Category Archives: Resolutions



I weighed in this week, and I am disappointed with myself and discouraged. I was up a pound. I know in the grand scheme of things that a pound isn’t the end of the world, but I just am angry with myself that I didn’t do better. I just didn’t keep up with what I knew I should be doing. Now I can tell myself little white lies to protect my ego, but the reality is that I just didn’t adhere to a plan strictly enough to see any positive progress. I can tell myself that it’s stress or something, but the truth is still there: I didn’t keep myself from snacking at night, and I sure as hell went on a binge after the funeral.

But it just depresses me to think that I have so little will power on a lasting basis that I can make the significant changes I want in my life.

So what will do it? What will galvanize me into making the changes I want to see?

I just don’t know.

Perhaps this week’s disappointment will do it. Maybe the fact that I backslid will convince me to be more diligent.

The problem is that, for me, it’s an every single day commitment. If I do go off track, it takes me so long to get back on target.

And I keep second-guessing myself: What if I went to the gym more? What if I didn’t eat that extra protein bar? What if I did different exercises? What if I had eaten something different for lunch? Drunk more water? Drunk less coffee? Not used butter? Not eaten onions? Gotten more sleep? Gotten less sleep but been more physically active? Stressed less?

Well, back to square one.


Get on track with the Slim4Ever plan. Drink more water. Do something every morning and evening. Do a little work out throughout the day.

I’ll keep you posted as to how that works and how much will power I have.


Day 2 Progress


It’s sad but good to say that on only the second day, I feel 100% better.

Yesterday I was still miserable. I felt fevered, sore, lethargic, and basically sick through and through. I left work “early” – which is on-time – got fuel and actually felt hungry. I allowed myself a packet of sunflower seeds from the gas station.

I got home on a mission – go to bed. First, I knew I was running basically dehydrated, but the idea of water left me (literally) cold. So instead I made a “green” smoothie, though mine turned out a really awful puce color. Banana, apple, spinach, a couple raspberries, a couple blackberries, and almond milk.

And then bed.

I crashed from 5-7, and it was one of the best decisions of 2015.

I awoke to an empty house and went to make dinner: ground beef, grilled onions, cabbage, and celery. I settled down with a cup of hot tea and a good book about the time everyone got back. I was still feeling pretty punk, so I ate on the sofa in approved “Mommy is sick” formation.

We opened some leftover Christmas presents (yes, it’s the middle of January, and we still had a stack of presents – mostly books – left to open) and then scooted everyone off to their respective beds by 8:30. Snuggled under the heating blanket, we watched the rest of our movie and collapsed into slumber by 10pm.

And then this morning? Oh my goodness! This morning, I felt like myself again! I was energetic! I was excited about making breakfast for people! I was ready to go to work! Granted, I did skip my yoga class for extra shut-eye, but I rationalized it that the sleep was what my body needed MOST.

And today I have felt capable. I have felt able to be on my game and do what needs doing. I have been cheerful and responsive and quick-thinking. I have been motivated and a problem-solver.

This is the me I expect to see, not the person who steals a nap over lunch, not the person who hibernates at her desk, hiding from work.

I’ve got to see this through and see what happens. I am (again) keeping a food journal, but this time I’ve added a new column – Body Check – to it to see how my body is feeling at any given time in response to food and drink.

Now my next goal is to convince myself to start drinking straight water again. I fell off the bandwagon with that one when simply drinking water made me cold inside. I started helping myself out by making pitchers of that lime-infused water again, and the bonus is that my older daughter also was cheerfully drinking from that.

(I’ve gotta brag – I’ve almost entirely eliminated sodas, sweet tea, sugary drinks, and juices from my kids’ daily diet. Yes, if we are at a restaurant or going out to eat, they usually choose sodas, but I’m not purchasing them for the house, and we’re not making pitchers of sweet tea. Milk, water, and hot tea – with the occasional hot chocolate – are the most common beverages for the girls now, and I have no problem with that at all!)

Must Have Testing


Ouch. Looking at my last post just lets me know how far off the reservation I strayed in the past five months.

Today, I am writing from a place of being in pain, in physical discomfort, as I try to figure out what I did to poison myself. Yes, poison. Something I ingested has brought me pain, inflammation, lethargy, fatigue, gas, bloating, and possibly even this low-grade fever I can’t knock.

So I decided to do something completely out of the mold for me – I called the doctor and conferred with my insurance and got set up for an appointment to possibly be followed by food allergy testing. I simply cannot tolerate this pain and discomfort any more.

Now, if I’m eating clean, if I’m taking care of myself and NOT eating inflammatory foods, I actually feel pretty great.

Last night, I re-committed to it. I promised myself no cheating, no “just-a-bite” of anything, no weakness. This is my battle, and I must fight it daily. Because the alternative is pain.

I will conquer this. It’s only willpower, so I just have to *want* it. And I want not being in pain.

On 1-15-15, I committed to it.

I just want to eat clean, track how I feel now, and wait and see until I get results from any allergy testing I have done.

Good Food and Wacky, Wacky Machines


I’ll get to the machines, but first: PICTURES OF FOOD! 

 Breakfast looked like this: two eggs, a banana, and a handful of blueberries. The coffee mug is, in fact, full of coffee. The LAST cup of caffeinated coffee in the house.

Two eggs, a banana, and blueberries

Two eggs, a banana, and blueberries

Then I was hungry on the way to the gym, so I had some mixed nuts – almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pecans, and maybe hazelnuts.

Emerald Energy Smoothie from Lifetime Cafe

Emerald Energy Smoothie from Lifetime Cafe

It was Try-It Tuesday, so they offered $1 off the price of the smoothies. Since I figured it was smart to refuel right after working out, I didn’t mind trying something new. This was super-yummy. The weird thing was that I got completely full on half the glass. I just drank water afterwards and stowed the rest in the fridge for a snack later.

When I got home, I had a handful of banana chips while I made lunch: reheated baked chicken breast, fresh green cabbage cooked in coconut oil with sea salt and crushed red pepper, and a slice of sweet potato.

Half chicken breast, cabbage cooked in coconut oil, and a slice of sweet potato

Half chicken breast, cabbage cooked in coconut oil with crushed red pepper, and a slice of sweet potato

Dessert was watermelon, but this time I monitored my intake so that I didn’t overindulge or just simply eat too much. I’ll confess I also wound up eating another slice of sweet potato the same size because no one else was going to, and it was super-yum.

Today was also weigh-in day. Yes, actually. Yes, yes, I know I weighed in yesterday, but Tuesday is the magical day for the 90DC.

Now, I had planned to go to yoga this morning, but Everything Conspired Against It. To the point that I got in the car, was about to pull out of the housing development, looked at the time, and realized that there was no way I would be on time to my yoga class. 

Eventually, after two more abortive attempts to leave to go to the gym, I got there (wearing shoes!). I decided to “Lift All the Things,” which is what my friend Amie calls weight training. Today I worked my chest and back, taking the advice to set the weights to something I couldn’t lift many times. I actually surprised myself with how heavy I needed to set the weights to make myself strain a bit. I thought I would have lost most of my strength and tone from not doing much over the past month, but I was able set the weights at or above where I’d had them before.

After lifting, I went to weigh in, and the numbers shocked me.

Either my body is super-responsive to slight changes in diet and exercise inside of a 24 hour period (which is entirely possible knowing my history for being able to gain and shed weight), or the computers are calibrated differently at the two different Lifetime Fitness Gyms I went to, which is equally possible.

So, the results were Total Body Weight 153 lbs (down 3.3 lbs) and Percentage Body Fat of 19.2% (down 3.6, which is a 15.78% change). Yeah, I don’t get it either.

All I can think is that I need to just keep up the good fight, keep plugging away doing what I know to be good for me, and add in anything that sounds like a good idea.

I’m really not looking forward to a shift in the opposite direction.

I am looking forward to getting back to my home gym and weighing consistently there because then I won’t have any of the worries that it’s the machine and not me making the change.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that being a transformation winner at the national level could win $10,000 plus a free membership for a year. I mean, not that I’m motivated by money or anything, but… well, there are probably some people who are investing a lot of time and money into this just to net that win. But it would still be cool, ya know?

90 Day Challenge


I’m participating in this thing called a “90 Day Challenge” through my gym, Lifetime.

First, let me get a few things straight:

  • I’m not doing this for my wedding.
  • I’m not doing this for anyone else.
  • I’m not doing this “to lose weight.”

Yes, as a side effect, I will look a lot better in my wedding dress, but that’s next year. I still have a lot of room to screw up between now and then. Besides, the dress is stretchy anyways.

Okay, and yes, my fiancé might enjoy seeing me slimmer and more toned. And that could be a lot of fun.

Yes, I would enjoy “losing weight” because I would like to see that scale number dip a bit lower. But then there’s always the argument that people don’t believe they are thin enough, toned enough, whatever enough to be happy. I used to think I would be happy if I could just get to the weight I am now. Now that I’m here and have stayed in this weight range reliably for 6 months, I know that it is not the specific weight that matters, but how you feel – and most importantly, how you feel about yourself.

Why am I doing it?

I am doing it to feel in control of my body. I’m doing it to reach for my potential. I’m doing it to fit into clothes I want to wear. I’m doing it to tone and transform.

This week, I was thinking about all the things people say when you tell them you’re going to work out.

You don’t need to.

Thank you. It’s a choice, though. I want to work out. It makes me feel good in my mind and my body. It keeps my trick knee from killing me. It releases endorphins and I feel more at peace with my life. I am a better worker, parent, and person when I get my chosen work outs. Also, the doctor told me I need a steady regime to keep off blood pressure medication.

But you’re already great at…

Thanks! I’m flattered that you think so. I know I can do some things well, but I also know where I am striving to improve. I’ve seen the things some other people can do. If I keep with my routine – and change it up a little for maximum benefit – I might reach my personal goals of being able to do different things. I couldn’t always do a handstand. I only got that through consistent practice, and I have so much more I want to be able to do.

Surely skipping one day won’t hurt.

True. Sometimes it’s even good to skip a day, or at least an afternoon to rest. You can approach the next work out with more energy. However, I’ve got to do something, or I’ll lose some of my hard-earned flexibility. I might even re-injure my knee if I don’t keep it in use. The next time I try to do something I know I can do, I might injure myself because I might be stiff or sore or inflexible. You don’t hear my joints pop and creak when I’ve missed a day. You don’t feel the stiffness in my knee when I haven’t taken the time to work it carefully, slowly, thoughtfully. You don’t feel the tightness in my shoulders or my legs when I try to go into a posture. On the same note, only I know how it feels to sink straight into what I want to do because I’ve already put the work in and I’m maintaining. Only I know how it feels to me when I realize I’m the only one in class with the flexibility to get the posture I want. It’s a heady feeling, and it immediately humbles me to think of how far I still have to go.

Why do you spend so much time at the gym?

First, I like the people at the gym. I feel welcome, so it feeds my soul to go and be around my gym friends. They want nothing out of me. All I need to do is work out, be myself, and kibitz. I don’t owe them work; I don’t need to volunteer to help run something; and I don’t need to make my life pretty for them. I can just be. Also, I know myself. Sure, I could work out at home or just go bike riding with my kids. Does that push me? Does that make me put out my full effort? No. I always hold back. I’m riding rear guard to make sure I’m there if someone crashes or falls behind. I get interrupted at home. I’m not challenged enough by myself. I see other people, I not only get inspired, I also have a streak of competitiveness that drives me to see if I can do something at least as well (if not better) than the people around me. It takes an hour for a class, plus fifteen minutes around it for transit time. Add in a shower at any point, and I’ve dedicated about one and a half to two hours for one work out. And I really need about two each day to get where I need to be.

You’re not fat.

Thank you. In my head, I am the fat chick. I self-identify with the fat chicks. I look at the skinny, lean, beautiful women, and I put myself outside of their group. I even look at the yoga teachers in all their grace and muscles and feminine curves and strength and beauty, and I can only admire them. Even though a number of people recently have told me that I should be a yoga teacher, in my head, I’m not good enough yet – and not just in needing to develop and hone skills, but also in looking like someone who treats her own body as a temple. (The super funny thing about this comment was I even got that last night. A guy was talking about how he likes skinny chicks – like size 2 skinny – and he was trying to make a point that “Big Beautiful Women” think they deserve “Fabios.” As he was talking, he’s was like, “Not girls like you – you’re not fat.” And I’m wondering how I must look to him with my current wonderful little muffin top rolling over my gym shorts.)

What do you do with your kids?

Thanks for asking. Are you volunteering to babysit for me? Honestly, I pay for child care at the gym, and I try to arrange some of my work outs to coincide with fun kids’ activities at the gym so that they get something out of going, too. I’ve begun experimenting with allowing my daughters increasing levels of responsibility, staying at home by themselves while I’m at the gym. I constantly juggle day care, gym child care, play dates, and self-reliance. Occasionally, I’ll even take them with me to a class. The thing is, most of the time when people ask this question, they don’t really want to know what you do; they’re horrified that you are doing something without your children and want to shame you into their concept of appropriate behavior. These are frequently the women who don’t work outside the home and cannot conceive of not having time to work out while their kids are at school. These women also are usually married, so they can leave the kids with their husband and have no worries.

Here are some things people could do to be supportive:

  • Positive remarks on my progress. If you see that I can do something I couldn’t do before or you see a change in my attitude or physical being, say something nice.
  • Share a recipe with me for something that looks healthy. I don’t care if I can eat it or not based on my meal plan. It’s the thought that counts. Really.
  • Talk to me about what you’re doing. Tell me about the stuff you’re trying to reach your own goals. It doesn’t have to be health or fitness related – I am genuinely interested in your progress because I want to be your cheering section, too.
  • Offer to come with me to a class or have me join you in one of your favorite classes. There are few things more motivating to me than working out with a friend.
  • Talk me up when I want to quit. If I’ve had a rough day, remind me how much better I’ll feel after I go to the gym. Don’t be too kind to me. I probably just want to curl up in a cave and drink alcohol and eat myself into a carb coma. Encourage me to get out there are reach my goals. I’ll feel better when I have done something toward my goal.
  • Invite me to go do something fun or exciting – or just to have a cup of coffee. Whatever you’ve got going on that lights a fire in you, invite me along. I’m a pretty social little butterfly, but I don’t get out much, and I have fewer going out friends than you might think.
  • Ask about my progress. Show interest in the little gains I make. I know they might mean nothing to you, really, but fake it just a little. You know a fake orgasm is only fake for the person faking it. 

Anyhow, Monday is my weigh-in day. I really start my challenge August 11, after I get back from seeing my BFF. 

My goal is to make a measurable difference in my body fat percentage, increase my strength and stamina, tone my core and thighs, and see more definition in my shoulders and back. Food-wise, I want to be more consistent with water intake, reduce toxins in my system, and find a meal plan that is tenable for the long haul.



For me, the most important thing about starting to write is

breaking routine.

It’s so easy to fall into a routine of minutiae.  It’s easy to think that filling the day with little menial tasks is actually accomplishing something, is DOING something.  After all, it’s those little tasks that niggle at the back of your brain – or even sometimes at the front – that make you think you’re 


Except that you can spend your whole day doing little things – those little things that get undone just as soon as they are finished – and it’s like writing love poems in the sand at low tide.  Just an hour later, they’re washing away with the incoming waves, and you have nothing to show  for your efforts, except perhaps a memory.

And are those the memories I want to create with my time?

Not precisely, no.

I think perhaps having the memory of seizing that 1:23 am surge of energy, getting up, fishing out my glasses from the bottom drawer of my fiance’s bathroom, making a cup of abysmally dark coffee spruced up with cinnamon and a half teaspoon of sugar, and writing something – ANYTHING – is the memory I want.  

I don’t care that I’m not getting a full night’s sleep!  

Let me shout that from the rooftops: I DON’T CARE!

I do care about finally getting my fingers on the keyboard, staring at the screen, and taking dictation from the little narrator inside my head.  

That’s what I need to do.

There are two books that I need to get out:

1) Uncertain Waters – though that’s just a working title – it’s the story of my life, my journal, my craptastic truth that is as strange as fiction

2) The Children’s Book – that is written.  It’s WRITTEN.  It’s complete.  I just need to type it up and discover how to pitch it to a literary agent. 

And it’s the fear of failure and the fear of success that are holding me back.  It’s easier to be a writer who hasn’t tried than one who has tried and failed.  And dammit, when I admit that to myself, it seems so chicken, so opposed to who I say I am, that I will do something about it.  

So I will post here.  I will blog.  I will update with weird irregularity.  Because I need a place to think out loud.  

And I will see this book thing through.  I will figure out how to share my stories.  I won’t just jot them down; I will send them along.  

My stories will be my fledgling thoughts, and I will urge them out of the nest to test their wings.  

They will soar.

Stealing time


So I’m just stealing time from myself right now to write this, but I realize that unless I do steal time, I will never, ever write anything that floats through my head as a potential post.

I may not even be able to edit or make this anything more than rambling because I just need to get it down before I have to go. 

I’m at work, after hours, and decided to check up on email and stuff before I got in the car (rather than on the highway, which in my addle-pated mind is the PERFECT time to check email *sigh*), and I saw an updated blog post from my BFF, and I realized that I haven’t written anything in a week.  Not actually physically written anything.  I’ve thought the thoughts, but not dotted the dots.  Or whatever.  It hasn’t happened.  And that’s because I never steal the time to sit down and write.

Things I have stolen time to do lately:

  • go to yoga
  • clean the house
  • take care of pets
  • watch stuff on Netflix, lately “Touch” the TV series
  • go to Girl Scout meetings
  • try to learn about the credit-card swipers that people can use this year for cookies
  • get extra work stuff done on my own time
  • work on my second house to get it ready to rent
  • meet with friends for coffee
  • read out loud to my kids
  • go shopping and buy healthy food
  • check and post stuff on Facebook (although this week, I’m choosing to be less active on that)

Things I need to steal time to do:

  • go to yoga, but this time at the wacky new times they offer
  • do laundry (yuck!) but really, now I’m digging in the clean laundry baskets for underwear, and that’s just never good
  • write
  • do art
  • write letters to all of these people I’ve been meaning to write to
  • store the Christmas stuff in the attic instead of in boxes in the craft room
  • get my hair cut
  • go to the doctor for a check-up
  • go to the dentist
  • go for a walk in a beautiful place
  • read a good book
  • read with my kids
  • set up Girl Scout cookie booth sales
  • make lunches the night before

And now?  Now I need to steal the time to drive through the wet streets to pick up my kids, feed them, do homework, chores, etc., and still get to the yoga class I want to attend.  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Happy Old Year!



Can I just say that I’m glad it’s over?

I have a lot of great memories, but 2012 was rough.  There was so much going on.  I’m just glad to see it in the rearview mirror and look forward to a better year.

Before I went through the marathon process of logging in – I had forgotten my password – I had a whole bunch of things I had already mentally composed.  Now I’m just fatigued.  I’m just ready to surf Pinterest some more and call it a year.

Although that does remind me of one major thought I’d had: if you ever want to see the depths some people will plumb in an effort to be completely tasteless, just type in “zebra print” on Pinterest.

As for resolutions, I’m pretty sure I tanked on last year’s.  I need to either be less ambitious or more disciplined.  I’ll probably choose the former.  Really, I’ve tried doing a whole bunch of stuff, and it makes me feel great for a while, but then I just don’t get it done, and I feel like a failure.  So what’s the point?  Instead, I just need to focus on like one major thing that I can do as my real resolution.  I can change other stuff, and that will be just gravy – just extra goodness, but I need to stick to my guns and stick with one really important thing.  The best I can say is that I didn’t gain a bunch of weight this year.  I maintained.  I got stronger and more flexible.  I learned some limits.  I tried something new – and I succeeded at it.  I supported my kids in trying something new.  I supported my husband in his professional growth.

I already know that I’m going to simplify this year.  I’m going to give up some leadership positions and just try to focus on doing one or two things well instead of trying to do everything.  I’m going to volunteer to help, but not to lead as much this year.  What I do continue to lead, I want to do really well.  If something doesn’t light up my life with joy, I’m going to drop it.  I’m in my 30’s, and I need to make sure I enjoy this time.  I need to make the most of it, my youth, my energy, my time with my family.  I don’t need to ruin it by being constantly stressed.

On the other hand, I’m also working on developing or rekindling some relationships with friends. I realized that I need to put in some effort to maintain relationships with my friends.  Just posting on Facebook isn’t enough.  I need to put in face time as well as Facebook time.

And I’m working on getting my life in order with finances.  That’s just a mess right now.  An absolute, stress-ridden, wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat mess.  I guess that’s going to be my biggest focus for 2013: getting a handle on my future by tackling the financial mess in which I’ve tangled myself.

Early Morning Happy


Well, I’m not just jumping for joy, but I’ve got this great state of just general well-being.  Noticing that, it’s worth writing about.

I got up “early” – summertime early means any time before 8am, and was able to “Live Clean” by finishing yesterday’s tasks of yard work and getting things out to the trash before trash pick-up.  See, yesterday, we’d taken down a fence section, and I’d chopped down some evil vines and raked yard debris that previously was hidden by the fence.  Today, I was able to finish the job and strip some more vines from the standing fence line, get it all tucked into trash bins, and put away the tools.  It felt good.  Oh, and water the lawn, which was doing an impression of a west Texas dry plain.

I also made a great breakfast – homemade waffles for one child and husband (I realize that the way I said that may imply that I have extra husbands… Hmmm…. interesting concept), Malt-O-Meal for one child, and an omelet of sauteed mushrooms, onions, and egg whites for myself, garnished with diced tomatoes and avocado.  Pair that with delicious hazelnut coffee, and that’s a recipe for happiness.
Now I’m off to get new tennis shoes for me, search out shoes for the oldest child (I swear she lies awake at night gnawing on the shoes to wear through them as quickly as she does), and swing by work to get my bearings and start prepping my head for the upcoming year.
Sounds like it’s going to be a good day.

Live Clean


Well, the other night it was quite amusing, because after months of not blogging at all, I sat down to write about starting up again… and the computer shut down mid-start of the post.

Tonight, I was half-way through the above sentence when I was attacked by small children.

As you can see, blogging is fraught with peril in my household.

What had inspired me to begin again was my renewed determination to adhere to my meal plan and trim down before the start of school.  Today is day three of the plan, the last preparation day, and thankfully the last day of jamming as much red meat in my body as I possibly can.  I swear, starting this always sounds really great, because when else do I ever buy steak?  It sounds kind of like a treat to just be able to eat as much as you can and still lose weight.  And then, ‘long about the middle of day two, you think Seriously? I still have to eat something? I think I’m going to puke!  And day three, you’re just powering through this mess of meat, hoping against hope for some real carbs.

I’ve kept a small record of progress so far, though, so that I know it’s real progress.  In October, I was at 189.5 lbs.  In June, I was at 166.5.  Today, I was at 164.5.  It’s not my documented lowest weight – that was under 160 – but the encouraging part is that is my lowest documented *start* weight.  So, as long as I don’t go ape crazy, I will only get trimmer.

I saw this woman today at the pool whose body was just an inspiration.  She had this completely muscled physique, and I wanted to go up to her and ask her what she did – just one little pointer to get me started on the right track.  When I did approach her, I realized that I knew her – and she knew me – and that I had taken a group exercise class that she teaches.  Fortunately, I was able to glean a nugget of gold – that her recommendation was to increase cardio workouts.  That was actually reassuring, because that was the conclusion I’d reached by myself.

Now the real test will be what I can do to maintain a workout schedule when school starts.  I’m just going to have to make it a priority to map out the group classes and get to them.  I just do so much better with a group than on my own.  I’m naturally competitive, and seeing someone do better than me just makes me want to try to keep up.

The part I was most excited to post about, however, was my new mantra, “Live Clean.”

Living Clean means basically doing the stuff I’ve never been good at: putting things where they belong immediately and cleaning up after myself immediately.  Leave no mess.  Have you any idea how difficult that is for a trained hoarder?  Have you any concept how much of a step that is for me?

Well, I had this epiphany this past week while I was camping in Palo Duro Canyon in Amarillo.  I was by myself – for perhaps the first time in my life – and I was realizing that I can keep things so that they don’t drive me crazy.  I can create a system for organization so that I can find things when I need them, so that I don’t waste time and drive myself insane looking for something I just had my hands on.  I realized I needed to “Live Clean.”

It starts off simple – just keeping things tidy and organized for myself, and trying to get my kids and husband to help with that around the house, but it’s really so much more.  I haven’t wanted to delve all the way into it yet, because I know I need to take baby steps, that I need to accomplish some part of it to build a foundation before I make it an integral part of my whole life.  But it’s begun to sneak in through the cracks.  It made me restart my meal plan.  I figured, Hey, if I’m really “Living Clean,” I need to clean up my food choices and start getting where I want to be.

Well, my kids and husband are both dying for my attention (yeah, always when I sit down to actually try to type something coherent), and I can’t focus on making this pithy or well-written.  I can, however, get it posted.