Saturday, January 24, 2009

On my Fridge...

I've been down for the count, folks. Sick, sick, sick! And I had my flu shot this fall. Go figure. Only good thing was I didn't feel like eating much. One can always find the perks, right?

I've attached my inspirational collage. It's not very big...just large enough to hang on the side of my fridge and make me think twice before opening it up and foraging for something I don't need. I really have to undo the holiday damage in a big way. Hubby came home the other day from the market with lots of fruit and veggies and whole grain items. What a breath of fresh air after the holiday appetizer run that lasts in our family the whole 12 days of Christmas and then some. My body has been craving stuff that's good for me lately. I think it's finally staging a revolt and telling me ~ no more crap!

I saw the movie "Grand Torino" yesterday. Clint Eastwood (a very old Clint Eastwood) was in it and it was pretty good. I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it at first - seemed kind of like it was going to be a "guy-flick" but it turned out to be very enjoyable. The language is raw though. That's the only thing that bothered me. But no nudity or sex. Can you imagine? Hollywood turned out a movie without those two elements. And it's getting rave reviews. Hopefully they'll take note.
Have a happy weekend. Sty well. Eat well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cold in - Cold out....

Youngest daughter and hubby were back in town this weekend (from Massachusetts). He had a hockey game here in town so we spent another whirlwind weekend of activity. That probably explains why I'm sick today. Nasty cold and wicked cough. I'm just not getting the rest I need. The holidays have taken a toll on me. I know...the holidays seem so long ago....but my tree is still up! Don't worry. It's coming down today. It just went up so late that I needed to enjoy it a wee bit more.

So Saturday my daughters and I had a film fest and watched a bunch of old videos. I couldn't believe how thin I was! And not all that long ago. What happened?

It certainly motivated me to step things up a bit. I made my little inspirational collage and it's hanging on the fridge. (Just can't find the camera to take a pic of it - but I will!) Hopefully it will keep me focused as we begin this long stretch of winter here where pretty much nothing is happening. For years we always went to Myrtle Beach and camped just to get a does of sunshine and warmth in the winter, but after my first hubby passed away I sold the Motor Home and it hasn't happened since. I miss those trips. A lot.

At least the sun is shining today (in spite of the frigid reading on the thermometer.) Maybe I'll go sit in front of the big window in the living room and read a book while I nurse this cold. it's not the same as a sandy beach...but we do what we can, right?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Biggest Loser Made Me Cry!

Did you see The Biggest loser last night? I cried three separate times during the show! Everyone is so concerned for one another in that group. Not like last season when there was so much bitterness and nitpicking. Maybe it's because these people are so severely overweight. They understand one another and feel each other's pain. I hope it lasts through out the season. I still think it stinks (even though I can understand the reasoning somewhat) that nine people were sent home the first week. If I was one of them I'd feel pretty lousy - and cheated. I guess we'll have to see how things pan out and if the producers knew what they were doing.

I'll tell you though - when it came down to Jerry and Daniel at the end I was a mess! Jerry was so noble though....saying he was at peace with the decision. He knew what it would be. Daniel so needs to be there. I'll be rooting for him all season!

On the home front here - it's zero degrees as I type this. Brrr! My youngest daughter is driving in tomorrow alone from Massachusetts and I've warned her to dress warm and stow a blanket in the car. Just in case. Her hubby's team is paying hockey in our town this weekend (he'll be coming here on the team bus) and we'll all be going to the game.

I've been doing good with my eating....staying on track all day. It's in the evenings that my resolve seems to crumble. Exercise isn't happening - and there's no excuse for that. I sure wish I could afford a personal trainer that would kick me in the butt each day and motivate me. It's that old procrastination thing that gets me every time.

Though I have done better with that in some areas. Just not the exercise one.

Well...I'm going to go get a fire going in the old woodstove. It's pretty cold in here right now and the blanket around my legs and coffee cup to warm my hands isn't cutting it anymore.

Happy hump day to all!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Staying Warm...Keeping motivated.....

Wow - back to work after a two week hiatus and already I'm feeling behind again. My house was so neat and moved at a somewhat slower pace - except those few days of non-stop Christmas (which I thoroughly enjoyed!) Then I go back to my care taking job which takes me away for 2 nights and bingo! The messy fairy comes back to roost (I think "her" name is hubby) and I'm not feeling so much like June Cleaver anymore.

It's been really cold here! Last night it was 2 degrees when we went to bed. Hubby kept snuggling up to me saying "Come on...have a hot flash!" Where are they when you need them? I'm not going to complain though - I heard that Alaska has had a two week run with minus 60 degrees! Can you imagine???? Sixty degrees below zero??? How do their cars even run when it's that cold? BRRRRRRRRRR!

Anyway - last night we went to my sister's for a going away party for her son-in-law. He leaves today for Officer Training School. He's joining the Navy as a Flight Navigator. His folks are from Nova Scotia and are pacifists. Totally against anything Military. Which has made it hard for him to do this without their blessing. But we gave him lots of hugs and encouragement last night and told him how proud we were. Not that it isn't scary - sending a loved one off to join the Military when we're at war.... But we're proud of him and plan to keep him surrounded with lots of prayers.

On the diet front.....I'm needing fiercely here to take back some control! Last night my sister-in-law commented that I looked like I lost weight. I shared with her the merits of dressing in all black....that actually I'd gained a few pounds over the holidays. Then we both lamented for 45 minutes over the pretzel bowl about how badly we want to make a change this year. As we shoveled pretzels into our mouths of course.

Watching the premier of Biggest Loser last week gave me a little mojo. I'm anxious to see how the people they sent home - do on their own. In last week's the very first weigh in - they sent almost half of the people home with the challenge that if their partners do well - they can return. At first I was ticked. How could they send them home the very first week! But then the rationale set it and it made sense. The producers want to show people that this CAN be done at home - on your own. If course I already know that....reading so many success stories of some of you fellow bloggers. Still - it will be interesting to watch.

One of the little motivators I'm working on right now (that I did many years ago and it help me shed a lot of unwanted pounds) is creating a visual reminder of my goals. (being an art teacher...I work and learn best visually.) So I'm cutting out pictures that inspire me and putting them all together in a collage. Have you ever leafed through a magazine and come across a picture of a model in a really cute outfit and something goes off in your mind that says "I want to wear that! And have it fit me like that!" And then you vow to lose some weight! But then the picture fades from your memory and you soon become complacent and forget all about it. Well - I'm putting together some really motivating pictures (realistic here - no starving waifs) and plan on keeping the collage in prominent place so I can always be reminded of my goals. I'll throw in some healthy food choice pictures and maybe even a few of me that I'd rather burn (just for incentive).

I'll post a pic of it when it's completed. I think having a visual motivator might be what I need to keep me focused.

Stay warm except you Sharron (I know it's already hot in Australia!) You stay cool!


Monday, January 5, 2009

Reflecting on the Season Past....

It's Monday...the first "real" work day after the two-week holiday hiatus and I'm feeling bummed. I know I have to take the tree and the decorations down this week *sigh* and I always hate doing that. Admittedly, it will be much easier this year since I simplified in anticipation of the move. I only lugged half the stuff out (but that's still a lot in Lora's world.) But it's not the elbow grease involved that has me bothered. I just hate un-decorating. The house always seems so magical during the holidays. The lights, the candles, the bright red and greens....and of course - the tree!

I just love turning the lights down in the evening and basking in the glow of the tree and the wood stove. I play Christmas music straight through till New Year's Eve (when hubby puts his foot down and say no more!) I light all the candles and just sit there. Alone with my thoughts and memories.

This was absolutely our last Christmas in this house. As excited as I am to be in the new place - there are so many memories of Christmas past that I want to hold onto and savor and embed in my mind so that I never forget. Time has a way of fading certain memories. I don't like that.

When we moved into this house the girls were all still in grade school. They were 8, 10 and 12. First hubby was still alive and we were in our 30's. I had to hide presents. Now I just display them under the tree as they are wrapped. On Christmas morning they came bounding down the stairs instead of through the front door. The video camera is no longer perched on a tri-pod capturing every nuance.

Things change. Time marches on. Christmas was still magical here. Just different. And different doesn't always deserve the bad rap it gets. But I still hate taking the decorations down. I hate saying goodbye to the season that brings so much joy and laughter. I hate turning the page to another long dreary winter. I tend to spend January through April counting the days till spring. That seems pretty dumb. Life still happens in those months, right?

I'm going to try to purposefully enjoy winter this year. I think of the client I have (the one I take care of every Wed-Fri) that has cancer. This was her last Christmas. This is her last winter. None of us can read the future - but to those given a glimpse (such as my client) life seems all the more fragile and worth enjoying, right?

I want to squeeze the life out of every day! Enjoy it all! Even the snow!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Magical Winter Night....

Last night I had one of those "in the moment" kind of experiences. The kind where all of a sudden you get lost in your surroundings and become an observer of your life and the things around you. Almost as if you're viewing things from someone else's eyes.

It was evening and hubby decided to let our 4 year grandson take a few spins around the back yard on the mini snowmobile we'd purchased for him earlier this summer when the sun was hot and snowmobiles were cheap! After bundling the little guy up so that he'd survive a week in the tundra (instead on just an hour or two outside) I decided on a whim to join them.

Anyone who knows me - knows that I hate the snow and cold. With a passion. But I decided that I just might enjoy watching the delight on his little face more than the warmth of the wood stove inside so I bundled myself up too.

It was magical out there. No breeze, just the stillness of the night air. The moon fell across the mantle of snow in a way that made it look like tiny diamonds had been scattered across the surface. I was mesmerized. I'd seen this before...but not in such a very long time.

I started looking around and that's when it happened. Suddenly the 20 foot arborvitaes that border the side yard became a picture from a Christmas card. The fluffy white snow clung in bunches to the limbs and reminded me of the trees in the little Christmas Village we set up each year.

Looking toward the house I could see the brightly lit kitchen window and the candles flickering within. (I light many candles throughout the Christmas season and well into the new year.) I spied a corner of the fridge with the little construction paper Christmas tree hanging lopsided on it that little grandson made for us and it seemed surreal. I could smell the aroma burnt pine spiraling up from the chimney. Was this my house? My life?

If I was someone else looking in - I think I'd want this life. I think I'd be envious! It was one of those moments where all of a sudden you see what you really have and appreciate it.

I want to have many more of those moments in the year to come! I think I can. All I have to do is focus on what I already grateful...stop taking things for granted. Too often our eyes become blind to the beauty of our own lives. We see the same things day in and day out and then we end up not seeing them at all.

This new year I want to try to pause and see my life. Experience it. Revel in it!

I wish that for all of you too!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009!

Well, it's here. 2009. We ushered it in last night, very low key. Oldest daughter was at a party. Youngest is back in Massachusetts. Middle daughter went to a movie with her hubby and managed to make it here at 11:57. We poured 4 quick glasses of champagne in the tall fancy glasses that used to be my mom's and gathered round the TV to watch the ball drop. I can't stand champagne. I never make it through the glass.

A few minutes after midnight, sis and her crew filed in. We toasted again and after fielding phone calls from my other 2 siblings and the daughter in Massachusetts, we gathered in the living room for cheesecake and talk. It was nice. Quiet - but nice.

At my brother's house there were hats and streamers and blowing horns. A lot different than here. Part of me wished I was there. The other part is thankful this morning because I actually woke up feeling alert and refreshed. I'm sure they were up till the sun came up!

I'm scanning the horizons of this new year for possibilities. I think this will be a big year of change for me. I'm hoping that in spite of the tough economy, I land a solid job. I'm hoping it's teaching....but trusting God that whatever He provides will be what's best for me.

We will move into the new house this year. (How long have I been saying that?) But things are finally getting done over there and come spring - I will no longer live here - my home for the past 15 years.

I will turn 52 mid year. Holy cow!

I could sit here all morning, sipping my hazelnut coffee and muse about the possibilities. But I said I wasn't going to procrastinate this year! While hubbie's at work (yes, the man works incessantly....he's self-employed and this is snow season and people want their snow blowers - New Year's Day or not) I'm going to start working on my graduate thesis.

I don't mind the research part so much, or the writing part. But I can't think of a topic and that has me going in circles! I have to come up with some sort of a hypothesis regarding education and the arts, do some research and prove my point. Any suggestions out there?

Seriously - I'm stumped! I'll take any and all suggestions. Please?

Happy New Year blog buddies! May 2009 bring you all the best life has to offer!