Monthly Archives: December 2006

Tale of the Scale, Tuesday edition

Yeah, I’m a day late.. but not a pound short! Since I’m using the balance scales at the gym to measure weight loss, and they were closed on Christmas day, I couldn’t report until today.

The news? After more than a month stuck at the same weight (but losing inches like mad) I had a 2 pound loss this week! Thank goodness. I was completely losing any incentive to continue. So now it’s 10 inches lost (total), but only 6 pounds. Though those 6 pounds are likely fat.

Infact this weekend, I had to take in my bras! I’m not ready to fork over $50-100 on new ones, but they were getting too lose in the band. So with a handy-dandy stretch stitch on my machine, I brought them all in about 1″. Can’t do much more without really screwing up how the straps sit. I’m hoping, though, that I nurse these along until it’s both a cup size change and a band size change that forces me to replace them.

Workout schedule this week:

Tuesday: gym for 30 minutes cardio on the treadmill and weight machines for arms/shoulders.

Wednesday: gym for 30 minutes on the rowing machine and stabilization/stretching exercises.

Thursday: Off day. I’m back working with Guido. Today is a full-on workout. Then walk the dogs. Then collapse.

Friday: OFF. I will need it.

Saturday: See Wednesday.

Sunday: See Tuesday.

Monday: Off

Every day do some of the balance/stabilization moves at home, walk the dogs when weather allows. Get enough rest.

My Most Memorable Christmas

Back when I was a single adult, I didn’t have enough to do with my time. Working full time, attending grad school part-time and keeping up my apartment? Not enough. So I also volunteered with my local Red Cross Disaster Team. One weekend a month I was on call. And holidays. As a single, I’d volunteer for the holidays so those with kids and lots of family could spend their time home.

So it was that in 1982 I was catching up on some sleep on Christmas Eve, when the expected phone call awoke me. The call to action, however, wasn’t a local house fire. An apartment building about 1.5 hours away had a major fire; the local unit was overwhelmed and needed help. Over 100 units were affected to varying degrees with residents coping with fire damage, smoke damage and water damage.

A dozen of us arrived at our downtown Cleveland office by 6 am., where we grabbed supplies and piled into 2 vans for long drive. The sun was rising as we pulled into the apartment parking lot.

We told the story: residents had left the fireproof doors from the lobby to their hallways open to make it easier for visitors to come and go; unfortunately, their lobby Christmas tree caught fire and without the doors working as resistance to ripped through parts of the building. Those lucky residents in halls where the firedoors were kept closed had nothing but some light smoke damage; the others lost significant amounts of their material lives.

We had a short organizational meeting in the complexes community center: the building had been gone over by a damage assessment team so we could tell people the extent of their damage; the apartment management was opening up any vacant apartments in other complexes to house those whose were not moving back anytime soon.

For the next 10 hours, I sat at table talking to people. After getting their apartment number, I’d check the map and tell them the extent of their damage. None of the residents had been allowed back in.

To most residents, it was relief to hear that they only had some water and light smoke damage. I gave them sheets explaining how to clean things. Their lives would recover soon.

Other were told that they had likely lost everything. The renters without insurance (and really? Who actually gets renter’s insurance?) were directed to charities for replacement furniture, to discount houses for clothing and household basics. We directed people to the places for new glasses and replacement prescriptions.

Many of the residents were thankful for the calm we provided, for the help, for the assurances. Some would try to argue that deserved more; we would explain that we had to follow guidelines.

One of my clearest memories was a young man who had placed an engagement ring under his girlfriend’s tree. The apartment was totalled. I made a note to have people keep an eye out for the ring, but I doubt it would ever be found.

After we worked, our director kindly took us all out for a holiday meal. The locals located a restaurant that happily served us. We sat at one large table like the extended family were that day, sharing a meal and retelling the stories of the day before heading back into our van for the ride home.

I think I got home about 11 pm. Christmas night. Turned on my own tree, poured myself a glass of eggnog and sat thankful that I could return to a normal life.

Sorry for the quiet…

I’ve been working on being a better blogger… more chatty and engaged. However, I think I’m dealing with some holiday/gray day/ seasonal type of the blues. I’m stressing over things that usually roll off my back; I’m crying over commercials again.

And I really don’t care to exacerbate it by writing about it.. or try to get over it by ignoring it. But it’s so not something I want to make bloggable.

The sun was out today, and I got to spend time out in it. That a good night’s sleep and maybe I’ll be back to my cheery self soon. (fingers crossed).


Scale of the Tale

Went into the gym today for my Monday workout and weigh-in. No change in the weight. Worse, I went in with the plan of 30 minutes on the rowing machine, 15 minutes of weight training and 15 minutes of stability moves.

I gave up on the rower after 20 minutes, did only 3 weight machines and then thought “screw it” and hit the shower. Not a good move. In the middle of a long hot shower (one thing I won’t cut short) I decided I wasn’t leaving without an appointment with Guido. I need to get back on track or I might as well quit right now and chalk it up to another failed try.

Turns out Guido wasn’t in yet.. but was on his way. So I hung around a few minutes then begged for something any time this week. We have a session scheduled for tomorrow morning.

So bad decision: allowing myself to quit.

Good decision: recognizing the path I was on, and being pro-active about catching myself before things got too bad.


Dog Blog Weekend…

It’s the weekend before Christmas! Holiday cheerful insanity and way too much retail guilt shopping can drive to the comfort of our home, pets and laptops. What a perfect time for a little dog blogging. Except that my two are keeping warm by napping on the bed.

Nevermind. This week, I found a new-to-me blog: Doggie News. While many of us simply blog the details of our own personal pooches, the writer/editor of Doggie News, Steve Johnson, writes on dogs in general with short helpful posts that might interest all or only a few dog owners. Some posts are items we might find useful, others are hints and suggestions. This week there was even a recipe (for humans!) from a cookbook published by professional pooper-scoopers. I gotta admit. Even if I made these chicken wings.. there is no way I’d use their name!!

This week I saw his post on Bella’s Hot/Cold Packs and wondered where these were when Katy had her surgery this past summer? I sure could have used one of these as none of my packs fit/worked/stayed her. And given that I have 2 active dogs, I’m going to have to add these to a wishlist.

Thursday Steve put up a great article on getting a puppy for Christmas. While the article repeats a lot of the news we hear every year, he wonderfully did include the suggestion of making sure to check animal shelters and rescue groups for the perfect pet. As an owner who has only had rescue dogs, I second his recommendation.

There’s great information about microchipping, a vaccine for peridontal disease, and tons of topical news items in the archives. However, I gotta ask: WHO thought that A pooper-scooper Barbie was a good idea??

Note: This review, though completely my opinion, was paid for Doggie News and ReviewMe.


Shopping Online

An original painting by James Seward that I inherited this from my parents.
I love the colors in this piece.

If you do much shopping online, you want to know about RetailMeNot. When you’re shopping at a retail spot online, you often see a box to get some kind of discount (“enter discount code here”). I hate when I see that box and don’t know the code. I’m getting cheated out of a discount maybe!! Anyway what RetailMeNot does is keep track of all the coupons available and provide you with the codes. If you’re interested in a code, click on the offer and voila.

Well, apparently not always voila. They even rate the success rate of using one of their coupon codes. Still… getting everything that is available for us to use when shopping? This is a good thing.


My Tree. Part of “My Back Yard Series”. I altered the colors… we didnt’ have weather that was this weird.
Actually I’m playing around with using this image in my banner. Whatcha think?

My friend Karen, who’s recovering from surgery, lent me one of her Pfaffs until mine is out of the shop. It’s another 7550 just like mine, so I should be cooking with gas!! But today was taking up with running errands, so no time to sew. Tomorrow looks a lot more hopeful. I did get to the gym for a full hour of righteous sweating.

When real life maintainence items suck up your time, how do you compensate? Do you make intricate plans for the tomorrows that are as yet unsucked? Or rage against the sucking that is today?

Tale of the Scale,12/11

Isn’t Red Chard the perfect holiday vegetable?? All red and green and crinkled? Don’t you love the nice shots I get with my new camera??

Finally a bit of good news in the Tale department. I am down a full pound from last week. And at this point, it won’t be that indescribable “water weight” that everyone dismisses. It will be real weight. I attribute it three sessions on the rowing machine this past week. Works my ENTIRE BODY (well maybe not my forehead..or earlobes..). Saturday, though, when I got off it I could actually take a full stride. So my body is getting used to the abuse.

I meant to take body measurements today, but that’s going to have to wait. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe Friday. Friday I have my annual physical (including stress test) so only a light, light breakfast. To distract myself, I may measure.

Still need to get the dogs out for a walk, but I’m waiting on 2 return phone calls. One for our car insurance and one for scheduling the surgery on my toe. Looks like 1/10 will be day!

Life maintainence and quizzes

This week has been taken up with repairmen, errands and other non-fun but necessary stuff. Had a fun outing yesterday with Clara, though. I have tons of idea rumbling around my brain, but I can’t get anything to come clear when I actually have time to try and write.

So I fall back on the old standard: a quiz

What Kind of Reader Are You?

Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you’re not nerdy about it. You’ve read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader

Book Snob

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Whatcha Doing Today?

Touched by Blogs/Travel Safe

Day 7 of Holidailies.

Wednesday, both on BlogHer and at A Stitch in Time, I wrote about craft bloggers with a personal connection to the Kim family. I crafted that post through teary vision. Why? I’m not completely sure. I have not met the Kims, nor shopped in Kati Kim’s shop (Doe); the family is no closer to me than other families highlighted in the news.

However I read craft blogs almost every day. I get to know these bloggers: their style, their senses of humor, their heart. Many of these women do know Kati Kim and her family. And so it has been that through bloggers I learn about the family and feel their loss. Like a friend of a friend… a vicarious connection was formed. I cared because they cared. And their expressions of loss were the reason I cried.

Now for those of us, who have survived our Thanksgiving travels, what lessons can be learned from the tragedy of the Kim family? Travel safe.

  • Travel prepared. Have food and water with you when travelling distances. In wintertime, have blankets and extra clothing in your vehicle. Always carry water with you.
  • Plan your route ahead of time and give yourself extra travel time. Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
  • Make sure there is sufficient windshield washer fluid in the vehicle reservoir and that it is rated for freezing temperatures.
  • If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. Wait for help to arrive. If you have a cell phone and are in an area with cell phone service, try calling for help. Try to always know your exact locations while driving.

And experts suggest that we pack survival kit to carry in your car carrying:

  • Ice scraper/snowbrush
  • Shovel
  • Sand or other type of traction aid/or chains in the mountains
  • Tow rope or chain
  • Booster cables
  • Road flares or warning lights. A mirror for signalling planes/helicopters overhead.
  • Gas line antifreeze
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small tool kit
  • Extra clothing and foot wear
  • Non-perishable energy foods, like chocolate or granola bars, juice, instant coffee, tea, soup, and bottled water
  • Candles and a small tin can to hold the candle
  • Water proof matches
  • Instant heat pads.

I know. I know. I read this list, too and wonder how much space should I give up for an unlikely emergency? When it was the two of us (and maybe one dog) travelling 500 miles to the inlaws for a holiday, the car was usually packed to the gills. Where would we fit all these extra items? I don’t know. And I won’t guess if they would have helped James Kim save both his family and his own life.