Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've got the BLAHS


I'm having the worst time staying focused at work (ahem), staying motivated to get stuff done around the house, thinking about one activity at a time. The only things keeping me going are my running plan, my yoga, and the book I'm reading.

Meanwhile, everything else is blah....blah....blah....

I sure hope you are doing better than me!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm just sayin'.

I don't generally care for country or country-flavored music, but I love Carrie Underwood's song "Before He Cheats."

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Word can be Mightier than the Sword

Or, Terrorism does not have to be fought with violence.

Or, or, there is redemption even for those who are responsible for horrific acts.

Or, or, or (OK, last one - can't help myself) - the POWER OF COMMUNITY cannot be underestimated.

This extremely interesting article caught my interest today. In it, reporter Warren Strobel describes how Indonesia is fighting the "war on terror." One would think it would be something important for Americans to know, how the world is fighting terror. Especially since this is apparently a crucial issue for many of us, particularly in this election season. Hey, maybe we could all take a unified approach!

But I digress. This article describes Nasir Abbas, a former Islamic militant. He taught the men who went on to instigate the Bali resort bombings, which this article describes as one of the world's deadliest terrorist attacks since 9/11. But this man has since changed his life. According to Strobel, Abbas is an alumnus of a government effort to "fight terrorism by persuasion. Indonesian authorities try to 'deradicalize' militants, debating religion with them and reconnecting them with their families instead of relying on high-tech weapons and harsh interrogation techniques that have characterized President Bush's approach since 9/11....'Because terrorism is an ideologically motivated crime, it is not possible to stop it using mere physical operations,' said Ansyaad Mbai, head of the counter-terrorism Coordinating Desk. 'Based on our experience, the harder we hit them with military force, the more radical they become.' "

Is this not mind-blowing to you? Is this not a great thing to have learned? I am flabbergasted and in awe, at the same time.

However, Strobel also points out that this system is not 100% effective. There are still some terrorists who are unrepentant. And (of course!) it is an underfunded program. But does this mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater? Not in my book. I fully believe in the power of debating, respect for others, rebuilding community, and working for peace in a peaceful way. I wish the USA believed in these things too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Operation Whip-My-Butt-Into-Shape Update

So I went running today, for Day 4 of the plan. I decided to continue with the Week 1 workout (even though technically speaking, I should be on Week 2). I don't want to move forward too fast and hurt myself. It's not like I'm actually training for anything...just trying to be in better physical shape.

Anyway. Today was totally different than Monday's torture. The jogging was smoother, my body felt more coordinated, and I didn't feel like I was going to cramp up during the walking intervals. Right up until the heat made my head pound and my stomach start churning. Which was why, 4 minutes short of the full 20-minute workout, I stopped.

But! No shin splints, no hamstring trouble, and no ankle twinges. Hooray! What was different? Well, I had a longer warmup. I also lengthened my stride and jogged a little faster (which feels more normal, as I tend to walk fast normally), and I forgot to bring socks. I don't really know if the sock thing played a part, but it's possible. I felt like my shoes were part of my foot.

So Friday is Day 5 and we'll see how it goes then. Meanwhile, my legs are getting stronger, my abs are getting definition, and my ass is looking pretty good, if you can believe TH.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It DOES exist!!

OMG - Guess what I saw today?!

Yes, ladies and gentleman - it is not an urban myth. The awesomeness of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is TRUE.

Running Updates

Yesterday was Day Three of the Couch to 5K plan. I'm still having trouble finding my stride in the jogging intervals. It feels awkward. And yesterday I had some minor problems with my ankle and hamstring. Not to mention the shin splints that come and go throughout the activity, but that I don't feel after I'm done or the next day.

Am I too out of shape for this? Or am I just trying to do too much, too soon? Or is it just a matter of stretching more before and after the workout? I wish I could figure it out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ugly Tchotchke of the Week

Yup - it's time for Jesus.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Operation: Whip-My-Butt-Into-Shape Steps it Up

Day 1 of the running plan - delayed by an ankle strain - commenced today. I made it through, but here were my thoughts:

This is good, I can do this.

OK, ready.

First jogging interval:
Wait...what is this, now?

First walking interval:
20 minutes? Piece of cake!

Fifth jogging interval:
That's it, I'm quitting.

Fifth walking interval:
Come on, you big whiner, GO GO GO!

Seventh jogging interval:
OK, getting my rhythm back.

Seventh walking interval:
How will I possibly do this for only a WEEK?! And then I have to INCREASE my JOG TIME?! Those trainers are NUTS! This SUCKS!

Tenth jogging interval:
It's over? How can it be over?

Sitting at my desk:
I don't think I can get up. My thighs are locked into position. I'll have to wheel myself around in my desk chair now.

Looking forward to Day 2 on Friday! 'Cause I'm masochistic like that!


My current worrywart, stress-bucket, Drama Queen mind-bending dilemma:

A) Do I feel guilty over the money I spent on a makeover?


B) Do I feel justified, because it cheered me up enormously, and I feel like myself again after a couple of difficult months?

What would you feel? Be honest.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Apple Hill

Fall means Apple Hill. I love this place - orchards, mountain air, apple doughnuts - what's not to love?

Monday, October 13, 2008




Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ugly Tchotchke of the Week

I couldn't decide, so here are three for your votes:

Which is the worst?


Just a couple of thoughts and quotes that got me thinking, today.

From Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul:
"Mythology is not the same as myth. Mythology is a collection of stories that attempt to portray the myths, the deep patterns, that we live in our ordinary lives. ... Mythology teaches us how to imagine more profoundly than sociological or psychological categories allow. ... By reading mythology, we learn how to think more deeply and imagistically. ... The depth of myth is one of its characteristics that make it a useful means for bringing soul into life."

From my church's Corporate Confession of Sin this morning:
O God, we acknowledge that sometimes it is easier to love You than our neighbor. We come to our worship and say our prayers and sing our hymns and sometimes that can be more comfortable to us than attending to the needs of others, especially those who are "high maintenance" or unappreciative. Open our minds to Your truth, O God, our hearts to Your Spirit and our actions to Your leading. Forgive us when we hide our eyes to the suffering of others or close our ears to the weeping of the world to concentrate on our own smaller concerns where life seems more manageable. Forgive us if we push away people who ask tough questions of us, or close off our life as your church into what feels like a safe haven.

It's a lot for me to think about.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm just sayin'.

I love Autumn, but my sinuses do not appreciate this wind.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

See? I told you!

As promised!! Pictures from last weekend's nesting orgy.
This picture highlights a few changes. From top to bottom: 1. Three plates hanging above the bookcase. 2. Small lamp on sofa table behind sofa. 3. Children's books moved to kid's corner, in dining room area, and photo albums stored on bottom shelf. 4. New rug from Cost Plus!!

Changes to breakfast corner. From left to right: 1. Screen moved to half wall. 2. Plant moved from downstairs accent table, to ledge behind screen. 3. Pictures (which will go to the framer by this weekend) hung. 4. You can barely see it there in the right hand corner - kitty tower moved from near the windows. 5. Also, not in photo - lamp moved from corner to sofa.

Ah. The masterpiece. The culmination of my evil plan. The DINING ROOM. (duh-duh-DUUUUMMMMMM.)

The buffet you see was split up into three parts (gotta love IKEA): the middle part, a dresser, was in the guest room. The two side cabinets were in Cliff's Man Cave. All three have now come back together in the dining room. The lantern light moved from the floor to the buffet. The art moved from the left wall to this wall - two other dancers flank the windows on the right wall (which I didn't take pictures of because one of them is still boarded up from the fire - being replaced starting tomorrow). And, of course, our beautiful table is covered in crap at the moment. But that will change soon.

I also need to hang a piece of painted cloth my parents brought back from Africa. I bought a curtain rod and some curtain clips, and that will go up on the left wall. Pictures to follow.

So, lots of work done. I'm so happy with the results, and I can't wait to show it all off during the holidays!


Super busy this week. Will get to pictures of the redecorating madness, soon! I promise.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Cleaning

I don't know what inspired me, but I've spent the last couple of days in a major clean-up, purge, overhaul on the insides of our house. Perhaps it's feathering the nest, getting ready for the winter. Perhaps it's in recognition of our one-year anniversary in our house. Perhaps it's just because I get restless and can't sit down and RELAX. Whatever the reason, I had a burst of inspiration and so I'm redecorating using mostly my own stuff. Move this dresser down here, switch that side table with this one, move the screen over here, hang these pictures here....and there it is...a whole new look. The only new piece is a rug from Cost Plus (purchased on sale!!). I have to say, this new look is a lot less cluttered. Ahhhhh.

The biggest part of the project by far is the dining room. When we moved, I didn't have a clue as to what type of buffet or shelves or bookcases or cabinets I wanted. So everything has just been hanging out in boxes. Last week, it struck me that I could use furniture that I already have, and save a bunch of money, time, and hassle. I love those lightbulb moments. As I was sorting and purging today, getting ready for the furniture to be moved into place, I found things that I didn't know I had. I noticed I have an excess of certain scrapbooking supplies, no doubt because I hadn't unpacked all the way. I even have a brand new album, waiting to be filled. I didn't even know it was there. Hmm. And I have waaaaayyyy more paper than I need, so I'm putting together a package for my nieces to play with when they visit.

Now, I just need to take some trips to Goodwill with some of the excess stuff, and we'll be all set. Just in time for the Holiday season, too! By the way, I'm not posting pictures till it's done. The before mess, especially in the dining room, has been a thorn in my side since the move and I don't want to have this permanent record of it. You'll just have to wait to see the after.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Night TV

I love Fridays, and I love to watch TV on Friday nights. My ultimate, all-time-favorite, guilty pleasure show is "What Not to Wear." Stacy and Clinton are my peeps. I wish I could pop them in my pocket and take them shopping with me. But in the meantime, I love watching them throw out people's nasty clothes, talking them into trying more stylish choices, and tossing out their dry, witty repartee. I love watching the fashion victims' meltdowns, their resistance to Nick's hair suggestions, and the look on their faces when they finally see how beautiful they are - how beautiful they've been all along.

I've just recently started watching "Say Yes to the Dress." It's about a New York Bridal Salon, and the many different bride-to-be's who come in to try on dresses. I love beautiful dresses, so this would seem to be a natural for me. But I've seen so many truly awful wedding shows, and have watched "My Super Sweet 16" too many times...I thought this would be like those awful girls, all grown up and now planning over-the-top wedddings with the budget of a third-world country. So I was a little skittish. Suffice it to say - this show is now a new guilty pleasure for me. Yes, it has the bridezillas; the princesses, buying $15,000 gowns; but it also has lots of normal, sweet women who just want to look special.

So I'm parked in front of the TV, and ready for tonight! Bring on the dresses! Bring on Stacy and Clinton!