Friday, July 30, 2010
Since last weekend was spent people-ing, I did not get anything done on the yard... regular followers may remember I'm working on "sleeping beauty's forest" otherwise known as nasty weed overgrowth. Since I *do* have to deal with things like allergens and sinus reactions to the same, I'm a little slow at this.
In any case, apparently some of the neighbors have not been happy with my rate of progress, and I got one of those neighborhood association notes in my mailbox about this tree:
I had already taken its picture (above) on July 10th. It was on my list. I just hadn't got to it yet. But oh, my goodness, we get the threat of being turned into the COUNTY, no less, for not controlling the vegetation! Does it look THAT BAD to you?
Regardless of my feelings about getting this ah-hem! embarrassing note, it must have served its purpose, because it got me outside at dusk one evening this week, at the risk of my allergies, and it now looks like this:
I wrote an imaginary insulting letter back to them, which I did NOT send, and hummed the tune to Harper Valley PTA and imagined snipping their little necks... and I'll never look at a neighbor walking their dog by my property again without just "knowing" that they are judging me... but... despite that "feelings" reaction, I do feel better when the yard looks better. So, like I said, did NOT send the letter.
Still, neighborhood associations are a little like the anonymous people who put notes in lockers in high school, telling someone they are a mess and ought to do something about their hair, makeup or weight. Just a more grown up variety. And if I really didn't want them watching over me, I shouldn't have moved into this neighborhood to begin with.
Now isn't that a better reaction than downing a pint of Ben & Jerry's?
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Several people have asked the unanswerable question of "When will he be home?" and "For how long?"
Well, the answer to the first is "sooner than originally planned". But no exact date given, of course. They never do, operational security and the vagaries of travel being what they are. Within the next month or so, is what we estimate. So it's time to start getting things ready! Thus the car repairs.
The car is back in the garage stall here, and it purrs like a kitten. Mom's pleased. No more muffler roar or wheel bearing squeal. Granted, mom's wallet is considerably thinner, but it's worth it.
The second question is both harder and easier. Easy answer, "indefinitely." Harder: He'll still be on orders for a while, and being a reservist, that means driving back and forth to various places: another good reason to be getting the car fixed up. His reserve contract is not up; there's no guarantee they won't send him somewhere else in the next couple of years. BUT, as we all know, we live one day at a time. I'm trying hard not to count down the days!
I just know it will be a huge weight off my shoulders when his boots are back in the continental U.S. Even knowing that the "most horrifying day of his life" was on U.S. soil. Even knowing that he's going to have to face "that place" again. I just want him home to hug!
Nobody who is a mom can argue with that emotion, I'm sure.
Today's adventure will be a reverse of Monday's. I left my own car in the garage at work when I went to pick his up yesterday afternoon. So this morning I'm walking a mile and a half to catch the bus to work. I could catch it at a closer stop, I just thought it would be a nice morning walk to add to my steps if I walked across the neighborhood to the further stop. In the cool of the morning!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Yesterday was a lost day! On Monday I took my son's car in to prep it for his return. There were several maintenance issues that he'd been "putting off" for budgetary reasons, and this mom wants him to have a solid reliable vehicle under him when he gets back. Ouch on the price tag for that, but I will be so glad to hand this car back to him in prime condition.
The little car had to stay overnight as not all the work could be done in one day. So, the background photo shows how I went home... on a city bus. It's been a while since I rode the bus, and the technology has changed in the interim. These buses TALK to you. They announce upcoming intersections at select points in the route ("Approaching 48th and Normal"), and give in display AND voice, "STOP REQUESTED". Not my grandmother's bus, that's for sure.
Which brings me to this morning's reverie: what kept our grandparents fit? Well, this particular grandma (the one I associate with buses) did not drive after grandpa died. She walked everywhere she could, took the bus for longer trips, relied on rides from friends, or in special cases, took taxi cabs. How many steps would it add to our modern day if we did all that?
Yesterday I got nailed by seasonal allergy / sinus yucks and have spent the last 24 hours attempting to be unconscious as much as possible. This morning, I hunger shoved the unsettled tummy aside, and I've just had some breakfast. So, next step: see if I can get ready and feel OK about going to work!
Hope you all have a great... Wednesday!
Monday, July 26, 2010
I saw a blog this weekend that talked about taking a break from Spark, because the person realized that she didn't want to be quite so self-focused on the weight thing. It made me think (as generally happens when I read ANY point of view)... about whether I was going too far in that direction.
If all you see of a person is their "spark" life, for some of us it could start to look that way: we look at the scale. We look at our nutrition. We look at our activity. And we write about our struggles and our dreams in that regard.
It all kind of depends on how you use it: is it part of a whole life... where the healthy initiatives need to be talked about SOMEWHERE (like here?), and you still have a purpose and mission in life beyond losing weight or getting fit?
The whole philosophy of Spark and motivating ourselves to get healthy and fit is so that we can fulfill personal missions and visions: those visions can vary from being there for children and grandchildren to achieving financial independence to changing careers... to volunteering and helping others.
Only each individual can reach the conclusion of whether the focus is tipping in an incorrect direction for him or her. As of right now, I think I'm OK... and I hope most of us are... and if not... we can adjust and do what we need to do to keep our balance in life.
That said... I have echoes of Annie (WalkingAnnie) in my head this morning, as my scale dipped below 130. For the first time since college, I'm sure. Now is when I start to get "nervous" about having lost maybe "too much". I've been monitoring my intake and I'm within range, but I may need to take care to start once again eating a little more. Not a LOT, but a little.
On the other hand... am I comfortable letting another few pounds slip off? I'm still well within healthy BMI ranges! With that thought at the back of my head I did something I NEVER thought I'd do in my adult life: I ordered some bottoms in a size "small", because that's what the sizing chart says, based on my current measurements (and because the mediums I already own of these things are now uncomfortably loose... I'm going to be running in these pants!)
This is messing with my mind, just a bit. The word "small". It's not always a flattering word. If you describe a person as a "small" person, sometimes the subtext says "petty", or "shallow", or "lacking vision". I want to be sure that as I adjust to wearing clothing with such a label, I don't take on the negatives of it! Even in my self-talk! Especially in my self-talk.
How do you think about "small"? Does it scare you? Does it attract you? Do you focus on its positives, or its negatives? Could semantics be keeping unhealthy habits going?
Anyway, just some more of those rattling thoughts on a Monday morning. Hope the start to your week is a good one!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Being an introvert, I seem to have a need to take time alone to assimilate all social things that happen... the conversations I have with people, the things I've done and said, the things done and said around me. For me, that means time alone.
Yesterday was a really, really intense social day. And I have to wonder what I was thinking when I promised to help my sister clean up the party venue this afternoon. But I think I'll be OK with that because she's introverted, too... and just the two of us is quite different from a room full of people!
The social intensity yesterday? My niece was bat mitzvah'd. I went to the service, where I felt out of it, not knowing the prayers or understanding the Hebrew... but being so proud of my niece who has grown up in it and spoke with a clear sweet voice, reading her portion with confidence. I wept over the speeches her parents gave her, seeing my mom's face and my dad's pride in family reflected in my sister telling her daughter how proud she is. I had to giggle over the story of the tallit (prayer shawl)... which had been given to my sister as a conversion gift when she took up the study and practice of Judaism over a decade ago. She told the giver that she would not be using it... now that shawl has been ceremoniously wrapped around her daughter.
Now I know that here are Spark there are people of many faiths... and I'm not one to put mine out there. I'm more a believer in "show your faith by your works"... I had to put a few of these words out there to describe what I saw and felt yesterday. I'm not Jewish. But some of my family are. Anti-semites need not visit my blog today!
If you know your Bible you would have been totally at home with what was read... the Torah is the first five books of the Christian Bible, too. My niece's portion came from around the ten commandments. Not a one of us grew up in Christian Sunday School without being exposed to those... and seriously, any faith of substance teaches similar principles.
And verses from the Psalms are the same once translated to English. And my sister read them with feeling. They brought echoes of my Dad or Mom as readers in the church of our youth. And my niece's brief sermon was wise beyond her years, celebrating her coming of age.
I think at times, we drown out the young people with adult conversations at family gatherings, and it's important to take time to listen to them. I now know that there are things my nieces and nephews know that I do not (like a whole other language - Hebrew, for one thing)... and if I can get past my fear that they might think less of me for not knowing... and listen to their youthful wisdom and idealism, I can be a better person for it, and the world might be a better place, too.
There was lunch following, and an evening bring a dish and ice cream social. A huge, long day of partying after the service, in short. I'm pleased with how I planned and followed the plan, as far as food and activity are concerned. I focused on people, rather than food. This morning I find myself wondering how much of my historic food focus has been trying to gain energy to deal with people, or trying to avoid dealing with people.
The young people? Full of springs! They danced, they did the limbo (my niece is actually pretty good at it) and the adults reminisced over being young and limber enough but were not foolish enough to try it!
I left the day yesterday feeling good about the generation who will next take charge. These are good people becoming adults, despite us and because of us, and taking their places beside us.
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