Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wellness Wednesday, April 30


Vacation was good for getting a little bit more active, even if it was just some bursts of walking in between quite a bit of sitting.  It was not good for eating, however, and I’m lucky to be up only a pound.  After all, you can only eat so much ice cream without consequence. 

Now that I’ve returned to the real world, it’s back to a bunch of catching up and lots of sitting at a desk.  And, Brian is in the process of changing jobs, so there’s been lots of paperwork to look at each night when I’ve gotten home this week.  Maybe soon my time will be my own again.

I have started logging my water again, though.  Small things that helped the last time I successfully lost weight I’m going to start slowly re-incorporating into my habits, and this seemed like a good one to start with.  I always drink a fair amount of water, but the amount has been dwindling lately, so it’s time to get back on track with that, then move on to adding another good habit when I’ve gotten that one fully ingrained.






32 min treadmill; 1.7 miles














Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Force is Strong


Taking a break from television tonight to have a brief fan-girl moment over feature films. 

Today it was officially announced that the original cast from Star Wars will be reprising their roles in the upcoming Episode VII.  Go ahead; squee with me!

Sure, it’s been the talk of rumors for quite a while, but sometimes the things fans want have a way of turning into those rumors, even when there’s zero basis in truth.  I’m glad to see this one actually came to fruition.  Not that I’m expecting the original folks to be the actual focus of the film, that would probably be asking too much.  But I’m expecting something more than a cameo, and I hope I’m not disappointed in that.

Of course, it is still over a year and a half before we get to stroll into a theater and see what the next installment might bring, but I’m excited to know that we’ll be getting to see some familiar faces in the mix.

The cast of "Star Wars: Episode VII" unites well-known "Star Wars" names with some up-and-coming actors. At least one cast member, Daisy Ridley, is so new she has just a few acting credits to her name. You can see her in the back right of this cast photo, wearing a necklace and talking to "Star Wars" veteran Carrie Fisher. Here's who she'll star with:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Make Up Monday


You know that saying about needing a vacation to recover from vacation?  Yeah.  That.

I always enjoy traveling, but I’m also always glad to be back home, even if it does take a few days to get caught back up on sleep and get back into the swing of things.  We had a good time at the Phi Theta Kappa Nerd Nation in Orlando, and I hope I get to do it again next year, though it will have to be on my dime next time around.  I think it’s the sort of thing college days were made for, even if I am getting started about three decades too late.

Anyway, today I’ve got a few photos from the trip that should have gone up yesterday, but for the fact that I was exhausted and fell asleep with a laptop open and waiting for me to do something with it.  Oh, well.  Better late than never, I always say.

So, the pictures.  And, yes, it was a national gathering of honor society students, but who says nerds can’t have fun?

PicMonkey Collage

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Six Word Fellowship


PTK sisters hanging out at Universal.


Feel Good Friday, April 25


I have to say, it’s really been quite a while since I’ve really felt like much of a personal Feel Good Friday, but I’m feeling it today.  But what can you expect when you spend a day hanging with PTK buddies at the convention and then spend a few hours at Walt Disney World?  WDW may not technically be “the happiest place on earth” according to the Disney folks, but I would beg to differ.

We really did only have a few hours, so our park visit was limited to Main Street USA and Fantasyland, but it was still a good time.  We got to walk around and enjoy a nice afternoon/evening, rode It’s a Small World, saw both the Main Street Electrical Parade and the Wishes fireworks show, and Tigger waved at me and then blew me a kiss.  Oh, and we had some really tasty ice cream to end the day.  If that kind of day doesn’t make you feel good, I just don’t know what will.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day One


Day one at the Phi Theta Kappa International Convention—Nerd Nation, as we like to call it—is in the books, and was great.  Three speakers today, each with a different style and point of view.

Justin Jones-Fosur kicked us off with a rousing presentation abut the importance of diversity and inclusion.  He was funny, highly energetic, and had some good thoughts to share—exactly what you want in a speaker.

Then we went into a break out session where the activity was a team egg drop exercise.  I am proud to say that my team came in first in our room, winning by a pretty decisive point margin.  If you ever need to protect an egg with some craft sticks, masking tape, rubber bands and paper towels, look me up because I can hook you up with the details. 

After lunch we heard from Inge Auerbacher, who is a holocaust survivor.  It was quite a change from the morning presentation, and her story was heartbreaking, even though it was the story of survival. 

Then, finally, this evening, we were graced with Alison Levine, who has climbed the highest peak on every continent.  Her story of reaching the summing of Everest (on her second try) was inspiring.  I like to listen to amazing people like that tell their amazing stories.

Anyway, as I’ve probably said before, these conventions are just an excuse to try and get folks to drink the Kool Aid, but I have to admit that after these types of days, I start thinking Kool Aod isn’t really such a bad thing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wellness Wednesday, April 23


Honestly, my posts here are getting so erratic of late you almost have to wonder what is going on in that brain of mine.  But, I’m currently traveling and besides getting in to Orlando and settled into the hotel very late in the night, I also did not have internet access for a few hours until the hotel said it was officially today (somewhere around 5:00am in their system.  Go figure.)

But, now I’m back online and wanted to check in.  In terms of my oft-professed intention to get back to the gym, I didn’t make it this week, at least not until this morning.  Somewhat easy access to a gym is one of the best parts of travel, so I took a stroll on the treadmill this morning.  I had to take it pretty slow, but it still felt nice to get moving again.

There’s still no weight loss to report, but I do have faith that I’ll keep plugging along and get to where I want to be eventually.  Oh, and we did have a nice fresh salad today, along with a fresh fruit juice drink—I had watermelon/mint.  I have to say, I was not really hopeful, since I don’t usually like that sort of “good for you” stuff, but this stuff was pretty darn yummy.  Might have to figure out what the actual recipe is and make some myself.

Anyway, that’s about it, just a quick check in to say that I’m still alive and still trying to make a difference in me.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I’m Tired Already


It’s kind of amazing how you can go from a slow-moving, not much to do week to an OH MY GOSH, I’LL NEVER GET IT ALL DONE week in just the space of a few hours. 

I’ve been planning a trip to Orlando with my PTK peeps for a few months now (really, just the possibility of being able to make this trip was one of the factors last year when I was considering whether or not to take more classes this semester!), but with the blood clot and the hospitalization and all, lately I’d been preparing myself for the idea that I probably would not be able to go.  Consequently, I have not been getting ready to go.  Like packing.  Or even laundry. 

So when my doctor cleared me today to travel, I was both elated and just a little bit panic-stricken.  Then, I looked more closely at my class schedule and realized that homework I thought was due next week is actually due tomorrow, which means that the quiz that follows that homework is also due this week rather than next.  Panic isn’t even the right word.

And, add to that the fact that the trade-off for not having to drive myself to the airport tomorrow and leave my car there all week (and pay ridiculous parking fees), is that Brian has to take me to work tomorrow before he goes to his own job, which means I have to be at work about an hour early.  After being there two and a half hours late today. 

All of this means I will be going in to my fun-filled trip already at a sleep deficit, so I should be completely wiped out by the time I return home Sunday evening.  If I was heading off anywhere but the Land of Mickey, I’d give serious consideration to just calling the whole thing off, but turning down a free trip to Florida?  Nah, I don’t think I can do that.

So, dream of me tonight, since I won’t be getting much sleep of my own, and I’ll wish upon a star for you once I get where I’m going. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Snapshot Sunday, April 20


I know that earlier this week I was feeling a bit angsty about the upcoming Easter holiday, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a moment or two of sadness today.  However, our actual family gathering was yesterday, a picnic at the lake.  And though certainly I missed the loved ones that were absent, it was still a great day.  The weather was beautiful, the food abundant, and the company the best.  It might’ve been a day early, with some important people missing, but I still think it was just about exactly the way a family holiday should be.

Easter 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Six Word Cookout

Beautiful and relaxing day with family.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Facebook Friday, April 18

Sometimes I marvel at Facebook—the way it allows people to connect and share and simply be themselves the way they really are (or how they’d like to be).  And sometimes I get annoyed when people share too much and I’d really rather not know quite so much of about the way they really are.
On the other hand, I can’t get enough of the fun videos and pictures and such that get shared far and wide.  My favorite this week was a couple of cute dancing kids.  I’m not usually one for dressed up kids trying to look all grown up, but these kids really are adorable, and they’ve got some pretty good moves.  Click the link to check for yourself.               Post by

Thursday, April 17, 2014



Once a week social media gets inundated with postings tagged with #tbt.  It’s Throwback Thursday, where people take a stroll down a photographic memory lane.  I have yet to dig out any of my own pictures from back in the day, but I like to see the ones my friends post; they make me smile.

I still didn’t find any pictures this week, but the hashtag did get my memory to wandering, probably heightened by an upcoming holiday family gathering.  And mostly what my memories tell me is that I really miss the good ol’ days.  My son will almost certainly skip the gathering, as he has grown distant from the family.  And, of course, my granny won’t be there, and I find that’s hitting me a little bit harder than I would’ve expected. 

It occurs to me today that the union of my personal Venn diagram of perfect holidays—those that I can spend with my mother, grandmother, sister, and son—is very small, and it’s never going to get any bigger. It also occurs to me that a couple of weeks of just not feeling well has  put me in a fairly melancholy mood, and this sadness that I feel is exaggerated.  But that doesn’t change the fact that I am sad, and I really do miss the times that seemed simpler, happier.  And while a silly little hashtag topic is probably not intended to bring about such gloominess, I think there’s little doubt that a yearning for simpler times is what brought about the theme to begin with, and keeps person after person posting photos from decades ago.  Which, of course, leads to the inevitable question:  will these days ever be considered the good ol’ days for some future generation.  It seems almost impossible, but the photos we take this weekend may someday be our children’s #tbt.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Welcome Back to Wellness Wednesday


Well, here we are again.  I know I’ve said it before, but I honestly have got to find the strength of will to rededicate myself to losing weight and getting healthier.

A few years back, when I found that sort of determination, it was all started because of a particularly bad photograph.  When I look back a few years from now (hopefully as a much smaller person), I will say it was a health scare that got me moving again.  Not a huge health scare, mind you, but one that has gotten me to thinking.

Of course, I’ve known for a long time that I’m healthier overall as a lighter person.  I mean, that’s not much of a secret, right?  But when I ended up in the hospital for a few days last week, getting subjected to the poking and prodding and scanning, it really sort of hit home.  You see, even after all the poking, prodding, and scanning, the experts still haven’t figured out a precise cause for the symptoms that sent me to the doctor in the first place, but all the things they thought it might have been (which have been ruled out after all the testing), and the inkling of an idea they have now that it still might be, all of those reasons are exacerbated by being overweight. 

Again, that’s hardly a surprise, since it seems you can’t open up a list of causes for any illness from a common headache to cancer without finding obesity among the culprits, but some seem to be more causally related than others.  But, whether the weight is a primary risk factor or one way down the list of possibilities, I’d just as soon try to eliminate the dangers all the way around.

Not that it will be easy.  In addition to age and metabolism fighting me (believe me when I say that the old adage about losing weight after 50 is true), that oft-referenced motivation has really been eluding me lately.  And, since being home from the hospital, I’ve really been taking it easy—not much physical activity and lots of sleep.  Honestly, it’s just after 11pm as I write this, and I haven’t seen anything close to this hour of night for over a week!  Going to bed earlier is probably a routine I should try to continue, but I feel like I lose out on some valuable hours that way.  Anyway, the point is, while my head knows that I need to be putting in some physical effort at weight loss, my body has not been cooperating.  If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll try to hit the gym this weekend for a low impact workout and start easing my way back into things.

But, whether it’s this weekend, or takes another week to get to feeling better, I know I’ve got to do it.  I may not be a youngster anymore, but I think I’m still too young to be worrying about my end of days.  There are still things I want to do, see, experience before I leave this earth behind, so I need to get my body in the shape to allow those things to happen.  It’s really not just about weight, and it’s not about vanity at all; it’s about being healthy enough to live my life and enjoy it.

The journey begins.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Six Word Style Quest


Not sure about my new haircut.  Sad smile

Friday, April 4, 2014

Facebook Friday, April 4


What sort of fun things did Facebook bring me this week?  Well, it’s been sort of a sickly week, so I didn’t spend a lot of time on the computer, even for important things, much less random scrolling through social media.  But, I logged on one day in search of a particular message, and saw that Patrick Stewart was littering my newsfeed.  I don’t know about you, but I think Mr. Stewart is always worth taking a few minutes, and this was no exception.

Sir Patrick made news this week by playing tourist with his good buddy, Sir Ian McKellen, as they wrapped up a Broadway run.  Tourist photos are always fun, but these are exceptionally so.  I think the one below is my favorite, but do take a few minutes and check out some others.  I like seeing the celebrity types being plain silly, and I would love to have been an actual tourist watching them create some of these shots.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday, April 2


Not that I was exactly on a roll last week, but there is certainly nothing like a day and a half in bed to make your step count take a nose-dive.  The much dreaded stomach bug took up residence here earlier this week, and I am still a little shaky on my feet—mostly because I’m still living pretty much on applesauce and crackers. 

The upside of all that is that on Monday, I managed to lose almost four pounds.  I’ll admit it’s not the way I’d choose to do it, nor would I recommend it to anyone, but I’m not in a hurry to give the pounds back (at least not all of them!), so I’ll just consider that my reward for suffering through the illness.  It seems only fair.

I hope to get back to the gym by Saturday, if I have the energy at all.  The last two days, I’ve been getting my workout simply by being the last person at the office, and the dash up the stairs to beat the alarm has left me doubled over just outside the door, so my energy obviously isn’t quite where it needs to be yet.  I didn’t exactly say it earlier, but let me make clear that the stomach bug sucks, even if he does want to drag a few pounds out with him.  Anyway, Saturday is PTK induction day, then family afternoon, but maybe by the evening I’ll have the strength to drag myself to the 10 Gym.  One can only hope.











40 min treadmill; 2.93 miles


40 min treadmill; 2.64 miles





Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Choices, Choices


I’m thinking today not so much about what’s on my TV as what my TV is on.  Currently, my service comes from DirecTV, and it has ever since I worked for one of their call centers way back 1997.  In this day and age, that is a long time to be with the same company, though I like to think I’m a pretty easy customer.  I just want decent service at a decent price

But now, I also want to be able to record more than two programs at one time.  The technology has existed for quite a while, even if DTV was a little slow on the uptake.  But even they have had it for almost two years now.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t been around long enough to really become cheap—or at least not as cheap as I am, apparently.  Last time I checked with customer service (which has admittedly been several months), DTV wanted $400 bucks for their fancy-dancy receiver that will allow recording of multiple programs at once.  They did finally say they’d offer a fifty buck discount, but it’s just really hard for me to justify shelling out even $350 for something that I don’t have any real need for.

So, it’s reached the point where I’m considering a change to my provider.  Dish Network has a fancy-dancy receiver, too, and they’ll throw it in for free for a new customer.  Not to mention I could save $30 some odd bucks a month over the next year on the same channel line-up I have now.   

So, to recap, I could spend $350 to get my fancy new receiver and stay a long-time customer, or I could save $360, get the new receiver, and start the next seventeen years as a customer with a new company.

It ought to be a no-brainer, but I’m still debating.