Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing day spent with your nearest and dearest. I had the joy of seeing all three of my children show ecstasy and delight over their Christmas gifts.

Now that was a pleasure, and the best Christmas gift this mother could ever request.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm Back

Well, I took a bit of a hiatus from writing ... at least on this blog. But if you look to the bottom of my blogroll (on the left), you'll see what I was doing.
That's right. I competed in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated) 2007 and WON! I wrote a 50,136 word fantasy novel aimed at youthful readers. It was tiring and stressful, and within two days of finishing, I was thinking about doing it again. Yeah, even though I wrote 16,000 of those words in the last week of the competition, and regardless of the fact that I really didn't sleep that last week because I still had to go to work full-time, too. It felt good. REALLY good. Now I just have to get in the habit of writing on a regular basis...
Oh, and I need to edit the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo. I might even be able to whip it into shape for publication... Now isn't THAT a dream to be realized?

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I think I know why I am having such a difficult time with this diet ... I'm not planning my meals or preparing for those times when I'm going to miss a regular meal. I have managed to eat three slices of pizza every day since going on this diet; dinner the first night, then left-over slices for lunch the second day, followed by the "lunch special" (buy two slices of pizza and a pop for $3, get a third slice free) at the local pizza joint today because I couldn't get out of the office for more than 20 minutes for lunch. I am also not drinking enough water. So, for the next week I will be focusing on bringing a water bottle and healthy snacks (carrot or celery sticks, apples slices, an orange, etc.) to work every day. I'll keep checking in to let you ... anybody out there? ... know how I'm doing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I. Am. Failing!
I haven't even managed to stay on my "diet" for a whole day. I was going along great yesterday until sitting down to dinner, when I managed to wolf down three slices of (formerly) frozen pizza after eating my healthy salad.
Today, I didn't even make it through lunch. Rather than eating an actual lunch, I used most of that hour to run errands (shopping for a belt, toilet paper, Halloween candy, soda pop for D), so that I only had about 30 seconds to grab something from the 'fridge to take back to work for lunch ... leftover pizza. And tonight I took the kids to DQ for treats because Lumpy* earned a free ice cream for entering the Jack-O-Lantern contest at her day care ... and of course I had to have one because the Blizzard Of The Month is peanut butter cup and blizzards are my favorite ice cream treat from DQ and I had a coupon for .39 off. I'm just glad I didn't have the BOGO coupon or I would have bought a second one to keep in the freezer for this weekend. Lumpy had a DQ Sandwich, Tigger had a Dilly Bar, Owl had a grape-flavored Mr. Misty Freeze (the kind with the ice cream mixed into the Mr. Misty slush).
I have, however, signed up for the class I mentioned I was going to take. It begins on November 5th and I am SOOOOOO excited about it.
Also, since Tigger's scout meeting for tomorrow night was canceled, I think I'll use some of that hour to prepare celery sticks ... I should have done that tonight, but I was working on balancing my checkbook instead (and writing this blog post).

*Yes, I have nicknamed my three children after character's from Disney's Winnie-The-Pooh movies. If you are not familiar with some of the more recent movies, "Lumpy" is the nickname for Heffridge Trumpler Brompet Heffalump, IV, a young "heffalump" whom Roo meets and befriends. Lumpy is full of laughter, bouncing is what Tigger's do best and Owl is very knowledgeable about books (both in the movies and in my house).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weight Loss

Well, the "Health and Fitness" angle hasn't been working for me, so now I'm going to try to just lose weight. As of this morning, I weigh 183 pounds. My first goal is to be 5 pounds lighter by my birthday in the middle of November. My next goal is to be 10 pounds lighter, rather than 10 pounds heavier, by the 1st of the year. My long-term goal is to maintain a weight of 155 to 160 pounds; numbers I haven’t seen on the scale since before D and I met. However, I am still doing this for the same reasons I expounded before: I want my kids to see me making healthy choices about what I eat and how I spend my time; and I want to be able to walk without my thighs rubbing together.
The lifestyle that I have chosen is low-glycemic impact (low-G.I.) which means I'll be eating a lot of the items listed in the green section. I will also be signing up for a class through my local parks and recreation department called "Core Concepts," a class which will meet three days a week from 12:15 to 12:45 pm. My official weigh-in day will be Tuesdays, since I am starting my new eating plan on a Tuesday. So, I'll be back tomorrow with my first official weigh-in; if I have time, and can find the measuring tape, I may even do a few body measurements (upper arms, waist, hips, thighs, calves).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Interesting Animal Meme

I saw this MeMe here and just had to participate.

An Interesting Animal I Had
Well, my parents have raised a variety of animals in my lifetime; at one point we had a bevy of ducks, a flock of chickens, and two rabbits that, well, bred like rabbits, as well as cat and a dog. However, the most interesting pet I have ever personally had was a chicken. Her name was Lucky, and my mom revived her twice (no, not through mouth to beak resuscitation). At no point was she actually dead, but she was so cold that she wasn't moving. Lucky grew up in a box in our kitchen, and she liked to be held, and she like to snuggle her head into the curve of my jaw.

An Interesting Animal I Ate
I once ate alligator tail at a restaurant in Florida. It was not a wild-caught alligator. I did feel a little guilty about eating it, but I was too curious to avoid it all together. It was battered and deep fried, and it looked and tasted like chicken breast except it was greasier and tougher.

An Interesting Thing I Did With or To an Animal
When I was a kid, we had a dog that we nicknamed "SuperDog." She liked to play tug-of-war, and no matter how hard you pulled she just would not let go of the towel (even if you didn't really want to play tug-of-war). Well, my brother and I discovered that once we got her to bite down on the towel or robe, we could pull her around the room and she would like with her forepaws out in front of her and her hind legs splayed out in back. We even managed to tie another towel around her neck (loosely, of course) so that it looked like a cape and then we would pull her along the floor yelling, "Go, SuperDog!" Lucky for us, we had no carpets.

An Interesting Animal in a Museum
I can't think of any interesting animals I have seen in a museum; I haven't spent much time in museums looking at animals, and any animals I have seen have been pretty normal (elk, bison, deer, etc.).

An Interesting Animal in its Natural Environment
I live in the country, so I see a lot of animals. I wish I had a picture of this one, though. I lived in Florida, many years ago, and had to walk about 3/4 of a mile to my bus stop. In order to save time, most of the kids on my block would cut through two neighbors' yards; it would shave off nearly 1/4 of a mile and several minutes to do this. Their yards abutted each other in the back and were separated by a row of trees, with a 3-foot-wide opening between two of the tree. One morning it became impossible to go through this space because there was a mama opossum and her three young hanging from a tree branch directly above our short-cut, and whenever anybody got within ten feet of the tree, the mama would hiss and bare her teeth. Rather than risk an opossum bite (and possibly rabies shots), we just walked the extra 1/4 of a mile to the bus stop.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Middle Name MeMe

Here are the rules:

Write a post using each letter of your middle name describing something relevant to your life. Tag the same amount of people as you have letters in your name.

My middle name is DAWN:

Dreamer. I have an active imagination and dream-life, and sometimes wish I could stay there indefinitely...

Awe. I am awed by my children; they are my miracles and I am so lucky to have them in my life.

Weird. This is how my children, especially my teenager, would describe me. I make up strange songs and dance to them anywhere; my kitchen, the grocery store, wherever.

Nice; because I want to get something from Santa this year. :)

I'm not going to tag anybody, but if you are interested, feel free to play along.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Weight Loss or Health and Fitness

Rather than waiting for inspiration to strike, I’ve decided I need to start writing about my daily life. I actually made that decision several weeks ago and was going to make one of my regular entries about my attempts at weight loss. I was going to “Diet Naked” (Mel, will you be my friend?) in front of all of you. Then I read this article (I was directed there through this post by Cheeky Lotus. It made me start to think; what kind of example am I setting for my kids (and I do include my son in that statement; it’s not just females that suffer from eating disorders).

So I decided that while I am not happy with my weight, I don’t want to set the example of “dieting” because I’m unhappy with how I look. I don’t want to embark on a journey with the mindset that it will eventually come to an end and then I’ll be able to return to my former eating habits. Instead, I am setting health goals for myself and will work towards them with the knowledge that this is my new life and there is no going back.

The example I REALLY want to set is about choices; specifically, about making the correct choices regarding what food I use to fuel my body, and what activities I allow myself to be involved with. That being said, I have set the following short-term goals for myself:

  1. To create a “Deal-a-Meal” type of food plan that incorporates the suggestions from http://www.mypyramid.gov/, the G.I. Diet, and the
    12 Abs Diet Power Foods [http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=nutrition&category=abs.diet&conitem=b72a99edbbbd201099edbbbd2010cfe793cd____ ] (and to start using it).
  2. To start spending a portion of each weekend outside being physically active with my children (for as long as weather allows) and to show them myself being physically active inside, too.

I also have long-term goals:

  1. To make healthy eating choices.
  2. To get regular exercise (30+ minutes) at least 5 days a week.
  3. To be able to walk and not feel my thighs rub together.
  4. To tone my upper arms so I can wear short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts without having to worry about showing arm flab.
  5. To tone and strengthen my core muscles.

If accomplishing these goals causes the number on the scale to go down (and help me fit into smaller pants), then that is just the icing on the cake of setting a good example for my kids and making healthier choices for myself.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We had a memorial service for my grandmother this past Saturday. She died on the eve of Christmas Eve last year, and this was the first chance we had to get everyone together. It was an interesting experience, but I felt somewhat detached.
My parent's pastor said a few words and a prayer and asked those of us gather to relate examples of my grandmother's sense of humor. I had nothing to add at the time. I remember my dad telling stories of my grandmother's humor. She once sewed (almost) every hole in one of his sweaters shut; the only hole she left open was the one at his waist...
After a few prayers, my dad spread my grandmother's ashes in the Columbia River. Then, he drank a gulp of beer (her preferred drink, though she gave it up when my grandpa got sick) and poured the rest of it over her ashes in the water. Followed by a bloom from my grandmother's rose. The rose was from a small plant that she'd had when she moved into the assisted living facility, but she was worried that it was dying in the room with her so she asked someone to take care of it for her. That was three years ago. According to the caretaker, it bloomed every year but hadn't bloomed this year until just this past week. We all stood there watching the current catch and pull the ashes, and for just a moment I was overwhelmed by the idea that I would never see my grandmother again; never touch her extremely soft skin; never kiss her whiskery cheek; never hear her recitations.
My grandmother was sharp as a tack to the very end, at least until the doctor's put her in a drug-induced coma to manage her pain. She was a whiz at reciting poems and songs from days-gone-by, and could remember things she had learned as a very little kid. I wish that I had learned some of them from her; I'd like to have that connection with her, and I'd like to be able to pass them on to the future.
Then, my father, my brother, his wife and the pastor rode up the hill and my dad placed the remainder of my grandmother's ashes at the base of a tree around which he had also spread the ashes of his other family members, my grandfather and my uncle. It hits me now, as it did in December, that my father is an orphan; the only remaining member of his birth family. He has no surviving predecessors. That makes me ache for him, and for my children, who can no longer touch that part of their history.
Finally, we went to another park for a picnic. Perhaps some of my grandmother's ashes floated by us while my children frolicked in the river. Perhaps, instead, she settled in the soil of the river she loved so much. Or perhaps she did both. And, even though we were never really close, she did have a hand in making me who I am.
Wherever you are, Grandma, I love you.

Friday, July 13, 2007


There is magic all around us. Something magical occurs every day. Or, if you prefer, something miraculous occurs every day.
The world turns, the sun rises, and we open our eyes. If we are lucky, we get to gaze upon the faces of our loved ones.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Missed Opportunity

Have you ever wanted something to happen, and then been disappointed when it happened? That is how I have been feeling. You see ...
I went off my BC at the end of May because it exacerbated my depression. However, then we were unprotected, and we were "together" at JUST the right time, and then ... I had to learn how to breathe again. And I prayed that I would not be pregnant. Now I know I am not pregnant, and I'm disappointed by the not being pregnant thing, and that doesn't make any sense because the realist in me knows that now is not the right time for another child (for so many reasons). But there is still a part of me that is disappointed, nay, ANGRY, about the whole situation; when really, who do I have to be angry with except myself, since I prayed not to be pregnant? Rather than living in the dream world wherein another baby would make everything better (D would stop being sick; Tigger would stop being angry; Lumpy would start going to sleep at night without requiring my hair), and instead I had to face reality and make the best decision for the family I have now.
And that decision was to find another type of protection and do everything I can to not get pregnant again.
To this, I say, "Damage." (Thanks, Antique Mommy!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Post, anyone?

Blogging is harder than I thought; I've been thinking about this since my last (first) post, 9 days ago, and hoping that the perfect blog post idea would come to me; something profound and inspiring and brilliant. Then I will feel comfortable inviting people to my blog, and they will all read my writing and be amazed and leave wonderful comments (and an editor or agent will call me and ask me to write a book). LOL! Yeah, right. Like that would ever happen after just a single post ... but it sure is a nice fantasy, isn't it?
So, how do you decide what to write about? I could always write about my husband, but I don't want to. I could write about my kids, but I don't want to do that, either. And I would never write about my work.
Instead, I have been thinking a lot lately about who I am, and trying very hard to find a definition outside of wife and mother. It's been more difficult than I thought it would, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to find a description of myself that I am truly happy with, but maybe that's the point. Maybe I need to keep growing and learning and moving to be truly happy with who I am. Maybe that is what will, eventually, define me... I can always hope, can't I?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Be Gentle

Hello. Please be gentle with me, this is my first time. Yes, it's true. I am a novice, a neophyte; I am a blog virgin. Oh, I've been reading blogs for nearly a year (once I figure out how, I'll add a blogroll), but I'm finally taking the plunge and writing my first post. I've been thinking about it since July 2006; I even had my blog title at the beginning of August, but I haven't posted anything because I've been afraid. "Afraid of what?" you ask. Well, I’m afraid that nobody will find this blog, or that people will find it and not like it, or they'll like it but not comment, or the comments will be about how badly I’m writing (like this long, run-on sentence). I’m afraid of other things, too, like internet safety, identity theft, job security. But, I have finally decided to do it. I’m going to start this blog, and I’m going to follow the advice of Anne Lamott and Dorothea Brande, and I’m going to write every day. Some days I may even share what I’ve written with you.