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?