Thursday Morning

I should be making my lunch right now. . .

prefer doing this.

This being writing.  I wish I could do this and nothing but this all the time.

Unfortunately, I gotta help pay the bills.

Fortunately, I can do that doing a job I enjoy.  Mostly, most of the time.

I am so glad for the rain.

But, I wish it were a bit warmer.

I was really liking wearing my capri’s and sandals  to work everyday.

Desperately need coffee. . .

must go to kitchen. . .

must leave blog. . .

get back to reality.

LOL

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Little things

I had a great weekend.  We celebrated Tim’s birthday by going bowling with Landon, Jenn and the kids.  Hailey and Timothy seemed to really enjoy it; it did take us 2 and 1/2 hours to play 2 games, though.

They were hilarious to watch — Hailey is very much like Landon — very competitive and determined to do it all by herself.  And that’s what you want, folks — independence, though it can be hard on the ego and the heart-strings.  Timothy, being only three, was simply interested in doing what everyone else was doing.  It didn’t matter if the ball went in the gutter, he yelled “Yay, I did it!”  He is such a joy — I love every minute with him.  With all of them. Truly.

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Lately, I’ve been really feeling the need to get another dog.  I see people out walking them and I wish I had one to walk, too.  I love dogs.  Love their loyalty, their unconditional love, their happy/sad eyes, their scruffly bellies and their wet noses.  One of these days, when I’m not so damned consumed with other things, I’m gonna go get me a dog!

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I’m doing the brown-rice diet thing, again.  Felt the need to get my diet under control.  I’m trying to lose 20 pounds — hopefully before my trip to New York in July.  So far, it’s not going well.  I’ve managed to lose about 5 lbs, and there I’ve plateaued.  To be utterly honest, I haven’t been very good about doing what I need to in order to lose that much weight.

I don’t exercise enough.  I do walk nearly every morning and go to a yoga class once a week, but I should be doubling my efforts if I want to drop the weight.  Oh, oh!  here comes my old friend, Not Enough Time, to keep me from accomplishing that.  I suppose, if I gave up everything else in my life, except work, I could find the time.

I eat too much crap.  It is so unbelievably easy to slip into rotten eating habits.  Even as I’m putting a donut in my mouth I’m saying ‘this is not going to help you lose 20 lbs, Kathy’, but still I go ahead and chow down.

And it’s not even that I crave stuff that’s bad for me, truthfully, most times I’d rather eat a piece of fruit.  What it comes down to a lot of times is the social factor.  You’re out with friends or co-workers and they’re having a Tim’s and a donut, so, in order to feel like you’re part of the group, you have one, too.  It’s silly, really.  Drinking mass-produced coffee and donuts doesn’t make you friends with anyone.

So, I’ve been eating brown rice, vegetables, fruit and numerous derivatives of, for two days now.  I’m going for a week.  Stepped on the scale this morning.  Dropped 3 lbs already.  I feel more energized, too.

The first time I did this diet, I thought I was going to die.  The first go-round though involved completely cutting out salt and sugar.  That was the most brutal thing — no salt.  Now, after about half a dozen times, I actually enjoy it, and I add the odd pinch of salt or sugar to things to make them more palatable.  Still, I consume no where near the amount of salt and sugar that I once did.  (Unless I’m socializing, that is.) It’s like a purge, though, not nearly so hard or restrictive.

Hopefully, after a week of this diet, I’ll have dropped five pounds and be more committed to my long-term goal of losing 20.  We’ll see.

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Okay, one more thing and then I gotta go.

This one is in the wack-a-do category.  Got an email from someone on the weekend extolling the many virtues of honey and cinnamon.  Of the 2 dozen or so health benefits of these 2 substances, one maintains that drinking  honey and cinnamon twice a day can help you lose weight.  So, I’m trying it.

Every morning, before I go for my walk I make a ‘tea’ of boiling water, an eighth tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp honey.  It actually tastes pretty good, and wakes me right up.  Oddly enough, when I repeat this drink before going to bed (you’re supposed to) it helps calm me and put me right to sleep.

It can’t hurt right?  And it’s better than spending a ton of money on appetite suppressants or metabolism boosters that just might kill you.  I’ll let you know if it actually does help me lose weight.

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Okay, so that’s my rambling for today.  Wishing everyone a wonderful, stress-free life.

What’s goin’ on

I’m finally tackling the time thing — I’ve started an essay.  We’ll see how it goes.  As time is the topic, it’s likely it won’t be finished any time soon.

Heading off to yoga class in about half an hour.  I like yoga and look forward to stretching and feeling my body through my breath.  It’s true — you do discover a new awareness of your body and your self when you concentrate solely on breathing.  I try to incorporate what I learn into my daily routine, but often find I JUST DON’T HAVE THE TIME.  (It drives me nuts how often I repeat that phrase!)

I’ve discovered, though, something in my writing of this essay, that has helped me get past the guilt of blaming a lack of time for not accomplishing all that I try to accomplish.  It is this:  When I look back on my journals, and read about my many attempts at doing something, be it yoga or writing or running a marathon, I take pride in the fact that I keep on trying.

At any time, I suppose, I could just quit, say to hell with it — I’m NEVER going to have the time — but I don’t, or at least I haven’t yet.  Maybe I’ll never write anything as wonderful as Who Has Seen The Wind, and maybe I’ll never be able to stand with my forehead touching my knee , and it is very unlikely I’ll ever run a marathon, but I can keep on doing things that lead me ever onward towards those pie-in-the-sky goals.

So, maybe this is something that will go in my essay:  Faith in oneself can conquer the vagaries of time.  That sounds ultimately quotable, doesn’t it?

The Bishop’s Man

The Bishop’s Man

Written by Linden MacIntyreLinden  MacIntyre Author Alert Category: Fiction
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Publisher: Random House Canada
ISBN: 978-0-307-35706-9 (0-307-35706-6)

Pub Date: July 28, 2009
Price: $32.00

The Bishop’s Man was not what I expected.  It was not full of gut-churning details about abuse perpetrated by priests, but rather a story of how one very conflicted man tries to do the right thing while working for a tyrannical system that is interested only in saving itself.

Sounds pretty cut and dried, but it’s not.

Essentially, the book is a large character study.  First, of the main character, the Bishop’s man, secondly of Newfoundland and the East Coast communities most affected by the scandals of the Catholic church. It makes you look and think beyond the sensational headlines and question why this horror happened, and continues to happen.

MacIntyre’s writing is sparse and clean; it’s very straightforwardness lends itself perfectly to the telling of this story.  You never forget that you’re an observer, you never get too emotionally involved.

That’s not to say I didn’t sympathize or agonize with/for the people in the story, but it was from a point of observation — I didn’t jump too readily to general assumptions about what was going on.

The message in this book is that life is complicated, there are no easy answers and that the men placed in such powerful positions are, in the end, just men, not Gods, and that accountability is highly personal.

I would highly recommend this book.  It sure opened my eyes to what some men choose to  sacrifice in order to serve a God who may or may not exist, and what they choose to tell themselves when that faith, naturally, begins to waver.

It’s no bloody wonder alcoholism is so rampant in Catholic communities.

Happy Easter!

Okay, so a brief update on the hot flashes — they’re not as bad.  Thank God!  and Heather.  She told me to try Swiss brand HRT.  So I did.  Dr. R had recommended I try a progesterone cream, but I was a little leery about that.  I started out taking 4 capsules of the Swiss HRT and am now down to 3/day.  I still get the odd flash, but they’re no where’s near as bad as they were a week ago.  At least I’m sleeping through the night (mostly) again.

Had a great break!  Once I goSpringt back from convention in Lethbridge.  Had a sore throat, which I think was allergies.  Kind of knocked me on my ass for a day or two.  Or, maybe, I was just run down from all the runnin’ aroun’ I do.  Who knows?  Anyway, after I got rested up I was rarin’ to go.

Last Thursday we picked up Timothy and Hailey and had them for 1/2 day.  We flew kites, baked cinnamon buns, played loud games, went to Hailey’s Tae Kwon Do and then had ice-cream right before taking them home to bed.  We had a blast!  They made me better, I swear.Learning to fly

Friday, Tim and I took off for Jasper.  via Mayerthorpe, cause we’re a little dopey and don’t know how to read signs very well, apparently.

anyhow. . .  we figured it out before we got to Grand Prairie, which was a good thing.  Don’t really know what we would have done there for fun.

The mountains were great.  We went for a hike at Old Fort Point, I got some lovely shots of the river and the bridge and a gnarly old pine.  Then we stayed in an overpriced, but very roomy suite at Whistler’s Inn, (where we generally stay when in Jasper).  We had a lovely meal at Cassio’s and then went for a short walk before turning in for the night.  No wild and crazy antics for us.  We were bushed.

Got up late Saturday and packed everything out at 10:30.  Had an expensive, but tasty breakfast at the Soft Rock Cafe, where someone stole my orange juice when I got up to go to the bathroom.  Crazy!  I guess they were thirsty and couldn’t afford their own.

We did another short hike up Patricia Lake trail but got wierded out by a ranger who told us a cougar or wolves had killed a deer on the trail and he was there looking for it.  (the carcass)  He was all nonchalant about it, but I couldn’t help listening for stealthy sounds in the trees around us — which is really quite pointless when the wind is blowing and things are scritching and scratching everywhere around you.

Tim finally spotted the carcass while I was busy setting my camera up and whistled for the ranger.  He came trudging up, said thanks and dragged it off.  Sheesh!  I got a few decent, but boring shots of the mountains to the east of Jasper and then decided enough was enough.  We finished our hike and then made a bee-line out of town.  Got back home around 8 p.m.  Tired, but happy.

Yesterday, we had a nice brunch with Landon, Jenn and the kids.  The kids were all hopped up on sugar, but what the hey — the Easter Bunny only comes once a year. Once again, the kids made my day. Ethan is really beginning to develop a personality.  He’s just like Landon was as a baby.  A ‘pudger’ as we called him.  But happy?!  OMG! he’s a happy little guy.

Later in the day we went to my niece, Lisette’s, for a barbecue with her and Scott and Michelle.  Scott’s on his way to Mexico again.  Then he gets home for four days and heads off to Pennsylvania for 3 weeks.  A busy guy.  Looks like things are really starting to go his way.  Very happy for him.  Michelle, too.

on to other things. . .

. . . last night finally got around to watching The Road.  I’d read the book in the summer and thought it was an amazing story.  The movie left a lot to be desired.  Viggo was good (when isn’t he?) but the story is so bleak and depressing, it just didn’t work on film.  Also, and I’m grateful for this, they chose to leave out a lot of  the really horrific stuff that made the book so compelling.  Much of the time you couldn’t hear what was being said because the characters spoke so softly. My advice — don’t waste time on the movie — read the book.  It’s amazing.

I am so glad it’s Spring.  Tim and I went for a nice walk in the early morning sunshine today and it felt like all was right with the world again.  I am so happy that winter is once more behind us.  The dark, cold mornings, the dark, cold evenings a thing of the past.  From now on, it’s steadily increasing daylight and sunlight and warmth.  Soon, the early flowers will be out and the birds will be singing in the big pine outside my bedroom window. I’ll be able to get out and get my gardening gloves on and muck around in the dirt.   Yay!

Because it’s Spring I feel compelled to try something strange and renewing.  So, I’m not going to watch TV from Sunday to Thursday.  If there’s time and I don’t have better things to do I’ll watch television on Friday night and Saturday.  I want to see how much more I can accomplish by not sitting in front of the ‘boob tube’ every night.

Granted, I don’t watch TV that much anyway — never enough time, really — but I have found myself plunking down in front of it a little more than I want to, these days.  Normally, we PVR everything and watch it later so we can skip through the commercials, but that can still eat up 2 or 3what it's all about hours a night.  When I started thinking about it, I was sort of appalled by how much TV we were watching.  So, this morning, while I was folding sheets I decided:  Time for an experiment!

Tim’s not thrilled.  I’ll probably be doing this one by myself, too.  Oh well, to each his own, I say.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Spring everybody!