Thursday, June 30, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Days 52 - 53 - 54

I cannot remember what I have been eating for the past three days.

I know that there were, for breakfasts:
some hard-boiled eggs
some instant oatmeal
a tiny poppy seed muffin
lots of coffee
2 bananas
orange juice
more boiled eggs

What the heck did I have for lunches?

a six-inch roast beef flatbread thing from Subway at a tollway rest stop, and a couple of apples and another hard-boiled egg for lunch yesterday.

Then, today, it was Perkins, the senior turkey dinner, with fresh broccoli, mashed potatoes and a roll, but the food was cold and I did not eat the dressing or the roll, but did manage to choke down most of the rest.

Dinners were better.  Two fabulous Amish meals, one hosted at a working farm and the other at a nice, family style restaurant last night.

There were plenty of temptations along the way, but I totally resisted most of them, and only partially caved on two others.  One was an amazing donut with the best pastry cream ever, and a piece of pie last night, from which I took two nice bites and a third of just the whipped topping.  It was a thin layer of the best cheesecake I have ever tasted, a layer of freshly made raspberry jam, pastry cream, the whipped topping and a drizzle of more jam.  It was delicious and the pride of eating just a couple of tastes was the most delicious part.  As we were leaving, they gave each of us a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie that was more shortbread than cookie and I left that behind.

Still, even with all of the will power, I know that my calorie intake (even though I am not counting them) must have been in the stratosphere.  Oh, well.

So, anyway, I was in Amish country for the better part of the past three days.  It was nice to be away, but I worried the entire time about the actually daring to go on this little trip.  And, I am going to share, Dear Diary, that that particular problem resolved itself.  I am not saying that it will not rear it's huge head again at some future time, but, for now, it is a sleeping monster.  And, all I have to say about any of it is that sometimes, doing the right things for the right reasons and being assured that you will still have to pay some insane and unnamed price for some equally insane and unnamed violation will come to naught.  That means that nothing horrible happened when I returned home late this afternoon.  Nothing.

Unfortunately, it is not because I am a decent person, you know, that right-thing/right-reason person.  Nope, it is because someone who is not me tried to betray me and in the process totally and completely messed up on the betrayal thing and ended up messing up his own plans.  Unfortunately, that still turned out to be my fault, and whilst I am not certain exactly how that is supposed to have happened, I am fine with it.

Besides, when I found out about how messed up the other stuff got, like really and truly messed up, like huge issue messed up and financially seriously messed up, it was impossible to take any relief, much less any pleasure in what happened whist I was away.  And, even though I am very relieved about much of it, I have already tried to help remedy it.  There is no doubt in my mind that being supportive and helpful will still come back to bite me, it is what I am going to do.

And, I am going to schedule and pay for more of these little trips.  It was fun going someplace very different and meeting lots of cool people, well, except for the woman who kept trying to push me out of the way all the time.  I had such a wonderful time, that when everyone else went on a whole bunch of shuttle trips and did all kinds of fun shopping and stuff, I stayed at the hotel, had a couple of apples for lunch, read a huge portion of one of the books I took along and fell asleep whilst reading.  Right there on my bed.  Freaking glorious.

When the tour director person (or whatever her job title is) walked around on the coach asking each person what their favorite part of the trip was, my answer was the nap.  No one to bother me, interrupt me or do anything to me.  It was an absolutely heavenly experience and I hope to have at least two more this year...trips and naps!

It will be interesting to see what happens around here over the next few days.  Tomorrow will find me booking two more trips, both longer than this one (3 days), and the consequence chips may fall where they like.  Not worrying my pretty, little head about any of it.

Now I just have to figure out what there is around here for dinner tonight.  Maybe some soup or something.

GP?  Neigh...errrr...yep!

A couple of final thoughts.  One is that, in the interest and service of honestly, I have to admit that I have caught myself smiling a couple of times whilst typing this.  Yeah, I am glad to have avoided the whole promised/threatened consequence thing, but I am a little amused that things turned out the way they have.  I sincerely do not wish anything bad on anyone, not even someone who is not me (SWINM). Really.  That said, I am smiling about some aspects of the stuff that got messed up.  

I know that makes me a bad person, but I seem unable to stop those muscles from making that face, the smiling one.

The other thought is that maybe something changed.  Maybe it is me.  Maybe not, but something did.  It will be interesting to see how this manifests, and if it will help me stay on course here and actually be healthier at the end of this project.  

I feel hopeful. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 51

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  Japanese restaurant  Yum
Dinner:  Frozen lasagna

It seems like the only breakfasts that I am eating these days are the drive-through ones on the days I have to be out and about early.  Not so good.  Have to do better.

Anyways, I was out returning library books, getting my meds and a couple of gifts, and I was sort of on my way home when I stopped at my favorite clothing store and I bought stuff.  Lots of stuff.  Three over shirts (one is a wonderful pale rose linen, yummy), two tops, 2 pair of socks (compression for my diabetic legs), 2 bras and some undies.  Whew.  Everything was on sale, like a big, huge sale and I spent a pittance on all of it.  I knew that it had been a while since I did any clothing buying, but they found me in their computer system and it has been more than six years. 

So, now I have nice summery clothing.  It is kind of nice.  I am trying to not feel guilty about spending the money, but with all of the traveling I am doing in the next few months and the presents and stuff for the babies, I mean, really, what difference is a bit more going to make.  This is the money left after paying the few expenses I have, so off and away with the guilt, I say!

I had an interesting conversation with the store clerk.  She mentioned that I seemed to be choosing sizes that are too large for me and gave me some items in smaller sizes, just to try.  She told me that my clothing is just kind of hanging on me, and I guess that she is right.  So, it seems that I have lost some weight and the stuff I bought is 2 to 3 sizes smaller than what I have been wearing.  So, bowing to her expertise, I bought the smaller sizes, but it feels weird and I know that I am going to miss having all that loose fabric behind which I can hide.  Sort of.  Anyway, it feels odd, mostly because I have been eating out so much and I know that I have gained back some of the flab that I lost over the past several months.  Weird.

So, short and shorter. I am now in the second half of this project and not even close to meeting my expectations.  Man.  There is some unpleasantness in my future, some bad stuff coming down.  I do not know if I am prepared, but whether or not I am, it is still coming.  I am going to find out if taking a stand and standing up for myself is going to work.  I can only do what I can do, and it has to be enough, yes?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 50

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  Nothing
Dinner:  Nothing, yet

So, anyway, Dear Diary, I have been feeling so good about just everything.  A life is not static.  Stuff happens.  Uncertainty is the one thing of which you can be certain, especially if you are going to do more than stay home in your little cave and not be involved in anything.  Oh, lordy, does stuff happen.  You know, I would not have it any other way.  Really.

A lot of days without serious problems, except for the usual ones around here.  I went to the fruit festival yesterday and it was great and then today happened.  It is not worth writing about here, but it was pretty terrible and it was made clear that it was, not exactly punishment for having a life, but sort of like the consequences of doing things that someone does not want me to do.  I kind of crumbled into pieces earlier, but am better now. 

I was trying so hard to make this work here and praying about it and asking for some way to resolves some of the stuff.  Well, you often get exactly what you ask for and that manifested early this morning.  It is just that I was unprepared for how it happened, as in caught completely off-guard.  You know, just when you think that being a good person, doing all of the right things for the right reasons, that all of that love and support will come back to you in some measure, it does not.  Well, that is the way it goes.  I should not ever be surprised, but I am.  Over and over. 

Once I recovered from the shock, I was fine.  I will be better, but, gosh, I do not think that I will ever get used to this and that I will always be stunned when it happens again.  The deliberate cruelty is, what, a new heartbreak every single time.  I have had hours to think about this and, whilst I am sort of, kind of all right with being a person who can still have the whole breaking of the heart thing, it would be fine with me if it never happened again.

I will be gone for three days this week, which will only make things worse, big-picture-wise, but it is too late to do anything about that.  I am going to think of it as the calm before the storm and enjoy as much of it as I can.  I need the time away to make some plans, figure out what to do, stay sane.  You know, like that.

It is interesting, though, that I am sort of, kind of back to feeling good.  The bad stuff is really only beginning, but I was, am, able to bounce back even though this sadness will be with me for a while I am guessing.  At some point, I am just going to have to accept that maybe what the heart wants is not what is best.  I am resisting that.  I have to, if only to know for certain that I did everything possible to make this work.  It is all so sad. 

But, I am strong, and strong in a way that I have not been for a long time.  Maybe I never had this kind of strength before.  It feels new, so perhaps that is true.  Anyway, nothing here is going to destroy me, not the stuff that happens, not the made-up stories, not the misunderstanding from others, none of it.  I have this crazy feeling that I do not have any responsibility to defend myself against any of the stories and the consequences of stories being told.  I know, Diary, that I am being obtuse, but I am doing that a lot lately.  Even writing this to myself in this manner seems like a defense, but I am hoping that it is not.  If I cannot be seen for who I am, then, well, so be it.  Hell, I do that for other people, they can do it for me, dammit! smiley: grin

Anyway, I am still not hungry, but might have some ice cream and go to bed early.  I have some serious divesting to do tomorrow.

And, bloody hell, I still feel good.  Man.

As for GP, the hearts are feeling as though they are part of the sadness, so I am off to make something more cheerful.  Be right back.
Alrighty, here goes.

Be careful what you ask for

And, be really careful how you phrase your request.

This is especially true when you are making that request to the Universe, God or whomever or whatever your higher power might be.

Whatever your prayer, there will always be an answer, even it the answer is "no."

I found out today that receiving a "no" in response is sometimes much better than the actual answer you receive.  I managed to be presented with a solution and heartbreak in one, fell swoop.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 49

Breakfast:  2 breakfast sandwiches
Lunch:  Some kind of ravioli with goat cheese, herbs and a pale pink sauce, 2 slices of a baguette
Dinner:  Caramel apple with nuts, some Pringles
Snacks:  Fruit ice cream, chocolate dipped, several samples of salsa, fruit donut, fruit daiquiri

Today was all non-home food.  I think that the caramel apple has done me in, because I can barely stay awake.  So, this will be short and sweet...fruit festival pun!

Early day, lots of fun and plenty of butter and fruity olive oil on my bread.  The village had several shops dedicated to European countries.  One was Irish and I bought truly cool  family heraldic things for someone who is not me, some cool toys and name pictures for the babies and a necklace for me, which I promptly deconstructed to free the two elements that I wanted from it.  Shortly after that, we saw a sign for daiquiris of the festival fruit, which we had.  It was a cool place and we decided to return for lunch, which was amazing, even though the waitperson brought me the wrong thing. 

After that we wandered around, visiting shops, sampling an stunning array of salsas (one of which had a delayed effect and left me sweating, a habanero mixture that really was not all that hot to begin), buying small gifts and listening to music.  At one area there were musicians that are likely to have little work other than festivals and another area featuring a group that would have kept us sitting and listening for hours, which we did not have.

I really, really wanted an ear of freshly roasted corn, but lunch filled us and ice cream bars freshly dipped in dark chocolate finished us off.  So, no corn for me, or anything else for that matter.

When I arrived home, I found that one of my friends had bought a caramel apple and slipped it into my bag.  You know, strictly in the spirit of being a good friend, it only made sense to have it for dinner.  Now I need a serious nap, and I am guessing that it will be only a few more minutes before I fall asleep.  I wonder what my blood sugar level is.  Lordy.

It was a nice day.  I am glad that I went and I think it might be worth a return next year.  And, it involved walking nearly all of the time, like six hours of trekking around.  No wonder I am tired.

Another GP heart. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 48

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  2 hot dogs, relish, jalapenos, yellow mustard
Dinner:  Baked cod, baked potato (sour cream, butter, tons of pepper), cole slaw

Planning ahead for dinner, there would be no serious food during the day.  So, I had funny food, a pair of hot dogs from the gas station, one of my favorite guilty pleasures of all time.  In decades of having them, I have only gotten sick one time and that was earlier this year.  I have to admit that it put me on alert, but it never made me think of never having them again.  It is only every few months that I do so. 

My son-in-law's sister loves them, as well, and it was one of the ways that we bonded, because she did not really like me all that much.  She did not have much of a chance, though, because I am relentless and will wear you down until you simply cannot resist me.  It would be nice if some people just liked me for who I am, but if I have to persist, then that is what I am willing to do.  In my sixty-four years, there are only a handful of people who have not succumbed to my will, one of which you can guess, Dear Diary.  Yep.  No amount of anything has helped there.

So, anyway, dinner was to celebrate the birthday of a friend who I met on pilgrimage to England and Wales a long time ago.  She moved to the D.C. area to be closer to family a few years ago and when she comes back it is always worthy of celebration, but this time it coincided with her birthday so that is what we did.

The restaurant is kind of a bar/tavern that grew.  Years ago it was a nice place to go for lunch and have a nice burger or reuben sandwich and excellent fries.  Well, tonight, it looked the same from the front, but once inside, it was like stepping into an alternate universe.  I mean, the place was huge.  And, it was packed.  And, it was expensive.  Holey-moley.  It ended well, but tomorrow's trip to the fruit festival will find me with less cash.  Probably just as well, since the food there is supposed to be amazing.  Like, truly.

All in all, not a bad day, food wise.

However, I did learn a few things.

I learned that I could have an outstanding week, bi-polar issues aside, and I think that it was because I stood up for myself.  Twice.  Once last week when the most recent attack took place, and again this morning when an attempt to do it again happened.  I will never win even a moment's peace here, but, crap, I stood up for myself and the world did not end.  I know that retaliation is coming.  Not only because it always does, but because I overheard part of a telephone conversation.  At least I know part of what is coming.  Forewarned is forearmed, and all that jazz.  Anyway, I have to practice this standing up and make it a part of more of what happens around here.  After this thing this morning, I just sat there, here actually at my desk, and threw myself on the mercy of the Universe.  Oh, please, allow something or some way to manifest so that I can move on.

Which brings me to the second thing I learned today, and it is that it is fine to hold on to my dreams.  Wishes, hopes, dreams, they are all worth having, even when they are impossible, even when you probably do not deserve to have them come to pass.  Yeah, even then.  Sometimes they are all that keep me going, that yearning for a better life where there would not be all of this mess and stress.  The truth is that I could pack my crap and leave any time I wanted.  O.K. that is true, but it is not the whole truth.  Diary, you know what binds me here and when that is resolved, well, we will see what happens.

I learned that if your friend, the nun, tells you a story about one of the people she serves in her community and makes a stupid comment about how not bright one of the men is because he is a member of a minority, that I can ask her what that means and just let her talk until she realizes that her assessment of him is more related to inadequate educational opportunities than lack of intelligence.  However, there was nothing I could do to dissuade her from the whole race thing.  I mean, if you cannot count on a nun to be fair and balanced, then who can you count on? 

I learned that even when a friend is generally despicable, I can still find a way to be a friend.  It was not easy, but I did it. I think that feeling so good helped, but this has been a concern for me for a long time and it was nice to take the high road and try to get over some of the other stuff.

I learned that even when I feel like stabbing myself with a fork, that I can get through a dinner with her and still be friendly and conversational, even when the other her bails and moves to the end of the table to avoid her, the first one.  Hours later, still making me smile.  However, she...the first not going to be a part of any of my future travel plans.  I go away to get away, not to take any of the stuff with me.

The birthday girl invited me to visit her and when two other of our friends overheard (not the her), they invited themselves along and the birthday girl was delighted.  I said that I would meet them all out there, D.C., since they prefer to fly and they decided that they would love to take the train, as well.  Sigh.  I am not all that worried, since I have months to make other arrangements to go alone and not hurt the feelings of anyone, all women that I love.  It will work out.  Yep.  Oh, and the learning here is that I now realize that I am not willing to spend my away time with anyone.  I mean, how selfish is that.  Really selfish.  I have some serious work to do here.

Alrighty, another heart.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 47

Breakfast:  Eggs
Lunch:  Japanese, very late, mid-afternoon
Dinner:  Diet Rite, cheese popcorn, orange sherbet

It seems that I have given up, yes?  I feel like I am still invested in this process, but the facts, and my ginormous butt, bear false witness to that.  Still, I begin every day with a joyful spirit and enthusiasm to eat well, get some extra walking in there someplace and prove to myself that I am capable of making and keeping a commitment.  Ending each day is much the same, enthusiasm-wise, but with the bitter knowledge of how I end up laughing in the face of my determination.  Hah!  Take that, Resolve!  Ho, there, Steadfastness, where do you think you are going?  Whoa, Tenacity, stop dilly-dallying and get everyone back on track.  Why do you think we made you the leader, just so that you could sit there, stick there and wave a pom-pon once in a while?

There are too many players in this whole wonder I cannot get it all together. 

I should be really upset about my lack of doggedness, but I am not.  I have had one kick-ass week and I am still feeling great.  I think that there is a new bone-on-bone place  rubbing away in my right hip, the nerve pain has amped up a bit on my face, and someone who is not me found a new way to manifest his inner, mean, (expletive-laced) bastard, but none of this seems to make any difference.  Not even the crazier than usual local folk who come to chat with me at work, and most especially the guy who came in to interview me as a potential employee of his to help him with his attempts to avoid being shut-down by the government because they do not want him to get the patents and produce the things he has invented that will save the world. It was a very interesting hour with him, I have not committed to being hired by him, declined his invitation to exchange telephone numbers and addresses and will not be going to his house to help de-bug it from the eavesdropping equipment the secret operatives have installed there, even though they taunt him by calling him on the telephone and telling him to put down his book and leave the house.

Truth be told, I think that the crazier than usual folk are my favorite kind of people.  They have found me at work and at the gallery.  It is never an inconvenience to have them stop by and chat away like they are making any kind of sense to be, because the whole world is not making any sense and it is my guess that those guys have a head start on the rest of us.  You know that saying about how just because you are paranoid, it does not mean that they are not out to get you.  Yep.

I am not a fan of Karen Kingsbury, but I accidentally watched a film made from one of her books this evening, and I like it.  A lot.  Like, really a lot.  I wonder if I am bi-polar and in the manic phase.  Really, that would explain so much. 

Whatever the cause of my decent moods, bless it.  And, even though it was not the best kind of choice to make for dinner, I am please by having eaten only orange food.  The only thing that would have made it complete would have been an orange soda, but the diet ones taste kind of icky and the regular kind tastes kind of not so great for my blood sugar.

Whatever is going on here, it is chasing the complaining right out of me, which is always a good thing.  And, I have a new Richard Laymon book to shiver my timbers tonight.  I hope that there is lots of gore in my immediate future.  So, on to the GP.

More hearts, I think.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 46

Brealfast: 3 eggs
Lunch:  1/2 roast beef sandwich, 3 strawberries
Dinner:  Japanese place

I am feeling pretty darn good.  I wish that I was not such an emotionally responsive person.  It would make my life much easier.  I would not over-eat when I am sad.  I would not over-eat in celebration when something great happens.  I would not cry all the freaking time.  I would not be so moody, cranky, bitchy or all over the place all the time.  I would not be so sensitive that the slightest disapproval from anyone would not send me shame-spiralling all over the place.  I would not worry about a tiny percentage of the stuff that has me stressing all over the place.

But, then again, I would also not be feeling so nice today.

I had the opportunity to be the person I believe myself to be, you know, that person who does the right things for the right reasons and is able to put others above her own, petty concerns and really do some thing meaningful.  I cannot give any details, but I was able to do that today.  I helped two people who have extraordinary life, cognitive and emotional challenges.  It was sensitive and difficult work, but I did exactly what I believe that 'good' person inside of me is capable of doing.

There is hardly a better feeling.  Tomorrow might be back to the same old crap, but, at least for today, I shone like a freaking star, hell, an entire constellation...nah, like a galaxy.  Yay me!

I do not even care that my hips hurts like a bitch or that my computer seems on the edge of a major breakdown and keeps disconnecting itself every ten seconds.

More GP hearts on the way, but for today it is all about the eyes.  Looking inwards or out upon the world, the eyes truly have it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 45

Breakfast:  Eggs
Breakfast:  Bagel, cream cheese, 1 bite of a chocolate donut hole, which I immediately spit out, too icky for even me
Lunch:  Small turkey sub sandwich, chocolate chip cookie
Dinner: Japanese place

I fell and failed at the volunteer thing when I saw that they had bagels and cream cheese from Panera.  That the donut hole was fairly heinous is of small consolation.

I flew home afterwards to do more laundry and then took my friend to her doctor appointment.  She had plans, unshared by the way, of a big, long, late lunch and then shopping.  My compromise (another way of saying that I kind of refused to do the other stuff, but in a nice way) was to drop off her new eyeglass prescription and pick up some fast food for her to take home.  She was hugely disappointed and, I think, a little angry with me.  I felt badly about that, the whole disappointing her part, still do feel some guilt in not just going along with what she wanted, but I have to do this tough love stuff with her.  As it was, just the appointment, dropping the prescription and doing the drive-through at Culvers took more than three hours, mostly because she dawdled and had to talk to every stranger we encountered.  I promised to take her to lunch when we pick up her eyeglasses next week, but did not mention shopping and am hoping to avoid any more of those 8 to 12 hour days.  I simply cannot do those long days anymore, and if that makes me a shitty friend, then, so be it.

I really did not have much time, but it was going to take less time to eat out than to shop and cook something, so I took the easy way and went to the Japanese place.  A quick in, order, eat and I was on my way in barely more than a half hour.  Nice.

I managed to finish the laundry only 25 minutes past deadline and shower and all the rest before anyone else went to bed, but I was unable to find my lost library book.  It is backstock, so I was able to renew it five times before someone else wanted to borrow it, as I kept hoping that I would stumble across it and not have to pay for the darn thing.  I have never lost a library book before, so I guess it was time to add that to my life experiences.  Having to pay the replacement and processing costs is a good lesson in responsibility, but one that I would have preferred not to need.  If I ever find the darn thing, I will donate it back to the library.

So, I ate too much today...huge, freaking surprise...and was not a good friend and did not finish the laundry on time.  Triple fail.  However, the morning's volunteer thing was amazing and one of the organizers told me that since I seem to be doing so much for them, they might as well hire me.  I laughed, but I think that he might have been just a little serious about it.  I am not sure that I am interested in working for the government, but it might be worth considering, especially since I would like to move, sometime before I die.

Gosh, it is late and I have an early and long day tomorrow.  One of my favorite clients has an appointment tomorrow, and whilst she might be trying to scam me, she is so charming that I do not mind. 

'nother heart.  It is broken because I am saying more goodbyes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 44

Breakfast:  Lean Cuisine dinner, pecan chicken something, I think
Lunch:  3 natural hot dogs, mustard, canned beets
Dinner:  Cashews, 2 crackers with peanut butter on them

I spent today using as few calories as possible.  Both of my legs hurt from all of the walking this weekend.  Swollen and sore, joints and muscles.  So, it seemed to be a good idea to not eat very much.  I am not counting calories, but I have done so for most of my adult life, and I estimate that there were somewhere around 900 of them in today's foods.  That seems close enough.  I could check, but then I would have to use some of those calories to haul myself out of this chair and go look.  Rats.  I just checked and it was 1150 calories.  Too many to even think about having lost any tonnage.  Even though that, the weight, is not supposed to be my focus, it is disheartening to find that today was most likely, at best (a hopeful best), a draw in the in and out department.  F.  (I am trying to not curse.)

Tomorrow is not going to help any.  It is a day of volunteering for the big city near me.  It is part of their summer employment training program for young people.  We did all of the interviewing weeks ago and their training began today with a week's worth of orientation.  I have not any idea what they did today, but tomorrow is like a job fair, if you know what is.  Each of the tables/stations will not be hosted by potential employers, but with information and help related to finances, how to choose a job category (like that is even possible these days, but bless their hearts for building the concept into the program), and all of the expenses that are part of living.  Housing, health care/insurance, vehicles, clothing, household expenses, families, pets, the whole works.  They will have to set up an actual savings and checking accounts with representatives of a local credit union (like a bank), do the paperwork for a 401k account and a lot more.  It should be interesting, especially since they did not notify the volunteers that they were chosen to participate (that would be me and other hapless souls), and aside from arriving a half hour before the participants, there does not seem to be any training that I can tell. 

They are going to give us a light breakfast, whatever the hell that means.  My guess is that it will be coffee and donuts.  My guess is that I will try to get up extra early and make some eggs, or that I will dilly-dally and have to drive-through for some more of those yummy breakfast sandwiches and a big, steaming cup of fairly decent coffee.  Honestly, tomorrow is laundry day, so it is more important to get a load running before I leave home.  There is a lunch offering, but I am guessing that it is more of the same sub sandwiches, chips, cookies, canned soft drinks and other snack things.  So, I will probably be skipping that as well and getting one of those great salads from Wendy's.  I hate to miss that part, though, because sitting around with the other volunteers is a great resource opportunity for me.  Those people are all professionals and I have much to learn from them that could help me with my clients. 

It really is a surreal experience.  There they all are, HR people, executives, radio personalities, and then there is me.  The same thing used to happen to me when I was part of the RIF (Reading is Fundamental) program in the elementary schools in another big city near me.  Doctors, lawyers, police officers, bank officials, veterinarians, businessmen of all kinds.  Then, me.  I am hoping it means that they keep asking me to do these things because they believe that I have something to offer, but it is very humbling to be in the company of such important people.

I should have enough time to come home, toss in more laundry, maybe heat up another of those frozen diet meals and get going to pick up one of my women, who has a doctor's appointment in the afternoon.  Then home again, to shower, wash hair and do one last load of linens, since I am nearly out of clean towels.

On a more personal note, something sad happened today.  The woman who owns the gallery has been expecting some important mail and was not certain if it would come to her place here or the one in another state, which is where she is now.  Something did come last week, and I called her to let her know that it was there and had to leave a message on her voice mail. 

I hate voice mail.  You never know if someone is going to check or if it actually will be there when they do check or some damn thing.  I do not have it, so I always figure that no news is good news, which in my life is pretty much the case.  But, she does have it and she was concerned and I called and left a message.  She did not call back, even though I left my phone on until after midnight.  She knew that I was out of town, but did not call in to ask for more information, which, frankly, I would not have had because I did not open the mail.

This afternoon I heard my phone beeping and when I checked, there were two messages.  Apparently, my friend was not able to reach anyone who could check on the darn mail (there are four of us) and was frantic worrying about what it was.  So, being the good boyfriend that he is, her boyfriend (I digress, but I love that us older babes can still have boyfriends and actually call them that.) called my cell phone and left a stunning message about how upset she was and then made a couple of mild threats.  Yeah, stunning.  I was guessing that the second message was also from him, adding the few things he might have missed saying in the first message, but it was from my friend, who assured me that I had done the right thing and not to worry.  This was later followed by another call from her, where she raged about all kinds of things and the bottom line is that I was the recipient of a whole bunch of frustration about a whole bunch of things. 

I think I have to be finished there, at the gallery.  I am not looking forward to seeing her boyfriend again, although I will miss seeing her.  I have Thursday off and think that I might take the morning to gather my work and leave my keys there.  She is in another state and I am the only person who keeps the gallery open during the week, so I will not risk running into anyone.  This is all too complicated and today was kind of scary.  No, it was a lot scary and I have enough to deal with in my own life, without taking on the pathology of another relationship. 

I am really going to miss going there.  I like welcoming people and talking about the art there and just art in general.  I like having my stuff there and having people like it and sometimes buy some of it.  Yeah, that extra money is nice.  It paid for most of my traveling.  I will miss the other artists and the, gosh, so wonderful discussions we have, and the musicians that drop by to play and I will even miss the street people who stop in to chat a while.  I am going to miss all of it so much.  Even on slow days, there is hardly a more lovely place to sit and knit or read or just sit.  I can still do art stuff, and I still exhibit other places, but this place, this gallery, was special.  It still is special, it is just that I will no longer be a part of it.

Well, you cannot have everything, but it was a little piece of heaven in contrast to much of the rest of my life.  Everything comes to an end of some sort and I have to allow myself to experience this break and be patient for the next thing that might come along.  You know, if I were still busy with the gallery, I might miss that next thing or things.  So, in the end, big picture and all, it is a good thing.  Sad, but ultimately good.  I hope.

So, aside from the food issue, not a bad day.  Well, I guess it sort of was, but I am not going to dwell on it.

What's left?  Ah, GP.  I have a bunch of hearts in the guilty pleasure realm and after the happenings of the past couple of weeks, I need all the hearts I can get, so that is what it will be for the next week or so.  Hearts.  Some of them are on the dark side, but I guess that is appropriate, as well.

What the hell happened to being all light and happy about this?  You know, my intent was to stop complaining all the damn time, but I seem to be stuck on the pain and not able to concentrate on the gain, gaining of better health and a more healthy attitude and outlook.  That is/was my goal, if I actually had goals, I mean.  I kind of suck, yes?  Yes, I do.  I am sorry, I do not mean to be so sucky.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 43

Breakfast:  Eggs, bacon, hash browns (icky, ate them anyway), raisin bread toast, coffee (lots)
Lunch:  Culver's bacon burger, sweet potato fries, diet cola, root beer float
Dinner:  Nothing - amended to add blueberry yogurt

Back home.  Had a good breakfast, except for the toast and hash browns.  My intentions were good, but not good enough.  Lunch was on the trip home and, frankly, there really is not any reasonable menu choice for seriously healthy eating.  There was one salad choice that I could see, and it was some berry thing.  They may have others, but I could not find any on the menu board whilst I was waiting in line, and since the lines were full of our coach members as well as the hapless locals that decided to eat when we were there, I was reluctant to engage in conversation with the counter staff about making modification to what I did see.  In my defense, I did not choose the grilled reuben sandwich, something I wanted very much since we were rushed at lunch on the trip up yesterday and I was able to eat only some of the inside of the reuben I ordered then.  I think I forgot to mention that.  Sad, really, because it was made with homemade marble rye bread.  I will bet it was delicious.

I did fall victim to the fries, but they were of a kinder, gentler potato.  I have absolutely no defense for the float, except that it was the smallest size.  Truth be told, I did not much enjoy the burger.  It had too much processed cheese and mayonnaise on it.  I scraped as much off as I could and then did not eat the last quarter of the thing anyway.  The float disappointed, as well.  Huh.

The tour director passed out more candy, chips and peanuts on the way home and I asked her if her final offering was going to be insulin.  She thought it only mildly amusing and I am guessing that was only because a fellow traveler laughed and she was trying to be a good sport to my smart-ass-ed-ness. 

I ate the little bag of chips, but not the rest.  Still, no dinner for me.  Rats, I still have to take my meds and they need to be taken with food, so it will have to be the little yogurt with blueberries. You know, if I do not start taking this healthy thing seriously, I am going to end up worse off than when I began over a month ago.  Hell, I am nearly halfway through the process and the only weight I have lost is where I did not want to lose any.    Sure, I do have one less chin and less flab in a couple of places.  Big deal.  Small victories, nearly insignificant in the larger war.  I seem to lack the will to do this getting healthier thing.  I sense sabotage from within.  A decidedly bigger deal.

As for feeling, well, I felt well during the weekend.  No stress, no thinking about stuff.  The new pain med worked great and my hips and knees did not bother me a bit until it was close to time for the next dose.  I could take another one now, but I am going to try to fall asleep without it, thinking that being back in my own, comfy bed will be enough to help me fall right to sleep.

I am feeling kind of cranky because it is steaming in here.  I will manage.  Two days away from everything should be two more notches on my Belt Of Courage.  I need to be more brave and every little bit helps.  I worried that these little trips were an attempt to escape from the here, but I think, I believe that they are steps towards being more self-sufficient and less dominated and afraid. 

On the way home, it was raining and I spent a lot of time looking out of the window at all the lovely countryside.  And, I kept thinking, oh, I could live there...and there...and that place...even there in the little town that flashed by.  I want so much to be somewhere, anywhere else.  Cannot do it.  The whole running away from things thing.  I have to find a way to live here, with everything, or I will never be able to settle somewhere else with comfort and confidence and the surety that comes from making the right decision at the right time and for the right reason.  I have the right reason, in spades, but the right time can come only when I have worked through all of this crap.  Just have to pull up my big girl panties and do it.  I need some serious therapy and have for a long time.  Wonder how to fit that in the budget, under the travel, of course, which is a sort of therapy of it's own.

I knit a wash cloth and the body and one sleeve of a really tiny sweater.  I think that it will end up being only two inches square, or not much more than that.  I am using four, 000 needles.  Very small and I have to really pay attention because whilst it is fairly easy to un-knit with larger needles and yarn, I am also using a very fine yard that is intended for making stretch socks.  My eyes finally gave out on that grey-skied, rainy ride home.

GP, which is kind of like the icing on the guilty pleasure of these little trips.

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 42

Breakfast:  Drive-through sandwiches, 2 of them, Diet Rite, 1
Lunch:  Reuben sandwich, inside of a piece of rhubarb custard pie, cole slaw
Dinner:  Huge salad of iceberg, cucumbers, carrots, celery, tomato and a tiny bite of three pasta salads, 1 roll, butter, 3 tiny cup things of the best soup I have had in a long time
Snacks:  See below...somewhere

The day started early, so I was unable to make breakfast at home, thus the two breakfast sandwiches, which I finished whilst waiting for the coach to come to pick up the weekend gamblers.

So, O.K., there were snacks on the coach.  Lots of snacks.  I mistyped it as smacks, and they were pretty much that.  Apparently, the belief of this tour director is to keep everyone eating, munching and playing bingo so as to reduce any spare time for the old folks to fall into mischief.  It worked.  There was a contest to guess how many Tootsie Roll Pops were in the jar.  Only one person won, but everyone got two suckers.  One was pomegranate flavoured, and it was and it was yummy.

Then sweet and salty snacks, like in full sized packages, were passed out.  Then Twizzlers and, gosh, I cannot remember everything.  By the time we arrived at the casino, it was a miracle that everyone was still awake.  I am guessing the bingo helped for those who were playing.

Dinner was at any of the restaurants and, slowly recovering from my blood-sugar coma, I chose the one with the salad bar option.  There was not a huge selection, and the pasta salads were kind of foul and what the hell was that dessert thing that looked like some kind of cinnamon scented school paste?  Everything else was just what you want, fresh, crisp and delicious.  I took some blue cheese dressing and dipped all of the stuff into it.  But, the star was the whitefish chowder.  If I thought that I would not look the fool by going back for a fourth little cup, I would have.  Their cups/bowls held only a half-cup measure, so I really am not such a pig as it might seem.

After that lovely dinner, I went to spend the free playing money they give everyone and then hauled myself to my room, which was fabulous.  I was looking forward to watching television, but it was so confusing that I finally gave up and just went to sleep.

Now, this trip.  Someone who is not me did not want me to go.  That person never wants me to go anywhere, not to work, not to visit our daughter, not to visit with his family, not Saturday morning coffee with my friends, not anywhere.  This would not be such a big deal for me, but promises were made for retirement time.  Every one was broken and now because that someone does not want to go anywhere, the only reasonable extension of that is that no one goes anywhere.  That has been the rule for, well, for always, but it simply is not good enough any more.

Financially, we are in much the same place as most people, perhaps a bit better.  It is with great reluctance that I am allowed to use one of the cars and put gasoline in it.  You know, I am really and truly grateful for being allowed to do that.  We do not have public transportation within four miles of here, and without that car, I would have to stay home or beg rides from other people.  But, really, how often can you do that, the whole expecting other people to haul your sorry ass around.  More importantly, I would not be able to see my daughter and her family very often, nor could I do any volunteer work and that would distress me beyond understanding.  I am also allowed to spend money on groceries, but I suspect that is because I am willing to do the shopping.  Other than that, I pay for everything out of my social security, which I am totally fine doing.

So, dear Diary, I am not going to complain about this anymore, but I am still going to keep planning these small and unbelievably inexpensive trips.  I will still offer to pay for someone who is not me to come along on them, well, at least some of them, but I am not going to stop going and I am not going to be buried by the consequences of being independent about this.  I am willing to pay the cost for keeping on with this.  O.K., I will probably weaken when it is especially bad and complain, although I hope to not do it too often.

One more day of the trip to post about.

Do I have any stockpiled GPs?

Friday, June 17, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 41

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch: Sushi and a salad
Dinner:  Japanese, what can I say, I am weak

Lunch was actually just the sushi, as the salad had been prepared by an idiot, or a really frugal person, of the jerk variety.  Oh, gods, name calling, but you would too, if you opened your salad, jammed your fork into the container and came up with wilted, oozy, slimy, seriously discolored something that used to be lettuces.  At least I think they used to be lettuces, it was hard to tell, that is how foul that container of muck was.

I cannot say how that happened to be mine, but it sickened my lunch companion at the gallery and did the same to the poor market clerk who had to give me my money back when I returned it on my way home tonight.  I exchanged it for chocolate to enjoy on my weekend away, and the guy behind me said that anyone who had to experience that salad deserved chocolate.  He was right.

Dinner was nice and I am glad that I went, but I have to cut back on going there.  This last time, tonight, I overate and the worst part is that I did not feel the teeniest bit guilty.  It was still healthy, but I ordered too much, intending to take some home, but then sat there and finished when I realized that I would be out of town for the next two days.  Yeah, I know, that is a crappy excuse.  So, sue me for still being a slab and a slob.

Healthy-feeling-wise, I am doing well.  The day was nice and easy and I did not need any extra meds and felt comfortable until I came back home here to the sauna.  I think that viewing this place as a sauna is another healthy step in the right direction.  I get the benefits of sweating toxins out of my body every single day and never have to pay club dues.  It is like a health club membership for free, but without the weight room, pool, smoothie/juice bar, massage therapists or personal trainer.  Other than that, it is the same thing.

So, GP, named, I used to be stars:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 40

Breakfast:  Eggs, bacon, roll...all right, 2 rolls, but they were little
Lunch:  Apple
Dinner:  McDonald's with my baby and her babies

Forty days.  Forty nights, too, I guess.  How biblical.  It seems as though I expected to breeze through this mess of an idea.  And, certainly, by this time I should be as healthy as it is possible to be and perhaps even a little svelte.  Or, at least, a little less bulgy, which I am, but not very much.  I am, however, walking like a champ.  I rarely even think of my cane, although I will be taking it along this weekend and on future trips, no matter how long they are.  It would be foolish to be stuck somewhere and not have anything to help me get around.  In the support of honesty, though, I am taking a whole shitload of pain meds, but I am still managing with the cane.  That has to count for something, yes?

I had this goofy feeling just a few minutes ago.  I spent the day with my daughter and the babies.  We played and made stuff and created stories with cars.  Actually, it was the little baby who made up the stories.  I just played along.  His big brother helped me to knit and was sad that he could not handle the needles, and I was thinking that he might be able to manage one of those round knitting things.  Once I get the yarn set, it should be fairly easy for him to guide the yarns and lift the stitches.  He has really good fine motor control and even managed to crochet a chain this afternoon, so the knitting thing is worth a try.  If it does not work, then I will have that cool device for myself.

Oh, the goofy thought was that it felt fine to walk and that I felt better somehow.  It might be that I am no longer choking and gagging and coughing out my remaining bits of lung, but it had a different quality to all of that tonight.  I felt fluid in a way that I have not for a long time.  I thought that being away from home for over-full days, two days in a row, and away from the crap here, might be contributing to that sense of well-being.  Then, I thought that maybe clearing my schedule so that I can get back into organizing this joint better and finding my way back into the studio might not be what I need right now, the part of that where I will be staying home and in the house more.  Then, I thought, what the hell.  If I want to have a tidy environment and do some messing around with sculpting or painting or some damn thing, that is what I should do, so I quickly dismissed the option of filling my schedule to the gills again and am hoping that I can manage better with avoiding the stuff that saddens me so.  I am going to give it my best shot.  Hope for the best.  Regroup if I have to.  Bitch, moan and complain as needed, but still get through it.  God, I hope I can do that.  If it does not work out as well as I would like, I can always fall back on stabbing myself into unconsciousness.

So, dinner.  The little baby, at two and a half years of age, has never been inside a McDonald's restaurant.  Sure, he has had the occasional burger and fries, I have even bought that stuff on my way to their house for lunch, but today was his first time inside one of them.

My daughter lives in a tiny town, so it was no surprise that the other mom and the dad that showed up in the playroom were toting children that are in my big grandson's preschool.  The boys had a great time, especially when the dad growled and chased them.  My little grandson was completely unfamiliar with the kind of play equipment they have there and it was nearly time to go home before he could bring himself to cross the threshold at the top of the stairs.  I would have been hesitant, too, because he had to leave the steps and step into a bowl.  He finally did it, and I navigated him up to the next level, where he sat, walked around and told me about how he was at the airport, another place he has never been.  They live a quiet, calm life and are just as simple as I am in their daily practices, you know, the day-to-day ones of ordinary life, so this was a big deal for all of us.

As a grandma, it was nice to meet my grandson's friends and their parents.  I hope we get to do more of that sort of thing during this summer at the park.

I am trying to stay hungry, at least most of the time.  I figure that it will help me to not overeat, the theory being that I will greatly reduce my appetite in the process, and to faithfully stick to standard portion sizes.  I am not sure how close I stayed to that at our fast food dinner, but I did have a diet soft drink, a grilled chicken sandwich, no mayo and I ate only half of the bun, but I made up for it with lots of fries.  And, catsup.

Early day tomorrow, so I am not sharing some things that I wanted and they will have to wait for another time.  I am close to running out of GP images, but this one is named "I will stand by you."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 39

Breakfast:  Creamy, dreamy, perfectly over-easy eggs, small hard roll, sliced in three layers, buttered and sprinkled with truffle salt
Lunch:  Herb mix greens, about 4 oz. diced beef (more leftovers), 1 medium tomato, splosh of vinaigrette
Dinner:  Japanese

When I was at the bakery yesterday, picking up some of their yummy cookies to take for my anniversary treat at the library, I bought six of their wonderful, tiny hard rolls.  If they were less plate-tectonic-y and all flaky on the outside and less chewy in the inside, they would probably be a few bites for the average person.  But, unless you live near to the city that is near to where I live, you may never have the privilege of enjoying them.  They go all hard and impossible to eat in two days, but were perfect this morning for dunking into the warm, luscious yolks, and that bit of truffle salt, oh gosh, it is just the best way to start the day.

I knew that it would be a long day with many challenges.  Weird how I know how the day will go like that, and I am never wrong.  If I sense that it will be an easy day, with at least one no-show and no bummed out clients, I plan on what I will do to catch up on all of that work that really never gets done.  Last week was like that...or was it the week matter.  I knew last night that today was going to be one of those days where I would likely miss lunch and have to work late.  I am not sure that I like knowing, but it is what it is.

Anyway, I did not get home until 10:00 and can hardly stay awake to write.  Barely three hours of sleep because it was so freaking hot in here.  Outside, it was perfect sleeping weather.  Cool, but not too cool, with a nice breeze, a precursor to today's bluster, but last night it was lovely.  Unfortunately, the heat was set to 80 degrees and I could not find relief anywhere.  I was about to go sleep in the car when I finally found a small fan. 

This is nuts, and I have to find a small, window unit air conditioner that I am able to lift into the damn window.  We have central air, but, as I am constantly reminded, no matter how hot it is during the day, it mostly gets cooler when the sun goes down, even if it is only a few degrees, and since it does get cooler (by some definition on another planet maybe?), it makes sense to turn the furnace on and bring the temperature up and over what it is outside.  I swear, if the heat in here does not fry my brain I am going to stab myself until I lose consciousness.  I really, really will.  I swear.

So, anyway, I love, love and truly love the juvenile rabbits.  They are so cute and so funny.  One of them is hanging around the rhubarb and the storybook aspect of that pleases me so much.  He sits just under the canopy of one of the large, outer leaves and thinks that he is invisible.  If I make a move in any direction when he is on the lawn, munching on the stuff the birds toss off of the feeding stations, he freezes.  I stop.  I can see his eyes darting to the side, either tracking me or looking for an escape route.  There have been times when the two of us just stayed in place for more than ten minutes.  If I stay still, he will go back to chowing down and if I move again, he takes off into the rhubarb patch.  I sort of hate to begin harvesting there and ruin his domain.

Tonight, when I rounded the back of the house, he was sitting, chewing something, out there in the open and the drizzle.  I really had to use the bathroom, so I moved forward sooner than usual and he took off.  Or, she.  He/she is not telling.

I am so tired that I would love to indulge in some serious crankiness, but it was a wonderful day, full of really cool, interesting and dear clients.  The Walmart woman showed up and brought her mother along to meet me.  I managed to make the designs and images she wanted and still had time to join knitting club for an hour.  I stopped at the Japanese place and had a wonderful dinner, not too much, not too little...just right.  Off to find something to wash down an antihistamine, but first, a word from our GP.  More nested hearts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 38

Breakfast:  Eggs, bacon
Lunch: Green pepper, cottage cheese
Dinner:  Leftover beef, horseradish in mayonnaise, green tea ice cream, glass of wine

I managed to choke down breakfast, but I am not using the bacon up before it goes bad.  I cooked it anyway, but it tasted just wrong enough to get tossed.  Lunch was supposed to be light and quick so that I could dash out between loads of laundry to fetch some things I needed for work tomorrow.

That did not work out because as I was beginning to brush my teeth, Lili came strolling by and yelled for me to open my door and when I did, she jumped up on the bed and yelled at me some more, so I laid down to pet her and the next thing I knew, it was after 4:30 and I just, barely, made it to the bakery to buy cookies for my second anniversary at work.  That is my main volunteer job and it is important enough to me to mark the occasion somehow.  I should have made something, but if I cannot cook every meal, then there certainly is not any energy to make something extra.  So, I bought them from a wonderful bakery and I am happy, the recipients will be happy and we all will be thrilled that I did not attempt to make something and end up giving everyone tummy distress.  It is always a good day when no one is upset with you over food poisoning, you know?

By the time I ran my errands, I was starved, but I did not buy any groceries that could be eaten on the way home, and did not drive-through anywhere.  I came home and prepared my lunch for tomorrow and then sliced some of the beef and dunked it into the horseradish/mayo.  There was a wee bit of ice cream left in the freezer, so I made sure that it did not go to waste. smiley: tongue

Today was not enough calories, which I know even though I am not counting them.  The ice cream helped, but it is not exactly the kind of nutrition or calories that I would prefer to eat.  I should be fine over the weekend, when I am away from home, because I bought a jar of ground-peanuts-only peanut butter, and some really healthy crackers that are probably icky, but will be fine with the peanut butter.  I also have water to take along, apples and a small carton of yogurt.  If I am careful and proactive about the food we will be served, I should be fine.  If not, then it is no greater a fail than the ones I have been having lately.

I did my stuff-for-work shopping at Walmart and whilst I was looking for some cute trim to tart up my new flip flops, a woman asked me how to make maroon colored paint.  What she wanted to do was not possible, mostly because it involves a great deal of text to be painted on T-shirts for her son's graduation on Saturday.  We discussed lots of options, stamping, using fabric paints in the bottles with the thin/pointy tops, even throwing herself on the mercy of a place that does graphics and printing, and I finally asked if she had access to a computer, an ink jet printer and the Internet.

She has a friend who might be able to help her, so I suggested she talk to her friend and find out if she had the time to help her create a nice design that could be printed on those iron-on transfer sheets that you can use in your computer printer.  I am going to do a few designs and then have her come to where I work tomorrow and I will e-mail them to her friend, who can then print them and someone can iron them onto the shirts.

I checked with work, and my schedule is full of clients, but I can squeeze her in at the end of the day, before knitting club.  Frankly, I wish that I had run into her last week; there would have been plenty of time to do all of this, but I am out of town on Thursday, part of Friday and the entire weekend.

I do not know why, but I am asked for help in stores all the time.  Even in the market where I am pushing a cart and noodling around looking at things.  I must just look like an employee wherever I go.  I do not shop in many different places, so usually know where most things are and I am happy to help.  When I cannot, I do know where to direct someone.

Which reminds me of a funny encounter sometime during the holiday period last year.  I was shopping at a fabric and craft store and a woman asked me to help her find some specialized sewing notions.  Clearly, she did not see the cart, my cart between us or notice that it contained my crap as well as my really big, like humongous, purse.  Nor did she notice that I was not wearing the uniform shirt that employees wear and that I was, instead, wearing my coat and scarf.

When I told that I was sorry, that I was not familiar with the brand of the items, and that I was not an employee there, but that she could find help by going over three aisles and asking the person who runs that department, she was incensed enough to point her finger and tell me that she was a very busy person, but she was going to make sure to stop and tell the manager that he should hire better people than me.

I really wanted to follow her and observe her scolding the manager about me, but I was afraid to upset her more, so I just re-joined my shopping friend and told her about it.  She agreed, that they really should have better employees than me. smiley: laugh

I arrived home too late to do more laundry, so it will have to wait until next Tuesday, which is the only day that I can use the equipment.  Long story, sad story, although I do come out looking quite good, but that would still be another story, yes?

I watched, well, mostly listened (although that was not helpful in that the dialogue was mostly in Portuguese...I think), to a film about Vik Muniz.  Very inspiring and making me want to get back to my own found-objects work.  I demurred with that gallery owner recently, although I know that I can renew that conversation any time I like.  I was even thinking about doing a series of divestment works where I would incorporate some of the stuff that needs to go, but for which I am too attached.  Hmmmm, I wonder how you attach a loom to a canvas?  Or, maybe I could just tart up the loom and let it speak for itself.

Whatever work I decide to do, if I decide anything, it will be what it is supposed to be.  Painting, sculpting and combining are hard work, but there are those crystalline moments when it seems as though I am channeling something.  So lovely to feel that, being caught up in the energy of the work, carried along, manifesting the crap out of every internally held/captured emotion.

I sometimes think that being fucked over by that gallery guy back in February is not, might not be the whole reason why I am not working in the studio.  Maybe I am wary of releasing the bad stuff in my life because I know that even more bad stuff will happen around here to take it's place.  This sounds supremely stupid, but it feels like when I am packed full of sadness, pain and worry, fear and all the rest, that there is no more room for more of the same and that the new stuff will sort of roll off of me because there is not any place to put any more of it.  Like I said, stupid, simply does not work like that.

Today's GP is more optimistic.  It deserves a real and true name, but it is only Smile 1.  Maybe that is because I am hopeful for more.  Maybe.  You know?

And, because Lili was in here today, there is also a sketch of her.

Monday, June 13, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 37

Breakfast:  Fresh corn
Lunch:  Crackers and, later, chocolate
Dinner:  Meat

So, I wonder if it is true that things fall apart so that other things can fall together.  I hope so, because that old interpersonal stuff is crumbling like the proverbial cookie.  You know, I am trying to minimize the stressors here and I am also wondering about that.  Maybe making nice and always defusing stuff is not the best way to handle that person.  I just do not know.

What I do know is that someone who is not me is trying to mess with some of my projects, most especially a couple of the travel ones.  Someone who is not me refuses to come along on any of these tiny trips, even if I pay for everything, and even though someone who is not me has more resources than any six people could ever use.  Just shakin' my noggin about all of the crap that went down today.

I am not much for praying, although I believe it to be a worthy endeavour.  Still, given the dynamics around here lately, I was totally enchanted by this poster I saw on Pinterest tonight.  And, clearly, I am incapable of leaving something worthy alone and changed the obvious parts.  Still works, though.

I pray

...for my someone-who-is-not-me to have a relationship with a higher power.
...that blessings would shower on my someone-who-is-not-me.
...for my someone-who-is-not-me to be a strong and ethical leader for our family.
...for my someone-who-is-not-me to love me deeply, but really, I would settle for even a bit less dislike.
...for my someone-who-is-not-me to have a heart for our children and their children.
...for my someone-who-is-not-me to make wise (and did I mention ethical) choices.
...for my someone-who-is-not-me to experience wonderful physical, emotional and mental health.
...for my someone-who-is-not-me to prosper at everything desired, work, play, everything.
...for my someone-who-is-not-me to manifest ethical interpersonal relationships.
...that I will always feel and express respect, grace, kindness and flat-out love for someone-who-is-not-me, always and most especially when none of that is offered to me, yeah, most especially then.

Anyway, not too badly of the whole eating thing today, although there seems to be a serious lack of vegetables lately, and, seriously, corn does not qualify as a healthy vegetable.  Really.   I guess it has to count for at least eating breakfast, though, yes?

I am planning on concentrating on the remote possibility that some new things will fall into something useful.  Not holding my breath, but still holding the hope.  I am holding and grateful to the Universe that I have my work and friends and stuff, because I am sorely tested here at home and as unsuccessful at making this work that it is possible to be.  Back on the better track tomorrow and the next day and...

GP.  One of my most favorite so far.  Softly.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 36

Breakfast:  Drive-through sandwich, large coffee
Lunch:  Indian restaurant
Dinner:  Pringles, diet cola

Well, at least I ate breakfast this morning.

I wish that I could just lie, at least to myself, about how this is going.  I mean, these recent fails are a sort of lie anyway, about how I really do not have a commitment to becoming healthier and am fully invested in simply eating any damn thing that I feel like eating, so, really, why not just go all the way and admit that I cannot do this long term and that I have fallen completely off of the healthy eating wagon, the horses wandered off, looking for a better caretaker and then I forgot where I left the wagon and when I went back, it was gone.

In the moment, breakfast was a slip because I had to leave the house early and was not able to cook because one cannot cook or make any noise or odors that early in the morning.  One is simply not allowed.  I know that.  I should have planned ahead with something great that I could just grab and go on my way.  I did not.  This slacker did not plan ahead and, whilst I did choose an egg sandwich instead of a pastry, it still counts as a fail.

Lunch was after the gun show, and my daughter's choice.  The babies are adventurous eaters.  We have taken them to enjoy every kind of cuisine (they especially like the African place, where the owner takes them to the little sofa they have there and they watch soccer with him), except Indian, but that is only because there are none in the areas where either of us live, so it is kind of a non-issue with which to begin.  My son-in-law is a basic, no-frills guy when it comes to food, although he has been a good sport about at least trying most of what we make or bring home.

So, when the boys went off to the car show, she wanted Indian and we drove to one that we like from the good, old days when she was still single and unencumbered by familial responsibilities.  She rarely gets to do fun stuff by herself, so when an opportunity like this presents itself, I will do whatever I can to provide all the things she likes.  It is nice to indulge her, even spoil her a bit, and I think that every mother feels like this about her grown children.

So, anyway, this place has the best Indian food ever.  So far, so good, but I forgot that they also have a buffet that elevates their regular menu into the stratosphere.  It is that good.  I used restraint and took just a dab or so of the things I like the best, but it was still a lot.  In the old days I would have gone back several times, even after having loaded my plate (which are huge here, by the way) the first go-round.  But, I did not do that, I took small bits and only went back for some carrot stuff, that mango/cheese/semolina stuff and goat. 

I love goat.  I love them when they are sweet, little creatures, just babies, leaping and playing and I love them when they are grown into sweet, big creatures, all dreamy eyed and inclined to snuggle.  And, I clearly love them slowly braised, on the bone and in a spicy sauce.  The African place also has goat on the menu, although they roast it.  Any way, anywhere, I adore it and I had two decent sized portions.  It was already too much food, but I still went back for onion chutney, coconut chutney and freshly made mango ice cream, or what passes for ice cream there, and which is much better than regular ice cream.  Always.

I knew that I was eating too much and I barely made a token effort to stop, and then ignored it and ate.  The past week has been a nightmare of not taking this seriously and not doing anything serious about getting back to taking this seriously.  And, you know, I can feel the energy and determination that I held when I began this.  It seems that I am not willing to do that anymore.  I am caving under the stresses here and, really, that all just boils down to making more excuses, particularly in the face of how pleasant today was, how much enjoyment I had simply being out and about with my daughter, starting the day at their church and playing with the boys in between all of the coming and going.

I love all of them so much and want to be around for a long time and losing this weight is an essential part of everything.  But, I am not doing it, and it must be because I really do not love them or myself enough to stop being such a slug, slacker and loser, and taking the easy way when I absolutely know that that has not worked in the past and has no possibility of working anytime, ever.  I cannot even talk or write about how I am feeling, it is too bitter.  Maybe spewing here will help me get rid of it and move forward.  Maybe.  I am not holding much hope, though.

I was thinking earlier that there might be a possibility that I am doing too much with the eating better and getting rid of stuff, but that cannot be it.  It all needs to be done and I am ready to do it.  But, the food, man, the damn food holds so much significance for me.  It is like the only manifestation of caring or support or pleasure or some damn thing.  I am a fully adult woman and there is not any reason why I am willing to hold myself back from being healthier and more fit.  Except, because I am failing at this, there is a reason in here somewhere and I am either clueless or unwilling to see what it is.

My intention is to get back to my original intention and to do it tomorrow.  In this moment, it seems so clear and easy.  All I have to do is to do it.  The healthy food is here, in the house, and all I have to do is to eat it.  Maybe I have to impose a, what...a rule or something...O.K., a rule that I will eat only what I prepare and that if I mess up and do not plan ahead that I simply cannot eat out, no matter what the reason.  I am sitting here and I have the intention, I have the desire and the will to do this.  Hell, if I could give up all that stuff last year and continue to keep divesting stuff now, I can do this.  I can.  I have to.  I am so lucky, so fortunate, have such a privileged life and I am just mucking it up.  There is no excuse for any of this.

Freaking GP, I do not deserve to have any pleasures, most especially any guilty ones.  But, I do and I am not giving them up, too.  Freaking hearts.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 35

Breakfast:  Eggs, maybe a quarter cup of hash browns, a pancake with margarine and syrup, tons of coffee
Lunch:  Restaurant meal, turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, a tiny bit of cranberry sauce, some really excellent steamed, fresh broccoli, half a small roll, 2 glasses of diet cola, half a piece of french silk pie
Dinner:  Shame and a carton of Häagen-Dazs

I had breakfast with the friends this morning, followed by an extra (and long) session with a client who cannot come during the week, as she does not want her current employer to know that she is pumping up her résumé for a possible new job.  She is not sure she want to make the switch at this time, but has to make a decision by a deadline this week.  She is under the impression that I did great things for her, but the truth is that the most important work that I do with clients is to help them open that part or parts of themselves where the work can be done.  I am just the facilitator, just another tool.

Well, so far so good, yes?  Yes.  Then I picked up the woman that I take to lunch and her appointments and errands.  It was so frustrating that I told her that today's lunch was our last.  Today was the final scene that did me in.  So, no more of her making a huge fuss about money and how much I tip and all the rest.  The fussing she does with sales clerks is also to much of a strain.  I know that it is selfish of me, I do, I am selfish, but being embarrassed by her tirades against me and others when we are out and about is just too, well, embarrassing.  Humiliating to be on the receiving end of that all the time.  It is over.  From now on she gets three hours, door to door, no more meals, only errands and doctor appointments.  I doubt that she is taking this seriously.  And, you know, it is not my problem that she cannot get along well enough with her family to be able to live close to them.  I am willing to be her friend, but not her servant.

So, anyway, by the time the nearly seven hours today was over, I was exhausted and firmly ashamed of myself for not being able to be more patient.  I kept thinking today that I would want someone to be more patient and supportive of me when I am unable to get myself around comfortably, at least more so than I am able to be for her lately.  Seriously, Universe, please help me to be a better person.

Then, I had to stop at the market because there is not much food around here and I was totally dreading it, knowing how likely it was that I would buy all kinds of inappropriate stuff.  I mostly did fine, with lots of supportive self-talk and reminding myself that I will be traveling a bit over the next three weeks and that everything is going to be fine and 'no' I do not need that cake or those chewy rolls or that frozen pizza or even the chocolate covered strawberries in the produce department.  Really, baby, those strawberries need to stay right there, really they do.  It's O.K., put them back, you will be fine.  Really.  You will.

So, I went and got some meat and green peppers, cottage cheese, a few boxes of those low-calorie frozen meal things, eyeliner, cat food, more cat food and on the way to the checkout, I grabbed two cartons of ice cream.  Granted, they are the little 14 ounce-ers, but they are each a freaking 14 ounces!  Lordy.

I put them back.  Then turned back and took three, turned again, put two back, turned once more and took one of them and finally checked-out.  The interesting part, you know, aside from the total lack of self-control part, is that the four people in front of me were buying only alcohol.  Three customers buying cases of beer and the guy right in front of me with a bottle of whiskey.  I had the audacity to think to myself, hey, do you need any booze?  I stayed in line, but just barely.

Dinner was a half-hour ago and it was one of the cartons of ice cream.  I am wallowing in shame, spiralling in waves of shame and then I realize that it is only just a carton of ice cream.  It is dairy and it had lots of fruit in it, and for the moment I am in denial about the sugar, although the eggs could redeem this a bit.  It really could have been worse.  I could have chowed down on so many other things and whilst there is still another ice cream in the freezer, I think that my melty fail just now is not the end of the world, much less the end of me.

I will have my meat, salad and vegetables tomorrow for dinner.  I will choose healthy options when my daughter and I are out for lunch tomorrow.  I will have fun at church and with the babies and this is just a minor setback.

And, I will stay out of the market because I saw that those chips in the can, the salt and vinegar ones, are on sale and, well, I will just stay out of the market.

GP.  Simple, although I think a few more hearts might be in order.

Friday, June 10, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 34

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  Subway, roast beef and a bowl of soup
Dinner:  Tuna salad sandwich, a cup or so of chips, hardboiled egg, cup or so of pineapple

So, this breakfast, the not having any has to stop.  I feel hunger when I awake, but it is gone by the time I am up and moving around, feeding the cats and going you know where.

It is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, breaking the overnight fast and all that.  I just kind of forget about it.  Not good.  Gotta stop.  Make the effort.  Eat something, dammit.

Slow day at the gallery, which was nice, as I was able to finish my library book and can get a new one when I go in tomorrow for a special session with a client.  She does not want her current employer to know that she is looking for a new job, totally understandable, especially if the new position does not work out.  Normally, even this sort of a kinder-gentler sort of subterfuge would bother me and I would be wishing that she had kept that information to herself, but if she had, I would not have been able to suggest a Saturday appointment.

It means that I will have to give up my afternoon with a friend, but this seems more important, particularly since her current work and future plans are with disadvantaged persons.  That speaks to my heart and the work that I do, making this a noble effort for both of us.  Crafting what she needs will be easy, because she has qualifications upon qualifications and those are stacked atop the energy and knowledge she brings to her work.  It is very satisfying to work with someone like her.  Oh yeah, everyone needs a job and deserves to have one worthy of them, but this kind of expansion into the realms of serious public service, even though it brings a paycheck with it, is worth whatever it takes to help someone.

One of my other clients stopped in to visit.  He is of an entirely different type of person, both in the work he would like to do and how he seems to be doing his best to avoid actually getting an actual job.  He showed up with a haircut, of the stunning and wonderful kind and told me that he is serious about making his life better, so it looks like we will be working together again.  The person who cut his hair, however, did a not so great job and when he shows up next week, we will step outside and I will trim and try to fix the small mess the stylist made in the back of his head.  Yeah, we run an all-inclusive-services kind of operation there.

Those two are one of the reasons that I proposed this service to our library and have kept on doing it for two years.  I hope to do it for as long as it is needed, which, Universe willing, will not be forever.

Dear kind and loving Universe, people need jobs, so if there is anything you can do about it, I would be so appreciative.

I have finished three bath wash cloths for the babies.  Two are the half-sized and ribbed ones, and I started a fish-shaped one at knitting club on Wednesday, finished it today at the gallery and an half-way into the second one.  The babies and I will be making bathtub soap paints next week and then they can take a bath with those and their new wash cloths.  I stopped at a tiny variety kind of store on my way home from the city tonight and bought a couple of crochet hooks so that I can make nice, loopy hangers for them, and was looking around at all the lovely yarns and found some more cotton yarn.  Huge surprise, but I bought some, only two balls, in colors that I think the babies might like.

I also found, on-line, patterns for knitting letter and initials into a cloth, and will go back when I have used up the yarns I have now and am feeling more confident about this whole knitting thing and get some solid colors so that I can make some with their initials.  Might make some for mommy and daddy, too.

I used to knit.  It is sort of like the whole shooting thing, I did it long ago, then more recently and am wanting to do it now.  Again.  It is fun.  It keeps me busy when I am feeling too exhausted to do anything else.  I am making cool and useful stuff.  If I start to feel hungry, I pick up the needles and yarn and keep my hands occupied.  And, it is pretty darn cheap.  But, the best part is staying busy and doing something useful when I am unable to do anything else and can at least manage the needles and yarn.  I know that it is stupid, but it helps me to feel like less of a waste of ectoplasm, you know?

I am feeling like a waste where all my crap is concerned.  I have divested myself of so much stuff and yet I still feel burdened.  I have to keep going and become more ruthless with this.  Someone who is not me continues to take things out of the garbage and charity boxes and squirrel it away somewhere, but I am getting more clever.  I have again begun just keeping an eye on things and then packing them in a box and taking it immediately out of the house and to the charity shops when I have the time and energy to do so.  I still have nearly a couple thousand books to get rid of.  Just shameful.

I was thinking, only thinking, about hiring one of those pack-em-up-and-haul-it-out places to come in when I am away and take everything.  I have even thought it through to the part about how I could take the essentials, like some art stuff, my favorite sewing machine, some clothes, my toiletries, and a few books and stuff like that and putting it all in one room and then just letting those guy have their way with everything else.  I would still want my bed and the computer and some furniture left, and suppose I could label those big things or something.

It would be like having some kind of natural disaster coming along and taking everything away and leaving a clean slate.  That is very appealing, especially since I have so much stuff and have been doing this for a freaking year and a half.  Something has to give and I think that it is going to be me just packing shit and releasing it into the ether or something.  

I wonder if anyone else has done something like that and how it worked for her/him. 

Anyway, it is kind of exhilarating to think about and I just might do it or something similar.

Or not.  Cripes.  I am just so sick and tired of this whole stuff stuff.  I mean, am I serious about being healthier or not?

Someone told me that reading about my efforts towards a healthier life was helpful to her, that it inspired and encouraged her.  Frankly, I think that it is more likely that it makes her feel better because she is not nearly as fucked up as I am.  Yeah, I am pretty positive about that.

GP.  Bluebodies.