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Monthly Archives: June 2013


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It’s a cool but very pleasant 68 degrees now. Hard to believe it’s the last day of June, both in terms of the cooler weather and the way this year has been speeding by, the long and tedious winter notwithstanding. With all the rain earlier in the month, the landscape is one of lush green and I’m not sure I could ever get too much of it. I love this time of verdant fullness so.

It’s been very windy the last couple of days but has settled today. Despite the wind, I got out to my favorite park yesterday for a really good walk. I surprised myself with the pace and though my back started complaining toward the end, I think I set a new record for walking the trail looping around the water. It felt good. I’m finally getting into that fitness walking groove again, with a faster pace and longer distances without either feeling like I might have a coronary or having to stop more than a few seconds to catch my breath. I keep remembering that I started out earlier this year with just ten minutes a day, and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.

I finally broke down yesterday and bought new walking shoes. If you saw what I’ve been wearing, you’d probably wonder why I waited so long. Now comes the fun of breaking them in. Whee! I really shouldn’t wait so long, but hunting for and buying any kind of wearable isn’t my idea of a good time. Also, I hate spending the money.

One last thing–I have to confess to another slowdown in the Random Hats project. Number 54 is on the needles, but I’ve made little progress this week. I’ve been reading a lot instead of knitting, and while I’d been shooting for completion of Number 54 by the end of June, aka today, I’m okay with July 1st or so. As long as it’s done well before the end of the month. I’ve been enjoying my reading too much to feel too badly about not knitting much this week. There will be a Number 55, as I’ve committed one to a special project, but then I think the hat making will have a holiday. Or not. You can never tell with me.

Oh–one last last thing–my charity: water birthday campaign has exceeded my goal, thanks to a couple of generous donations from a couple of dear friends. To say that I was deeply touched and grateful is not enough, but it’s what I have to offer.

It’s going to be a great day here. I’m wishing you the same, wherever you are. Happy Sunday!

All I want

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It’s exactly one month until my birthday, and if you know me, you know I don’t make a big deal out of it. Low key and no fuss is good. And if you know me, you also know I don’t ask for a whole lot and I’m usually pretty uncomfortable when I do, but I’m not going to be shy about this at all. If you have a couple of bucks to spare and you’re so inclined, make my (birth)day and contribute to my campaign here:

If you’re shy about giving, you can choose to donate anonymously.

It’s all I want, and it would mean the world to me.


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It’s a beautiful, mild, sunny day so far. I love days like this, when it’s pleasantly warm without intense heat or humidity.

I woke early to a welcome sight–the shadows of the leaves on the trees outside my window dancing in the breeze. I may or may not have heard mooing in the distance. Yes, it’s Iowa and we’re lousy with cattle, but it’s uncommon to hear them in town, even on the outskirts as I am. Maybe I was dreaming–who knows?

Mooing or not, there was no getting back to sleep, even for another half an hour, so up I got and started my day. Most of it so far has been sucked up by what I’ve come to think of as the daily nonsense, when I’m online for an unreasonable length of time doing nothing in particular. This is such a bugaboo for me, and I often wish I didn’t have the easy access to the internet that I have. Sure, I’d miss some things that are a part of my daily life, but for the most part, I think there might be a sense of release from what feels like the enslavement of online life. I would likely not have renewed my contract for internet service had I known my contract with the online company I worked with would not be renewed. As it is now, I can either pony up a couple hundred dollars to end the contract or keep it up until it expires early next year. It’s a first world problem, I know, but it still eats at me some.

I didn’t get my walk in yesterday, but I sure got plenty of exercise. After doing up far too many dishes, I decided it was time to start tackling the back part of my living quarters, aka “the back room.” Clever name, isn’t it? I live in what’s essentially a basement apartment, with roughly the front half of the basement done up as living space. The back half is typical basement, and somehow, it’s been filled with a whole lot of junk. Not all of it’s mine–probably a third of it has my name on it–but there’s still way too much junk, things no one has touched in years, and yesterday was as good a day as any to start decrapping the joint. I spent a couple of hours or so sorting and cleaning and pitching, and while it looks like I barely made a dent in the overall quantity, I still managed to fill a large garbage bag full of stuff to be tossed, not to mention the larger odd bits that wouldn’t fit in the bag. I suppose with some effort, some of it might be recycled, and that’s a fine notion, but I have to tell you, there’s something really freeing about throwing crap away. It won’t end up as a burden on someone else, and in any case, in Ames, all of our trash is recycled and turned into power. Cool, huh?

Two or so hours of bending and reaching and hauling proved to be a fine workout and there’s more of it to come. Just probably not today.

Happy Friday!

A day in the life

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First, to the guy who started mowing at 6:00 this morning–a pox on you. I mean it.

I feel better now.

So yesterday was kind of a mixed bag, with several minor irritations that got under my skin and that I allowed to turn me cranky and unpleasant for a time. That’s the bad news. The good news is this–I didn’t think about soothing my irritations with sugar once. Not even for a second. I’m calling that progress!

I’m continuing to eat vegetarian and I’m liking the way I’m feeling with less meat in my diet. I think my Buddha belly has shrunk a bit since I’ve been doing this experiment, and while there hasn’t been a whole lot of variety in what I’ve been eating, what I’ve had has been good. I’m not really sure that PB & J is the best alternative to meat, however, but I was craving it a week or two ago and have been having it for lunch lately. Yep, there’s sugar a-plenty in jelly, but I’m having it early enough in the day that I’m working it out of my system when I exercise and I don’t think it’s making me crazy. Once the jelly is gone, I won’t be restocking it any time soon, but it’s been a nice indulgence while it’s lasted!

I’m hopeful of a walk today–yesterday it was weights and yoga–but it’s looking rainy out, so I’m open to alternatives, like maybe just turning on the radio and dancing (badly) for a while. Anything that gets the heart rate up and makes me sweat is good exercise.

That’s it for today–nothing profound or all that exciting. Just a day in the life. Make it a good day, all!

Feeling better

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So my walk yesterday wasn’t the greatest ever. A combination of an ill-chosen park and mid-afternoon heat and humidity made for a less than awesome walk, but I got it done, dammit, and that’s what matters. I had some wild hare about mixing up my location a bit and went to a perfectly nice enough park to walk, but the paths are all paved (hard on my joints) and for the better part of it, I was in full sun. Not so good. Eh–I lived, and I’ll know better next time, right?

Afterward, I drove out to a little-known spot I hadn’t been to in years, not to walk but to do some reconnoitering. I couldn’t quite remember if the trails there are open to the public, but they are. It’s a heavily wooded area, I’ve not walked the trails there, and I’d surely need the bug dope before setting out to explore, but it’s on the list of places to hit up. As much as I love the two parks I frequent the most, it’s still good to push out of my comfort zone from time to time, see something new, get a little lost, and maybe find a new place to love.

I won’t be going there today, however. It’s a steamy one out there, and it’s been a few days since I’ve hoisted the weights, so that and yoga are on the agenda for later. Both should ease some joint aches, and I just like doing them. Feels good.

I’m eating (mostly) vegetarian this week–I snuck a couple of sausage links yesterday–and I’m fairly convinced that’s making me feel better, too. I’d like to say I don’t eat a lot of meat, but if I’m honest, I eat some pretty much every day, and the more I read about healthful eating, the more I’m convinced that at least cutting back on meat consumption is a good idea. I don’t think I’ll ever go completely vegetarian–I like chicken and hamburgers too much–but less is sounding appealing. I’m also working toward more home cooking and less reliance on packaged foods, and eliminating all but very occasional fast food runs. Gotta have a burger once in a while!

In other news, Number 54 has been cast on and is coming along nicely. I chose some yarn that was given to me by a knitting pal, and I’m hopeful that some of her gentleness and kindness will be infused into this special hat. It’s been quite a journey this past year with this project, not without bumps along the way, but I’m not regretful about having done it, not by any means. 54 hats–54 heads warmed–54 hearts warmed. Or better, make that 55 hearts warmed. I can’t forget my own.

That’s my Wednesday–I’m wishing you all a great day!


Number 53

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The sun’s coming out! Yay! After another stormy, rainy day yesterday, it’s a welcome sight. If it doesn’t get too steamy this afternoon, I’ll be going out for a walk. I’m okay with waiting until this evening, too, if need be, but I’m getting out.

Number 53 is done–one more to go, and the Random Hats Project will be at an end, and well before my birthday, too. All the foot-dragging and moaning and griping about being so sick of hats will soon fade, and there’ll only be a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. And then I’ll probably miss my hats and start it all up again, without the deadlines. Hats are the best take-alongs, I’ve found, and I kind of had a notion this morning about the future of my knitting. It involves hats. Stay tuned. It may come to something or it may fizzle. The knitting won’t stop, whatever happens with the notion of the morning.

And since I’m thinking some about my birthday this morning, here’s a clue as to what I want more than anything else (except for one of Mr. F’s dreamcatchers, ‘natch):

My birthday celebration last year ended up in Cambodia. I wonder where it’ll go this year? It’ll be a thrill to find out!

Wishing you a thrilling Tuesday, all!


Mini blog break

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No worries–I’m just a little droopy from a short night, but have no fear–I’ll be back tomorrow with all sorts of riveting ramblings.

Make it a good day, all!

Happy Sunday

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Just a Sunday quickie to say all is well here and to let you know I’m thinking of you, some a tad more than others. Just sayin.

This charming drawing is making the rounds among my friends on Facebook this morning and it makes me both happy and pleased to see that several of the practices mentioned are part of my daily life. No brag, just fact. Happy fact.

I’m wishing you a happy, peaceful, quietly joyous Sunday.

Be happy

P.S. Man oh man, what a change in the weather! It was hot and sticky and pretty darn miserable last night. Trying to sleep was just that–trying. It’s almost chilly now. Not complaining!

Saturday natterday

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It’s been an extremely leisurely morning here. I slept late, did a little knitting, and monkeyed around online, all in my PJs, and without doing more than the most essential of morning chores. It’s nearly noon now and I still haven’t had my breakfast–I may as well have lunch instead.

Curiously, I’m seldom hungry in the mornings. I should be, as most nights I don’t eat after 8:00 p.m.–last night was an exception since it was a night out–but I’m just not. I know I should eat breakfast and I know all the reasons why I should, but I often don’t get around to it until late morning.

I’m going to shoot for a walk later if the weather holds. There was sunshine and thunder a bit ago, an odd marriage to be sure, but there it was. It’s not yet too hot, and if I stick to the shade, it shouldn’t be too bad even if it does warm up. It feels like a long time since I had a walk–it’ll be good to move, not to mention getting outside and getting some fresh air.

Fun times were had last night at both the yarn shop and game night. I haven’t seen some of my game night peeps in a couple of months or more and it was great to reconnect. While there, I was offered another house/cat sitting gig for next month while S and D are away for a few days and I very happily accepted. I’m pretty fond of their cats by now and we have our routines worked out.

That’s the news from here for now. Have a happy Saturday, all!

ETA: Had my walk and while it was hot and sticky in the sun, the shady bits were pretty nice. Still worked up a dandy sweat. Saw some polliwogs and a cardinal along the way. Fewer skeeters than last time, but I think bug dope helped, too. Felt good to get out.

Little of this, little of that

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I didn’t make it out for a walk yesterday, so am chalking the day up as a rest day. Two or three of those a week are okay, though I generally feel kind of like a slacker when I do take a day off. Today, it’s weights and yoga, then a busy afternoon and evening with a knitter’s night out at the yarn shop and game night. I’m looking forward to both!

I wasn’t a complete slug yesterday and got a few things done, such as sorting through books (two bags so far to go to Goodwill and a big pile to be donated to the library), culling junk out of a drawer or two, and general tidying up. I’ve kind of let things go in the past few months and I’m weary of clutter and mess, so it’s time to do something about it. Let the sorting and hauling begin!

Number 52 is off the needles and Number 53 is on. That’s all, so far, that’s been accomplished on Number 53, as I opted to wake up with a couple of cups of coffee and a long-term garter stitch project instead. It was a pretty swell way to start the day, and in any case, 53 will be there later today, and will go with me to the yarn shop tonight. I’m getting used to the idea that I’m really going to achieve the goal I set almost a year ago and complete this project, and I’m glad to see that I can really stick with something, even when it got to be such a slog at times. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. When it’s all over, mostly I think it’ll be a relief to be done with the Random Hats Project. Mostly.

That’s pretty much it from here. Happy Solstice!