Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Sunday Wrap-up . . .

What do you know? A friend from back in the day wants the banner I posted about yesterday.  :-)  I'm sending it off this week.

Wednesday I slipped on some black ice.  Thankfully I didn't fall over, but I torqued my knee and the pain was almost unbearable.  I thought for sure I had done major damage, but eleventy million Advil later, all was relatively back to normal by the next morning.  And I'm back to two anti-inflammatories a day - back up again from one.  I have to say that I've gotten a lot more done this weekend than I have in months - and it hit me about an hour ago that the reason for that is that I'm not in constant pain because I upped my anti-inflammatory back to its full strength dosage.

Part me of me is way happy that I'm not hurting - I mean, it's a relief for sure, and - BONUS - it's going to make it a lot easier to eat better again in the coming weeks.  I know one would not intuitively seem to follow the other, and yet for me, they do.  Some unknowable part of my brain tries to fix physical pain with food and I have never been successful in making it understand that that doesn't work . . .  But there's another part of me that is not happy.  Of couse it's wonderful to be painfree, but I'm painfree at the expense of taking an anti-inflammatory twice a day - and sad that I need to take that the full dose to be functional . . .  I don't like taking a bunch of pills.  And yet, here I am . . .

Onward . . . 

Yesterday as I was sorting through the junk in the office, I came across a piece of paper in my mother's handwriting.  It was tucked in an empty file folder.  The last time I found an interesting list of hers, it was of the patterns under consideration for my wedding dress.  This time, it's a list of scriptures.  A bit yellowed, and apparently cut down to its 3 x 3 /12" size, and in her handwriting - so similar to my own.  Or should that be the other way around?  I thought hers was the most beautiful witing I had ever seen in my young life, and so I modeled my own on it (and could forge her signature quite perfectly  ;-)  Still, hers was always larger and more dramatic than my own.  Here is her list:

For those of you not up on your memorized scriptures (gone are those days . . . ) here is what they say - in the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible (which is the translation that she likely read most often):
Hebrews 9:27 -  And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment,
Psalms 6:5 -  For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who can give thee praise?
Job 19:25 -  For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth;

Isaiah 26:19 -  Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. Oh dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For thy dew is a dew of light, and on the land of the shades thou wilt let it fall.

Hosea 13:14 -  Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your destruction? Compassion is hid from my eyes.
I wonder what was going on when she wrote these down.  Perhaps a friend had died.  Or was she studying up on the second coming?  Or perhaps she wanted to reassure herself where death was concerned.  I'll never know. 

I do, however, love to find things like this.  You never stop missing your mom.

The Amaryllis continues to do its thing.  It's really large, you guys.  I'm actually a little concerned to keep it on the stand it's on.  I think it could fall over if it gets much more top-heavy.  Not quite sure how I'm going to remedy that situation, but I'll figure something out - and soon.  Still no bloom stalks, but it continues to grow.

Friday (again with the droop)

Saturday - and up again.  Quite upright (except for that one strap).

And today - looking far less upright and much more open all the way around.  I'm thinking that means it needs a drink, so I gave it another turn and I watered it. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Linus and Lucy . . .

I spent most of my day today working in my "office."  This is the room in my home that has been left relatively untouched since having been a staging area during construction last year.  The Sofa of Serenity had become the Sofa of Doom again and I just hadn't had the energy to work on things in here for many months.

For some reason, today was the day.  :-)  It's not completely clear in here, but it's a damn site better than it was.  More things to go to The Second Chance Shop (yes, apparently I STILL have stuff to give away), and among them is this banner of Snoopy doing the Happy Dance in the rain.  Can't help but smile to see it, and it takes me back nearly 20 years in a heartbeat.

It dates from May 1997 - and it's like new.  The tags are still on it.  It was purchased by an online friend whom I met in person for the first time at a scifi/fantasy convention called Syndicon.  It was held in Maryland in May 1997.

There were three of us who had become fast friends - sort of a Three Musketeers gang of three - online.  We were all writers - not professional writers, just people who liked to write, and we and quite a few others became friends on a message board in a popular online community.  We were keen fans of Highlander: The Series. 

I'd never been to anything like Syndicon before, but I wasn't worried.  The three of us had planned our trip and flights so that we would arrive at approximately the same time at BWI.  It's one of the beauties of the Internet back then that most of the people we met online were real people with real lives. 

D was the first to arrive at BWI and he was waiting at my gate (you could do that back then  :-) ) holding that banner.  Then we went to another gate to meet T and the three of us headed to the convention hotel.  Others of our online gang met us there and we had a rollicking good weekend.

There's a fish sticker, and a name tag, and there are five of us in that photo.  One advised years ago that they did not want their image on the Internet so I've covered them up - but they are holding a bottle of Piper Heidsieck pink champagne.  And there's that banner.  All those things have stories behind them :-)  I'm at the top right. 

I've hauled the banner around for all this time - nearly 20 years.  No one else from the old gang wanted it the last time I attempted to let it go - but I never quite could.  Let it go.  The Snoopy lights, which you can just see in the photo, have gone - either someone wanted those, or I donated them.  But the banner - mostly it has remained folded up in the closet, but now it's time for it to move on to a new home.  Someone will be happy to have it, I'm sure.  I wished for awhile that I had a banner pole.  My mom had one and she loved hanging her banners - she had one for every season.  But somehow the banner pole disappeared - I don't ever remember having it here, and I've not been inclined to get a new one.  And banners aren't nearly as popular now as they were back in the day.

And of the three of us Musketeers, one I've lost touch with, and another has passed away (far too young).  Time marches on . . .

And so, as I continue the process of lightening my load here, the banner goes, but the tune remains.  I and many others, I think, still think of it as "The Happy Dance."

It was my theme song.  Still is, I guess.  It's been the ring tone on every single cell phone I've ever had.  I pony up the bucks to buy it again every time I change phones  :-D  It makes me happy.  It always has - and who doesn't need a reason to smile?  If I ever need a lift, I just play my ringtone.

Everyone else who hears my phone ring smiles, too.   :-)

Friday, February 5, 2016

That's the Way of the World . . .

Probably one of my all time favorite albums (yes, I'm that old  ;-D), Earth Wind and Fire's That's the Way of the World was a big part of my college days.  Back then all we ever wanted was to dance and their music fit that bill nicely.  After a show we would pile into whoever had a car and drive to The Hatch (long gone, I'm sure) to dance and drink fruity cocktails.  Back then, the drinking age in Michigan was 18 (it was 21 in Illinois), and the town where my college was located was dry except for two college bars that served beer, and there was no dancing.  So, off we'd go on a Friday or Saturday night - college kids with hardly any money, nursing one fruity drink and dancing the night away.  Granted, the night ended relatively early at midnight or maybe one when The Hatch closed.  No late night licenses back then.

They had plenty of amazing hits throughout their career that could make you get up and dance . . .

And this . . .

Or this:

Man, those horns!  Maurice White grew up in Chicago, so that horn section is no surprise.  Horns are a staple of Chicago music. 

But, back in the day, it was always this song (#337 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)- always the last song of the night at The Hatch - everyone a little tipsy, hoping that their crush would ask them to dance for the last slow song.

In later years in SoCal, I met the guy who was Earth Wind and Fire's former sound man - told some interesting stories.  And I saw them live at the Universal City Citywalk (without Maurice White - he stopped touring live in the mid-90s).

2016 is not starting out well for the music industry.  Maurice White was a visionary.  His brother, Verdine (the awesome bass player) said this, quoted in Rolling Stone:

"We had a strong leader," Verdine told The Telegraph in 2013. "We really looked up to Maurice. ... You have to understand that we were 21 years old when we started our journey with Earth, Wind and Fire and Maurice was 31, and so he had done a lot more things than we had. Maurice was interested in establishing a credibility of a different morality about musicians and their lifestyles. So we were into healthy food, meditation, taking vitamins, reading philosophical books, being students of life."
They were not living the rock 'n roll lifestyle, and it's my guess that pretty much no one else back in the day was doing what they were doing.

Visionary indeed.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Amaryllis Update . . .

Clearly there is a sweet spot for water with these bulbs . . .

Monday - still floppy:

Tuesday - not quite so floppy:

Wednesday - and zip! 

Today - straight up

Sunday, January 31, 2016

It's the Same Body . . .

The second load of laundry is about to jump into the dryer, and while I wait, here are some Sunday ramblings  :-)

Today is the last day of Samhain.  Tomorrow Imbolc arrives - in the Celtic calendar February 1st is when Spring arrives.  I thought you'd like to see my Potato Parcel at the end of the season  :-)

Really, I think it held up quite well, don't you?  I did give some thought to planting it, but have decided that I have enough plants to take care of already.  So, it's going to hang out here in the kitchen as a reminder for me to pay attention.

As I look forward to Imbolc, I move forward even as I look back at the past few months :-) 

I'm giving Weight Watchers' new SmartPoints program another try.  It's going OK, but, as before, I'm hungry.  I think I really, really need to eat vegetables.  I'd say eat more vegetables, except I haven't hardly been eating any at all lately . . . old habit die hard.  I'll be going to the store tomorrow.

Interesting discussion on the Weight Watchers board on Ravelry the other day about our bodies and about this being the year of one's best body.  One member commented that her best body was long behind her, and some others of us went in a slightly different direction.  Here's where I went:
The year of whatever my best body is for me wherever I am in the journey.
I honor my body where it is. Right now - because wherever I’m going I’m going there in this body. Larger or smaller, it’s the same body. It took me a really long time to figure that out. We only get one body, and this body - this body that I have right now - no matter what size it happens to be - is amazing and wonderful and it got me as far as I am today. My long, sturdy legs keep moving me forward one step at a time.
Am I ever going to weigh 134 pounds on my 5’ 8” small-boned frame again? I suppose it’s not likely, but I loved that version of my body and I’m headed toward it - and the version of my body that I have NOW is the one that’s going to take me there. It gets all my love and support!
Whether I actually get to that specific number again doesn’t seem to matter quite so much any more - I will get close. And, however far along the path I get, this body - the one I have now - will be the one transforming itself along the way, because … it’s the same body :-)
It's the same body.


In other not-quite-so-profound news of the day  ;-) - I finished the Mojo socks.  Yay!!

They are pretty.  Noro really has these color changes down, but I won't use this yarn again and here's why:
  • The fiber content might as well have had extruded wood fiber in it for how bad it tore up my hands.  Owie.  :-S  
  • The skeins are a very short put up of 328 yards - that means you definitely need two skeins for a pair of socks.  
  • There were joins in both skeins.
  • The join in the second skein was actually just a blog of the yarn stuffed into the middle of the skein.  It was bizarre.
  • This is supposed to be sport weight yarn, but because it is so "rustic" with a tremendous amount of thick/thin going on, I had to go with regular 2.5mm needles (US 1 1/2) to keep the fabric firm.  
  • Really - I don't think is sock yarn at all . . .  live and learn.

I'm wondering if I overwatered the Amaryllis.  It's falling over everywhere now.  I'm going to let it dry out for a bit - that container it's in has no drainage (as far as I know).

Been having a late 80s kinda flashback this morning.  Enjoy  :-)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Amaryllis . . .

An Amaryllis update!


Friday:  I really like this shot with the sunlight on the plants  :-)

And today:

They're all falling over now  :-D

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dreary and Grey . . .

It's been a rough few days here, Chez A.  There's been some comfort eating going on.  Never a good thing.

Tomorrow is Thursday - my favorite day of the week!  I'm rebooting Weight Watchers' new SmartPoints program.  I'm still not keen on it, but I'm going to give it the old college try this time and see if I can get past failing daily.  That would be good.

I think I'd like to go to Rhinebeck this year . . .

It's been dreary and grey here in Chicagoland today.  Some days are like that.

The amaryllis keeps on keeping on  :-)