Thursday, March 31, 2011

Habit Forming...

Three months! That's the time frame 'they' (whomever 'they' are) say makes a habit. 90 continuous days will cement that activity into the realm of ritual! And we're three months - 90 days - into 2011, People of Blogland.

How goes the battle with your chosen word of the year? I am proud to report that the habit of morning pages seems to have gelled - as has the ritual of exercise. The latter is the hardest to keep up with - getting out, finding the motivation, summoning up the energy has been very hard on some days. But with the idea of CHANGE this year, I've learned a very important lesson:

Every day is a new start!

So I didn't get the morning pages done - no need to end the quest to free-write every morning. Missed a scheduled exercise - tomorrow's another day. Another day to work toward change in my life. I used to look at a missed date with myself (be it exercise or another goal I had set out) as a total failure or a wreck in the whole week. So I would refocus on the start of the next week. Half way through the month - oh yeah, an excuse(!) to shrug my shoulders for the remaining month and look at the new month as a restart date. Yikes, by the middle of September or sometimes as early as August I was convinced I would just have to wait for the new year!

But every day is as good a day as any to restart. A Do Over. And that lesson is very uplifting - freeing. That lesson has taken a great weight off my shoulders - the poundage of guilt.

There are still many things I need to focus on in this year of CHANGE - but just having the word hovering in my periferal, whispering in subconscious, has helped me in ways a resolution (or 5) could never do. Three months in and I'm doing pretty well - even if I do have to 'start' over on some days :)

What's happening with you, my friends? The start of April is just around the corner - do you have to renew your committment to your word (and if so, that's OK)? Have you found having just one word helps to keep you focused? Have you developed any habits over the past three months (and how come it doesn't take 3 months to create a bad habit - hmmm?)?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Inspiration - Risk...

I thought we'd continue from yesterday. The second one was like a smack upside the head for me! And the Eleanor Roosevelt quote is getting printed out and plastered to my computer.

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever. ~ Philip Andrew Adams

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. ~ Cadet Maxim

Do one thing every day that scares you. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

If your life is free of failures, you’re not taking enough risks. ~ Anonymous

What will you risk today, People of Blogland?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Risky Business...

Do you remember the Tom Cruise flick? My girlfriend and I came out of the theatre with some serious crushes on Mr. Cruise - and I had to go out and buy Bob Seger's album "Stranger in Town". There were some great tracks on that record and I think I wore a lot of them out. Hmm, all these years later and I still tend to find one album/CD and play it ad nauseum.

Anyway - RISK! I've discovered that not only do I enjoy listening to the same thing over and over again, I am also not a risk taker. I think I've always known this, but the running has really highlighted my love of contentment.

Pushing myself to go farther and faster has been quite the mind game. I think I can't. I shouldn't. I don't want to. But when I do, when I tag on an extra 5 minutes at the end, I realize that my body can and will. I don't drop dead. My legs don't fall off. My breathing, although rapid and heavy, continues to pump oxygen through my body. The risk is negligible.

So, is RISK a mental issue? I've taken to asking myself, as I push myself, what's the worst that can happen. Of course, my active imagination takes me on a vivid journey of the worst (see above list of things that don't happen when I push myself) - but when I reign it in, I see that there really is nothing to fear but fear itself.

And this applies to my writing, too. As of yesterday - after my revelation on the treadmill where I pushed myself beyond what I had been doing - I've started sending out queries again. Not just for Lady Bells, but for some non-fiction articles I'd love to get published in some magazines. Today I have a short story to print out and send to a magazine out west. 'Cause really, what's the worst that can happen? A "NO"? It hasn't killed me so far - nor have my legs fallen off!!

Any risk takers out there in Blogland? Do you push yourself knowing that the reward will outweigh the pain (mental or emotional)? Or is contentment your middle name? And please tell me there's someone else out there who wore out her copy of Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band's "Old Time Rock and Roll"!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Craving Your Vote...

Serious craving for potato chips and I've been fighting it for about 4 days! And how come I missed National Potato Chip Day on March 14th? At least then I could have had my chips under the guise of a holiday!!

My biggest question, as I fight the all comsuming desire to dig into a bag of crunchy chips, is why does chocolate get the 'healthy' label? Chocoholics at least have that going for them - they give into their craving and they can claim their binge as a health benefit. "It's good for me." Where the hell are those nutrition specialists and the next big discovery that potato chips are the new miracle food - health benefits that surpass spinach and quinoa? I really think that healthy food should be pronouncable - POTATO CHIP - QUINOA - I know which one I don't have to search a phonetic dictionary in order to say it!

I guess the real question is whether or not I'll succumb! Then the question after that is which flavor will I get...because you all know I'll succumb!

Let's vote - which flavor of potato chip should I get when I finally give into this craving?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Motivated by a Watch...

But it can only do so much!

You've all heard about my super-duper running watch that The Husband surprised me with at Christmas (if you haven't, go here) - well that watch has become a super-duper motivator. I love coming back from my runs (and walks - yes, I wear it when I go for a walk with the dog on my non-run days) and plugging it in to my computer to see my results. I think it's more fun than the actual running, but if it gets me out the door...

I began using the watch and running outside on March 6th (prior to that, I was exercising on the treadmill and the ski machine). To date, including my walks, I have covered a distance of 53.4 miles (or 85.4K). I'm so excited. Breaking it down - I ran for 30 miles (48K) and walked for 23.4 miles (37.4K)!! And on Tuesday, I did my first 5K in 35 minutes. Woo Hoo!

Yesterday, the watch didn't inspire. It just sat there, marking time. The weather wasn't the greatest - we had a skiff of snow the night before, the sky was grey and heavy, and it just looked cold and miserable out there. I didn't want to go for my scheduled run! The watch wasn't going to help. So, like on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, I phoned a friend. Brenda talked me through, advised me to just do 10 minutes, not give in to my desire to forget my planned activity and sit on the couch before supper. Thank you, Brenda.

The proposed 10 minutes turned into 40 minutes of interval training. And I felt great when I was done. I know that if I had sloughed it off, sat on the couch, I would have been mad at myself - and guilty for missing my daily exercise. See - that's what a Success Team is all about! Someone to motivate you, remind you of your committments, inspire you when you only want to forget the goals and dreams you desire.

I have a walk planned for today, Saturday is my scheduled day off and I plan to head into Lunenburg to view an antique auction (ooh, the list in the paper is very exciting - the estate of a stain glass artisan) and have coffee with a good friend, then Sunday is my long run (proposed 12K) and I hope my watch gets back to motivating as well as telling time.

What's your weekend looking like, People of Blogland?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Put Off DWTS While Wearing Glasses...

I've been sitting here for about an hour trying to think of something to write about. I thought about writing about Dancing With The Stars - the new season started on Monday and I love it. Kirstie Alley is dancing with Maks (swoon) and I was worried she'd be ousted in the first couple of weeks - but OMG can that woman move. I loved her performance - her excitement for dance! Ralph (The Karate Kid) Macchio was surprisingly good, too!

But who wants to read about me going on about a reality show?

Then, I contemplated writing about my new self-help book. I seem to go in phases with the self-help books and right now I'm on a kick. First, The Happiness Project, and now The Procrastination Equation. Yep, first chapter, first quiz and I'm already in the top 10% of Procrastination Brilliance - or as the author Piers Steel says "Tomorrow is my middle name"! I just hope the book isn't a stall tactic!

You don't want to read about my potential new excuse for not getting stuff done ("But I couldn't help it, I'm a procrastinator." "Hi, my name is Janet and I'm a procrastinator.")

I wanted to give a shout out to Anne MacFarlane for commenting on this post and giving me the name of what it is I'm searching for - A Success Team. I love the idea of a group of people creating goals, working toward their dreams, and strategizing! So much more than a critique group.

Of course, I don't yet have a Success Team, so that blog idea would have been very short!

Dragon's Den (or The Shark Tank) is a TV show about inventors who need investors. Tonight - as I was spinning in my office chair trying to come up with a topic - a guy was on talking about customized eyeglasses. Eyewear that you can change with arm inserts to match your mood or clothes or both. As a person who must wear glasses or risk the chance of walking/driving/running into something or swimming up to someone and jumping out "Boo" to discover that person was not your mother, I love the idea of changing up the eyewear. Glasses are so expensive - I usually have two pair on the go, but then the prescription changes and I have to start again. Here's the website for the product - I love the idea! And if you go to the website, you can play for hours at designing your own glasses with customized arms!!

Obviously, I should have gone with that idea. I was typing like a mad woman there!

And now my blog about non-topics is done. Please feel free to weigh in on any of the above ramblings or, hey, ramble away yourself. And is there anyone out there 'seeing challenged'? Doesn't that eyeglass idea sound great?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Inspiration - Spring...

Spring, in my mind, is the essence of optimism. Everyone looks forward to the longer days, the warmer temperatures and those first shoots of green that herald regrowth. The robins are back, sprinting over the front lawn in search of bugs and grubs. And the air smells different - fresher, cleaner. I love spring, but I think Robin Williams said it best:

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"

The season, even though all about rebirth, renewal, seems to calm me and I loved W. Earl Hall's quote - nothing lightens my mood better than those first few days of warm, spring weather:

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.

And with my brighter disposition, thoughts of writing goals have been swirling. This Irish Proverb really speaks to me at this time:

If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn.

One of my favorite inspirational authors cautions us:

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

Robert Schuller has hit a nerve with this quote. Bundle up against the darkness of self-doubt and the cold winds of rejection. but do not succumb!

And, finally, Mr. Charles Dickens gets my vote on describing best the days of March:

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

Do you love Spring, People of Blogland? Is it a season filled with optimism? And because I know that Spring has a way of showing up at the same time on the calendar for all of us, but not necessarily in reality, feel free to fill us in on the weather in your neck of the woods - does Spring look promising or is it still buried in 3 feet of snow?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere...

Today is World Water Day! At a time when news out of Japan indicates radiation readings in Tokyo's tap water, I'm giving thanks for the clean water at my disposal. I drink tap water and here in our new house that water comes from a well. I've never lived in a house with a well - always in a city or a town that supplied our water. But no matter where I've lived I've always used the tap and taken my clean, healthy drinking water for granted.

And grumbled about having to drink 8 glasses.

I pledge today, World Water Day, to give thanks for every glass of water I drink (and I will try to get my 8). I will not run the water while brushing my teeth. And I won't stand in the shower for an extra 5 minutes after I'm done cleaning the run-sweat from my body. I will count my blessings.

What will you do for World Water Day, People of Blogland? Are you a tapwater drinker or do you opt for either bottled water or a filtration system of some kind? Do you get your 8 glasses?

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's in Your Purse?

I bought a new purse on the weekend - now before you get all excited or question whether it was a hobo-type bag versus a tote, shoulder bag versus a clutch, I'll let you know that I wear basically a wallet on a string! That's my idea of a purse. So when I see blog posts about items found in my 'purse', I shake my head. Because there's nothing in there except money, coins, credit cards and other plastic cards (ID and points cards - I hate points cards) - oh, and a small pad of paper and a golf pencil just incase I get a brilliant idea (ha), need to give someone my phone number (never happens) or find the name of a book I must read (now that happens all the time).

And the new wallet on a string is even smaller than my last one - I had a hard time fitting all those points cards in (you would think stores could come up with a joint card so I don't have to lug around 5 or 6). Moving from the 'gigantic' one (about the size of a small notebook) to my new one (about the size of a man's wallet) forced me to cull!

I never used to be so streamlined. I used to be one of those women who had a small piece of luggage slung over her shoulder. I carried a book with me at all times, my cigarettes and four or five lighters (yes, I used to smoke), various lip glosses (back in the day I even wore make-up), a wallet that was bigger than my now retired wallet on a string, an address book, and a score of other stuff that I thought I needed.

But my butt looked small! Yes, it has been said that the larger the purse, the smaller your butt looks!

So, People of Blogland, what's in your purse? Are you in the big handbag camp or the wallet on a string camp? Do you change purses as often as you change your shoes, seasonally, or do you stick with one until it's worn out? Is there anyone out there who has given up big purses because her husband ended up giving her all his stuff to carry around on holiday, too?

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Strategic Move...

You all know I'm reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin? There was a section in there that has really stuck with me - so much so that I'm thinking of duplicating it. She's a writer (obvious) and she wanted to find a writing group - but she wasn't interested in the usual critique style gathering. Instead, she wanted to form a strategy group - like-minded individuals who would strategize their careers!

I've discovered in this year of CHANGE, that I am very much a strategy kind of person. I don't do well with goals - as I said to my friend Pat last weekend, I can create a goal with a reward, but I often find that if I don't accomplish the goal, I reward myself anyway. Hey, I'm nothing if not honest. And I'm discovering, as well, that I am a reward kind of gal! I would have been one of those students who would have done extremely well on a behavior modification program. Hmm, maybe that's why such programs worked so well for me as a teacher?

Anyway - goals just don't seem to work. And I've gotten over the whole guilt thing when it comes to goals (not in other aspects of my life, but I'm working on that). But creating a strategy seems to be working. With my exercise routine, I've timetabled myself to death in order to find the perfect time to hit the pavement. And I organize/strategize my day accordingly. Let me tell you, it's working like a charm. I've also done this with my morning pages - no longer looking at the outcome, but examining the plan of execution.

I know I'm just playing with words. The definition of strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a certain goal. But as I look at my track record for morning pages and exercise, I see that I am no longer interested in the future goal, but in the here and now and how will I accomplish the task!

So a strategy group resonates with me. Don't get me wrong - critique groups are important and I have a wonderful critique partner in Jana Richards (and a slew of good writing friends who would drop everything if I asked for a critique - I love you guys) - but I think it's time I looked at what I'm doing to move forward in this career.

Just talking out loud, People of Blogland. Tell me, do you belong to a critique group? How about a writing group, either real or cyber? For those of you who aren't writers - what kind of groups do you belong to and do you find they are helpful for reaching your goals?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Day...

Yes, it's the day where it's OK to wear green from head to toe! A big lapel pin that says "Kiss Me, I'm the Blarney Stone!: (don't laugh, I used to have a button like that). And, my favorite, today is the day where it is perfectly fine to drink green beer.

But I refuse to eat Colcannon (mashed potatoes, shredded cabbage and onions all mixed together), Criubins (pigs feet or trotters either served carrots and onions or seasoned with bread crumbs and deep fried), or Cockle Soup (clam soup).

Oh, and this is the day where pinching someone who is not wearing green is absolutely fine! So if I see you and you're not wearing green, be warned.

Slainte (to your health)!!
**My computer seems to have got into the green beer a little early - not sure what's going on with the formatting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inspiration - Go For a Walk...

Well, with all that talk about grilled cheese yesterday - not to mention the great recipes for grilled cheese - it's time to exercise.
Walking has to be one of the best ways I know how to pick up my energy levels or get me out of a funk. Funny how I forget that when I need it the most. Anyway, here's some great quotes on walking:

The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose. ~ Charles Dickens

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. ~ Raymond Inmon

Walking is good for solving problems - it's like the feet are little psychiatrists. ~ Pepper Giardino

All great thoughts are conceived while walking. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking. ~ Antonio Machado

Happy walking, People of Blogland :)

Image: Walking by Kenneth Fiske

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Panini - Or All Things Grilled Cheese...

I am obsessed with food. I read cookbooks like they're novels and insist on watching cooking shows whenever they come on (I believe The Husband is very thankful we don't have The Food Channel). And if you ever go out to eat with me, be prepared - I read the entire menu. The song "Food, Glorious Food" from Oliver Twist is playing in my head right now!

So, you can imagine my delight to discover on The Outdoor Life Network a wonderful show called Man Vs Food. This guy travels all over America and eats at the best pigout spots - the show always ends with an eating challenge and I'm always amazed that he can eat the behemoth amounts on his plate. And I will admit that I have come up with the evening meal at Chez Corcoran based on something I've seen on the show (the last invention was a fabulous meatball sandwich smothered in BBQ sauce and topped with coleslaw - yummy).

Yesterday, he was in Cleveland, Ohio, and his final challenge was a humogous grilled cheese. Grilled cheese - mmmmm. I love grilled cheese sandwiches! And I've discovered after having many conversations with friends and neighbors (yes, I talk food almost as much as I read about it) that everyone does a grilled cheese differently. Oh, yeah, and they're going highbrow by being called Paninis now. Hey, a grilled cheese by any other name...

I'm pretty straight forward - two slices of bread, buttered both sides, cheese slices (my dad used to call this product "Plastic Cheese") and it is of the utmost importance that you squish the sandwich as it grills in the pan. A couple of months ago I made a grilled cheese using left over chicken, extra-old white cheddar and thin slices of pear - really good, but I still like the 'original'.

The Husband likes his made with speadable cheese product - no squishing of the bread - and then slathers jam (yes, jam) on it after it's done. He's even happier if there's tomato soup to dunk his sandwich into.

I know of others who like to put a little mustard on their sandwich, or an outer coating of mayo instead of the butter. The place highlighted on Man Vs Food does grilled cheese in so many different ways it's mindblowing. Here's the link to the menu at Melt Bar and Grilled - my mouth is watering reading some of those descriptions.

How do you like your grilled cheese sandwich, People of Blogland? Do you change it up or is your grilled cheese sacred? Any one out there have a panini maker or do you do your grilled cheese the old-fashioned way - in a fry pan? Ooh, I see this place in Cleveland offers sauces to dip your sandwich in - does anyone dip (in anything other than tomato soup)? Hey, do you remember the image of the Virgin Mary in the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (go here if you don't)?

Bonus - here's a recipe I've tried and loved (but don't make it too often because of the caloric count) Raisin Bread (2 slices), cream cheese spread on both pieces, sliced deli ham (or bacon - mmm, bacon). Sandwich it all together, butter the outside and fry until golden - can be drizzled with maple syrup. A fantastic breakfast/brunch menu item.

*And, no, we didn't have grilled cheese for supper - I had already prepped Sesame Peanut Noodles, which were yummy!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blogging Topics...

Well, it seems that every once in a while I have trouble coming up with something to blog about. I know, me, with the gift of the gab! And this post is an example of the problems that occur when you need a topic and none come to you. No matter how many times you spin your office chair or check your bookshelf for inspiration (yes, these are my "Go To" techniques for coming up with a blog post).
My other strategy is to go to Google and type in "Blog Topics" or "Blog Ideas" or "What the hell am I going to write about today?". The last one gives some interesting articles, especially about what to wear - nothing of assistance as I don't want to get sidetracked reading other people's "What the hell..." issues nor do I worry about what I'm going to wear because I live in sweats or pajamas.

But under "Blogging Topics" this time (previous times have just been random lists of things I may or may not have used) I found this: Random Topic Generator!!! How freakin' brilliant. They even have categories (12)! An endless supply of ideas.

Now if you know me, you know I love generators. My all time favorite has to be the Romance Title Generator. I just came back from there and I really love my first option: Vacant Men (don't we all know some of those). And along those same lines, Smart Bitches, Trashy Novels (I love these girls) have one that's absolutely hilarious (one of my titles was: Well Endowed Thief - I see a lot of external conflict there!!).

Then there's the Fortune Cookie Generator. I could play this one for hours. The Super-Hero Generator (yep, name your very own super-hero). And there's a real great one for making your very own Super-Heroine (help me long time blog friends - Silver, ban - I can't find the link to that anywhere and I've been searching for over a half an hour).

And lost my train of thought. Sigh!

Right - Blog Topic Generator. This is great. My first try was in the Opinion category and I got "Cheating on Tests". Yikes, let's not go there. So, Art brings me "Turkish Arts" - don't know much about that, but I do know I love the chocolate bar Turkish Delight. Ooh, want one now! Next up, Personal gets me "Finding Your Soul Mate" - yep, I believe in that (hello, I'm a romance writer). And because I've gone on too long and given too many generator links, I now don't have to write anything on the blog. Good thing, because next up was "Your Favorite Dinosaur" under the category All - and I could go on forever about that (NOT).
Any generators to share with us, People of Blogland? Do any of you have difficulty coming up with topics for your blogs? Oh, yeah - sorry about the time wasting links, hope you didn't get sucked in ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rain Today...

And housework! They complement each other perfectly, don't they!

The weekend is supposed to be rainy, too - perfect for curling up with a good book (or two). I'm in the middle of reading Cool Water by Diane Warren - set in small town (fictional) Saskatchewan it takes place over a day and has a whole town of characters. So far, not too bad. And I have Silver James' Promises, Promises on my computer (won a PDF copy over on her blog - WOO HOO) that I need to transfer to my other laptop so I can read while lounging in my recliner (sitting at my desk just seems too much like the Day Job). I also have The Birth House by Ami McKay and Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay qued up and ready to go. Hmmm, maybe I will spend the whole weekend reading!

I'll also need to take a trip to the library (one of my favorite places) to pick up a copy of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I think I've already told you about her blog, but you might want to go there today and read the interview she's done with Piers Steel, author of The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Things Done. Wow, might be a book I need. Seems his theory is that it's not the perfectionist and the lazy who procrastinate, but the impulsive - those people have trouble getting themselves to do stuff they don't want to.

Anyway, great interview - and I loved his answers to some of Gretchen's questions including his 'happiness mantra' (do you have one, People of Blogland?), and his idea of finding inspirational stories that speak to you with people who are like you (do you have an inspirational story that speaks to you - that, well, inspires you?).

And I have a long run to do either Saturday or Sunday (10K). I'm hoping the rain ends and I can get outside to run (I don't like running in the rain) - that distance on the treadmill might be a tad boring!!

Have a great weekend, everyone :)

Image: Rain by Teodoro S. Gruhl

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And It Tells Time...

My wonderful husband, better known as The Husband, gave me the best Christmas present ever this past year - a Runner's Watch! Talk about motivation - I wanted to strap that thing on and head out the door ASAP. But, being a warm-weather person, 'warmer' heads prevailed and I waited until the snow and ice would no longer cause me to slip and slide and the weather was decent enough for me to head outdoors without wearing Arctic Survival Gear!

So, for a couple of months the watch (after an initial attempt at making it GO) sat neglected on my desk. I worked out on my treadmill and my Nordic Track Ski Machine - in the comfort of my house (room temperature regulated) for January and February; proud of myself for keeping at my exercise goals. But March loomed - and the early bird registration for the Saskatchewan Marathon taunted me. I signed up on Feb. 28th and vowed to get out the door to start my training as soon as March arrived.

That meant I needed to deal with my Christmas present. It is at times like this that I realize I am not the most tech-savvy person out there. Three hours to get all the information into the watch (time zone, language preference, height, weight, kilometers or miles - I'm surprised the thing didn't ask for my bra size). I managed to figure out how to set the training mode (basically a stop watch) and off I went for my first run.

Holy Running Shoes! I came back and there, on the watch face (big enough that the space station astronauts could read from way up there) I could see that I had run for 30 minutes, a distance of 4.03K, at a pace of 7.30 min/Kilometer. I was excited.

And there was more. I have this USB Stick that came with the watch - so I plug it in and the data from my watch gets transferred over to my computer. And within the watch's manufacturer's website, I can sign in and see all kinds of data. The elevation along my route. The map of my route. The time fluctuations. The pace/kilometer for every kilometer. This thing is amazing. Here's the info on my time and elevation:

A little more reading tonight and I can see that I have options on training. I can program the thing! That's going to take some learning, but I already have an idea for my first attempt - going to run some intervals tomorrow and the watch (fingers crossed) is going to let me know when to change up my pace. This is so cool. It's going to take me a while to figure it all out, but so far I'm loving my new toy.

Oh, yeah - it also tells time!! (A huge Thank You to Lu and Paul for helping with my surprise :)
So, People of Blogland, have you ever gotten something technical that you've had to figure out all by yourself? Do any of you go searching for the nearest teenager to help with technical stuff? Does anyone out there own a Garmin and are you willing to come over and help me figure this thing out?
(I need a teenage to help me format my blogposts *sigh*)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Inspiration - Inspiring...

Happy Wednesday, People of Blogland :)


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stop and Smell the Bath Salts...

My birthday ended on a perfect note - a hot bubble bath and a glass of 12 Year Old Single Malt (extra peaty), a gift from The Husband.

So, as I was lounging in my tub (which I love - big enough to stretch out in without having my legs and feet sticking out of the water because I'm too tall to fit in perfectly), I thought about how my day was almost perfect. Starting with coffee (ok, and cake) in bed in the morning and ending with a bath. There's not too many days where I look back and think "Wow, that was a perfect day!". The day to day routines of getting up, working, cleaning house, cooking supper, catching a bit of TV or forcing my eyes to keep open for at least a chapter in the current book de jour end up being more humdrum than 'perfect'. And most days I forget to stop and smell the coffee/roses/bath salts.

Believe me, I am thankful.

But what if I could have a perfect day? What would it look like? Funny, I did this exercise about 13 years ago - wrote down the perfect day from that first waking moment to the moment my head hit the pillow. Then, I stashed the piece of paper in a journal and forgot about it. I came across it a couple of years ago - and realized that I had been living the perfect life for a few years (with some small exceptions) and I didn't even realize it. Didn't even acknowledge my blessings. Wanted, demanded something different. How could I have been so blind?

Anyway - as I was turning into a prune, I started to think again about my perfect day and came to the understanding that every day is perfect IF I LIVE IN THE MOMENT!! Geesh, this should be inspirational Wednesday. And every day is perfect if I stop and smell the bath salts - or take a few moments (even if I have to get up early) to enjoy coffee and cake in bed :)

What's your perfect day, People of Blogland? Have you ever given any thought to living the life you really want to - the life that let's you do exactly what you want versus what you think society/parents/family/spouse wants you to do? Give us an example of how you see your perfect life (for me - I would be replacing the Day Job hours with writing - and possibly hiring someone in to get me fit, as in they would do the work and I would miraculously get fit ;) Is there such a thing as too many candles?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Birth Day...

That's right - 48 years ago at about 9:20 Central Time I was born. I didn't get to writing this post last night because I was out celebrating early. And I need to get it written now because in about 20 minutes my mom is going to call. She always calls me on my birthday at 9:20 :)

Last night's indulgence - Fish and Chips (yummy) with tons of malt vinegar. And birthday cake, courtesy The Husband (chocolate with white icing, my favorite). Ooh, and red wine.

This morning's indulgence - Coffee in bed with a thick slab of cake!

I love birthdays :)

So People of Blogland, how do you indulge on your birthday? Do you have a favorite meal? How about a favorite cake?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Boobs Away...


I was supposed to weigh in on Tuesday, beginning of the month - and I have a confession to make, I've actually been weighing in every morning. And because I've been watching way too many fitness/loss weight TV shows (love Last 10 Pound Bootcamp and X-Weighted, not to mention Biggest Loser), I was smart (ha) enough to take my measurements at the beginning of this madness known as the Year of CHANGE (read: get healthy). But I couldn't bring myself to check the numbers until today...


I haven't lost any poundage - and thanks to all those who told me the last time I lamented about this that I was probably putting on muscle, I choose to believe that. Nada - the same every day for the last 2 months. But the tape! The tape would reveal the amazing work I've been doing to resculpt my body. Or. Not!

No change in the waist or hips (or that nasty area in between where I seem to have the biggest issue - is that dubbed the Love Handle - stupid name). But, lucky me, I've lost 2 inches in my bust. And as I write down those numbers, with the hope that I will not die before I get a chance to burn them, I stop in mid-write with the realization that my boobs are now the same size as my waist!

As I type this, I've moved from "Seriously!" to "WTF?"

I don't think this is what they mean by pear shape. Have you ever seen a pear that is shaped like this:Yes, I look like the neck of a wine bottle - hmm, perhaps the wine I drink might have something to do with the shape...but, let's not go there right now...I'm ranting! (Please don't comment on the fact that my 'hips' seem to be asymmetrical - I'm a writer, not an artist, damn-it).

So, all the excitement about losing inches got trashed with the realization that I am on my way to being a stick. And for those of you wondering what's so wrong about that - let me just compare the shapes women come in.


Pear - both lovely fruits. Both objects that artists paint and people
describe as succulent, juicy, tasty.

Hour Glass - I've always loved hourglasses, how they illustrate time in
such an eloquent way - and let's not forget my favorite soap in my twenties,
"Like sand through the hourglass, so our the Days of Our Lives" - that is until
Marlena was possessed by the devil (what were they thinking).

And then there are the Sticks - those who have no shape - those objects people pick up only to hurl for the joy of watching their dogs run and retrieve. Sticks!!

I must tell you a story of when I was about 16 years old. We (family) were in Scotland (both parents came from there - had to make the trip 'home' every couple of years) and I was being fitted for a custom kilt (Highland Dancer). The gentleman at Gordon's Kiltmakers came into the dressing room and measured me up. Remember, I was getting the whole kit, including a velvet vest to match. And I was 16 - not necessarily a confident 16. So, the measurements read: Bust - this number (because I don't remember the exact number), Waist - same number, Hips - same number. My mom and my aunts started to giggle. Loudly! 16 and my body sported the same numbers from top to toe!! And, obviously, I'm still carrying that humiliation around with me (just not packed in my bra).

And in this quest to get healthy (not skinny - I'm not looking to get skinny), I would much prefer if the title to this blog and my subsequent goal was "Anchors Away". The butt, or the part after the wine bottle neck (see above lame drawing) is seriously weighing me down.

Hey, at least that number isn't the same as the bust and waist now - at the ripe old age of almost 48!!

Have a great weekend, People of Blogland :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Counting on The Journey...

Thanks, everyone - it's good to be back. I spent most of the time off trying to decide whether or not to come back to the blog. Obviously, I've decided to continue - but as that first quote yesterday stated: Sometimes you need to stop thinking! Yep, get out of my own way.

This goes for my exercise and healthy eating, too. I know what needs to be done, but most times I over think it. OR I get so caught up in numbers and looking ahead ("I'll be so many pounds lighter by..." "I'll be running 10K in an hour by...") that I forget to just do it (ah, Nike, so smart with that tagline). I forget to enjoy the journey (for a great analogy about writing and driving, the journey, check out The Writing Spectacle).

Am I the only one obsessed with numbers? I seriously think the OCD thing gets a little out of hand when I start counting. I count number of days until I go on holiday (78 days), the number of days until my next half marathon race (86 days) - and then I get into weeks and kilometers needed per week/per day - the number of times my left foot hits the belt on the treadmill as I try and make running for 30 minutes straight less boring perhaps even faster than that damn clock ticking down the seconds at a speed I believe is purposefully SLOW. I calculate hours worked, and extra hours I would need to stick in there in order to have a couple of days off with pay. I have been known to count backwards from 500 in order to get to sleep - and if that doesn't work, backwards from 500 by 3's.

See - I need to refocus on the journey. The present. The joy of writing nonsensical stuff here on the Journal. The absolute happiness I get from the comments. The connection with people from far and wide - and the ability to stay connected with those I am no longer physically close to. Yep, I'm back and I'm going to try and stay out of my own way.

So, People of Blogland, any one out there obsessed with numbers and counting? Do you often find yourself focused on the promised land and forgetting to enjoy the journey to get there? Beginning of the month - how's the Year of _______ coming along?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inspiration - Starting Over...

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~ C. S. Lewis

Courage doesn't always roar.Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,"I will try again tomorrow. ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasksinto small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. ~ Mark Twain

Discontent is the first necessity of progress. ~ Thomas Edison