Sunday, February 17, 2008

Assorted, unrelated ramblings

I feel like dog poo. I think I have may have somehow caught the "thing that's going around", which starts with a sore throat , headache and backache. My mom had it two weeks ago and my sister had it last week, so I guess it's my turn. Great!

Tonight I attended a viewing for my great-uncle, who at age 93 was the last of my grandfather's generation to pass away. It's strange; I don't know very many old people anymore. Matt still has two living grandparents, and I have a few great-aunts on my mom's side, but I rarely see any of them. Thinking about it really makes me miss my grandmother. It's amazing that after more than three years the pain of losing her is still so fresh.

The completely unrelated good news: For the past week or so, I've noticed something strange about myself when I look in the mirror. I have a neck! Yeah! Not just a mound of chins, but an actual neck. The double-chin is still there to a degree, but it has shrunk an impressive amount -- I was looking at photos from just a year ago and can't believe the difference. I like it!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Les gens sont des idiots

Reason number 57,428 why I'm glad I don't have to work outside the home: I don't have to deal with morons who -- in 2008 -- disparage the idea of traveling to France because they didn't support us in going to war with Iraq. WTF? I didn't even think we had such idiots conservateurs in Philly --which may be a backwater, but hey, at least we usually vote democrat -- but apparently we do, and they all work in Police Radio. My poor husband...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cleared for takeoff

Today I had my post-op appointment with my doctor, and everything looks good. I can resume normal activities. Though, I still think it may be another week or so before I do any serious kickboxing or ab crunches.

After the tree episode last week (my street looks just *bizarre*, btw... I can't find my house) I got a bit sidetracked, but today I'm giving out blog awards! Yes!

(Look at that, I finally figured out how to post a picture in the middle of the blog. Go me!)

And the awards go to....

1) Lover of Dolphins, or "Jax", as I call her, is one of my favorite online friends, a fellow homeschooling mom and a kindred spirit. Like me, she is passionate about the things that matter to her, and she has held my hand through many of life's ups and downs over the years.

2) What is it? Anna is a woman I admire for so many reasons. She's an amazing mom, she has her hand in many different creative endeavors and she seems to really enjoy life -- something I aspire to!

3) Beauty Secrets Unveiled Lisa is a fountain of information on natural health and home remedies. I was once suffering with a sinus infection for the better part of a month, and she taught me some really useful ways of getting rid of the congestion without needing prescription or even OTC meds. I'm really learning a lot from this blog!

4) Discursiveness Anne is one of my oldest online friends -- I've known her for over ten years -- she's a great writer and she really needs to blog more ;)

VoilĂ ! Les blogs excellents! ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Today I awoke to the sounds of a dear friend being murdered.

(Is that too harsh?)

This tree (photo taken May 2007), which has stood on the sidewalk out front of my house for many, many years -- well before I bought the house nine years ago -- is no more. Thanks to a few of my idiot neighbors and the City of Philadelphia, the tree has been cut down with chainsaws and run through a chipper. For the first few minutes, all I could do was watch and cry... eventually, I had to turn away.

Since moving here, I've marked the changing seasons by this tree, getting excited at the first budding leaves of springs and the first hint of autumn red and gold. I've relied on it to help cool my house in the summer, when the afternoon sun's rays were filtered through its leaves. I've enjoyed hearing the rustle of the leaves as a breeze blows through on warm summer evenings. And, as I could always see the tree through my bedroom window with my head on my pillow, it has been a comforting presence in times of sorrow -- anyone remember the scene from Phenomenon when John Travolta reminds Kyra Sedgwick of how she rocked her children when they were small and then points out the swaying movement of the trees... yeah.

So, I'm more than a bit teary-eyed today, and I keep begging Matt to say that we can move... I don't think I can set foot outside my front door right now. I can't even bring myself to look out the window...


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My patriotic duty

Lots of people voted today... yay! Unfortunately, we Pennsylvanians don't get to vote in the primary for another few months. But today I got to participate in a different part of the democratic process: jury duty.

Most people I know hate jury duty; I've even talked to a few people who refuse to register to vote so that they won't get put into the jury pool. But aside from the getting up early part, I don't really see it as all that much of a chore. I get to spend a few hours among adults, sit in a comfy chair and read my book, and I get 10% off my lunch at Reading Terminal Market (today's lunch: pad thai with shrimp and a spring roll... yum!) If that's the price I have to pay every few years for the right to vote, so be it. Plus, I'd like to think that if I was ever accused of a crime, there would be someone like me on the jury. I have been summoned 4 or 5 times and have never gotten picked for a jury (might have something to do with all my close associations with police employees!) so for me it's just a break in my routine, which is always nice. My biggest concern today was the discomfort of sitting for long stretches (the stitches are still bothering me a bit) and the possibility of getting picked for a trial that would last into next week and prevent me from getting to my post-op appointment. Fortunately, I didn't have to worry about it, and I was home before 2pm.

When I got home today, I had a message from my friend Misty saying that she had given me a blog award! How cool! It made me very happy :) I also get to pass the award on to some other excellent bloggers, and I will post a list in tomorrow's blog!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Not quite as good as a tour, but...

From what I can tell after reading dozens of websites and blogs on the topic, the NKOTB *are* reuniting... but not for a tour. Rather, as is becoming increasingly common nowadays, they are going to do a reality show.

I can't say I'm not disappointed -- I was really looking forward to that concert of 30-something women screaming over our former idols! But I'll probably watch the show, anyhow. I just hope it's not on cable!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Walking around my 'hood

This afternoon, in an effort to 1) get some sunshine and fresh air and 2) not allow 2 weeks of absence from the gym coupled with it being Girl Scout Cookie time to undo 10 months hard work, I went for a walk around my neighborhood. This is something I rarely do; it's not that I live in a bad neighborhood, it's just that I have a mean case of car ass. In fact, I would say that my weight problem began at precisely the same time that I got my first car.

It was absolutely beautiful out today, about 50 degrees and sunny. Although I have been lamenting the lack of snow this winter, I was glad for the early-spring-like weather. No gloves or hat necessary (thanks, global warming!)

My mind has been a jumbled mess of late, and it was refreshing to give my brain (not to mention my eyes) something else on which to focus my attention. For the first few minutes I just paid attention to the feel of my sneakers hitting the pavement, the cool air on my cheeks, and the sounds of outside. I walked past the Burger King and smelled the burgers grilling, which always reminds me of summer.

I turned onto the "Ave" and continued to walk past the cemetery and towards the park. My mind wandered back to my high school days when I used to walk absolutely everywhere, and cover huge distances -- my best friend lived almost 4 miles away, and we walked it many times. I had one boyfriend who I used to walk all over the place with, both in our neighborhoods and downtown Philly, and we would try to get lost on purpose just so we could try and find our way back. My only problem was my finely tuned internal compass that made getting lost extremely difficult!

I took a different route back towards my house and noticed some interesting backyards. One thing about Philly backyards -- they are so small, they're almost impossible to see with the naked eye. I kid, but really, what we have doesn't even really qualify as a backyard. Really, it's just a driveway with a patch of grass next to it measuring maybe 3x6 feet. In case you ever wondered why I garden in containers, there's your answer! But -- I walked past a few houses that had really interesting gardens (or, you could tell, even in their winter hibernation state, that they had been interesting!), and I got some new ideas for what to do with my veggies this year.

When I reached my front steps, my heart was beating fast and I was tired and out of breath -- ah yes, I remember this feeling! (Gosh, I miss the gym!) It felt really good to get out after a week of being cooped up and thinking the same thoughts over and over. I feel like I would like to get out and take walks more often, but I'm not going to make it a goal or anything -- if it happens, it happens. But it will definitely happen at least once or twice more until I have the green light to get back to my regular workout routine.

And I can't wait for spring...