Monthly Archives: April 2012

Falling behind


Well, at least my butt’s not sagging – it’s not that kind of falling behind!

I just feel as though there are not enough hours in my day – the day where I can get something productive accomplished.  Sure, there are 24 hours in the day, sure anyone can get something done in 24 hours, but my day is parsed into smaller segments.  I have the 30 minutes before the kids wake up time, the hour of getting everyone ready and out the door, the commute to work, w-o-r-k, the time right after work when I can’t leave but I’m ready to, the commute home, picking up the kids, making food happen, (maybe) work out, encouraging kids to go to bed, and then about an hour or so before I need to conk out.

So tonight I just stole some time.  I didn’t go work out (as I should have done), I didn’t really sit and read with my kids (books happened, but that was not exactly my doing), and I started working online long before the kids should have been put to bed (which meant that, in fact, the kids got to bed late – when will I learn?).

On the plus side, I have successfully retrieved my blogging email, established that I can see things on NetGalley, installed some Adobe product or another, written a long post on my library blog, and still played around on FB for a few minutes.  Oh, yeah – and I’m writing this post.

I’ve still got a billion things I need to do to be a responsible human being, but at least I have my lunch made for tomorrow.  Of course, I still have to get all the stuff ready for my daughter’s field trip, clean the kitchen, and do a couple of other things.  But, hey, at least my butt’s right where I left it.


The World is A-Changin’


Well, today started off another week of Bob-less-ness, only the second time we’ve tried that this Spring.  The first went without a hitch – unless you count the fact that the car’s engine blew a rod.  Then ensued two weeks of single-car living, which left us all tired and drained.  Fortunately, we were able to get a replacement engine – along with most of a car – that could be transplanted into our car.  It was kind of neat to witness the process.  It was like “Pimp My Ride” meets “Frankenstein.”  I swear when the engine turned over in the little red racecar, my husband shouted, “It’s AH-LIIIIVE!”

So, down a car, up a car.

And then my old neighbors put on their crazy pants.  We go over to our other house – which the tenants had done nothing to help yard-wise – and get to work weeding, mowing, trimming, and basically tidying up.  And while I’m out doing all this yard work, the neighbors see me, even talk to me.  And then, BOOM!  The crazy was unleashed on my Facebook wall.  Crazy along the lines of “Why did you have your husband pull out the vine that was growing on the fence?  We told him we wanted to keep it!”  Riiiight.  Okay, so they found it necessary (helpful?) to publicly chastise my spouse for something I did that I didn’t even know they didn’t want done?  Yeah, now my brain hurts. So I let them know the vine was covering my gate, that it had thorns, and that I stopped at the stuff that was just growing across the front of my fence.  And then they deny all that.  Yup – it had no thorns.  It wasn’t covering my gate.  Nope.  Not at all.  I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Brilliant.  What do you even say to that when someone just flat out says you aren’t telling the truth?

Well, then they put up a gawdawful luau privacy fence between our properties over the chain link fence – oh, and it’s covering the rest of the vine – the stuff I didn’t pull.  And tell me how that little bit of lovely makes sense.

So then I get this Facebook message that they’re all upset that my sister-in-law let a cat loose when she left my property.  As though in reality that is something which I controlled.  And they tell me that this cat is terrorizing their cats, so that they can’t let their cats outside.  And they ask me to make sure that any future renters don’t release pets.  Seriously?  I have control over all this how?  So I respond, “Call animal control.”  ‘Cause, really, if you’re worried about a mean loose cat, that’s the group to call.  What was *I* supposed to be able to do about this cat?  The response I get?  “No.”  Great.  Well, that makes things easy. 

Short story long – I drop these people as Facebook friends.  When you act unfriendly on social media, don’t be surprised if you are “unfriended.”  Who needs to deal with psychos up close and personal anyway?

Also this week, a friend died.  The official story is that he died in a car wreck.  I just can’t imagine what kind of emotional pain he must have been in that death was the only answer.  That it was worth leaving a seven year old daughter without a dad.  I just don’t know enough of the story.  My heart aches for him and his family, though.

In related news, my dad had a heart attack and went in for stents in his heart.  Yeah, fun.

And I got back to work to find out that my coworker applied for a new job in a different place.  Not terribly surprising, but it would suck to lose her, because she does everything and knows everything – in a good way.  It would be hard to replace her.  I won’t hold her back or sabotage her efforts, but I really don’t like the idea of training someone new.




So I started my new blog, zanzibarbooks. I haven’t really done much with it yet except for set it up and set up a NetGalley account. I’m excited about starting some new things and trying to improve my professional persona.

In other news, I’ve been cleaning at my house and trying to catch up from not just a week being gone but also a week where my spouse will be living in our other house. Mainly, I’ve accomplished yard work, dishes, and laundry. Nothing particularly special.

A Good Day


Some days just seem to have that extra ease.  Things you’ve tried and tried before just seem to work.  Everything just sort of comes together without an extra fight.

Today is one of those days.

It just seemed as though from the moment my alarm went off today through the moment I am writing this that it seems to be a good day. 

Of course, it’s also Friday the 13th.  Maybe that has something to do with it.  Whatever the case, it’s been a great day.

I was up in plenty of time today and made pancakes for my kids and husband, got to have my coffee, got to read the paper, and even got out of the house earlier.  (And then remembered all the kids’ homework was on the table or the sofa and sent my husband madly dashing inside to retrieve it all.) 

We got the kids dropped off early, navigated through traffic handily, and got me dropped off to work extra early.  And I felt then as though I was buzzing – simply vibrating with good energy.  I found out how my friend gets her hair to look so amazingly good every day (Note to self: pick up Aussie leave-in spray conditioner and curl enhancer mousse), and I was on my game for dealing with other people.

It’s just one of those days when it feels good to be in my skin.  (Not like Monday.)

Perhaps one of the biggest things is that the stresses I’ve been under have been mostly handled.  The things that started going wrong early in the week have smoothed themselves out, and now I don’t have the worries.  I can use my energy to make progress instead of pick up the pieces from something that had broken.

Honestly, I think that’s one thing that defeats me so often – is when I seem to spend too much time trying to fix something instead of moving forward.  It’s as though I don’t want to be held in the past with something broken or unfinished; I want to make progress – I want to DO something. 

I guess that’s why it felt so good a few months ago to finally get rid of all the half-finished projects from the past 15 years and all the old stuff that was cluttering my life.  I didn’t need to mess with the old, unfinished or unstarted stuff – I needed to start fresh and have the chance to move forward. 

Maybe that’s also why not knowing what to do with something frustrates me so badly.  Because then I know I have to hang onto it until I know what to do with it.  It feels like I’m adding an extra piece of baggage, an extra weight to my shoulders with each unfinished task, with each stowed item or piled piece of paperwork.

I know lately I’ve been trying to set myself discrete tasks with a defined beginning and end – that way I can have task completion and a sense of accomplishment.  It’s been helping.



Lesson learned: don’t do nekkid pushups.

Okay, okay, okay, so whywould anyone do them in the first place? 

Well, if you happen to be just about to take a shower, and you happen to have removed all of your clothes in preparation for said shower, and your daughter happens to be showing you her pushups in the bathroom, and you happen to realize that your daughter has no idea that the body is supposed to be in a plank position for the duration of the pushup, and you happen to decide that you might as well demonstrate the proper form of a pushup at that time, then you might find yourself in the position where it is completely reasonableto do a nekkid pushup.

Just don’t do it.

Because, if you happen to have recently lost any amount of weight and you happen to look down your front, you will see something God did not intend for you to see: extra skin. 

Extra skin is not my friend.

Extra skin hangs in a really funky way.  Really funky.  Like cow udders funky. 

Yup.  I looked down and realized I have progressed to cow udder status.

And you have never seen me get out of a pushup faster in my life.

So then, preoccupied as I am with the horrible concept of ever seeing myself in a nekkid pushup again, I decided to check today on the ramifications of extra skin.  It appears that lots of people have discovered this teensy problem and have suggested that people lose weight s-l-o-w-l-y so that the extra skin – I don’t know – dissolves? fades away? is eaten by alien flesh-eating bacteria?  Anyhow, they say, “Lose 1-2 pounds a week.”  Well, yeah, that’s my first problem.  If it was that slow, I just wouldn’t do it.  I’d get too discouraged.  Besides, it’s now mostly academic – and mostly in the past. 

So, what to do?

Well, it appears that drinking a lot of water will help the skin remain elastic and that’s good.  Also, eating fruits and vegetables (again with the lots of water thing) is good.  The funny part is that just working out doesn’t do it.  You have to have a combined approach with resistance training and cardio.  And still the extra skin may just… hang… around.  Yay. 

On the other hand, it’s better than having size 18’s be tight on me.  It’s better than pushing 200 pounds.  It’s just… cow udders?  Really?



Okay, so things are going pretty good.  But, man, I just feel tired.  I feel bummed.  I just want to curl up and go to sleep and maybe not wake up until next week.

Except that’s not remotely feasible.

The negative talk inside my head is pretty loud today, as it often is on days when things just seem to stack up on the red ink side of the ledger.   In my heart, I know it’s not all bad, but I just feel too drained by dealing with it to want to sort through it all right now.

I just feel overwhelmed by my inadequacies and incompetence on so many things.  And so, so much of it is financial.

Sometimes I just wonder how I screwed my life up this badly.

And then I… I don’t know.  Either I shut down, or I depression eat, or I look on the good side, or I try to do something about it.   It’s just that when you’re in the pit, it’s hard to think it’s going to be better.  It’s so much easier to focus on how much of an idiot I was for missing the warning signs that I was about to fall into the pit in the first place.  At least cell reception is pretty good from inside the pit.  Then I can communicate with all my friends who are in pits of their own, albeit of varying depths and degree of sloggishness.

Maybe that’s where the idea of a “pit-y party” originated.  ‘Cause it looks as though I’m trying to throw a big one right now.

Screw it.  I’m going to go to yoga, get stuff done that needs to get done, and I’m going to slog through.  Maybe the pit is just a low spot on the mountain top after all.

It’s April


Howdy, April!  Good to see you so soon, I guess.

As you probably noticed, my whole idea to write more went wahoonie-shaped.  It’s just one of those things that falls by the wayside when life gets busy.

Speaking of busy, it’s been a week of change.

First, my husband got a job teaching.  Yes, this late in the year.  Apparently, the other teacher had been out due to neck surgery and decided not to come back.  So the kids had a series of subs – never a good plan, even less so with high-stakes testing looming on the horizon.  It was a complete Act of God as far as I was concerned.  He’d just lost his job driving and was frenetically looking for a job when this opened up.  It’s the first time something has panned out in two years.  Love that recession we had and all the rest of the emotional garbage.  It does make me wonder if *this* was really God’s plan after all – if it was placing us here.  See, I don’t believe in fate, but I do believe in a benevolent God who has plans we can work to fulfill (or that we can chafe against).  If this is God’s real plan, I like it, and I’m glad I stuck through the past two years to see this happen.

Second, I’ve been crazy-busy woman.  I decided to make more use of my gym membership with the kids and take them to do more activities at the gym together.  So instead of chill-laxing at home with a bit of Netflix, we’ve put a moratorium on school night TV and started seeing what all we could do. The rough part has been pushing bed time back to accommodate the crazy.  Sleepy people are Not Fun (TM).

Monday – Gymnastics for them, yoga for me;

Tuesday – Swimming (would have been rock climbing but for a wicked thumb crush in the car door)

Wednesday – Rock climbing and then yoga for me and gym childcare for kids

Thursday – nada – just running errands to replace leaky swim goggles

Friday – Swimming

Saturday & Sunday – gardening – high intensity gardening.

Well, when I’ve gotten home every night this week, I haven’t felt like eating, let alone cooking.  So I had a grapefruit and some strawberries or grapes.  That was all I was up to eating, and the thought of more intense food just revolted me.

The plus side of that was I lost about 12 pounds in two weeks.  And I wasn’t depriving myself – I just wasn’t hungry for it.  I was not in the mood at all.

For laughs, my husband and I went out to On The Border to eat last night, and I ate as many chips as I wanted before the meal arrived.  Then, about five minutes before the food got there, I was like, “I’m full.”  And I was.  Normally, I can eat basket after basket of chips and still have room for dinner, dessert, and a drink.  Last night, I picked at the main course and then boxed the rest of it up to take for lunch Monday.  Crazy, crazy.

Tonight, after a full afternoon of high intensity gardening (digging, shoveling, raking, weeding, planting), I just fixed a smoothie and enjoyed a grapefruit.  And I’m stuffed.

I don’t plan on doing that forever, but it does feel really nice to put on my skinny pants and have to search for a belt.  I realized that I’m really close to making my weight resolution come to fruition.  In about 5-10 more pounds, I’ll be at the weight I was when I met my husband, and that’s something I never thought I’d see again.

And now I’m thinking beyond the scale.  Now I’m goal-setting for targeting parts of my body that I would like to change.  My hip-thigh-glut-buttock of doom is the main target.  I’ll just say I’m very gifted in that… regard.  Before now, I just thought that targeting a specific area was silly.  That it was a pipe-dream for people who were too body-conscious.  Now it seems like there’s a purpose.  It’s like, if I can control my weight, maybe I can control a part of me that has always been my bane.

Anyhow, I’m just rambling right now.

It’s Palm Sunday – I forgot that, actually, until we got to church and the parking lot was full.  It hadn’t been for weeks.  Suddenly, we had to park in a different lot.  We started going to this Baptist church that had been there all my life, but to which I’d never been.  We had always been Methodists.  And after years of trying to fit in to a Methodist church and trying to drag my husband to church, I realized he’s still a Baptist.  He was raised a Baptist, and he always made disparaging sounds about it, so I didn’t think it was still part of his religious DNA.  But was I ever wrong!  Since I started going, he hasn’t missed a week.  He used to be the CEO of the church – he would go at Christmas, Easter, and One other time.  Now, he’s going, engaged, and seems to actually be plugging in.  My kids even like it.  Dude, if just going to this church is all it takes, I’m so there.  I might even enjoy Easter for once.