work I have. It wouldn’t support most lifestyles, but it does mine for now, and for now? that’s all I’m asking of it.

I’d dreamed of being able to work from home for years before I found this job through a friend who worked with this company as well, and I recognized the irony in having finally found a legitimate work-at-home job only to scorn it. Silly me. Now, it seems, the more I work, the more work is available to me, and compared to many jobs I’ve had, this is dead easy. My only complaints are that my butt often hurts from sitting too long and I’m pretty sure I need new glasses after staring at my computer screen for too many hours. Those are pretty mild compared to some complaints I’ve had at other jobs, from unfair working conditions (10 to 12 hours with nothing but potty breaks? I sorta think that might be illegal) to vindictive co-workers.

Yep, I’ve got it pretty good for now. I’m grateful.

Eight weeks and change

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It’s been eight weeks and change since I went sugar-free and I’m still not missing it much. The two times I’ve been most tempted, the smell of warm chocolate in some baked goodie or other came wafting through the air, and like Pavlov’s dogs, I started salivating. I didn’t indulge, but I was so tempted. Twice in eight weeks ain’t bad, folks!

So yesterday when I drove to the next small town over to the little mom-and-pop hamburger joint they have there for one last burger before they close for the winter, I also had some of their ice cream. This is the soft serve kind, and if you get the right person working the counter, the curlicue on top can be pretty impressive. Such was not the case yesterday, and both the curlicue and the ice cream itself underwhelmed me. It just wasn’t that good, and while I’m not really sorry I had it, I do wish I’d held off getting an ice cream treat until something better came along.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

K.I.S.S.

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I’ve been trying to overcomplicate things the last couple of days, making the simple difficult, thinking too much, not following the tried and true, not holding to my K.I.S.S. credo–“keep it simple, stupid.”

Not helping the matter was the tsunami of loneliness that hit me last night. Alone is one thing; lonely is quite another, and it’s not a feeling I enjoy. Once upon a time, I would have eaten my loneliness away, stuffing sugary junk in my mouth. Last night, I turned to the web, and while I didn’t do anything irreparably stupid other than waste a whole lot of time, I didn’t do anything particularly helpful, either. At least I likely burned a few calories while surfing.

So today I’m deliberately turning my mind toward the simple and beautiful, and these are the things that are bringing me pleasure just now:

–Drinking my good cold water out of a real glass instead of my usual plastic bottle.

–Soft, pretty yarn.

–More sunshine than clouds.

–Recognizing when my hunger was sated during lunch and not continuing to eat out of habit or boredom.

I’m also looking forward to my next tech sabbath. I briefly broke it last week and was sorry I did–the hours of offline time have done me good, and I want to continue to do what is good and helpful to me.

For now, I’m ready to K.I.S.S. the rest of my Saturday hello.

I’ll see you on Monday.

Later: I didn’t do any of the stuff I should have. Instead, I went to my favorite park, had an excellent walk, then read, napped, and knitted for a while. That pocket of sanity in my day has been a lifesaver.

Now, I’ll say it for real: I’ll see you on Monday.

Freeplay Friday

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Something I’ve been learning lately, and it’s a good thing to know.

Anniversary

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Today marks one year since that first shaky blog post. This is my 343rd post. There have been 399 comments made, and 4,618 visitors to the blog as of this posting.

It’s easy to just let another year slip away without doing any kind of reckoning about it, without reflection, without seeing growth or positive change, without seeing opportunities taken or lost. I’d like to take a moment or two to look back on the year that was, with all its fumblings and misfires and halting steps forward. Here’s what I see:

–I’m both stronger and weaker than I thought.

–I would not have made it through the year without tumbling over the edge of the abyss without the good people in my life who gently held me back.

–As grateful as I am for the good people in my life, none of them could ever take his place. It is utterly unique.

–I am fully convinced now that we are not meant to be alone. We need each other so very much.

–I needed this blog. The words have helped heal me.

–I will not get my sass back in the same way that I had it before, but I can redefine it.

–I am learning at last what real friendship is all about.

–I am learning at last what real love is all about.

–I still love him. I suspect that I always will.

–Life goes on, and you may as well make the best of it whether it’s perfect or not. Life itself is a marvel and isn’t something to be squandered.

All that, and more. Mostly I’ve learned that, along with the loss I still feel every day, there are still good times to be had, still a lot of laughs, still joy.

Better days ahead!

Lyrical Wednesday

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I said it. I meant it.

Progress

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So it’s a cool and rainy day here so far, and though I started out my morning wearing shorts–they were the closest things to hand when I got dressed–I had to put on long pants a while ago.

That’s unremarkable but, pulling on my jeans, I did find something to remark on. My straight-out-of-the dryer jeans are decidedly looser. It wasn’t a struggle to button them or zip them. I didn’t have to lie on the bed or do that weird jumping up and down that somehow redistributes the fat long enough to let you get your britches hitched up. They automatically sit lower, closer to my natural waist, the band is looser, and I’m not having to suck anything in.

All the direct result, I believe, of eliminating sugar and the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of excess calories I was consuming each day.

I feel better.

I look better.

My eyes are clearer.

I’m sleeping better.

My clothes are fitting a bit looser.

I have more stamina.

Progress!

Vie la sugar-free life!

No sugar

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It was a golden day.

The sun broke through the clouds late Saturday afternoon and I woke Sunday morning to glorious clear blue skies, blessed sunshine, and warm temperatures–it was a day made to be outside, and that’s where I was most of the afternoon. I spent time at two of my favorite parks, walking in the woods in one of them, the smell of autumn leaves surrounding me, the crunch of them at my feet. A thousand tiny winged insects danced in the beams of sunlight streaming through the mostly bare branches, and silken threads sewn from tree to tree by unseen spiders glistened in the golden light.

I was happy to notice that I didn’t need to stop as often as I have had to in the past, sometimes up to four or five times. This time, I stopped twice. The first time was not because I needed to, but because I wanted to, for a bit of a think in a peaceful spot. The second time, I needed a little rest after climbing halfway up a hill on some rough-hewn steps to a handy bench along the trailside. It’s also a nice spot for a sit and think, offering views of woods and cornfields and often the sight of deer browsing in the field. I then usually have to stop after climbing the rest of the way up the hill, and although I was a bit winded, I was glad to pass by the bench at the top of the hill.

I have to attribute the increased stamina to being off sugar. I can’t think of any other explanation, because I haven’t been getting out very often for my walks these last weeks and months. I’d been feeling pretty crappy the week or so before, as well, so being off sugar seems a pretty reasonable explanation.

I think I like this sugar-free life.

 

Random bits

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I was planning on declaring today “Get Shit Done Day, ” but shit is not going to get done around here. I have no energy right now. Good thing I got some shit done yesterday!

I’m not sure how a person can get a hangover from a single delicious beer (Raspberry Wheat), but this girl has done it. As hangovers go, this one isn’t all that bad, but I’m still feeling it. I had a restless night, too, and that’s adding to the mix.

I have Mandatory Family Fun later and I would be happy to skip it. I won’t, but I’d like to.

I’ve lost count of how many hats I’ve completed for the Random Hats project. I currently have two on the needles and I’m pretty sure I’m somewhere near 20, but I’ll have to wait until my brain is functioning better to get a semi-accurate count.

I’ve had four hard candies and an inch-square bit of cheesecake in the last week. Meh. None of them tasted all that great, except for the strawberry candy (Jolly Rancher sour assortment). I must be making progress.

It’s seven weeks without sweets, other than the aforementioned ones and a pint of ice cream a while back. I sort of miss chocolate, but mostly I think I miss the smell of it.

I’m still eating way too much bread and other carbs. I’m not getting enough fruits and veg.

I wore jeans yesterday that are a size smaller than the ones I’ve been in. That may be hopeful or it may be just the funky and wildly inaccurate sizing that is out there. It was still nice to see that smaller size, though!

I need to move. Not literally. Well, yes, literally, as I need to get my fine wide arse in motion. Moving from where I live to somewhere else might not be a bad idea, either, and I still daily regret not taking that chance when I had it with Mr. F, even if things had ended up the way they did. I would have been forced to test my mettle.

Regrets suck. I have few, but the ones I have are pretty big.

I’m feeling restless. My world is getting too small. I need to bust out somehow.

Mr. F made my world so much bigger. I miss that.

I’m looking forward to another tech sabbath. It’s done my soul good to get offline.

Better days ahead. I believe that. I hope. Still. Always.

I’ll see you on Monday.