Monday, March 3, 2014

Lent Rookie In Training...

I have decided that this year I am going to participate in Lent.  This is a new adventure for me.  Every denomination does not participate in Lent and I grew up in one of them.  When I was young I lived next door to the nanny of a catholic family and heard all about the kids' Lent stories.  I was always thankful I was not expected to give up my favorite things to eat.  Growing up, I would have been impossible to live with if denied my Little Debbies.   Mmmmmmmm...Little Debbies... So celebrating Lent for the first time in my 44 years the question remains; what do I give up??

I am already on a diet so I have given up potatoes, white bread, milk chocolate, sugary snacks, chips...I have nothing left!!!  I have given up soda, I have given up tea...can I give up diets??  I'm thinking not.  It has to be something important, something meaningful, something that interferes with healthy activities.  Uh surely not...I don't think I can do it...I really have no choice...heavy sigh.  There is only one choice, Facebook.

Yes it is true, I have decided to give up Facebook for Lent.  Facebook is definitely a distraction and keeps me away from important chores, duties, hobbies.  It also replaces face to face interaction which is not very healthy either.  I'm thinking with the time I spend on Facebook, I should be able to accomplish something important like write the great American novel, find a cure for cancer, learn a new language, figure out the thought process of men.  Ok, maybe that is a little crazy, but yeah...I spend a lot of time on Facebook.  Fat Tuesday may be spent pinning every possible cute pig picture I can find.  This will not be easy.  It's going to be a long six weeks.

The point of this time is to prepare spiritually for Easter.  My hope is to not only spend my time wisely and break a somewhat unhealthy habit that I have formed; I am hoping that at the other end maybe, just maybe, I will grow a little...and figure out men.  An Easter miracle!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fitness for Dummies...

After several weeks of snow and freezing temperatures, the cold weather has broken and it is sunny and 55 degrees.  Glorious!  I cannot wait until spring!  I will work on the landscaping, put out a vegetable garden, go to the pool...Uh oh.  I can't go to the pool with this winter belly pooch.  And how can I expect to swim any length at all if I have become one with my recliner for the last three months?  This is quite a dilemma.  It appears I must change my diet and...don't say can't be...anything but that...exercise.  *weeps uncontrollably*

I have been doing some research on diets and nutrition.  I thought about going vegetarian, but one day into it and I found myself chewing on the dog's leg.  I require a Viking.  A friend of mine was doing the South Beach Diet developed by cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agatston.  I checked the book out at the library and read it.  It was actually very interesting to learn about good fat and bad fat and how our body breaks down food.  I have decided to give it a whirl.  The diet is fairly strict about what you eat, especially the first two weeks, but not so strict about how much.  Supposedly if you get hungry that is a sign you may be TOO strict and need to take in more food.  The hardest part, according to the doctor, is the cravings.  I am into day 1 and I would shoot a man for a Nutter Butter.  I swear I would.  But I am not hungry and I feel like I am eating well so I will shoot for day 2. 

While I was at the library, I checked out a DVD on beginner Zumba.  No WAY I am going to a public class until I see what this is all about.  I stared at it for 3 days.  I moved it from one table to another.  Finally, I put it in the player.  Two bouncy young women were staring at me through the flat screen, "Are you ready??  Let's go"  Alright here we go.  "Shake those hips!  Are you moving your hips?"  Oh yeah, hips are going.  Whew!  This is some workout!  "Move to the music!  Don't you just love this music??"  Yeah!  Music is great!  Love the maracas!  Oh wait...those are my knees.  "And step and shake and jerk...You got it!"  Yes I do!!  I am on fire!  I gotta catch my breath... "Great warm up!"  What the hell??!!

So Zumba is fun, but I will probably be a closet Zumba-er...or whatever you call a person who Zumbas.  Walking is pretty straightforward and I can always fall back on that.  Point is I am doing something.  I am getting up off of my growing buttocks and getting least for today.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Living In Creativity...

I would love to have some form of artistic talent. The ability to create a beautiful scene onto a blank canvas leaves me envious.  My brother is an artist.  His sketches are so detailed and life like, I just stare at them in awe.  My daughter inherited his talent...YES!  I love to watch her sit on the couch with her lap desk and work on her drawings or take leftover yarn and knit saddles for her stuffed horses.  It makes my heart sing!  I have zero artistic ability.  ZERO!  I'm even afraid to paint my walls, that is how little talent I have.  How I wish my parents had been able to share that DNA with me.  But alas, my little brother holds all of it...along with the beautiful strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, and long eyelashes.  But I'm not bitter or anything...

What I have learned from living with two artists, is that they are a bit...messy.  I remember as a child my brother having a drawer in his dresser filled with the pieces of broken toys.  He would pull the drawer out and have the pieces spread all over his bed, putting different parts together to create a new "invention."  He once combined a Barbie brush, a steering wheel, and a magnifying glass to make a moustache comber for our dad.  Dad has always had a thin moustache.  His bedroom walls were covered with portraits of his favorite musicians.  He once sketched a portrait of Jerry Garcia that looked as though he would speak to you!  Amazing.

Now I am grown and my daughter is the house artist.  You know those pictures that you see in magazines of perfectly manicured homes devoid of all clutter?  That will never, and I mean never, be my house.  Currently, there is an entire corner of the dining room devoted to art supplies and display.  I'm not just talking pencils and paint, I'm talking boxes of every shape and size, empty paper towel rolls, and duct tape.  Duct tape is a fact of life, artist or not.  The walls and refrigerator are covered with pictures of horses and various dogs and cats.  I remember being a new single mom and not having a lot of money for decorations, so I took my daughter's drawings and decorated our great room with them.  Made for such happy surroundings. The other rooms of the house have a corner that contains drawing supplies, large books or a lap desk to draw on, and of course...boxes of various shape and size.  You see, a Dairy Queen box may be handy for holding your lunch...but they also make great giraffes.  Couches, end tables, entertainment centers, can all hold a number of pencils, crayons, and yarn.  Need a pencil at my house?  Just look beside you.

Now granted, I have tried to organize this all at various times.  But it is as though it has a life of it's own!  To the naked eye it may appear as clutter, but to my daughter, they are tools.  Not only tools, but creations in the making.  Oh to be inside that mind!  To be able to look at a box and see it's potential.  I get a panic attack planning to paint two colors on one wall.  Can it be done???  The ceiling too?  ARGH!!  Sometimes the mess may be frustrating, sometimes I may sigh as I look around me; but when push comes to shove, I would have it no other way.  I am held captive in creativity, and it is glorious!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Is Social Networking a Bad Thing...  Love it.  When I approached this in the beginning, I thought it was a great way to share pictures of my family and my growing children.  I also liked to use my status updates as a way of making people laugh, a form of entertainment.  What I discovered was a platform for people to insult my beliefs, my political stance, everything about me!  Sometimes it takes everything inside of me to not argue back or prove them wrong.  But I don't.  I just scroll on and look for more recipes and kid pictures.  I really hate election time when it seems like everyone thinks they will sway my vote by posting propaganda all over the place.  In case you are one of those won't.  I am educated, I am informed, nothing you say can or will persuade me otherwise.  I make it a point to post nothing that shows my political affiliation.  I do, however, post things that make fun of both sides because...well let's face it...both sides are pretty hilarious. 

I think what bothers me most is the anger and resentment I sometimes feel.  I have, at times, felt so degraded by so-called "friends" that I have "deleted" them because, seriously, who needs that??  Remember when we used to talk on the phone or meet at a restaurant or hang-out?  Remember when we had an ounce of decorum when we stated an opinion?  With social networking comes a blind courage.  A courage normally not shown except through the use of tequila.  When you are staring at a monitor, it is so easy to just spill your opinions, insults, whatever for the whole wide world to see.  Face to face it is not quite so easy.  You may still do it, but you may also get punched in the nose.  It is so much easier to run your mouth when no one is staring at you.  That is how I try to approach my replies, statuses, disagreements...would I say this to your face?  That does not make me a coward if I would not.  Sometimes it is best to leave things to yourself.  If you want to challenge me, face to face, let's go.  I won't back down.  But aren't we all entitled to our own opinion?  If you think differently than me...who cares??  I don't.  You have your reasons and I have mine.  Respect that!  Geez.

I miss sitting on my front porch and talking to my neighbors.  I miss phone calls about the day's adventures.  I miss respect and discussion without insult.  Some say the art of conversation is dead.  I tend to agree.  If not dead, then dying a slow agonizing death.  There IS an art to discussing opposing opinions, an art to discussing the world's problems without degrading someone else's opinions.  An art to just...talking.  Step...away...from a friend.  Meet them for lunch.  Sit on your porch.  Talk!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Out With the Old, In With the New...

Ah, it's the beginning of a new year!  A time for reflection and plans, plans for a better more fruitful year ahead.  A time to let go of unwanted habits and adopt new ones.  Resolutions will be made and resolutions will be broken, it's the cycle of life.  The year 2013 brought about so many new and wonderful events and some we would rather forget.  I have been thinking about some of the things I would like to keep and some of the things...well, that I could do without.


2013 offered some interesting new words, like selfie, twerking, cray cray, and hashtag.  I read something the other day that said the "selfie" was making us narcissistic.  No way!  Do you mean to tell me making fish lips and taking a picture of yourself to post online so that everyone can tell you that you look hot is a sign of narcissism??  Nooooooooooo...But that is not my concern with the selfie, my concern with the selfie is all of the pictures I observe with disgusting scum on the bathroom tile behind them.  Here's a word for your vocabulary...bleach! 

The one word that I detest, that makes me cringe, that drives me insane...grrrrrrrrrrr...twerking.  Argh I hate that word!  I hate the act of it, I hate the sound of it, and I hate that Miley Cyrus had to ingrain that image into my mind.  Shiver!  Dancing should be a flow, a beautiful sexy movement; not your rear end gyrating inexplicably.  Ew. 

Hashtag...what an interesting concept.  A concept that was originally meant to categorize a status on Twitter, but has now become a form of communication on all correspondence.  I don't understand the use of hashtags outside of the Twitter world, it confuses me, and I have a hard time reading phrases without spaces so please make this go away!  #makemeinsane #stophashtags #bloggingopinionsrock #amItooold

I love the word cray cray.  It embarrasses my kids when I use it.  I love to drive my kids cray cray.  #embarassingmom #craycrayrules


Is it just me or is creativity dead?  Everything that you see new on television is some kind of new reality show.  Now I don't dislike all of them, but some of them are just getting out of hand.  I remember when the concept first came out with Survivor, Cops, and Amazing Race.  I still like Cops and I like the similar show The First 48, this is closer to reality.  I do not keep up with the music shows but the concept seems fair and understandably entertaining.  But seriously...Monsters Inside Me...I can't even watch the previews without taking a dose of antibiotic.  Then there is Amish Mafia...really?  I imagine a dude in a black brim hat and a woman in a bonnet speaking over me in German dialect and threatening me with a sharp icicle...or maybe a knife that they made themselves...without power tools.  I saw a commercial for an upcoming series, Sex Sent Me to the ER.  Apparently, I have been doing it wrong all of these years...

What I am looking forward to is Season 3 of Sherlock!!!  I am ready to celebrate January 19th as though it is my birthday!  I haven't been this excited about a series since Northern Exposure in the early 90's.  Now THAT is good television!  This also tells me that I am getting old.

Kindle or Books?

This is a serious question for many people.  Do you give up the feel of a good book for the technology and convenience of a Kindle.  I am wishy-washy on this because I like both.  For Christmas I received the book Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger and I love owning it, seeing his name on it, and knowing that my kids and husband picked it out and knew I would like it.  Books are awesome!  Open up an old book and inhale deeply...intoxicating.  On the flip side, going on vacation and packing some reading material, you cannot beat having all of your books in one handy tablet to slide into your suitcase or purse.  A suitcase full of books is heavy.  I don't like heavy.  I am on the fence with this one, just call me Charlie Brown.

We look at the world around us and want to throw out the junk and hold on to the treasures.  We do the same for ourselves.  I am hoping that next year when I am reflecting on 2014, I am healthier, skinnier, smarter, and kinder.  I also hope I am not twerking or taking a selfie with moldy tiles.