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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thinking about thinking

Things I've been thinking about this holiday season:

  1. Get my to craft list done much earlier next year if only because other people have things they want me to do (make a stack of hats, play the piano for Christmas Eve) and they may not think to ask me sooner. Some have said I should just say no, but it gives me joy to say yes. The answer, then, is to be prepared for surprises.
  2. Craft more. I still bought more than I feel comfortable with. Stalking Pinterest and Tumblr have given me all kinds of ideas for crafty things beyond knitting, crocheting, and sewing.
  3. Ship early. Having the shipping dates on my calendar was a plus. This was probably the first year in nearly 30 where I haven't been up late wrapping, cooking, crafting on Christmas Eve. This needs to be a new tradition.
  4. Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. Our culture likes to start celebrating Christmas at Thanksgiving and then pack it away before the New Year. Start Christmas with Christmas Eve and end it at Epiphany as it the tradition and enjoy something each day. We've gotten away from understanding the holiday. I want to get back to it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I don't do Black Friday

It's not because I'm nobly fighting the urge to acquire more stuff. I don't do Black Friday because I don't do crowds. I once sent the hubs to Walmart for a Nintendo 64 on the darkest day. He came back with said item before I was even out of bed.



I'm spending today getting ready for some guests who are coming in on Tuesday. I may even get some Christmas up before they get here. I'm also doing a little bit of Christmas knitting; I'm on the last of the blasted Team Zissou hats. I will be very happy to have these finished.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monkeying around

I know. I know. It's not a very original title, but I couldn't resist.

I also couldn't resist making this hat for my friend, Susan, when she posted a version of this on her FB and said she'd wear it.

Sock Monkey hat.jpg


It's winging its way to Canada as we speak. I guess one could say it's a flying monkey. :-(|)

I've had monkeys on the brain lately. It's not like I don't use the word in one context or another on a daily basis. You did notice the monkey background in the picture above right? That would be my shower curtain. But I'm considering a rework of this blog and moving my craftiness to another blog, solely because I like the name I have in mind. We'll see. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Team Zissou edition

Still working on those hats for the college gang. I knit 2, then took a break to knit some owlish fetchings. Wise of me, huh? Now, I'm working on hat number three. The best news is I can knit these hats while watching NCIS or reading.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Merry Christmas and Buy American!

My cousin, the eclectic one who used to build straw bale homes and lived on a self-sufficient farm (as opposed to my other eclectic cousins), shared this text she received in an email. I think the message is so very important that I'm sharing it on every outlet I can. This year I've been determined more than ever to not just give "stuff" for Christmas. The piece below hits me right where I live.

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year can be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course. There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip. When we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

This is a revolution of caring about each other, remembering why we have Christmas This year, make it a priority to honor HIM first. Then look for ways to show your love for your family & friends by supporting Americans at the local level.

May you have a very blessed Christmas this year!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Today's Flash Fic: Swimming in Air


Elle plunged her face into the air, felt the dryness wash over her skin. She exhaled through her nose and heard the bubbles rise to the surface. For a few seconds, Elle pretended she could swim immersed in air for hours, but soon her lungs cried out for water. She grudgingly returned to the sea.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It's Just a Rope


In lieu of NaNoWriMo this year, I've opted to participate in some flash fiction on G+. The prompts are photographs posted daily by the organizer. This prompt was Evelyn Lamprey's pic of a B/W of sweet rottweiler with a rope toy. Cute picture. Tough prompt. I ended up tossing Rory's Story Cubes in the mix to help me along. Without further ado, today's submission:


It's just a rope.

But at times like these nothing else will do. Not the squeaky rubber bee or the soft turtle toy Murray snuggled with when his real litter mates had been adopted. It had to be the rope. He locked his teeth into it and held it candy-apple firm—he wasn't letting go. If you could hold on tightly enough, you could swing Murray around by that rope. If you could hold on tightly enough. There was no doubt about Murray. He held a fortress-like grip, until he chose to let go, usually when you were off balance. If you didn't know better, you'd think he got a perverse pleasure in watching you teetering. Was that a glint in his eye?

It's just a rope: so much energy, and drama, and pleasure, tied into two slobbery knots.

It's just a rope. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TARDIS and TeamZissou

I finished knitting my TARDIS socks and now I have a covey of college students clamoring for red beanies ala Steve Zissou and "Life Aquatic." I have lots of knitting to do, and the bright yarn might burn my retinas.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Got the E-reader Blues.

I want an e-reader.

IMG_5584.jpg
Just part of my collection.
It's stupid really. For the last several years I haven't read more than 2 books a year, and that might be stretching things. Never mind that I have 3 bookshelves filled with books, or that i have a history of being a voracious reader. I just don't read anymore.

I can't justify the purchase of an e-reader. At least not reasonably. I just upgraded my phone, and if I'd been wise, I could have gotten a much cheaper phone AND an e-reader for the same amount of money. Yet I try to rationalize the need for one.

  • I'd read more if I had it.
  • I could get rid of my real-book library and go digital
  • I would have fewer possessions if I didn't own all these books
  • What could be more minimalist that having e-books?
Go ahead and Gibbs slap me now. Truth of the matter is, I want another new toy. As if all the tech I already have isn't enough. 

I had a conversation with an online acquaintance about selling some of my books. I know that one or perhaps two are worth some real money. The rest are worth more as a tax write off when I donate them to the library. After talking with her, I looked at the shelves of unread books that I would sell and realized, I still want to read most of them. It makes no sense to replace them with e-books, especially if I have to purchase new ones. 

IMG_4991.jpgSo here's the new plan:  I'm going to sort out the books that I know won't read and then I'll start reading what's left. When I can get this collection down to one bookshelf, I'll consider the possibility of buying an e-reader, but not before. 

This weekend I start our October tradition: Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

18 Minute Muscles

My body is still reshaping after my weight loss and, while I'm thrilled with losing this much weigh, I'm not completely thrilled with all the results. I know that my skin won't all bounce back. I'm hoping that adding some muscle will help. I'm also facing my 3rd winter of working out and I know just how hard that is. At one time I would have considered buying some workout equipment that I know I would ignore eventually. I have learned to like the free and the more organic workout. These suggestions I found in my Reader this weekend are right up my alley. The writer is talking about 18 minutes of bodyweight workout, and it's what I've been thinking of doing: adding push-ups, crunches, (more squats), etc. I like this plan.

I'm thinking of what Sean Murray said last year, "full on McMuscles." That's the new goal.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Coming Attractions

I've been AWOL this week and I'll have some things to share, but my youngest son has been home from college and I've been enjoying his company. Even if we weren't related I would want to hang with them. I haven't seen this one since January. Our visit has been long overdue.

Meanwhile, I've been giving some thought to upcoming posts on Occupy Wall Street, education (specifically college education), and the death of Steve Jobs. These three topics have merged in my mind. I'm going to have to share--after my son leaves.


I've also been working on my TARDIS  sock for Socktoberfest. I haven't done much color change work for a while. It's cool watch it happen, but for the first time I'm dreading the second sock. Maybe by the time I turn the heel that will pass. I have planned my second sock pattern for the month: Duckies, which is in my Ravelry queue only because of the NCIS reference in my mind.

Friday, September 30, 2011

One step at a time

In the fall of 2009, my life took a different path. After 5 years with a non-profit that I cared deeply about, I left to work for one of the vendors at their conferences. I still got to work in the same area of ministry, but the work I would be doing was more along the lines of what I wanted to be doing. And I could work from home. I don't think it was even a week before I realized that having an hour lunch break was going to create some bad habits if I didn't put the time to good use. I decided to go for a walk.

This is where I started.
When I started walking, I couldn't make it around the block without being winded. Eventually, as the pounds started to drop and my endurance started to rise, I walked farther and farther. As the following spring turned to summer, my daily walks were pushing the bounds of my lunch time, and the heat of the day was making longer walks impractical. If I wanted to walk farther, I'd need to start earlier. I started getting up earlier just so I could walk. I'd changed my habits one step at a time.

I've gotten a lot of comments from people about my weight loss. Most of it has been very encouraging, but I've discovered something interesting. At some point, a subset of the people who talk to me about my appearance and my walking now feel compelled to explain to me why they can't do what I have done. They can't walk 3 miles a day. They can't afford to eat healthy foods. They don't like low fat foods. What they don't realize is I told myself those same "can'ts" before I took that first step.

Finishing the 1/2 marathon.
I didn't get to this point overnight. It's taken 2 years to get here. In that 2 years I've learned to eat fresh foods when possible. I've learned that I wasted a lot of calories on fat, so I cut the fat where I could so I could still enjoy a piece of meat. I also learned that for me, lettuce is the delivery system for the salad dressing. If it weren't for the dressing, I wouldn't eat lettuce. I took a break from lettuce salads and started experimenting with other vegetables, and even fruit. The point of this, however, is not what I've done or what I eat but the fact that it took me a year to learn a lot of this and another year to get it firmly planted in my subconscious. But it never would have gotten there if I hadn't taken that first step.


Enough with the dishes

Nothing like doing a little Wordle to find out what you're talking about. Thanks to a post by my coworker Alison, over at Mr. Ravioli I decided I had to do one of my own. After all, hers was about cake and yummy. Mine was, well, you'll see...


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Death Cab Meets The Doctor

I had a geek moment during my walk this morning. I guess that proves I'm starting to get my head out of training mode and into just letting my mind wander. A song I've heard many times came up on my pod-thingy, but this time my brain heard the latter part of the song in the context of Doctor Who. If I had the inclination, I'd make a fan video.  If you haven't seen the current series, well, as River Song would say, "Spoilers."

Here's what I heard:

"Soul Meets Body"

I want to live where soul meets body
And let the sun wrap its arms around me
And bathe my skin in water cool and cleansing
And feel, feel what its like to be new

Cause in my head there’s a greyhound station
Where I send my thoughts to far off destinations
So they may have a chance of finding a place
where they’re far more suited than here

And I cannot guess what we'll discover
When we turn the dirt with our palms cupped like shovels
But I know our filthy hands can wash one another’s
And not one speck will remain

And I do believe it’s true
That there are roads left in both of our shoes
But if the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too
So brown eyes I hold you near
Cause you’re the only song I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere

Where soul meets body
Where soul meets body
Where soul meets body


Monday, September 26, 2011

Thinning the Herd

In the past when I've gotten rid of things, for the most part, it was because we had to. There were several years when we had the obligatory garage sale, but other than that, whenever we moved we've dejunked. We downsized when we moved the the house before last because there was no real storage. The amount of stuff we found in the basement as we were moving was shocking. I swore never again. But nearly 12 years in this house, we've got it packed to the rafters. Or at least it feels that way.

Since I'm not in a panic of needing to have it gone by the time the moving truck arrives, I'm giving the process some thought, and I'm employing a couple strategies. The first is to attack an area and just dig in. I did that last week for the sewing cabinet and knitting supplies. The second is just to make a small change and watch it spread. When I decided to take a break from using the dishwasher, when I realized I was hoarding dishes, utensils, storage containers so I could fill a dishwasher and still have tools to use, I discovered just how full my cupboards were. It became easier to thin the herd when I had it all in one place.

One day I took about 15 minutes to go through my storage containers. I kept only the name brand ones that I prefer, and the disposable ones I used to take to work hit the recycling or the box for the cottage. I made sure I only kept the containers with matching lids. The rest are gone, and the cupboard I used to dread is now under control.

If you could thin the herd somewhere, which herd would it be? Can you focus on one small section, a cupboard, a drawer, a stack of paper for 15 minutes and see where it leads? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alas, poor rice cooker

Alas, poor rice cooker by sandbar17
Alas, poor rice cooker, a photo by sandbar17 on Flickr.
Of all things to blog about, after 30-plus years I'm getting rid of my rice cooker. Actually, it hasn't been my rice cooker for 30-plus years. It came with the husband. The thing is, I could never cook a decent batch of rice with it. It was either too sticky or wasted half of it on the bottom of the pan, or sometimes it was both.

I now know how to make a decent pan of rice from this recipe. I'll never use a rice cooker again.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

File this under "Obvious"

I went into the kitchen this morning to get a bowl of cereal and discovered that the only bowls that were clean were either the baby bear bowls or the the papa bear bowls. The former are little ones that I use mostly for late night snacks. Or I use them for a little fast breaker before a walk then have second breakfast once I'm home and showered. The latter are the ones that came with my dishes: the ones that were the selling point when hubby bought me those dishes for Christmas one year. BIG BOWLS. When it comes to everyday breakfast bowls it seems we both prefer Tupperware cereal bowls. Unfortunately, we only have 3. I'm not sure where the 4th one went. I suspect it melted somewhere along the way. Until recently, we filled the gap with some cheap GFS bowls we'd bought for salsa for our son's Chipotle-catered wedding rehearsal dinner. I tossed the last of those bowls last month.

Here's where the obvious part comes in. I opened the cupboard this morning and the mama-sized bowls are gone. That means that yesterday DH and I each used one. He used one this morning, and now I'm stuck with just using a baby-sized bowl or a papa-sized bowl because the 3 mama-sized bowls are in the dishwasher waiting for a full load to run it. As I stood in front of the cupboard debating on the baby bowl or the papa bowl I realized that I could just hand wash one of the mama-sized bowls.

Now the light comes on. I need extra dishes, glasses, coffee mugs because I don't run the dishwasher every day. Of course we need to have enough dishes for guests if we have more than just the two of us for dinner. But even when the boys where home, we sometimes went 2 days before we ran the dishwasher. The ugly fact is, I'm storing dirty dishes. Not only that, but I'm storing dirty dishes until I have enough to wash them. *blink*

Suddenly using my dishwasher makes absolutely no sense, especially my dishes are coated with white junk since detergent companies removed the phosphates. If I hand wash my dishes, I need fewer dishes altogether because I don't need extras to use while I'm waiting for the dishes to be washed. Now I want to go through my cupboards and see what I have been keeping just so I have enough backup for what I've been storing in the dishwasher.

Obvious.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Finishing up and making room

Last year I swapped my craft room with my office. The former had been one of the boy's bedrooms, well actually each had been in that room at some point. It was bigger, yellow (I like yellow), and cooler in the summer. When I made the switch, I used our youngest son's bedroom as a staging area, and thus it remained until last weekend. We're getting a visit from him next month, so his room moved to the top of the to-do list.

What made working on his room a challenge was mostly what remained was drabble--flotsam and jetsam that really had no home until I created it or donated it.

  • a plastic box of knitting needles and crochet hooks
  • a plastic box of wood roving
  • several photo albums
  • a dismantled computer (pilfered for its hard drive)
  • 2 monitors
  • a computer keyboard with the letters worn off
  • 2 stacks of books
The books are destined for the library book sale. I have another box that I'm going to fill with books that I have read and I've no intention of reading again. The electronics are headed for the local electronics recycler. That's already half the list. The photo albums are part of this winter's massive photo project (more on that later). The rest of the craft supplies are another matter.

Cleaned out and organized knitting supplies.
I have a wonderful antique sewing cabinet that my hubby bought me many moons ago. It's been in my craft room for the last several months. I think it took the trip upstairs over the holidays to make room for the tree, but since I hadn't been making good use of it, I didn't even miss it. This past weekend I cleaned the sewing stuff out and replaced it with the pile of knitting stuff that I had lying on the floor next to the recliner. I also sorted through the plastic bin and only kept the tools I would actually use. Turns out I'm pretty picky about my knitting needles. At this point, my sewing cabinet is now my knitting cabinet, and the only things in it are things I actually use.

Sterilizer cabinet houses thread.
The thread that I had in the top drawer of the cabinet has a new home in this antique sterilizer cabinet. I'd rather not think about how anything in this cabinet with its cardboard backing and wood sides could ever be considered sterilized. But I have organized my threads by color family and I can easily see what is there. Unlike the drawer in my sewing cabinet, everything fits.

The other sewing stuff that was in the cabinet found new homes as well. The actual sewing stuff for the most part went into my toolbox that I used to use for costuming shows. Most of my sewing tools were there anyway. This just put it all in one place. Other things, such as uncompleted cross stitch projects, hit the trash. I'm not likely to ever take up cross stitch again, and if I do, I won't want to finish those.

I'll need to spend another hour or so in my son's room corralling the dust bunnies and such, but the dejunking of my stuff in there is complete. Now if I can get him to dejunk his stuff when he's here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Geeking out makes everything better

I was having a bit of a day earlier, but it all got better with a little geeking:

  • Improved upon a bit of JavaScript written by Master Qui-Gon*
  • Answered the question, "TOS, STNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise. Desert Island." My answer was DS9. The answer why deserves its own blog post. Hopefully before the end of the week.
  • Answered a "pop quiz" from a customer who needed a quick answer to an unusual request, a work around of sorts, and made her day.
I have to say that if it weren't Speak Out with your Geek Out, I probably wouldn't have given much thought to how much my day improved just by figuring out that little bit of code. The average person's day is not improved by an if else statement.

*Not long after I started working at this job, I dubbed the coworker training me Master Qui-Gon. i was his padawan. Our CEO and Developer was Master Yoda. We have a couple droids, a Wookie, and the guy I trained went over to the Dark Side. That, of course makes me Obi-Wan.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SpeakOut with your GeekOut

This is SpeakOut with your GeekOut week, the week to let your geek shine. As I've read some of the blogs out there, I know that I'm not as geeky as some. I'm making up for lost time. The thing about my geek is that I refused to let mine come out to play for a long time. I was a closet geek.

I was raised in the 60's on comic books. When I was young, we would go to Lake Erie during the summer, and my brother and I were each allowed to get one comic book at the market on Catawba Peninsula. We read anything from Richie Rich and Little Lotta to Superman and Batman. When I think of the file cabinet filled with comics that disappeared when we moved, a little of me dies inside. I try not to think about it.

In my teen years, I was a Trekker. I owned the novelizations of the episodes. I had lists of the titles and the synopsis (typed, no less). I also was a huge fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. These are the things that shaped my perception of the world. These are the things I set aside when I "grew up."

I remember selling my Trek stuff and my LOTR books in a garage sale at our first house--a move I've come to regret. Looking back, it was like selling myself out to who everyone thought I should be. I have photographs of those years where I look every bit as much the insurance salesman's wife that I had become. No matter how much I tried to deny it, however, the geek lurked within.

When STNG appeared on the scene, I dodged it for the first year. We had a couple kids and we weren't big TV watchers beyond kids shows. The second year, though, I started watching with our middle son. We were hooked. His 12th birthday party was scheduled the day the last STNG episode aired and was Trek themed. By then, I didn't mind letting my geek show because my kids were joining me.

At this point in my life, I wear my geek colors proudly. After many years of working with computers in one capacity or another, I have a computer job I love. I telecommute to work daily. My job is to help organizations with their online fundraising using social media and our company's software. It's a perfect fit. When I'm training people on how to use our product, I have been known to have a mini geek out. I love this technology stuff, and I love sharing how to use it. Most of our clients aren't even sure what a browser is, but I admit to having an almost evangelical zeal regarding using computers and social media. It evens out.

I have regrets, though. I regret letting my brother talk me out of studying computers in college. As a young woman in the 70's, it was easy to allow myself to be talked out of a career requiring math and science. I've spent years teaching myself how to use computers out of necessity and interest (which has its benefits), and there were many years the locusts have eaten. I'll always be playing catch up.

I recently realized how out of touch I am with the comic book world as well. A friend of mine makes sure I see most of the comic book movies that come out and patiently fills in the gaps for me, but I recently had a TV writer reply to my tweet about a comic that appeared in a episode of NCIS last season. When I asked the significance of the issue, he replied, "You'd know if you'd read it." Ouch! He was kind enough to hint at the significance. I went to Ebay and bought a copy.

The point being, love your geek. Feed it. Care for it. This is who you are. Don't discover in the back half of your life that you've denied who you are because it was expected of you to conform.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Simplify September: Week 1

Depending on your point of view, I'm either early or late for this post. I'd been planning to do Minimizing Mondays, recording my attempts at scaling down my stuff and simplifying my life. However, this Monday I had to share my marathon story, and it's a pretty long post, so I'm moving this to Tuesday, kinda of.

In its own way finishing the 1/2 was one way I've simplified my life. I finally can get back to walking and be done with training. My walks can be more about clearing my head and staying healthy and less about distance and pace. I enjoyed my walk less when it was focused on results. I'm looking forward to not setting the timer on my phone and just walking.

When it comes to practical, physical scaling down, last week we got rid of an old freezer that we've been keeping plugged in even though it was usually empty. We'll be getting $50 back from AEP's appliance recycling program. They are only paying $35 right now; we got in on a special offer. But unplugging the freezer plus a $50 check is a pretty good start for the month.

Bucket List -- Walk a 1/2 marathon. Check.

I finished my walk.  Another item checked off my bucket list. This was less fun than the last item (last fall's tour of Paramount Studios). Unlike the tour, this is something I doubt that I'll want to repeat.

The day started cloudy and cool. Raindrops sprinkled the windshield as we neared New Albany. Those scattered showers called appeared to be scattering in our direction, but they never appeared. While we waited for the walk to start we talked about the weather, our training times, the fact that this year's race did not have the pack broken up by those times. I chatted with the woman with the 18 minute mile sign. To finish the half marathon you had to stay in front of that woman. I had told her that my nightmare was to have her on my heels or to step out of the latrine and have her pass me by. But, I'd walked 11 miles at 16:11. I wasn't too concerned about that really happening.

We stepped off and, with the crowd not separated by pace, it was almost 2 miles before things sorted out comfortably. Most people were walking the 10K, so they were talking as they walked. The thought ran through my head as I tried to push my iPod past the highest volume level that if you can comfortably talk without sounding winded, you're not getting a good workout. I knew I wasn't walking a 16 minute pace, but the crowd was too large. I'd have to make up some time if I wanted to catch a potty stop in the half. I knew that the latrines would be too crowded on the 10K route, and they were. I'd just wait for the "back nine".

About a mile out from the end of the 10K, we were passed by 2 of the half marathoners. I'd been looking for them. Seeing them this late in the race was encouraging. Only 2 had lapped me. I had hope that I wouldn't even see the 18 minute mile lady.

Near the finish line for the 10K, the half marathoners are waved off to the right. I made the turn, my husband and my brother-in-law were there to cheer me on. I thought, now were's the latrine? I made a couple turns onto not-closed roads, grabbed a new water bottle, and settled into my stride. It was quiet now. The cackling crowds were gone. I was alone. Two women passed me. I thought about trying to keep up with them, but I knew they were walking too fast a pace. I reached into my fanny pack and pulled out the bag of almonds and dried cherries for a quick pick-me-up. After the noise of the 10K, this was nice.

Then I heard a couple of voices behind me. I turned to look and there was the 18 minute mile lady and her walking companion. I have no idea where she came from or how they how got there. My nightmare had come true. I'm on the back nine and the 18 minute mile lady is nipping at my heels. I put my snack away and kicked up my pace. Nearly a mile later, a couple of medics on bikes passed me, talked to my nemesis at the rear, then passed the other way. I asked one of them how far behind me she was. He told me about 200 feet.  At least she wasn't gaining on me.

I focused on the next walker less than a mile ahead. I recognized him as someone I'd spoken to in the queue for the latrines before the race. We'd both walked 11 miles the weekend before and were just interested in finishing. I set my sights on catching him. As I neared the corner, I saw latrines ahead and considered stopping, but when I rounded the corner, I decided that the 18 minute mile lady was still too close to stop. My nightmare would be complete; she would pass me while I was preoccupied. I kept walking.

At some point during the doldrums that were that part of the walk, I passed the guy ahead. At some point between miles 9 and 10 I passed two younger women. I considered stopping at the latrines at mile 11, but at that point I was only 2 miles from the end and decided that keeping moving was the important part. The dreaded 18 minute mile lady was nowhere in sight.

I walked most of the last mile with the next woman ahead of me, a woman named Melanie who was walking raising funds for cancer program. As we reached the 13 mile mark, my family was there. My granddaughter, dressed in orange right down to her nail polish, had a shirt that said, "Go, Grammy, Go." She joined me for the walk across the finish line. I let out a whoop, hugged my family. I'd done it.

Then it went pear shaped.

I started wheezing. I've never done that before and I have a whole new appreciation for people with asthma. I went to the curb and sat down and felt much better immediately. I drank water, broke open a Clif bar, ate 1/2 a banana, and felt pretty good again. I watched the two girls I passed cross the finish line. Then a bit later the last walker crossed the finish line walking with the 18 minute mile lady. I got up to go congratulate him. Gave him a hug, then started wheezing again. I thought briefly about heading for the truck, but then started feeling a little lightheaded. I sat down again and this time told my son to find me some oxygen. He returned with the medics.

After taking my BP and pulse and asking a bunch of questions, they decided to take me to the squad for some IV fluids and O2. My BP was a little low, the good looking captain told me. They wanted to run an EKG. I assume that checked out OK, but the big concern was by blood pressure, which at one point was as low as 66/30. They decided to transport me to the hospital.

The ER itself is a whole other story, but suffice it to say the issue was apparently dehydration. A couple of bags of IV fluids and I finally got to get up, without being dizzy, and go to the restroom. I don't have an official time for the race yet, but I know that I walked 13.1 miles in less than 3:55:07. That was the time I crossed the finish line on the race clock. I'll post the official time when I have it. Meanwhile, I'm happy to have finished the race. I'm looking forward to just walking again and not training--but not today. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Redrawing circles

I've been giving some thought to how I use Google Plus and how I see others using it, and I've decided to restructure my circles. It's not what you think. Generally when I see people make that announcement it includes a list of the circles they have and they ask their followers which circles they want to be put into. That is not what I'm talking about. I'm drawing my circles around people I want to read, not what I'm going to say.

The idea of Google Plus for some is to be able to create lists of people by topic and only posting that topic to those lists. I'm starting to see the beauty in using the out of the box circles for communicating to my audience then adding circles for topics I want to read, voices I want to hear. There are a couple reasons for this.

On the left hand side of G+ there is a list of my feeds by circle, Incoming, Notifications, and Sparks. These are the voices in my stream that I can hear and sort. I want to listen to yarnies or Whovians? I can click on that feed and read. Kind of like reading one of my lists on Twitter or by following a hashtag. But unlike Twitter, I can respond to the whole list just by choosing that circle. It's a nice feature that I wish Twitter had, and a feature I like about G+, but one I wouldn't use all the time. I don't only tweet to a hashtag. I interact with my friends.

I'm more than just a yarnie or a Whovian. When I'm tweeting, I'm talking to my community. My NCIS friends know that I knit, write, and read Steampunk. They know that I have a garden, I'm walking a half-marathon this weekend, and I love Shakespeare. I don't focus my topics to narrow audiences in real life or on Twitter. Why should I on G+?

What I do like about the circles is that I can share more personal information with family and friends than I do with acquaintances or strangers. It's not the topic in general that I want to sort but the amount of information that I want to make public. This means I'll only have a few circles I'll post to. Family, friends, and acquaintances--choosing the right audience just got simpler. These are the circles we were given when we signed up and I'm thinking the Googlers were onto something.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

WIP Wednesday--On the needles and off

I'm still working on the shawl for The Ladies of Mischief. I've picked up the pace, but it's taking longer than I imagined it would.

I've also agreed to test knit an adorable owl hat. I'll cast it on tonight, but I have to get a couple rows in on the shawl first. Here's the owl. I have the perfect person in mind for it. :-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Walking in the Light

When the hubs and I got married his family was into a multi-level marketing program, big time. Not that any of us made a lot of money at it, but we drew those crazy circles like we were spreading the Gospel, trying to convert as many people as we could to...I hesitate to say what I'm thinking...The Dark Side. Not that it was The Dark Side at the time, but I was the first to see the light.

Photo by arielmeow.
We were taught to dream big. To see ourselves in, and even to test drive, shiny new cars (my personal favorite was the Cadillac Seville), go to the Parade of Homes and wander through McMansions, or RV shows to see how the cool kids recreate. Before long, I realized that all that wishful thinking did was to create discontent. We no longer were happy with what we had. We only wanted bigger, newer and equated that with better. Sure, discontent was the purpose of the exercise. If you want it badly enough, you can achieve it. But I didn't like feeling that what I had was never good enough. Not one little bit. It wasn't long before I gave up on the MLM scheme and started trying to be content with what I had.

I just finished reading this blog "On Wanting Stuff."  It hit a chord, well maybe a couple. I've long ago given up going to the mall, stopped looking at most catalogs, ended magazine subscriptions. I do still browse Lehman's from time to time. But come on! How can a catalog for simple living be bad?

It wasn't until I read this blog that I realized how far I've come in finding contentment. I see the temptations and the failures. I look at how I can justify tempting purchases and think, "I'll never get there." Seems I'm much farther along than I thought. Sure, I still want an iPhone or in a pinch a Droid. Yes, I can justify an e-reader so I could get rid of some of my book collection. But, I haven't bought any of those things, and everyday I'm lightening the load a bit. I'm still moving out of the shadows and into the light.

Pardon me now while I go find another couple of boxes of stuff to give to charity.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It's WIP Wednesday. I'm still working on test knitting a shawl for The Ladies of Mischief's book.  Here's what it looks like at this point.

It's done in fingering yarn, so I have a long way to go. I'm just knitting away at it.

I also finally got a chance to start watching the NCIS Season 8 DVDs that arrived yesterday. I started with, of course, the special feature on the writers. After several months of tweeting with Jesse Stern and Steve Binder, and the chance to see Jesse and Reed Steiner at NCIS FanFest last fall it was fun to see the writers behind the scenes. I also watched the special feature with the fans in costume asking questions. I was there when some of it was filmed. It was great seeing my tweeps again.

Finally, I have been stalking my new coworker, the one I refer to as R2, on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog. In fairness, she found me first on Twitter. The similarities between us are pretty funny. It'll be interesting to see if it's just on the surface.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What is a trader?

I found another video on being a trader, and I've attached it to my fundraising page. It's been hard for me to explain the thought processes that tie my desire to dedicate my walking to a cause and to make the 1/2 marathon more than just about walking 13.1 miles. The video does a good job making the connection. If I can raise money to support a cause that I care deeply about, it makes the weeks of training, the sore muscles, and the loss of lazy Saturday mornings worth it. Watch the video then prayerfully consider supporting me in my walk.

Friday, August 19, 2011

First Steps

I am uncomfortable. 

Ever have one of those times in your life where everything feels like a drag on your energy? That is where I am now. What makes it worse is when your coping mechanisms become part of the problem.

For me, walking is one of my coping mechanisms. I find that if I start the morning with a walk the day goes better. I usually walk 45 minutes to an hour 3-5 days a week. I think of it as the time I used to spend commuting I now spend it on a healthier lifestyle.

Now that I'm weeks away from walking a half marathon, walking has become yet another  energy suck. For those who have never trained to do something like this, or even for those who have run a marathon, you may not realized how much work walking a marathon takes. It's an incremental process of building up to those 13.1 miles. However, walking one mile takes me 16-17 minutes. Saturday's walk will be 9 miles. Do the math. I spend my Saturday mornings walking and my Saturday afternoons recovering. I want my Saturdays back!!

September 11th I'll be stepping off to walk 13.1 miles. If the way I felt after walking a 10k last fall is any indication, crossing the finish line will be one of the high points of my life. After all, walking around the block was a challenge in the fall of 2009. Right now keeping it moving is as much of a challenge as taking those first steps.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Am I walking like a trader?

I've watched that video we saw at church yesterday probably 10 times now. I've already stumbled onto the path of trading what I have and what I do for more important things. The video gave it a name: A Trader.

I've been walking now for nearly 2 years and I've lost more than 100 lbs. I started walking when I started my new telecommuting job because I didn't want to sit through my one hour lunch break watching TV and eating too much. I started by walking around the block, which was insanely difficult. Little by little I added more distance to my walk. Then I started using Sparkpeople to track my exercise and what I was eating. Next thing I knew, I'd lost 20 lbs.

Using Sparkpeople I realized how much fat I was eating. I would easy run out of fat grams before I ran out of calories. I started looking for lower fat options, fish, chicken, turkey, vegetables. I discovered that, for me, lettuce is the delivery system for the salad dressing. I don't really like lettuce; my idea salad has a lot of other vegetables in it and the occasional piece of fruit.

Eventually, I shifted my walk from lunchtime to early morning because I couldn't get enough walking in at lunch time. The hour lunch break wasn't enough for walking, but I've been learning to use that time to just be quiet. I do the prep work for dinner. Or I close my eyes and unplug from the Matrix a bit.

Last fall I walked New Albany Walking Classic's 10k. This year I'm working on their 1/2 marathon. After I signed up my employer and the pregnancy center I support developed Marathons for Moms. I signed up as a walker. Yesterday's post about being a trader points right here. My job is helping non-profits with their fundraising walks and banquets. I also am walking to raise money for my local pregnancy center. These are things that are important to me. My work is more than a job. Walking is more than a way to lose weight. I'm using both as a way to help others. That makes me a trader.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Are You a Trader?

As I've written over the past couple of posts, I've been reading articles from several bloggers on minimalism. I recognize the need to simplify my life and especially to pare down the amount of stuff I have and the number of distractions in my life. This weekend I heard this same message in a Beth Moore word study at Schottenstein Arena and from the pulpit at my church. When you start hearing it everywhere, you know you have to listen.

One of the things that Beth Moore mentioned was that if we are doing a thousand things, how can we expect to do any of them well? Wouldn't it be better to find one or two things and excel at those? I brag about working with 2 computers going with 4 workspaces each, yet I wonder why I feel like I have ADD when I try to only do one thing at a time. I find myself seeking the distraction.

When I think about focusing my energies, I start questioning all the stuff I own that is not part of that focus. I know that I have a pattern of changing hobbies and interests every two years or so, but that doesn't mean I have gotten rid of those materials. Anything that I do longer than that is usually something that I truly love. Looking at my stash, there aren't many things that fit that category.

A video we showed at church this morning suggests trading in the stuff and the distractions for something with meaning. This is where I'm heading. Are You A Trader?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Travel light

I read this piece, The Tao of Travel,  and was highly motivated by Leo Babauta's ability to pack light. I've done it before, not quite to his level, but I've been tempted more than once to throw caution to the wind and go for it: pack the least that I can get away with. This weekend seemed to be the perfect time. I was meeting friends to see Beth Moore in Columbus and staying with them overnight at the home of one of their daughters.

I grabbed my backpack and tossed in my regular travel 1quart baggie, my small makeup bag, a clean top, pjs, socks, and my Bible. Before walking out the door, I grabbed the charger for my cellphone, my knitting, and the wristband I needed to entry into the event.

I am proud to say that I used every single item that I took with me. There was nothing extraneous.  There was, however, something I missed. As I neared Schottenstein Arena the thought occurred to me, "Did you pack underwear?"

Drat!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple Black Coffee

It's not what he said that got my attention. It's the title of his blog: Simple Black Coffee. I looked at the title. I looked at my coffee with milk and artificial sweetener and suddenly the latter felt very wrong.

I know that artificial anything is not good for you, but I use the "pink stuff". You know the one that was villainized in reports of rats getting cancer after the equivalent of 80 cans of pop ("soda" for the rest of you) a day.

"I don't drink 80 cans of pop. I'm fine," I rationalize.

Today's coffee is sweetener free. We'll talk about the milk later. After all, I need my calcium.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Finding Balance

I've run across some bloggers lately who are reigniting my thoughts about simplifying my life. I poke at the concept from time to time, but it's never seemed as real as it does now. I wonder if it's because the hubs and I talk about actually moving to the cabin by the lake (CBTL) and we know there is no way all the stuff in this 4 bedroom 3 floor house is going to fit into a 2 bedroom slab.

I started paring things down months ago, although you can't really tell it. It was easy to do after moving my office to a different room, and Salvation Army was coming anyway to pick up my old, too-large clothes. But there is a voice inside of me that keeps thinking that I should be selling my stuff on Ebay or CraigsList. Having worked in shipping for a couple years, I know just how annoying that can be. Add to that photographing, listing, and all the headaches that go with selling things online, I know I don't want to do it. Then I read Decluttering 101: to Sell or not to Sell. It gave me an interesting perspective on getting rid of stuff.

Miss Minimalist talks about the process of selling her stuff and how the loathing of the process now keeps her from buying new stuff. I realized that for me, selling my stuff seems like a penance for owning it in the first place. It's like the stretch marks and hangy skin after losing 100+ pounds are the battle scars for being stupid enough to gain all that weight in the first place. Selling this stuff is the cleansing I need to get me out of the chaos and into a simpler life.

I'm adding selling stuff to the list I've been thinking about. Over the next 6 months I will:

  • scan family photos left by hubs' mom and grandmothers so I can pass the actual photos to other members of the family. 
  • after making as many Christmas and birthday gifts as possible with my craft stash on hand, follow up with my previous plan of purging craft supplies. If they don't fit in the craft cupboard they are gone.
  • reassess what things I really don't want to live without. I may even toy with the idea of a 100 things list. Not sure I'm ready for that yet.
  • start listing items on Craigslist and Ebay.
Not sure how far I'll get in 6 months, but it has to be better than where I am right now. Like losing weight was a one step at a time process, so will simplifying my life. I didn't lose this weight overnight. It took a while find balance between eating healthy and exercising. It's time to seek that balance in other areas of my life.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

When Willpower is Trumped by Bad Habits | zen habits

When Willpower is Trumped by Bad Habits | zen habits

I read this blog earlier in the week and I gave the idea some thought on my walk this morning. Last year I was much better about getting up and hitting the paths for my walk first thing. Then winter hit and it was too cold. That was followed by spring, which was too wet and summer, which was too hot. Still, I plan to walk a 1/2 marathon in September and I need to get strong enough to walk it. What happened to my habit and how can I get it back?

The the aforementioned blog I was reminded that last summer I got out of bed, dressed, and was out the door. This year, I eat a little something, maybe have some coffee, visit with my friends on Twitter, and then wonder where my morning went. That has to change.

This morning, I was dressed in my workout clothes before I walked downstairs. I stretched, filled my water bottle, and was out the door before I had a chance to be distracted. I need to continue this trend if I'm going to finish the half and lose these last 15 lbs. It's time to reestablish last summer's good habit.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Raise the roof, or the debt ceiling...or not

My friend Rick commented on the debt ceiling standoff to his Circles and I wrote a comment, which I soon realized was a blog. To leave something this long on someone's comment is, well, just rude. I decided to C+V it over here:


Just once I want to see this sort of discussion without bringing up the military, Social Security and Medicare. Yes, they are big budget items, but it's usually the little things that break a budget. Take those 3 big items out of the picture and start cutting the rest. I know how much my house payment is and I can't change that. But I can stop eating out so often. It's the little things.

Here's the thing. We need our government to stop funding every little research program that comes down the pike. Stop funding social agendas with the carrot-and-stick approach. Meet this benchmark and we'll give you money. That is the only power that the Department of Education has, by the way. An estimated $71 billion goes to the Department of Education, plus another $23 billion from the stimulus plan, and the DoE has no power to implement these programs over the states. They can only reward states for meeting their agendas--and effectively removing the power from individual school districts. It's an estimated $93 billion savings if the Federal government butted out of a local issue.  BUT there's a catch and the perfect example is the shuttle program.

How many thousands of unemployed people are there now because they shut down the shuttle program? Think about how many programs, large and small our tax dollars support. Our government funds so many programs that the number of unemployed would skyrocket if they stopped funding them. Not just research programs mind you, but education, social programs; there's a lot of good stuff being funded that would need to find funding elsewhere or shut down.



The ugly truth is that too many of us live off the federal government. The easiest ones to identify are the military, the elderly, and the disabled. However, through federal programs, a lot of us make our living because the government is picking up the tab. Shut down those programs and a lot more people are out of work. 


What we  need are jobs. Real jobs. Not jobs created by the stimulus program that are funded by the government. We need our American companies to come back from other countries and employ American people. We need to stop telling our kids that the only good jobs are jobs in a high rise in a major city, where they wear a white shirt and a blue tie and make a bunch of money. It is okay to work in a factory. It's good, honest work.


I'm no expert. I don't know how to fix the budget, but I do recognize that cutting the budget might be like pulling the 7 of diamonds out of the bottom row of that house of cards. That's probably why Washington throws the military, Medicare, and Social Security under the bus. Those three pull on the heartstrings and we'll fight to save them. Washington doesn't really want to start reshuffling the deck and cutting programs because it will put more people out of work and we can't afford that right now--literally.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My take on Google+ circles

A couple conversations about filtering messages to the right circles got me thinking about how G+ works and how I want it to work. I see G+ Circles like Twitter lists in that I can corral people into lists by topic, but I don't expect them to only post about that one topic. My NCIS tweeps might also be Dr Whovians, for example. There will be crossover and for me, that's okay.

Circles add another dimension. They add the ability for the sender to filter their posts by topic, kind of like adding a Twitter hashtag that we can follow and add to our tweets to be included in the conversation. In some ways when we post publicly or to our circles or extended circles, it's like we're posting our non-knitting comments with the #knit tag. That will be considered noise.

Personally, I like the noise because I recognize that the people I follow are more than knitters or geeks or SM experts. I like finding out that my NCIS friends also are Whovians or Whedonites. The fact that G+ allows us to post to Public, all our Circles, and Extended circles tells me that we're not expected to sort everything we post by topic.

Until G+ comes up with a way to listen multiple circles into our streams*, we may have to drop some of the noise in a circles into our Incoming or into a noisy circle. I would much rather do that than lose a voice that I want to hear. Having said that, I'm giving fair warning that I will not be filtering everything I say by topic, but there will be times when, for example, I'm talking about the Kitchener Stitch, that I will grab my Yarnies circle. If you feel you need to remove me from one of your circles because of the noise, I won't even notice.

note: I know there is an extension to add checkboxes in the stream. Broke my audio/video capabilities when G+ was running and I uninstalled. If you added it, check your Hangout to see if it still works. I'm running Ubuntu Linux YMMV.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Computer clean up

Spent much of the day cleaning up my bookmarks on Delicious, cleaning files on my Ubuntu computer (and a little on the iMac) and then installing Back In Time so it has an actual back up happening.

One of the things I discovered is that I have way too many copies of some knitting patterns. They are bookmarked on Delicious, multiple copies are on my computer, and saved on Ravelry. I also have way too many screen caps from NCIS episodes. Those are stored on 2 computers and on Flickr.

Sorting through those multiples is a project for another day.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Ann Cannon: Yes, I knit, but I’m not one of those ‘Sister Wives’ | The Salt Lake Tribune

Ann Cannon: Yes, I knit, but I’m not one of those ‘Sister Wives’ | The Salt Lake Tribune:

"Then I throw down a “sl st,k1, PSSO, k1” combination, after which I shout, “Boo-yah,” as well as “Who’s your daddy!”"

Need I say more? Except unlike the author, I'm not stopping.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Gatsby's knitting.

Gatsby's knitting. by sandbar17
Gatsby's knitting., a photo by sandbar17 on Flickr.

I don't just think about NCIS. I knit as well. This is a tie I'm working on as my carry-around piece. Snapped it at Gatsby's, where go to see friends play. The pattern is from Lion Brand's site. It's the Vertical Striped Tie. You can't miss it.

NCIS Photos: Lost Photo on CBS.com

NCIS_Gary (NCIS Executive Producer, Gary Glasberg) says if we wish real hard, we may get Abigail Borin to come back for a visit sometime soon. I hope so. We love her.

NCIS Photos: Lost Photo on CBS.com

Battelle hired to help fight lake algae | The Columbus Dispatch

This is potentially good news. Our lake cabin, which I call CBTL (or Cabin by the Lake in a nod to the Michael Weatherly flick of the same name) is at this lake. My mom worked at Battelle. If anyone can solve this problem, it is they.

Battelle hired to help fight lake algae | The Columbus Dispatch

The Play’s the Thing « NCIS Exposition Faerie

Latest post by my alter ego. Shakespeare and NCIS collide.

The Play’s the Thing « NCIS Exposition Faerie

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Still thinking...

I'm still giving thought to my idea about blogging something regularly--again. I may try the something new idea again. I liked the concept. Since we're at the end of the month, I'm hoping to kick it off for July. *fingers crossed*

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Carrying through is not my strong suit

It's pretty obvious from the last few attempts to blog consistently that I'm lacking on follow through. I'd like to think that it's because I'm busy. It's more like I'm easily distracted. Tweeting, Facebooking, improving my web design skills, knitting, watching TV, hanging out online with my friends, training for to walk a 1/2 marathon leave little time for other things. I'd like to get back into the habit of writing regularly and reading every day. I'd like to finish sorting through the junk in my house and getting rid of the excess. I feel like I need a TARDIS to have enough time.

I think I really just need to focus better. On my computers I have multiple work spaces. My work computer usually has my inboxes on one, my set up browser on two, my calendar on three, and my play-space (Tweetdeck) on four. I wonder if using this technique is making me ADD or if I've learned a way to cope with all the information coming at me and need to learn that skill in the real world.

When it comes to blogging, I think I'm on the right track. A new thing everyday. I liked that. I may need to try that one again. Or at least, I need to have a purpose for whatever blog I'm writing. I'm thinking of "Julie & Julia" or a blog of which I caught the last post. A woman had explored being a woman and a geek. Interesting concept. That's what I need: an interesting concept.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Playing catch up

I've missed a week's worth of posting firsts, but I've been busy. I worked the Heartbeat Conference as an exhibitor, went to the convention center for the first time. I walked down High Street through the Short North after having my first wine tasting at Camelot Cellars. Green Apple Riesling. Good stuff.

I also met almost all my coworkers, Qui-Gon couldn't make it. Went back to the Apple store and picked up my Mac. Whew! I've pushed the envelope of newness. Still thinking on today's something new. It needs to be something relaxing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday's new thing

Still on the thirty days of new. Monday had a couple changes. First, the rainy weather kept me close to home for my walk. Took a new route so I would be only a few minutes from home if the clouds opened up. Secondly, since iMacGee is in the shop, I worked on my own personal computer for the day. Learned alot about shortcuts and trick with some of the software that I have or is in Ubuntu's repository. This will be handy at our lake house since I'll be taking an old computer running Ubuntu to the lake when I go up with the hubs this summer.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cbusr - Meet new people. Discover Columbus, Ohio.

Today's something new is Cbusr.com, a website recommended by my friend, Rick. I think I'd like it better if you could search by interest not just area and occupation, but since they encourage meeting in real life that makes sense. If you're in Columbus, check it out. Cbusr - Meet new people. Discover Columbus, Ohio.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Something New Every Day

I read an article on LifeHacker.com suggesting that every day for 30 days we try something new. It doesn't have to be anything big, just something to shake up the routine. I'm on day three, and I would have blogged this sooner, but Blogger was down. Anyway, this is a great idea and I'm going for it.

On Day One, I did something easy. I made an iced coffee smoothie for my afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. Day Two was more strenuous. I dug up about 70 bricks in the yard so we could move the hostas to a shadier spot.

Day two yard work.

Today, I'm taking my work computer to the Apple Store at Easton. It's doing this random shut down thing again. Anyway, my first time to the Apple Store. This could be dangerous.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Bin Laden is Dead

When the Towers fell, before the news said anything about Bin Laden claiming responsibility, I knew that he was behind it. He'd tried to bring down the WTC before, he had made it clear that he was targeting Americans. I had no doubt.

When the news broke last night about Bin Laden's death, after a bit of whooping and hollering, my mind turned not only to the memory of the first tower falling--which at the time I my mind couldn't comprehend and my son had to tell me it was gone--to the attacks on Khobar Towers and the U.S.S. Cole. Finally, the bastard got what he deserved.

I'm proud of our Navy SEALS who went in on a CIA-run operation and took him out. Thank you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

An NCIS script? Are you nuts?

Over the last few weeks I've been tweeting then Facebooking with a newly discovered online friend who feeds my analytical writing side--the English major in me who likes to discuss story, symbolism, and the dreaded significance. We're not talking Shakespeare or Dickens or even Austen. We're talking NCIS. Up to this point we've created some McMayhem and some fantastic t-shirts dedicated to the writers of NCIS. But we've also caused one another to think about what we write, and how we learn about writing in different ways.

Colorguard28 writes that she's not a visual thinker, and that she struggles to see the images she writes. I, on the other hand, see the images and struggle to describe what I see with the detail that exists in my imagination. I've considered for months participating in Script Frenzy this year, but since I completely bombed at NaNoWriMo in the fall, I've hesitated. The more I've thought about it, the more committed I've become. The theatre muse who helped write 3 summer shows for the teen theatre is ready to try her hand a an NCIS script.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Our Texas Trip

The hubs and I flew to Texas last week to visit with our sons and to see the newest Barton, Moriah (born Christmas Day). We're still here and loving it, even though snow arrived today and I picked up a cold somewhere--probably from the woman next to me on the flight from Chicago to St. Louis. Still I'm very glad we came.

Yesterday we went to Central Market, a grocery store that I am tempted to relocate for. The produce section was amazingly the size of some markets alone with huge amount of organic produce. When we walked in the door, there were ruby red grapefruit so large that Bekah called them pumpkins. The fish and meat section had butchers, not just clerks. The wine and beer section was massive and then there was the rest of the store. We went on Saturday, so samples were on the agenda. Who needed lunch?

We drove back past the campus of Rose Bowl champions TCU. I was tempted to bring home a Rose Bowl shirt, but figured my Ohio State neighbors wouldn't be amused.

Today we visited my sons' church. Very nice congregation that seems to know the  meaning of worship. I have strong opinions on music in church and that it shouldn't resemble a concert. I want to hear the congregation singing, whether I'm off stage or on. I'm told that the congregation was a little light because of the pending bad weather, still I could hear those gathered for worship over those on the the stage. My younger son played percussion today. He tells me that the worship leader told the singers not to sing too loudly, only if the congregation needed help with the music. Apparently, it's not them performing but rather assisting the congregation in singing together. Mmmmm. I love that concept.

We'll be heading back on Tuesday. I'm not anxious to get back, but working from here on the laptop has not been the easiest thing to do. If I could hang out here longer, I certainly would. I know that I'm not waiting so long for the next visit.