Finished Crewel Choices

I finally finished Crewel Choices on Friday and got it stretched out. I will be taking our projects to the post office today to send to Judy Jeroy for evaluations. I’m very happy to be finished! :o)

Now I’m working on Cherry Tree Cottage basket, because I would like to be able to use it at the seminar the first week of September. Then next I have to work on the embroidered bear I agreed to pilot stitch.

I got home yesterday afternoon from the dentist to find visitors waiting in the yard. Evidently, they thought I should provide a snack for them.

They were just too cute to resist. I ran inside and got some bread and my camera. While tearing the bread for them, I dropped some crumbs on my toes and got nibbled on. :o) I really wanted to pet them, but when I tried to get too friendly they took their leave from me.

Megan went to a dance thing Saturday night put on by the local SCA. One of the requirements (other than your money) was that you come in costume. I think she looks beautiful.

I love the way she poses. :o)

Gentle Yoga Teacher Rissa

Rissa taught the gentle yoga class today, and it was great! :o) I really enjoyed the class. She is a natural-born teacher, whether it is computer stuff, spinning, needlework, bellydancing, or yoga. Okay, I’m going to toot my friend’s horn just a bit, even though she will pooh-pooh me. :o) She has so many talents, gifts, and skills, it is amazing. Everything she turns her attention to, she becomes an expert at. And she freely shares all her knowledge, all you have to do is ask. And a more humble person I have never known. I am so grateful to call her my friend. :o)

Anyways, in the gentle yoga class we used a chair to support and help keep our balance. I got a lot of really good stretching in, without having to worry about falling over. LOL I am finally getting to a place where I actually enjoy doing yoga poses. But the most useful thing I have learned is it is okay to come out of a pose when your body tells you to, whether the teacher releases the class out of the pose or not. That way I don’t end up in tears and hating the my body, the class, the teacher, and yoga in general. I have learned my limits and how to GENTLY stretch them.

On the employment front, I heard back from Blue Cross on Monday. Although I scored very high on the tests, evidently BC has decided that rehiring former employees is not a good thing. So I am ineligible to apply for a job with them. Oh well. I guess that means I will be going to school with Megan this fall. Although hearing that BC didn’t want me was just a little upsetting to my little ego, it makes me very happy that I will be going to school with Megan for one more semester. :o)

Sometimes I think too much

Well, I may be going back to work sooner than I want to. I sent my resume to Blue Cross for a couple of positions they have open, and they responded back already. I was kinda hoping the jobs had already been filled. :o)

The good thing is, both jobs actually sound interesting to me. The bad thing is I wanted to wait until September to go back to work. But, I happened to look on their website, and the jobs are available now. So I had a telephone screening yesterday, and I will go take the personality test thing tomorrow. If I pass that, they will interview me. I do intend to go to national seminar over labor day week. I will discuss that with them, IF I get a job offer.

But now to the thinking too much problem….I thought myself into a mini-depression because I really, really wanted to take more art classes with Megan this fall semester. I can always take an art class later, but not with my daughter. I had a blast last semester in class with her. So I got up all depressed this morning, and there was Mark, sitting on the couch. I added anger to my depression. I got all mad at Mark. I know that is an irrational thing, but there you have it. I am mad at him because I have to go back to work. I know it’s not his fault, but I’m mad at him anyways.

So, in tears, all sad and mad (with Mark asking, “what’s the matter? are you mad at me?,” which only makes it worse – makes me want to punch him in the face), I got dressed to go take a Pace Group exercise class at the Y. The pace exercise was actually fun! You go from exercise station to station. The stations alternate a different weight machine with either a step or a kind of bouncy platform, and you only have to stay on each one 40 seconds. I really enjoyed it, and the other ladies there were discussing Jackson’s mayor, and all the political, legal, ethical, and moral trouble he is in, and that was interesting in a train wreck kind of way. LOL By the time the class was over, I was sweaty and tired, and my mood was much, much better. I guess what they say about exercise being good for your mental and emotional state really is true. :o) I feel much better now.

I had a visitor in my yard the other day. I took this picture from my studio window.

Isn’t he cute? I love the little wild rabbits running around here. They really are fun to watch. They make me smile, even when I think too much. :o)

Bringing Width and Depth to My life

I am using Spark People, a diet community, to help me in my effort to change my lifestyle. I receive perky little messages and recipes through my email from the site. The one for today really touched me.

“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. Shira Tehrani

Life is like a marathon. We run and run, not knowing where (or how far) the finish line lies. We focus so intensely on prolonging the race but sometimes–despite our best efforts–the race is cut short. Too often we don’t relish the path of and enjoy the details instead of just pounding the pavement of life. What personal boundaries can you expand to help you enjoy your life? Today meditate on the simple joys: a warm bath, reading a book to a sleepy toddler, or spending quality time with your family and friends. All of life contains bumps in the road such as losing your job or an unforeseen illness. But it is up to us to determine the quality of our lives. Remember, we don’t always determine the distance, but we can determine the path.”

To me, it’s saying you don’t necessarily know how long you will live, so you shouldn’t worry about that. Instead you should focus on the here and now, today, and enjoy it to its fullest, and live the healthiest that you can.

It also makes me think about not just focusing on the end of my journey, or reaching my goals. Like my weight loss goal…I have about 90 pounds to lose. I shouldn’t let that be my total focus. Instead, I need to enjoy each step of my journey. I need to be proud of the fact that I am making the effort to learn about nutrition and proper food choices, and celebrate the good choices I do make. I need to enjoy learning about my body and exercise, rejoice when I take that morning walk, and take pleasure in the feel of my newly re-awakened muscles.

And the flip side to that is I don’t need to be devastated when I think I have screwed up my diet. If I’m focused on the weight I have to lose, that can be discouraging. If I am focused on me, here and now, than I can enjoy whatever I have made the choice to eat. Savor the taste, the flavors, the sensation of eating it. Then recognize that maybe it wasn’t the best choice, although an enjoyable one, and move on. Same thing with exercise. Some days I may not be able to get myself out the door. So I should honor whatever I am feeling. Perhaps I should just pamper myself by meditating, by allowing myself to get a little extra rest, or by giving in to my yearning to just putter around my nest. I should not berate myself for being a lazy fat ass.

To me, this quote is all about being in the moment, being present in my life right now rather than one year from now when I think I will have lost the weight. That is what will give my life width and depth.

This morning I walked to our pool. The water was heavenly! Just warm enough to cool me off from my walk over, but not devastatingly cold like the indoor pool at the Y. LOL I should have brought my camera, because on the walk over an egret let me get quite close. I would have loved to have snapped his picture. Oh well. I enjoyed the moment. :o) Then there were two toads in the pool, poor little fellas. I fished them out and put them in the grass, and nudged them towards the pond. I hope they will be okay; I know chlorinated water is not good for toads and frogs. :o( But getting them out made me feel good. I enjoyed the moments of my walk and swim this morning. Width and depth! That’s what it is all about!

Come Walk With Me!

Woo hoo! This is the last day of the first week of my weight watchers diet, and so far, so good! I weigh in tonight.

Not only have I been dieting, but I have been forcing myself to get some form of exercise every day. On the days I don’t go to water aerobics, I go for a walk. Would you like to come with me this morning? Come on, its a fine, beautiful Mississippi morning!

Here we go, leaving my garage. Damn, its only 7:30 and already hot!

But the birds and cicadas are singing, and I can hear the dull roar of Lakeland Drive ever present in the background, so come on. It will be nice.

Here is where we begin our walk, which is, coincidentally, right next to my house. :o)

The fence you see to the right is mine. And that is the back end of my husband’s little fishing boat that I told him to put up days ago. Men! You just have to keep on them or they never put their toys up. Sigh.

The walking trail goes around the neighborhood pond. That’s not a mist in the pictures, its a heat haze.

These are the good neighbors, coming to see if maybe I brought some breakfast along with me. I love it when they have little fuzzy ducklings. The ducklings are now all adolescents, and it is hard to tell them apart from the adults, but they are in there. (you can click to enlarge)

Onward, because we brought no food, and that tends to make them cranky!

Right before you cross the little bridge above is the path to the second neighborhood pond. It doesn’t have a walking trail around it. It has been left more to its original state. In fact, last year the wildlife people caught 2 rather large alligators out of it and moved them to the reservoir. I will take you to that pond another day.

Path to the second pond.
After crossing the bridge, we come to the bad neighbors.

Mean, vile, nasty, evil-tempered Canadian Geese. I always thought they were such beautiful birds (and they are), but now that I have met a few way too up-close and personal, I avoid them when I can. See the evil fella still on the side walk? He wouldn’t move, and hissed at me. So I walked in the grass, while we both gave each other the stink-eye. Doesn’t he realize I could eat him?? Stinky bird.

Here is another neighbor. A beautiful great blue heron (you can click and enlarge the picture). We also have a white egret, but I didn’t see him this morning. Blue was not happy with me for disturbing his breakfast, and sqawked at me. For such a beautiful and graceful bird, he sure does make an awful noise. LOL

Around the curve is the neighborhood’s club house and pool. There is a second club house and pool, in the “new” section of Laurelwood. But this is the pool I go to, when I go. :o) I think the little light thingy-effect is kind of cool. I’m not sure how that happened though. :o)

Before we get to the club house though, we turn onto my favorite part of my walk. Its all nice and shadey. :o)

But it doesn’t last very long! Here we are, through the woods and onto the road.

Now, down this street. Look, people have set their garbage out. Oops! Its garbage day, and I forgot! I hope they don’t come before I get back! :o)

Turn and go down this street. Into the full sun, damn its hot! And not even 8:00 yet! My goal is that little patch of shade.

Whew! Made it through that street. Its the worst part. Now down this street, with a little more shade. And we aren’t heading straight into the sun either.

Here we go, this is my street. Almost home!

Home! Yay! We made it!

And see, this is where we began. I told you the walking path was very conveniently located for me. :o) And I made it home before the garbage people came through.

Thanks for coming with me. I enjoyed taking you on my walk. :o)

“Before” the diet picture

Okay, much to my distress, I forced myself to take “before” pictures. I just hope there are good “after” pictures. I was really, really depressed by my pictures, and I’m not posting them. I will post this one of me and Megan.

I really hate this picture of me.

Anyways, so far I’m doing very well on the program. I know, I know, it hasn’t even been a week, but still, I’m doing good for me! LOL I’m also doing some exercise every day. I am going to deep water aerobics at the Y, and I really enjoy them. I’m walking on the other days, and I am trying to go to yoga once a week. I didn’t make it this week thanks to stupid Bush, who evidently came through Jackson at the time I needed to get across the interstate to get to the yoga studio. It really pissed me off that I couldn’t because they closed the interstate because of his stupid self. Grrrrr.

We didn’t do anything for the 4th yesterday. Mark had to work. I thought about going to the reservoir so I could see the fireworks being set off on the other side, but I wasn’t in the mood to deal with the traffic. Billy had a few fireworks, mostly of the loud variety. I did watch the ones that people in the neighborhood set off. That was nice. But mostly I read, stitched and watched the Jaws marathon. Poor Lacey and Flea were totally unnerved by all the noise of the fireworks around. :o)

Started Weight Watchers

After much thought and penny-counting, Megan and I decided the diet program through the hospital would be just a bit more expensive than we wanted to pay. So we decided to join Weight Watchers, and my friend Rissa joined with us.

We joined at an evening meeting on July 1, so we have been on the diet for two days now. And so far, so good! I’ve spent these two days figuring out the diet, how to count points, and what I can eat. This morning Megan and I went to the grocery store and bought lots of good, healthy food. That means Mark will be eating healthier too. However, I don’t know what Billy (Megan’s boyfriend) is going to eat, since nothing green except Mountain Dew ever gets past his lips. LOL It amazes me how skinny that boy is, since all he eats is junk.

I went to Rissa’s yesterday to stitch, and had a wonderful time. Her babies are just so precious. I love all the dachsund doggie cuteness. Even Princess seemed happy to see me, and greeted me with doggy love. :o) I worked on my Crewel Choices GCC. I am stitching on it madly, trying to finish it so I can send it in for an evaluation. I’m not sure I will make though, but hope does spring eternal in my little procrastinating heart. LOL

I have another crewel project I will be starting shortly. I am piloting a new Australian Wool Embroidery GCC. Its an embroidered teddy bear, made out of Australian blanketing wool. I didn’t even know what blanketing wool was, and for good reason evidently. There is only one supplier that I can find in the US that sells it! And it is quite expensive. I am looking forward to experiencing stitching on this wool. :o)

Here is some kitty cuteness. Isn’t my Evil Boy handsome? :o)