Archive | January, 2012

Mind the gap…

30 Jan

I was in Florida for a long weekend to help my mom celebrate her 70th birthday. It was great to see family friends, and visit with my mom, my aunt, and my grandmother – who is 98. We were down in December to celebrate that birthday, too! I’m not sure what we were thinking (not, I guess), but we didn’t take any photos! How lame is that… Me, my mom, my aunt, and my grandmother, and not one picture.

On Wednesday I’m embarking on a spin-off with some NaNoWriMo participants – it’s 60 in 60, meaning 60,000 words in 60 days. Thanks to Leap Year, that’s February and March. I’m actually aiming for 90,000, like in the official NaNoWriMo in November, which would be a complete novel in my genre of thriller/adventure. It’s not nearly as much as in November, when I wrote 88,651 in 23 writing days… So I feel like it’ll be a lot less mentally exhausting!

My problem is that January has been… a gap. It’s just GONE. Kaput. Finis. Sionara. Over. So I don’t have a fully fleshed out plot, which is going to make the first week or so (while I develop one) exciting. I was trying to get my first one completely edited by February 1, but that hasn’t happened, so I’ll also be editing that first week. Oh, and trying to resume an exercise program, which got killed thanks to my plantar fasciitis. I’m feeling kind of… insane right now.

So. February 1 is my do over, my mulligan. My new New Year. It’s the new writing year. The new exercise year. Who knows, maybe there will be other new things after Wednesday, too. You never can tell…!



New Years Do-Over (1/20/12)

25 Jan

We left for our vacation in the Keys on Dec 31, verrrry early in the morning, and were gone until the night of the 9th, so my intention all along was to “start” my new year things when we got back. Well, it’s now the 20th, and I’ve had a horrible cold and now (again) a sinus infection, and not shockingly none of those things have happened. My house is a wreck, my book isn’t edited (almost, but not completely), my exercise program is… nonexistent. My eating is messed up because I can’t smell or taste anything. My painting is still sitting unfinished on the easel – since August.

Emmy is hibernating

So I’m calling a do-over. A mulligan. While I may not have a party with champagne and streamers and those annoying things you blow that make too much noise, I am turning the Gregorian calendar on its ear (at least in my house) and starting this new year again on February 1. What the heck… Companies are allowed to determine their fiscal year, the government’s fiscal year starts on the random date of October 1, and I have basically lost January. So instead of trying to find it, I’m going to relegate it to “last year”.

Thyme is having a sleep over with friends

10 days from now I will be done with my round of antibiotics. I will be starting my 60k in 60 days writing extravaganza (which is really 90k in 60 days for me, unofficially). I will be starting my 325k in 365 days writing experiment. I will be back from my mom’s 70th birthday, and ready to start using my rowing machine and treadmill again. My brain will be (theoretically) back to normal functionality, and I will be starting the countdown to our May 3 departure to Uganda.

George (in Uganda) is worn out by it all

What is time, anyway? Einstein said “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” Well, in January, ain’t nothing happening. And a whole lot of it.

Even our resident owl is just wiped out…

So look out February! Good thing you have that extra day this year, cause I’m gonna need it!

Always good advice…

Is it just me? (1/15/12)

25 Jan

I realized today that I do some of the craziest things. To name a few:

*  I buy adorable patterned cupcake/muffin liners, but I don’t use them. Why? Because I hate to “waste” them. I don’t really think this through, but when I’m making muffins, and I see those nice cute liners, that’s what I think. “Oh, I shouldn’t waste those cute liners on muffins!”

See, no liner. I had liners when I made these. But I didn’t use them…

*  I buy lovely candles, but I don’t light them. Why? Same reason as the muffin liners – I don’t want to use them up because they’re so pretty.

* I buy meat when it’s on sale and I carefully wrap it up to prevent freezer burn and put it in the freezer. And then I forget about it, or think I shouldn’t use it “yet”, and buy more meat.

The other half of this tenderloin is in the freezer. The other half of last year’s tenderloin is also in the freezer…

Do you see a pattern here? A trend? Yep, me too. I’m crazy. Obviously, there are more cupcake liners and candles at the store. More than I could use in a lifetime. And it’s not like they’re expensive versions of these mundane items. They’re the original mundane item. Maybe cute, maybe nice smelling… but just your average every day pick it up at Target cupcake liner or candle.

Don’t get me started on the time about six years ago I did that cook-for-a-month weekend. I did cook for a month, wrapped it all up, labeled it, froze it, made a chart to check off things as we used them. But then I didn’t use anything. I just kept cooking as usual. OK, we did eat the muffins and pancakes. But that was it. Why? Well, I might need it. When? Someday.

My mother-in-law was a Great Depression child, and she reused aluminum foil, and plastic baggies (not zip locks, just the cheap old need-a-twist-tie plastic baggies), and jars, and rubber bands. Anything that could be washed, dried and reused, she washed, dried and reused. When we moved her into assisted living in 2005 she had unopened pantyhose from the Sixties… And I could actually relate, because if I didn’t move for thirty years, I’d have meat in my freezer that long. I know what she thought about that pantyhose – “I might need it someday!”  (I do draw the line at aluminum foil…)

Maybe a New Years resolution should be to live in the moment, candles, cupcake liners and all. Start using that meat (I have three freezers…seriously). Talk to that neighbor I was waiting to see at the summer picnic. Take the walk I was waiting to take in the spring. Pursue a dream starting today, instead of waiting until someday.

What if someday never comes, and I’m left with three freezers full of meat and a crate of cupcake liners? What kind of legacy is that?

Closing in on 47… (1/11/12)

25 Jan

I’ll be 47 in a few months, and while I don’t mind the number, there are certainly things about this lovely “middle age” that I could live without. (Guys, this isn’t for you, although you might want to get your wife.)


Unpredictability. Gone are the days of wondering if too many days since the last “recent unpleasantness” means pregnancy. Also gone are the days of having some clue, either by a calendar or PMS, when the next “recent unpleasantness” will appear. 21 days? Check. 37 days? Check. PMS-like symptoms not connected to anything whatsoever? Check check check.


The heat of the night. I was standing at the deli counter at Harris Teeter yesterday, waiting on my roast beef, when the lady next to me mumbled something. The meat slicing seemed pretty slow, so I thought she was complaining about it, and said, “Excuse me?” She said, “Oh my gosh, these hot flashes are killing me!” Her entire face was pouring sweat and turning red. “They put me on hormones but they aren’t working yet!” She wiped her brow with a handkerchief. Poor thing! I don’t have this problem yet, but some nights I go from freezing cold to HOT in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t last long, but it wakes me up,  and I have to take all the covers off, and then, when it passes, I have to pull them all back on. It’s really annoying. Just sayin’.


Slogging through the day. Some of this is winter, I realize. I have struggled through every winter since I moved to NC. And days like today, with gloomy cold rain are the worst. But in general, my energy level is way below what it used to be. Not that I was ever a dynamo… I’ve always been laid back. But some days it’s like trying to walk through chest-deep molasses, and I haven’t found a lot – yet – to help. Except the 3 days I was on a Prednisone taper’s full dose and felt GREAT. But I don’t think staying on Prednisone is the answer…


The weight goes where?? Until I was post-45, if I gained weight, it went in predictable locations. Backside, hips, belly. I stayed about the same weight for a long time, but that winter-5 would sneak up on me from time to time. Now it goes to really weird places like the back of midsection. What?? It’s a backwards muffin top! Not attractive.


My feet don’t work. I have had plantar fasciitis since May. I have gone to the doctor 3 times, have $450 custom orthotic inserts, wear unexciting shoes, don’t walk too much… In general, all the things I’m supposed to do. My right foot is mostly ok unless I do a lot of walking or Zumba or something, but my right foot got about 60-70% better and quit. So most mornings I hobble around, any exercise hurts it, and I feel much more limited, not to mention have a very hard time getting any exercise. I started PT today (my tendons are “ridiculously tight” in my feet, according to the therapist…wonderful…). I’m hopeful. But it makes me annoyed, nonetheless.


On the other hand, there are a lot of great things in my life, and they very much eclipse all this. It’s just… distracting. When I want to be working on my book edit, or painting, or taking a walk on the occasional lovely winter day, sometimes I just can’t. I’m tired, my feet hurt, and my brain is a little… fuzzy.


So one of my main goals in 2012 is to get all this figured out. I know that a minimum of 20 min a day of exercise can help my energy level, so the foot issue has to come first. I’m going to work my way through some alternative medicines to see if I can help the irregularity and night flashes. I’m doing my post-holiday and vacation get-back-to-normal-eating program and using Sensa to help me account for my slower metabolism. We’ll see how it goes – I’ll let you know!


How about you? How’s the over-40 era treating you?

Your Second Act (12/17/11)

25 Jan

I have been *sort of* reading a book called Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women over 45 by Christopher Hitchens. Apparently he’s been on Oprah and other shows, which I’ve never seen, but I read a quote by him last week that struck me as interesting, so I downloaded it for my Kindle.


There are some interesting questions that the whole concept of “your second act” in life brings up, and a lot of (I think) truisms that we women (and probably men, but that wouldn’t be ‘we men’!) struggle with as we get in our 40s, our kids get older, gravity takes effect… These are just some of my thoughts.


As much as we may feel like we’re in our twenties and thirties, we aren’t. Seems obvious, I know, but I don’t think it really is. I feel, inside, much the same as I’ve always felt. I feel wiser, more mature, ever so slightly more patient while at the same time less patient with stupidity. But my body isn’t 25.


My feet hurt most every morning because of my planters fasciitis (so I can’t wear these shoes all that often!).

My lifelong back issues are still there but I seem to have less ability to ignore it and forge ahead with my day if it’s hurting.

I get tired more easily, and don’t bounce back as fast.

I wake up early, usually this time of year before it’s light out… and can’t seem to make it past 11:00 (and that’s a stretch).

My hormones are whacked out.

I am not shaped exactly like I used to be, so clothes don’t look the same.

The same make up I’ve always worn no longer works. (Actually, I didn’t used to need makeup, except in mid-winter!)


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel old. I feel great most of the time, and love my life. I think that’s where the inner confusion comes – when we feel solid and secure on the inside, we don’t always seem to get that our body is doing what bodies do from the minute we’re born: aging.


So I’ve realized I have to make some mental adjustments. And some physical adjustments. I tend to be introspective anyway, and winter and the new year always lead me down the road of “reassessment.” Are there things I am doing I don’t need to do? Things I’m not doing that I should? Things I should be grateful for and am taking for granted? I don’t beat myself up, I just use the season to do an annual inventory. Here’s what I’ll be doing for 2012.


Writing. For sure. I had a blast doing NaNoWriMo, am very pleased with my book so far, and have already started pulling together a plot for the next novel.


Painting. This has been on the back burner since the summer, but I’m getting back to it after the Keys trip – hopefully with some new great photos to use as material.


Baking. I love to bake. It makes me happy. So while I’ll be giving a lot away, and hopefully not eating too much, I’ll be baking away on my new, wonderful baking station.


Walking. My feet issues have made this a real challenge this year, but I’m getting back to it one way or the other. When I walk outside I can feel the vitamin D restoring me, and I think and pray and hum and generally have a great time. The treadmill isn’t quite so interesting, but I can catch up on my movies or DVR’d shows, and I still feel a lot more energetic for doing it.


Photography. I love photography, but I’d like to know more about it from a technical standpoint. This may or may not produce any results (esp since I’m an idiot with Photoshop, which, I believe, was created in the Devil’s workshop… but that’s just my suspicion, unconfirmed at this point). But I will enjoy it, and that’s the main thing.


There are other things I’ll be doing, and things I have to do barring winning the lottery (and since I’ve never bought a ticket, that’s fairly unlikely). But living this life as God lays it out, following the passions He puts in us, advancing the Kingdom by living in freedom… How can you beat that?


So how about you? What will 2012 bring for you? And what do you think about this Second Act thing? We’re older, wiser, and still smokin’ hot, right??



The view has changed!

24 Jan

After today’s announcement by Google that they are going to use all of our private information regardless of privacy settings, with no opt outs, I decided that I had to make the move. It’ll take me awhile to transition, and I’ll have links back and forth for awhile, as I change my listing on blogrolls and such. But honestly, I am really disgusted with Google these days.

I realize that, when something is free, we are not the customer, we are the product. Got it. However, we are a thinking, breathing, moderately intelligent product, unlike a widget or port-a-potty, and so, when we feel, shall we say, taken advantage of and the scales of profit vs privacy shift to a Big Brother-ish degree, guess what…? The product is going to walk.

I closed my Google+ account. I deleted Chrome. I haven’t used Google to search in a long time, but I’ll make sure I don’t by accident now!

So that was my rant… but now I have a nice, spiffy, lovely new home, and a new view from my sunroom. I hope you will enjoy being here as much as you did at my Blogspot blog, and keep reading!