Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I swear I have a few unexpectedly delicious low-fat/calorie recipes to post here and I promise I will but tonight we have "winter precipitation" moving in which means I will likely wake up to 1/2" of ice tomorrow and possibly no power so tonight I'm just knitting. And then tearing out the mistakes and then knitting and then tearing out the mistakes . . . this first sweater is making me crazy!

Stay warm unless you're Paul in Sydney (stay cool Paul! I adore you darling!).

Monday, January 29, 2007

I almost hesitate to post this because by now everyone knows. I'm not posting it as news but because of my completely unexpected reaction. Today after lunch I returned to my desk and decided to check before I got back to work. Of course the lead story was Barbaro.

I've been following this story closely since Barbaro's injury in May. I knew of the setbacks this month but it just never occurred to me that he would lose this battle. I took it for granted that he would bounce back again. And so when I read the headline I sat at my desk and cried.

What an incredible creature he was. What an inspiration.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Long week working on a new project and it all ended tonight with a meeting of my investment club. Not as impressive as it sounds. In fact I think I would have been better off putting that money into my online savings (5.05%) but I am learning a lot and it is a networking thing and a social thing and honestly I do enjoy it.

Anyway I'm tired.

This week I got back to my workouts. I started in big time last year and did really well for the first 9 weeks but then had my surgery. It was not a big deal at all but in the past few weeks I've realized I am feeling back to my old self. A couple of weeks to recover from the surgery itself but 9 months to be truthful. Not that I've been hurting or anything. I really felt ready to dance by early April! I think I was in such bad shape by the time they took me in the OR that I didn't realize how bad it was and it just took longer to really get back to my old self than I ever realized.

Anyway, I've been on the treadmill every day and in the past week have worked up from feeling like I was going to die at 3 minutes yet going 20 to going 45 and feeling like I can increase that tomorrow! I do a walk/run combo. Walk 3 or 4 minutes then run 2 minutes or so. I am pretty damned proud of myself I have to say.

My treadmill is set up in my "office" so I can see the TV in the kitchen and I turn it on and go and try not to think about the time. I realized today that programming isn't always condusive to a workout so I've been spending the evening loading my iPod. I've now run out of the $25 iTunes card and so am loading my CDs - Gwen Stefani, Shakira, Queen, Santana. Earlier I loaded reggae - Red Red Wine and No Woman No Cry. Last week I bought Neil Young After The Goldrush but that isn't good workout stuff.

For a while (like, 10 years) I lost track of music. I rarely play it at home and listen to NPR in the car. This iPod has really brought me back in touch with music I love. Now if only I could catch up with what the kids are listening to these days . . .

And while I'm on the subject of "kids these days . . . " Can I hear a shout out from others who think this style of wearing one's pants down past the pubic area and showing 16" of boxer shorts is the stupidest looking thing ever?? How do they walk? What is the point? How old AM I? I've turned into the old lady I never wanted to be but I just don't get how this is cool. If only I could be 10 years older - I swear I would lean out the car window and yell at them to pull up their pants.

Rant over.


Thursday, January 18, 2007


And I am so ashamed. Yesterday's news was that cancer deaths have reached an astounding low mostly due to people quitting. Today's news is that cigarette manufacturers in the US have been increasing the addictive component of cigarettes - nicotine. Hmmmm. Coincidence? I think not.

Mom has been smoke free more than 18 months after about 50 years of being an addict. And if I might say it she was a fucking addict. Bad addicted. Seriously. And she has quit. She is my hero.

My aunt Jeanie was a heavy smoker and in September 2004 she died of lung cancer. All of my grandparents were smokers, though most quit before I realized it.

At my high school graduation I was voted "Marlboro Woman." Not "Most Likely To Succeed." "Marlboro Woman."

Every day I wake up and smoke and hate myself and big tobacco. I've been able to quit for short periods and it amazes me how much smoke stinks when I have been away from it. It makes my house stink and my clothing stink and my hair stink. It makes my skin stink. There have been short periods where I have quit and I've gotten in the shower and I can smell the stink coming out of my pores in the steam.

This is the year I will quit. I don't want it any more. I hate it. Above and beyond concerns for my own health I simply refuse to be a pawn for the tobacco companies.

Monday, January 15, 2007

In Extreme Honor of Miss Jessie

No, she's "still a-kickin' and she ain't dead yet" as she says everytime I talk with her. She is, however, about to turn 95. She lives alone quite well, thank you, and still does her own yard work. She is my dear next door neighbor and threatens me with a whippin' if I misbehave. This is quite enough to keep me in line I assure you. I would not ever want a Miss Jessie whippin'.

People are kind to her. People come to paint her house and help her with things she could surely do on her own. Eventually. She claims we are all "about to push her out of this world." I tell her I can't understand it since she's been so MEAN to everyone all her life. She laughs and laughs and so do I.

At Christmas I give her a gift card to the grocery store. At her birthday in March I do the same. This might as well be a gold brick to her. She worked as a domestic and there IS no social security for her. I only wish I could do more. I know every morning she wakes up and looks for my lights and I do the same with her. If she sees something out of the ordinary for me she calls and I do the same.

Dr. King would feel content today that we have the relationship we have. For me it is a no-brainer. I love and adore this woman - this icon. I am fortunate to live beside a woman who teaches me every day. Sometimes her lessons are difficult - more often they make me laugh and rejoice. I only hope I keep the dream by making her feel the same. And I hope I will carry them on.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

How To Change A Tire 101

(By special request from sister Susannah the new age nun who is 39 and has never had a flat)

1. Make sure you know where your owner's manual is - usually in your glove compartment. You might need it. Always refer to it. That's why it's called an owner's manual.

2. Know where your spare is. In most passenger cars it is in the trunk. In pickups it's under the truck bed.

3. Know where your jack is and how to get it out and use it. This varies from vehicle to vehicle but jacks require a lifting thingy and another thingy to get the lifting thingy to lift. Not rocket science but you should know where it is and how to work it.

These are the primary requirements. Now onto changing a tire.

You are on a road driving. When the tire goes flat you will know it. Driving and steering becomes difficult but also there will be a distinct flopping noise. Pull over carefully and slowly. If it is dark make sure you are in a well-lit area if possible. DO NOT try to drive 5 or 10 miles on a flat - you will ruin stuff like rims and axles. Whatever they are.

Once at a stop you must first and most importantly apply your emergency brake. This is crucial. If you try to jack up the car and the emergency brake isn't on the vehicle will roll back.

Next, before you jack up the vehicle, make sure you loosen the lug nuts. If you jack it up and then try to loosen you won't be able to and will have wasted time and effort.

Once lug nuts are loose position the jack in the proper place for your vehicle. If you don't know where this is consult your owner's manual which is (as previously mentioned) in your glove compartment. The jack might also have this information on it.

Carefully jack up your vehicle. You will want to make sure you can at least run your hand between the flat tire and the ground but still you will have to jack it up more because you will be replacing the flat with a tire full of air - requires more space.

Remove the loosened lug nuts. Remove the tire.

Replace the flat tire with the spare. Again, you might have to jack up the vehicle a bit more to accommodate a spare with air. Put the lugnuts back on and hand-tighten.

Un-jack the vehicle until the jack comes out. Use the thingy to tighten the lugnuts.

Put all of the crap back into your trunk.

Make sure you know whether you are on a real tire or a doughnut. If a doughnut you need to know you should only go about 40 MPH and get to a service center for a new tire. (Doughnuts look like little fake tires)

If you have never done this I recommend that you practice in the comfort of your own driveway. Highly recommend this. Especially if you travel with children.

Before yesterday the last time I changed a flat was when I was in full business attire and heels and on my way to the refinance on my house after my divorce. Even in full business attire and heels I was able to do it. You can too. Your hands will get really dirty and it isn't pleasant but it is so easy. Just make sure you loosen the lugnuts before you jack it up.

Hope this helps, and if I've missed anything please advise.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Haha - Just got an email from a coworker thanking me. Today 3 of us went in to eat lunch at a place not far from the office. Our driver all of a sudden thought she had a flat and pulled into a gas station. It was indeed flat and so I got out and started to work but she (the driver) wanted to call AAA. I asked if she had a spare and she did. So I changed the tire. Not a big deal except that her jack was for shit. We were back on the road in 15 minutes. Why is it that changing a tire is nothing for me and yet there are women who have to call AAA for this? This was a non-event for me until I got the thank you right now. Evidently I saved the freaking day. Thank you was fine but are there really so many women who can't change a flat??? REALLY??? I am flattered but seriously. Are there really women who can't change a flat but have a drivers license??

Why I Love Cats

This are just examples, but I love them.

Phoebe is my 9 month old kitten. She has many funny quirks that make her different, just as every cat has something that makes them stand apart.

Sonny for instance likes to sleep in bare baskets. I once put a blanket in the bottom of his favorite sleeping basket to make it more comfortable and he refused to get in until I finally, many months later, took it out. He also likes to get head rubs. ONLY head rubs. Rub his back and you're on your own. He might allow it, he might not.

Dylan sleeps on the only floor heat register in the living room. DIRECTLY on top of it. Every night I have to get up 10 - 20 times to chase him off so the room will get a bit of heat. I've tried to coax him onto registers in other rooms but he likes that one best for some reason.

Camille MUST tell me everything she things is of importance, especially if it requires my attention. There was one night Sonny was out and would not come in no matter how much I called. Camille was very vocal all night until I went to bed. I got up in the middle of the night to lean out the back door and call him again and Camille ran out. I went out to grab her and she made me follow her up to the garden shed where she sat and planted herself and began meowing. Turns out Sonny had been in the shed when I closed it late the previous afternoon. Camille knew and was not going to rest until she made me fix the situation.

Phoebe is a strong and independent girl even if she is only still a kitten. She has one little thing she does that I love more than anything else. At night when I get in bed she gets beside me and sleeps on top of the covers. Almost every night, in the middle of the night, I am woken up to her gently batting me on the nose or mouth. Often I incorporate it into my dreams (don't ask). She keeps it up until I wake up. She only does this when she wants me to let her under to snuggle. So she bats gently, I eventually come to and lift the comforter and she crawls under and nestles up next to me and begins to purr. Even if I only have 20 minutes until the alarm I always go back to sleep happy, knowing life is good.