I’m Sure I’ve Lost my Mind

27 Jul

I think I may have a low grade sinus infection. That plus working too many hours and being overly tired, I’ve made some entertaining moves.

I tripped over the cat and fell on my butt. I collided with three people at work yesterday. I stood in the back room twice having no idea why I was there. It’s been that kind of week. I do stupid things when I’m run down and not feeling well.

Last December I made a pact with a friend. I would do a 5k before the end of 2014 if she would do a half marathon. Life has continued moving forward, I never got around to training and she became insanely busy with her new non-profit. She conceded that she will not meet her goal. I on the other hand, I kept feeling that guilt tugging at me…I gave my word.

Friends have offered to run it with me. I have a ton of support. I bought shoes and inserts (why didn’t I know about inserts 30 years ago?)

Last week I had lunch with two friends. I told them about this pact and they became very enthusiastic. Scary enthusiastic. All kinds of questions and promises for loving support, and a little harassing if needed. Good grief.

The 5K pact had been heavy on my mind since that lunch. Also, I’ve attended two chat sessions with regard to exercise. I have had little to offer. I have to put the damn shoes on and get out there. I have the Map My Run and Couch to 5K apps installed. Just put the damn shoes on and go!

I need to buy another one or two pair of shorts. I own one pair. I also need to buy a couple shirts. I have no exercise shirts. And a really good bra. A REALLY good bra. Or maybe just a big ole ace bandage to strap those puppies down…I can not let this deter me. I have to out on the damn shoes.

Last night, under the influence of Prosecco and Bennedryl, I stumbled upon a 5K out at the beach in October. I signed up. Them I posted it in Facebook. If it’s on Facebook, it becomes real. Oh good lord, what have I done?

Yes. I’m FREAKING OUT! What was I thinking? I’m barely hitting 4,000 steps a day. A 5K??? I do the damnedest things during my moments of weakness. Right now, I’m weak. And tired. And I don’t feel well.

Three months. I have three months. Three. Months.

I may wake up tomorrow and ask for a refund..

Cat Repellent and the Bunny

22 Jul

Max laid in my lap yesterday morning as I ate my breakfast. Eight cherries and a clementine. He purred and was so sweet while I ate the cherries. Then I took a fork, pierced the peel of the clementine, and the aroma (not the juice) was released.

Max sat straight up, squinted his eyes at me as if they burned, and stopped purring. He stayed like that while I peeled it, a good minute. Them he made a “grr” noise and left my lap. I wasn’t even peeling it in front of him! I was turned sideways! Crazy cat.

Clementines = Kitty Repellant

I arrived home from work last night to find a small, brown bunny in the neighbor’s yard. It was sitting on the lawn staring at the front door. Intently staring. I was able to quietly walk to within about 20 feet to take a photo.

How can something so small wreak such garden havoc? He is cute, but he needs too find a new neighborhood. I’ve found holes dug in nearly every plant this this week.

Last night, my plants had not been touched. Whew!

I wonder why he was staring at the neighbor’s house? Do they feed him? Hmmm…20140722-090133-32493390.jpg


20 Jul

I learned tonight that a friend’s father, scheduled for open heart surgery in the morning, had a heart attack today at the hospital. This is a man who never appeared (to me and a few others at least) to be unhealthy. Physically fit, good weight, he looks and acts healthy! Apparently he had a stent put in a few years ago. That is such a routine procedure nowadays!

At 74 years and “healthy”, he is now a poster child for why they say heart disease is the silent killer.

If a “picture of health” can go down so quickly, what does that say about those of us who aren’t as “healthy”? I have high blood pressure. I would like to lose a lot of weight. I can’t help but think about that and what I’m doing, (and sometimes not doing), to prolong my life.

Very eye opening. We just never know.

Sadly, I think I needed this reminder. Work had been crazy busy, and as usual, I’ve become sloppy. Stress eating. The thing that undoes me every single time.

Just because things are hectic is no excuse to be sloppy with my choices. I need to tighten things up. I need to learn from this situation and live by example. I need to ensure that I live a long, long time.

A New Gulf Fritillary!

17 Jul

Three nights ago I saw a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar by mailbox. Before you become impressed with my knowledge of caterpillars and butterflies, let me be honest. I know about them because a friend gave me a purple passion vine, which attracts them. They feed on it before forming their cocoon. My friend gave me a crash course to ensure I would take proper care of them.

Because the plant is in the backyard, I picked Mr Caterpillar up and took him out back. I put him on a branch of the vine. He immediately worked his way to a leaf. 20140717-220504-79504471.jpgHe is averaging a leaf a day! That or he has friends I’ve not seen. This is one of the few times I’m happy to see a plant get eaten.

Tonight I checked on the little guy. He was in an odd position and not moving. First I thought he was sleeping. Them I noticed a white spot at the end of the branch. I hope he’s sleeping and not starting his cocoon! He’s supposed to LEAVE the plant to do that. We shall see…20140717-220633-79593796.jpg

Recipe: Black Eyed Peas & Black Bean Salad

16 Jul

This is my adaptation based on a recipe I was given, and the ingredients I had on hand…please note, I substituted garlic chives for 1 red onion. I also substituted avocado for avocado and walnut oil, and white balsamic for red wine vinegar. I picked the basil and chives from my garden this morning as I was leaving for work.

Black Eyed Peas & Black Bean Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes 3-6 servings, depending on how
much you eat!20140716-194200-70920487.jpgSalad Ingredients
1 can Black Eyed Peas, nsa
1 can Black Beans, nsa
1 large tomato, diced
15-20 Basil leaves, cut into thin strips
6 pieces of Garlic Chives, cut into small pieces
Half a tall, thin jar of Kalamata Olives
Penzeys Florida Black Pepper Blend to taste (I used a LOT)

Salad Instructions
Drain and rinse the black eyed peas and black beans. Put in a bowl.

Add all of the salad ingredients except for the arugula. 20140716-194321-71001949.jpgMix well.

Serve on a bed of Arugula with a dollop of dressing.

Dressing Ingredients
1 Avocado
a few squirts of lime juice (to taste)
1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
A few squirts of Garlic (to taste)
Penzeys Florida Black Pepper Blend to taste (I used a LOT)20140716-194736-71256595.jpgDressing Instructions
Mash up the avocado so it is a smooth consistency.

Add the rest of the dressing ingredients, tasting as you go, until you like it.

Store the unused dressing in an airtight container with a bit of lime juice on top to keep it from turning brown. I used a small canning jar.


Super Moon Lunar-cy

15 Jul

First off, I have decided the Super Moon is responsible for all bizarreness the last three days. My insane cat. My insomnia. My unending appetite and SAD choices. Apparently I became a lunar-tic!

Does anyone else have pets, friends, family (or yourself,) who reacts to a full moon?

Is there a way to become a morning person? I woke at 4am. One of my cats noticed and was awake for the next 5-1/2 hours, playing, knocking over as many things as she could, tunneling in the garbage, climbing everything including the window screens and the grate on the back door, pouncing on me. I love her dearly, but I’m tired. Every time I grabbed her to keep her still, she purred, rubbed her face on me, and talked in her soft Siamese voice (there is a soft AND a loud voice.) I think one of is needs a tranquilizer.

I really couldn’t DO anything. I was awake, yet non-functioning. I laid on the sofa, trying to nap. I could have gone for a walk, did some cooking. But no, I laid here for five hours willing myself to sleep, and periodically yelling at the cat.

How does someone become a morning person? I think I would like to be one. I just have no clue how to do it.

Regarding balsamic vinegar. Someone said something yeaterday regarding balsamic vinegar quality. The difference is using a GOOD quality balsamic instead of something mediocre. Case in point, I have this red wine vinegar I got at Publix. I add it to black beans and such. Imagine my horror to notice this weekend that it is actually a pomegranate balsamic! I laughed a little, as I had never noticed the label. It does not taste like a rich, flavorful balsamic at all. I truly thought it was red wine. That is sad!

I am now thinking I may need the amazing aged (18 years!) balsamic at the shop I go to…

I had a bad allergic reaction to something Sunday afternoon. Crazy sneezing, watery eyes, all around feeling lousy. The end result is a wicked case of conjunctivitis. Being allergic to everything in nature, this happens from time to time. If it lives or grows, it can set me off. This time it was heavy perfume, floral, and I bet it involved lilacs. Lilacs have the power to induce a coma. They are my kryptonite.

A Bennadryl Sunday night and Monday morning, Zyrtec, allergy eye drops, makeup, cover-up and I still looked like a disaster. Yes, I was especially purdy today! A co-worker made a nice ice pack for me. It felt wonderful. I spent the day “cleaning” my eye every half hour. If I’m not improved soon, I’m going to have to call the eye doc.

Not feeling great, I didn’t eat much yesterday. A clementine for breakfast. A big salad at about 4:30pm and miso soup at 8pm. I didn’t drink enough water either.

I was so tired and out of sorts yesterday, I had been at work an hour when I realized my shirt was on inside out. I had a few bizarre moments of total forgetfulness and befuddlement too. I was a mess, but entertaining.

Good bye Super Moon. I’m not sorry to see you go. I look forward to calm cats and some sleep!


5 Jul

Books. I have always had piles of books. It it genetic. I grew up in a house piled high with books. The mother is a murder mystery fan. She was good for a book a week.

I learned to read at the age of three. Why? She didn’t like reading to me. She wanted to read her own books, so she taught me to read. By the age of five I could read silently. I got in trouble in first grade when the teacher sat down to observe my reading and I didn’t speak.

In the third grade I read every single Hardy Boys book. All of them (the originals, of course.). In fourth grade I read every single Nancy Drew Mystery. I remember, there were 52 of one and 54 of another. I kept a list and crossed them off. When I ran out of those, I was beside myself.

The school librarian would order books from different counties for me. She did this between third grade until I graduated 8th grade. When I read every book in the library (seventh grade), she began bringing in books for me, special. No one else got the books she found for me to read.

The mother’s best friend was the town librarian. I had her well trained too. Summer meant trips to her library, and hours spent amidst piles of books. How I love the smell of a book. She passed away a few years ago. My fondest memories of her involve helping her in the library, and being able to check out as many books as I wanted.

I secretly read Helter Skelter when I was in the sixth grade. It gave me nightmares. The mother was reading it, and I was accustomed to picking up her books and reading them when she wasn’t. I did the same with The Onion Field. I was far too young for those. I’m still too young for those. Perhaps that was the beginning of my strange fascination with true life murder mysteries and serial killers?

I read Dr Zhivago in the seventh grade, complaining about the Russian translation to English the whole time. It was awful. I didn’t have Google back then, nor did I have a Russian dictionary. I sobbed at the end.

I read every Danielle Steel book during the 80’s and early 90’s, every Sidney Sheldon book in the 80’s and 90’s, and most Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, John Saul, and Dean Koonz over the last 20 years.

The Poisonwood Bible is ranked as one of the best books I have ever read, next to Gone With The Wind. That is in a league all it’s own. And Rebecca. I loved that one too! Mrs. Danvers still scares the living daylights out if me! When anyone asks me what my favorite books are, those are the three I say.

The House of Sand and Fog made me so angry I threw it across a hotel room one night. It hit a picture on the wall, causing it to fall. The person in the room next door banged on the wall and yelled at me. I’ve never been so angry with a character in a book as I was with them. Later I saw the author on Oprah. He didn’t help me like those characters.

I have read all of Leo Buscgalia’s and Shirley MacLain’s books. Everyone should read Love by Leo, or as I call it, the Love book. Everyone. Go get it now. Read it often. Learn lessons from it. Let it change you. I began reading those in my early teens, much to the mother’s horror.

I’ve read Love Story so many times I can pretty much recite it. Not the best example of literature, but oh how Oliver loved Jenny. Who doesn’t want a love like that? Without the cancer, of course.

First You Have to Row a Little Boat was life changing. I found it in a little shop on the coast of Maine. I could not put it down. So many life lessons in the story of a man who learned to sail. I finished that book on a plane. I sat quietly, holding the book, looking at life in a new way.

The Andrew Wyeth biography made me fall in love with the art of three generations of Wyeth painters all over again. Jamie remains my favorite, but Andrew and his father NC were so…the tortured artist. I have prints by Jamie and Andrew in my home. I even visited many if the locations of their paintings in Maine one year.

Bobbi Brown’s book taught me the fine art of looking natural and with makeup. It was the best makeup lesson I’ve ever had. Her lipsticks in Brown and Nude are still my favorites. I have recommended them for 15 years.

A Voyage for Madmen is one of the most fascinating reads ever. Those men were mad! Who in their right mind sails from Europe to South America, Africa, Australia, and back, alone, on a sailing yacht? It is a true story of ego, greed, and madness.

I am ashamed to say I’ve not read anything by Hemmingway, nor have I read The Great Gatsby. I’ve got most of the other classics covered. I need to work on that.

Needless to say, I have a lot of books. Shelves are stuffed, most in double rows. I never get rid of a book. I just can’t. I have close to 200 books on my Kindle too. Yes, I’m a Kindle book hoarder.

I have recently discovered Audible. Heaven help me. I am being strong and limiting myself to one audio book a month. I listened to The Happy Herbovore’s Guide to Plant Based Living last week. A nice way to deal with commute traffic.

Right now I am reading The Pleasure Trap and The Tapping Solution on my Kindle, and listening to Buddhist Bootcamp on Audible. I love Buddhist Bootcamp. It is the right book at the right time. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with living in peace and harmony.

I am struggling with The Pleasure Trap (in so many ways! Ha ha!!) It is the same struggle I had with The China Study. Once in a while, I come upon a book that just does not click. But I’m still trying. I think I’m up to chapter five. I’m told it gets easier. I sure hope so!

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