Friday, July 30, 2010

Not Your Normal Vacation Rollar Coaster

So sometimes you come on vacation to de-stress and walk right into a hornet's nest.

My brother in law, Jim, husband to my sister, Connie, who live in Henderson, NV, had a triple bypass on Monday.� He came through the surgery fine and then coded.� They were unable to get his heart started and put him on bypass and took him back into surgery.� This was on Monday, after we, my foursome, my brother, Doug, sister in law, Margaret, their 15 year old son, JJ and their two grandkids, Chloe and Ed (ages 5 and 3) spent the morning at Seaport Village and the day at the San Diego Zoo.� We got the call at dinner that things had not gone well, so we packed up, loaded our crap and all the kids into cars and drove to Nevada in the middle of the night, arriving at 4:30 AM.� Connie was a mess of course, so we stayed with her awhile and then drove to our hotel for about four hours of sleep.

Jim had a lot of health problems going into surgery.� Besides his heart, he is a diabetic and has had problems with blood clots since the late 70s.� When he came out of surgery the first time, apparently the arteries they had done the work on (four in total) clotted right up, causing the heart to stop.� The doctor's said they had never seen anything like it.� Though they did CPR on him the whole time, there is great concern about brain damage.� The first two days after surgery, there was involuntary leg movement, which was a good sign, but today that ceased.� They did an EEK which we will have the results for tomorrow.

I do not look for this to end well for Connie.� I hope for the best but am not expecting it.� Jim and I were never close and I have not seen him for 15 years and even longer before that.� The last time I remember seeing him before that was when I was a kid growing up in California.� When Connie comes to visit us, Jim stays home.� But he loves my sister and that is enough.

Doug and Connie are very close, so we took our role as taking care of the kids, taking them swimming, to Hoover Dam and to see the lions at MGM.�

Now�the hard part.� Were we to stay in Vegas the whole trip?� I have two kids with me and this is their vacation too.� If Jim dies, my kids have never met him and I am not crazy about their first meeting being at a funeral.� If there is brain damage, Connie will pull the plug as she has said again and again that he would not want to live that way.� So after talking to Doug and Margaret today, and getting a push from them, we are departing Vegas on Saturday as planned.

Does this come without guilt?� Not at all.� The only way I would be guilt free, is if things look hopeful from the EEG but I don't think that will happen.� But if he dies, there is nothing for me to do here really.� Connie has a great support system here and if I stay, I can't fix her llife in a week.� It will take time and adjustment as I went through all this with my mother when my dad died.� Doug said that due to geography, the responsibility of taking care of family more relies with those living on the same coast, which is true.� I have supported Connie this week and will continue to do so as best I can.

I'm just not sure there is an easy decision here at all.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday 13: California Edition

Please welcome again, Laurie, from Gastric Girl , filling in with my TT!

Hello to all!�� I'm guest posting for Kim while she's in sunny California!�� I'm very jealous! ��� This week, I'll be featuring 13 places that I enjoyed going to when I visited Southern California in the past...�� There are still many places I want to go, but these are some great destinations as well!

1) Disney Land (Anaheim) - How can you start a Southern California destination list without listing Disney Land?� I had a fun time there, and Mickey Mouse even gave me a kiss!� Wahoo!!!!

2) Mann's Chinese Theatre (Hollywood) - On Hollywood Blvd, this is the famous theatre where everyone puts their handprints in the sidewalk and where all of the red carpet premieres are.���� Great place!� I had to take pictures of so many of the imprints - my favorite was from Star Wars (the originals)!

3) Across the street - Jimmy Kimmel's Studio (Hollywood)!��� Try to catch a show live if you can...�� I couldn't get in, but I tried!!!

4) Huntington Beach - The whole area is lots of fun.� I love walking on the pier... and while you're there, shooby dooby down to Ruby's and get a malt!� It's a great 50's style diner.

5) San Diego Zoo - YES, it is all it's cracked up to be... to me at least.� I love zoos, and it doesn't matter what time of year you go, the weather is always gorgeous!

6) Griffith Observatory (Hollywood) - Made famous by the movie Rebel Without a Cause, this is a great place to absorb history, site see, and get a pic of that Hollywood sign!�� I thought it was so cool that I was at the same place that James Dean was... albeit many years later.��

7) Rodeo Drive (Beverly Hills) - While I couldn't afford anything in Beverly Hills besides a cup of coffee, it was definitely a great place to check out!

8) Universal Studios - What visit is complete without a stop at Universal Studios?

9) Seaport Village (San Diego)� - I had so much fun here - there is a lot of fun shopping here, it is right on the ocean, and it is a great little place!�� I even climbed a tree here! HA!�

10) Whale Watching (Several locations) - this is so much fun - I think it's only available certain times of the year, but it is absolutely breath taking!!!

11) Restaurants - There are so many wonderful restaurants to visit while in Southern California... do your research based on your preferences!�� I thoroughly enjoyed the Geisha House restaurant in Hollywood - it's co-owned by Big Brother stars Dr. Will Kirby and Mike Malin... Delicious sushi restaurant.

12) Santa Monica Pier - A great touristy spot that is sure to please! ��� While in Santa Monica, stop at 3rd Street Promenade as well.. I saw Axl Rose there buying Reeboks once! haha

13) Live Show Tapings - there are so many live shows that take place in Los Angeles - I tried to get on the Price Is Right, but no dice!�� Instead, I got to see the very first live taping of the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.... now defunct, and it wasn't that funny - but I was there for the first show! ha!

I hope Kim is having a fabulous time in California, and I will be living vicariously through her!��� She can live vicariously through me when I go to Orlando next month!

Take care!

Friday, July 23, 2010

This Is It!

Friday has finally arrived!� It has been a hellacious week, but it is finally over!� I am going to get home, finish laundry, put out my packing, paint my toes, make "Oh Look Corn Dip" for tonight and make sure the house is tidy for Fire Pit Frenzy tonight.

The house in which I grew up in Monrovia, Ca is up for sale and my brother in law is a California real estate agent.� I am keeping my fingers�crossed for a showing as I would never be able to afford to buy this house ($864,000) and it will probably be my last chance to be inside of it.� I loved that place; 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, an indoor patio, office and kitchen, enclosed back porch,�inground pool, which we had put in when we lived there.� Makes my heart hurt thinking about it.

So I am happy as a lark today.� You all have put up with a lot of complaining this week, but it was a rough one.� Yesterday was also challenging with The Genius (lying) and The Chosen Ones (dinner went fine and was actually fun but that is part of the problem.� We get on well together when we are together and then they make no motion to see us again until a holiday and that is the stuff that makes me angry when they live twenty minutes from us).

Okay, too keyed up to blog properly and I want to go get a pedi, so I am outta here!� Will try to blog occasionally while away!� Stay safe and enjoy what is left of summer!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Words to Live By Edition

There are certain rules we all try to live by, our own�code of ethics if you will.� So for today's TT, I am going to attempt to come up with 13 of these for myself.� Wish me luck.

1. If you don't like me or how I live, that is�your problem and not mine.

2. Experience all you can, whenever you can.

3. Pass a small kindness onto strangers in the hopes that they will pass it on to the next person.� This can be as�simple as allowing that vehicle trying to pull out amongst traffic the ability to do so.

4. Shit on me once, shame on you; shit on me twice, shame on me.

5. If I don't like you, I will be polite, but do not expect me to go out of my way. If I don't like you, there is a good chance you�fall into�rule #4.

6. Honesty may always be the best policy but it might not be the kindest thing you can do.� Sometimes you have to chose.

7. You can disagree with me but do it respectively and never think you have me all figured out.

8. Impossible is an opinion.� I love this.� It is not a Kim Original, but it is my creed.

9. Whenever possible, try to see things through the other person's eyes, even when it is most difficult and most uncomfortable to do so.

10. It doesn't always matter what the truth is, perception accounts for a lot.

11. Play just as hard as you work.

12. The choices I make today will most probably affect my life at some point down the road, so I try to make the best choices I can to live life to the absolute fullest.

13.� I regret nothing.� Even mistakes, I learn something from, so how can I regret them?


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Adventure of Meddling Mother and the Aggravated Daughter

I find it interesting that after my rant yesterday, the only thing my commenters grabbed hold of was the one sentence about vacation.� Jimnotmike, I am disappointed.� I expected you to tell me how to change how I related to this kid.� In retrospect, vacation should be more or less fine as there will be other adults around and The Genius tends to be pretty good for other people.� Just not for me.

So the fun never ended yesterday!� Ya'll know how I feel about The Chosen Ones, my brother and his wife, who have nothing to do with me or my kids but they will invite her bosses kid over to swim with a friend, but never invite my kids.� We see them on holidays if I can't get out of it, though they were invited to my fire pit nights but to this day have not shown up for one, though she told my mother she sent me an email explaining that because she worked Saturdays, they would not be able to come (and I never got said email) because Lord knows, they would not be able to come and just socialize with us for an hour or two and not be able to get drunk.� There is a huge laundry list of reasons I prefer not to see these people.� They make me angry, because growing up my brother and I were close and when his wife entered the picture it all changed.� But I digress.� Just wanted to give you a refresher on The Chosen Ones.

My mother talked to me last week and said she wanted to have the four of us over for dinner one night before we left for California, so last Friday I confirmed with her if Thursday would be okay.� She mentioned that my sister, Vicki would probably be there but that was all good.� I like Vicki just fine and we have always gotten along well together.� This should have been the end of the story.

Yesterday at work, my mother called and said she just wanted to give me a head's up that The Chosen Ones were also coming to dinner (she uses their real names of course).� She could apparently tell I was pissed; I mean after all, this was a little bit underhanded in my opinion as she knows how I feel about them but she has some pipe dream that some night at dinner, my brother and I will magically be close again.

Doubtful.� In fact, highly unlikely.

She asked me if I was mad and I informed her I was because she knew I had no desire to be around these people (and hell, this week has not been stressful enough; let's put me in a situation you purposefully trapped me into) and she said, "Well, you are going away for two weeks." to which I replied, "I haven't seen nor heard from them in six months!"

I mean, c'mon, seriously?� Like they care that I am going away on vacation for two weeks?

Then she says, "Well, I told them it had nothing to do with your birthday."

WTF is that about?� Because if it did have to do with my birthday, that would be a problem?�

Then she says, "It wouldn't really be fair to invite you four and not them."

Oh god no.� So all the times she goes out to dinner with them, it is not fair no one invites me?� Who was going to tell them we were going to be there other than her?� Not like they just ever turn up.� No, they need a schedule and an invitation.

So now what was to be a nice relaxing dinner in air conditioning has turned into something I cannot wait to be done with and I am already trying to figure out just how quickly I can leave after dinner.� It's not that they are unpleasant to be around it is just that seeing them reminds me of all the bullshit I don't like about them.� Their inability to get involved with anything (like they witnessed someone punching their dog in the face but because this was a neighbor of her parents, they didn't want to "cause any trouble" and this is just one example of this kind of crap), the fake act they put on when Beach Sister is here about wanting to find a church which lasts until Beach Sister boards a plane to go home and then it only comes up again the next time she is here, the fact that when my mother, aunt and uncle were out their way and decided to stop in to say "hi" (aunt and uncle live a few hours away) my brother refused to let them in because they were "power napping", they way they neglect my kids but dote on children not related to them and the list goes on and on.� Seeing them brings all this up and I hate having to pretend to be nice for my mother's sake.� Because I feel next to nothing for these people.� I don't respect them, don't understand them.� They can live their lives however they see fit, but I don't want to be tricked into having to spend time with them.

That pisses me off.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday? Really?

This week has felt like nothing short of five weeks and I am not even halfway through it yet.� It probably has something to do with vacation and the heat, and moodiness and PMSing.�

Basically, I am PMSing and men are moody, they just don't have an official name for it, such as PMS, nor do they have a monthly period to blame it on. They also seem to lack the social skills to discuss why they are being so moody, which makes things difficult from my end.� One is a teenager and he is supposed to be moody (more on him in a moment), one is a husband with a stressful job and at times it doesn't seem like he has anything left when he gets home.� I dunno, maybe it is just my PMS and my desperate need for a vacation as it has now been over a year since I had one.

It is no secret to anyone that I struggle a lot with The Genius.� I also beat myself up a lot about my struggles with him.� Part of the problems are mine and though it may not be fair, here are the facts:

On a whole, there are very few males I trust and the trust must be earned.� I trust completely�my moody husband, my Tod, Jimnotmike (Even though he disagrees with me most of the time), two of my brothers, The Lawyer most of the time, my father and brother in law�and Kirk.� There you have it.� There have been men in my past who have hurt me and what it has taught me is not to give trust freely.� Much too risky.� This is a behavior I have learned and I am sure there is no changing that now and I am not sure my rules are trust are bad things.

The Genius, from day one almost, has elected to lie and often times manipulate to get what he wants.� Okay, he was/is a kid and I let a lot of it roll off, but from early on, he bucked against my role in his life.� He has always pulled crap with me he would not pull with The Brit.� If I tell him "no" about something, he will wait until he can�ask permission from his dad when I am not around in order to get what he wants (The Brit of course, will have no idea I said no originally.).� As he has grown older, his lies have become more frequent.� A lot of this stems from his ADHD and the fact that this disorder causes him to live in the moment.� But regardless of the reasons for his behavior, I have learned not to trust him.� I have tried in the past to give him trust up front but it often backfires.�

There are times, a lot of times, I think I expect too much.� I think I need to chalk things up to being "normal" for a teenage boy, but he and I have fallen into a pattern.� The pattern of "He lies and I get mad and tell him off."� These words almost define us now.�

I will tell myself over and over with a new day that I am going to change this (Jim seems to think change is so easy but how do you change when you don't feel the things for someone you are "supposed to feel"?) and within hours the battle has begun again.� I love him.� I don't like him.� How can I "change" the fact that I feel this way?� With his ADHD, I have to assume he is not going to change his behavior, which means I have to try to find a way to change how I react to his behavior.� Yeah, no idea what that might be.

This kid and my reactions (and often times The Brit's reactions) to him�often set the tone for the household.� This child tends to bring out the worst part of myself and I think it is because I often resent the stress he brings to the house.� When The Brit gets frustrated with something The Genius has done, I resent it.� When The Genius has upset me, I resent it.� When I have to take my phone and ipod to bed with me and make sure all the computers are on lock down when I go to bed, lest he get up in the middle of the night and decide he has the right to use them to do things he should not be doing, I resent it, just as I will resent having to take car keys to bed with me at night soon, because I do not put driving in the middle of the night past him in a few years.

�He�can be totally agreeable at times but due to his past behaviors, and my lack of trust, I�often think when he is being agreeable that he simply wants something.� But sometimes he is just�genuinely being nice. He's not really belligerant and I don't think his crap decisions are often intentional but more a product of his living in the moment, but the results are still the same.� So how do I find balance and harmony?� How do I react to his lies in a way that is different and maybe more positive?�

I would really like to enjoy this vacation 100% with my family, without concerns about behavior or stress.� What is the best way to make it happen?

I know at least one of you will have some suggestion?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Survived Monday

Today was tough, ya'll!

Last night ended�stressfully and though I tried to go to bed early in order to run this morning, I was woken up three times in the first hour and a half.� Finally fell asleep just before midnight, only to be wide freakin' awake at four am.� Tried to go back to sleep but minutes later, a thunderstorm started up outside which kept me awake.� Though my alarm was set for 5:40, I hauled ass out of bed at 5:00 to eat breakfast and run.� Actually ran (well, we were both walking at the time) into Tod who had the same idea about beating the humidity.��

By the time I got to work at 7:45, I had a pounding headache probably from the lack of sleep.� While at work, The Lawyer called me to demand a 4 gig something or other, which I told him he needed to talk to The Brit as I was by no means going to Target today (plus I had no freakin' idea what he needed or what for).� He then said he wanted to take his laptop to California and I told him no.� Though disgruntled, he asked if he could bring his ipod and I told him yes.� Then he asked if I was bringing my laptop and I said "probably." to which he replied in a whine only a ten year old can pull off, "That's not fair!"�

I hung up on him.� Point number one for the day towards my Mother of the Year award.�

Then I had to go to Sprint as my phone was being stupid.� Silly woman there told it appeared to have water damage (tho it has been nowhere near water), but she changed the battery and the problem was resolved.

Got home and informed The Lawyer that when he payed for his flight to and from California, he could bring his laptop as then it would be "fair".� Second point for me!� Also had a few words for The Genius as well because I am over asking him questions and getting a blank stare.� So, I told him from now on, when asked a question, he had ten seconds to start talking or I had his ipod for the day.� Three points and I win!� I needed a nap.

Did some cleaning and laundry and managed to doze for maybe an hour after taking some Tylenol for the killer headache and I felt better.� Still tired, but not nearly as bitchy.

One day down, four to go.� I packed my carryon today with the exception of my know,the unfair thing I am taking.

Friday, July 16, 2010

5 More Blog posts

...until my vacation!

I am really starting to get excited now with only looking at one more week of work.� I just about have my dinner with the girls all planned out and other than that, we are playing things by ear, which I love.� Though I have lived in Maryland the majority of my life, I always refer to California as home.� Though I love my friends here, I have never totally embraced the climate or the way of life here.� Things just felt different out west, even the last time I was there to visit, close or just over twenty years ago.� We shall see if it still holds true.� I can't wait to see family, to be out of the humidity, to be near the ocean, to see old friends.� I am so pumped!

I have no bloggers lined up, other than one Thursday 13 from Laurie .� So, if you are interested, hook up with me soon, otherwise it may be quiet here for two weeks.� I may blog from California, but I am not pressuring myself to do so.� If anyone is really die hard to know what I am up to those two weeks, look me up on Twitter under Knittergirl (Look at me acting like I have lots of readers!� Aren't I cute?) as I am going to try to be a better Tweeter.

Beach Sister even told my mother that she is excited we are coming so I am making every attempt to bury the hard feelings from two years ago .� It's time and I know it.� It was just such an awkward situation and made me feel so hurt, so it was difficult to let it go, but I'm getting there.

Next week, I will have to get up at Butt Early 'O Clock to run again as the kids are home.� One came home with attitude which seems to have blown over now.� Gotta love teenagers.� We'd worry if they didn't have an attitude.� But want to get some runs in as I only ran once this week.� That is, of course, if my kidney infection that I think I have clears up.� I hate cranberry juice but am sipping away at it.

Jimnotmike wants his own tag.� Maybe he needs his own blog .� See, if I give him a tag, then everyone else will want a tag and before I know it, I have more tags than I can keep up with!� It's either not give him one or quit talking about him on�here....kiddingm Jimnotmike, but no tag yet, Oh He Who Loves to Disagree With Me.

Happy weekend, peeps!� I will making a packing list and trying to get things in order to get the hell out of Dodge next weekend!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday 13: The ADHD Edition

I can't seem to find a single topic to TT about, so you get all the crap that is jumbled up in my head today.�� Are you not excited?

1.��The Lawyer�called me last night at 9:30 from his grandma's and wanted to come home.� I was scruffed out in my pjs, watching an episode of "Criminal Minds" but I did the 40 minute round trip to get him.� Kind of makes me feel good that he picked me over bio-grandma as there are times I just don't know where I stand where the blood family is concerned.

2. My energy is still missing.� Not sure where I put it, but I hope I remember soon.

3. Still doing my daily workouts however.� Can't let a little thing like lack of motivation stop me.

4.� See, I was right.� Jimnotmike would have said something to the mother.� Jimnotmike, you are becoming predictable!

5. Far too humid to run outside unless I get up at Too Early 'O clock.� Maybe next week.� This makes me excited to run in California where there is no humidity!

6. But running on vacation in the mornings when I can means having to pack several pairs of shoes, which will not go over too well with The Brit.� Maybe I can stuff two pairs in my backpack carry-on.

7. I am contemplating doing South Beach once school starts.� Tod seems to think it will get me over my YEAR LONG PLATEAU.� I'm happy to be maintaining, but there is still that much coveted 199 I have yet to see.

8.� The reason I am thinking South Beach is because before my surgery, I had a post-op friend who preached the No Carb stuff to me, so I started out really limiting my carbs.� But I got away from that last summer while in England, because there is bread there....and really yummy dairy.� Yes, there is bread here but so not the same.� So I broke my rule and have been breaking it since.� I need to get back on the losing side of things again.

9.� I am so ready for vacation and so excited to be going home!

10. If The Lawyer is being good for The Brit while he is at work, I am hoping to get to the gym today after work.

11.� I have decided I really like Lady Gaga.

12.� Though I like Lady Gaga, I am still having a mad love affair with "Criminal Minds."� How did I miss this show for like five seasons?

13.� The Church Lady will be here soon and she has already told me she has stories to tell me...can't wait....


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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others� comments. It�s easy, and fun!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Parents, mind what you say to your daughters

As the kids have been away this week, I have taken advantage of doing a little thrift store browsing.� I found myself at a consignment shop today because it was near where I was running some errands.� I found nothing (overpriced in my opinion but I am a cheap bitch.� Also, who would have thought I would more trouble now finding my size than I would have two years ago and 109 pounds heavier?), but as I was getting ready to leave, I overheard a conversation�by a mother talking to her friend�about the�the mother's�teenage daughter, who was present for this conversation.� It went something like this:

Mother: Yes, she has really big arms.� She plays volleyball, so she has big arms and chubby legs.� I will see a dress or something and think how cute it is but her arms are too big and she can't wear it."

WTF?� The girl is athletic obviously and an impressionable teenage girl and her mother is critiquing her body in a negative way.� C'mon.��I mean really, doesn't the world know that we not only have an obesity epidemic but also eating disorders problems, especially amongst teenage girls?� As women especially, I think we are so critical of our bodies from a very young age.� I remember my mother putting me on a diet at about the age of 8 or 9.� You don't forget those kinds of things.� I was the only kid in my class who was on one and my lunch showed it.� My parents had the best intentions, but it only made me feel different, and it led to a lifetime of feeling different where my body was concerned.� This mother has done something very similar to her daughter, at least today.

Jimnotmike would probably have said something, but I didn't, though now I wish I had, even if it was just to tell this girl she was beautiful, just as she was.� I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this girl will always remember those words as I have many words spoken to me in the past that I remember and always will.

I have been lacking for blog fodder lately.� I think I am in desperate need of a vacation.� T minus 10 days.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Bad Run is Still a Run

So my run last night essentially sucked.� I was stoked for it all day, having already decided I would go out after dinner around 7:30.� When I got off work, I went tried had a nightmare to Walmart to shop.� Have I mentioned they are rearranging the stupid store?� Have I mentioned no one can find anything, including the employees?� I asked three different times where the Vitamin Water was and got three different answers and never did find it.� Shelves are barely stocked as they are in the process of moving stuff.� I generally spend $120-$130 dollars a week there but yesterday, $82, because I gave up.� Totally not worth the effort.�� Everyone was walking around with the same confused expression on their faces.� Not good.� Part of the convenience of shopping at stupid Walmart, other than the prices, is knowing where stuff is, so I can get in and out as quickly as possible and they ruined that for me yesterday.� I have some patience with a store being rearranged, but when they remain open to do it, don't have their shelves stocked and completely unhelpful employees, I have an issue.

So, left there and went to Target as they also have $1 Vitamin Water for The Brit.� Picked up a few things there I still needed and then sighed when they had no cranberry sauce, which meant visiting a third grocery store for that.� Finally got home, unloaded, put away, worked on laundry, mopped and waxed kitchen, vacuumed downstairs, hauled up very heavy bike rack from the basement for some relation to the kids who wanted to borrow it WHO NEVER SHOWED UP TO GET IT and fixed and cleaned up dinner.� Ran two errands with The Brit, came home, took out recycling and trash and then got ready to run.�

I should have already sensed a problem.� I was tired having done a lot during the day, so when I started running, my legs felt heavy and tired.� I pushed as much as I could, walked more than usual, but finished it strong.� Got home, finished laundry and read for awhile and at 10:00 could barely keep my eyes open.� Took my sleepy pills (which are becoming completely ineffective), watched the season finale of "Criminal Minds" and went to bed, only to lie there unable to sleep.� My left leg was also aching which didn't help and I can only assume it was from the run.� Got up at midnight to go downstairs for awhile, drink some warm milk and play on the computer for half an hour.� Then I was finally able to sleep.

But I still ran.� I didn't much enjoy it yesterday, but I still did it, despite every step feeling like an effort.� That's what it's all about.� Getting out there and taking care of business.

Git 'er done.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pressure Pushing Down on Me

Why is it that when you are successful with something, there are those in your life who make you feel responsible for the success of others?

I am dealing with this right now and it confuses me to no end.There are people in my life with health issues, whether it be weight, some kind of substance abuse, etc and for some reason, some folks put it on me to try to change these people and I don't find it fair.

Okay, yes, there is nothing I would love more than to be able to influence someone to be healthier.� Truly, their health matters to me.� The people in�my life who struggle with one thing or another, I love dearly.� Loving them dearly means wanting to keep them in my life for as long as possible, in the best condition as possible.� I have well founded fears about losing certain people early and sometimes these fears keep me up at night.

But here is what I know.� For years, no amount of nagging, cajoling, humiliating or sarcasm could make me lose weight.� It actually often made me angry enough to set me on a food binge.� It made me feel not good enough for anyone, especially the "well meaning" people making the comments.� Did they love me?� I'm sure they did.� Did their comments make me feel crap?� Absolutely.� It was almost like saying "I would love you more if you would lose weight.", and that feeling made me think "Screw you.� I am who I am and if you don't like it, that's your problem."

It was easier to think and feel that way than to implement the changes needed to change.� Losing weight is hard no matter what route you chose to take to do it.� If anything, if someone hurt me badly enough with their "well intended" remarks, I would decide to lose not eating...or not eating anything but rice (been there, done that.).� This happened because I was angry and hurt and determined to "show them".� But it never worked out because I was not in it for the right reasons.�

Trying to lose weight to please someone else is setting yourself up for failure.� It's not a good enough reason.� In fact, it is a crap reason.� You�have to want it for yourself.� It is getting up in the morning and making the decision to make good choices that day, all day, with food and exercise and water and attitude.� And then going to bed that night, knowing you did well and then getting up the next morning and doing it all over again.� It is not a one day fix and if you battle weight or have ever battled weight, it is a lifetime thing.

For me to nag someone about their weight just feels wrong to me.� It's like saying "You are not doing well enough."� Yes, I can say "I am worried about you and want you to lose weight." but let me let you in on a little secret.� When you are overweight (or a smoker or whatever) you are aware of the problems; the health risks, the lack of energy, the chance of early death.� You also have the desire to do better.� Trust me, no one was ever harder on me and my weight than yours truly.� No one.� My weight consumed my thoughts day in and day out.� I�could come across as being perfectly content with who I was and it was the biggest lie I ever told.� I was not content; I was miserable, but damn if I was going to let the world know that.� I was almost belligerent about it.

Because change, people, is hard and losing weight is a slow process!� It takes a long time to see the change and there are times you feel as if you are working on it for next to nothing.� It takes time to feel looser clothing and to realize you are no�longer out of breath when you walk up stairs.� Those things don't happen right away and I would venture to say that if they did, we would not have the obesity epidemic we have today.� Weight loss is slow and gradual and it takes a huge commitment.

And I cannot make that commitment for someone else.� I wish I could.� I truly do.� But I can't.� I can't lose weight for someone else and I can't nag and cajole and ridicule to make it happen.� If you have a loved one battling obesity, believe me, they know your fears for them.� I knew my families fears for me.� They don't always have to say anything; it�can be said with a look, with a meal.� Lucky for me, my mother was always very outspoken about my weight problem (that "lucky" word is sarcasm in case it isn't coming across that way) and hurt my feelings more than once with remarks.� Why?� Because I KNEW I WAS FAT!� I knew it.� I didn't need�to have it pointed out to me as if it was the latest, breaking news.� I have mirrors.� I shop for my own clothes.� I knew the picture and the numbers.� No one had to tell me.

So I don't need to tell anyone else.� If you make the decision on your own that you want to be healthier and you ask me to help you, I will move heaven and earth to help you.� I promise.� But you don't need me telling you how worried I am and that�how much I love you makes me terrified to not have you in my life.� You already know.

I made my decision two years ago that I was going to lose weight and every day I make a new decision that I am going to keep striving for health.� I pray that all of you battling it, do the same, but don't look to me to point out your problems.� I know you are aware of them.� I am still aware of mine and every single day, I make the choice to keep working, to not give up, even when it would be easier to do so.�

Because anything worth having is worth working for.�

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday 13: California Dreamin' Edition

Cannot believe that vacation is just over two weeks away and I am stoked!� Especially given that the weather there this week is in the 70s and we are sweating our asses off here this week!

So, 13 things I am looking forward to about vacation!

1.� No humidity!� Love heat but can do without humidity especially with the dose of it we have been getting lately!

2.� Deep sea fishing.� My sister in law got us tickets and it is something we have never done before.� I am not so anxious to fish as I am to be on the water!

3.� Being near the ocean for more than a few hours.� It is my very favorite place to be ever.

4. Watch a sunset at La Jolla Cove.� I have read that they are magnificent.

5.� Stroll along Seaport Village in San Diego.� Lots of window shopping.

6.� Don't know if this one will happen for me, but I would love to have a run in Mission Bay Park.� Lots of trails for walking, biking and running apparently and it looks beautiful.

7. See family.

8.� Would love to scuba dive at La Jolla, but it is again a pipe dream.

9.� Have drinks and dinner with my two friends, Gina and Renee from elementary school. I am incredibly excited about this.

10.� Check out the tide pools at low tide in Point Loma.� I love this kind of stuff.

11.� Have a bonfire on the beach.� I have always wanted to do this.

12.� Go whale and dolphin watching.� I have not done this in years and it is one of my favorite things to do.

13.� See Monrovia, the town where I grew up.� Would especially like to see my two houses and my old Lutheran school.

T minus 16 days!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Debate Class

My friend, Jimnotmike and I tend to disagree on stuff, which is fine.� Most of the time I can see his point and just let it go as a difference of opinion, but his comment to me last night I have to reply to.� He knows I love him, but this one was not a black and white thing for me.

He said: OK, so if you hate her so much and find it so boring, why wouldn't you tell her why you don't like her class? I've often found that a little constructive criticism can go a long way. Perhaps she has no idea how annoying she is. Perhaps other people in the room agree. is your civic duty, as I often feel it is mine, to enlighten the "Whoo" shrew?

To be�honest, I don't feel it is my job or my place to tell her I don't like her class.� There are people who do like her and some of the gals I have befriended in Jack's class are genuinely surprised by my hatred of Jen's class.� I look at my dislike of her as a conflict in personalities.� I do think that Jack's class attracts more people primarily because of his personality.� He also appeals to the musical theater person in me as he generally works out one large combination by the end of class.� So I generally CHOOSE not to go to Jen's class and I would not have gone last night had I known Jack would not be there.� They do cover for each other from time to time and I just rearrange my schedule to accommodate his class, even if he is on a different or an additional day.� It doesn't happen often thankfully and it just happened to happen this week when I was not here last week to hear the announcement.

I guess I never really feel it is my place to point out someone's shortcomings because they are only shortcomings to me as far as I know.� For as independent as I am and as non-caring as I often come across if someone doesn't like me, I think it would be horrible if every person who did not like my personality or my method of living my life felt it was their civic duty to enlighten me on why, for them, I suck.

I think if everyone did that, more and more people would be on antidepressants afraid to get out of bed in the morning.� I have taken many classes over the years; school, exercise, hobbies and there are always teachers I don't like.� Those same teachers I don't like, have been favorites of other people.� I think it all has to do with our personalities and personal preference.� It's what makes us different as being alike would really be boring.�

Moving on.

I love running.� Have I mentioned this lately?� Despite a terrible night's sleep last night, I set my alarm for 5:38 AM in order to get a run in before work and before the temps reached the estimated 102 degrees today.� It was so nice to walk outside into relatively cool air that early in the morning, to not have to share the road with anyone for the most part and to be alone with my thoughts.� Running is my time to regroup, commune with nature and God and my body and I love it.� It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but I do it and doing it despite how hard it is makes me feel strong.� Running makes me undeniably happy, gives me incredible energy the rest of the day (though given my lack of quality sleep last night, a nap may be in order today).� I love the dedication running has given me and the discipline (such as getting up at Freakin' Early AM) it inspires in me.�

What inspires you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And I still can't stand her

So with being away last week, I apparently missed the memo that came out last Tuesday in kickboxing that Michael would not be there tonight.� So I arrived tonight to find Jennifer.

I had not attempted her boring ass class in over a year, so I decided to stay to see if things were different.� I figured I was already there, and the gym was packed with people and it hell, it is cooler at the YMCA than in my non-air conditioned house.�

Class is still boring ass and it absolutely pisses me off.� She repeats the same move again and again and again and again and you get the picture.� By halfway through the class, I am on the verge of a freaking temper tantrum I am so annoyed.� HATE IT.� Maybe if I had only ever experienced her, it would be different, but with having Jack as my normal instructor, she pales immensely in comparison to his humor, his energy and he does not do the annoying "Whoo!" bullshit.� I am so not a Whoo girl.� But I did it and survived and came home grouchy as hell for having done it.� So there ya go.

I hate to complain about heat given the fact that I hate winter and it takes a lot to make me complain about heat, but peeps, it was like 103 degrees today in Maryland and we have no central air!� I am sitting her typing and sweating and it is pretty sad when the activity of sitting on your ass on a sofa typing has sweat pouring off of you.�� Sad.

I think I am getting up to run in the morning early before the 102 degree temps set in.� I ran a mile on the treadmill yesterday at the Y but it just isn't the same as being outside.� So I think I will be setting the alarm for 5:30 and getting it done before work.� My only other option is taking The Genius to the Y with me after work (The Lawyer is still camping) and that would be more than annoying as he would keep asking me when we were leaving so he can come home to play with Michael.� Going to the Y in the evening may impact the rest of the people I live with, so early morning should have the least impact on everyone else's life.

I am working on a date to get together with my two friends from elementary school when we are in California.� Can't seem to nail down any dates for anything so I am going to nail this one down and all else will need to be worked around it as I am afraid if I don't nail it, it won't happen and I would be sorely disappointed to miss out on seeing them.� They were my best friends growing up on the West coast and we have been in touch the last few years thanks to a website and Facebook.� I am so looking forward to seeing them again after 30 years!

Okay Maryland gang, stay cool.� Those of you already cool?� Lucky bastards.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm Baaa-aack

What a long, emotional rollar coaster kind of week last week was!� Beautiful area, primary industries being farming and fishing.� Tons of fields, very few businesses....I mean VERY few.� We're talking drive 12 miles to come to a little place called "Chris' Grocery" which was like a convenience store.�

But wonderful Southern people and southern hospitality is alive and well.� The week was tough as always; long days and short nights and extreme heat at the beginning of the week which finally gave way to some much needed rain and cooler temperatures.� My group (me and two of my girls combined with other church groups) helped to run an Outrageous Sports Camp for the teens in the area so I actually played some basketball and a lot of Four Square.� It was kind of groundbreaking for me.� The second two days my group worked on some odd jobs at a church run by a delightful little man named "Preacher Charlie".� We finished some chairs and scraped paint off a door and several other jobs over the course of two days.�

We did not bond well with the other churches this year for some reason, other than with one adult leader named Len.� Lots of weird people there, but I always love spending time with our group over the course of several days.� My heart aches at the thought of how quickly these kids are growing up.� Technically, three of them have already aged out of youth group but they stay because of the bonds with the remaining kids.� But three of my girls graduate in a year and that is the whole original youth group when I took over.� It leaves us with my son and one other boy so far unless the church grows and we find more kids and even then, it will not be the same.� There has been magic with these kids and a group like this is not replaceable.�� Makes my heart hurt.

Did not get any runs in during last week; far too tired to get up any earlier than 6:00, which was morning shower time for the leaders.� There was a group of about 5 runners who got up each morning but they were pretty advanced and not all that friendly, so I elected not.� Thankfully the sports camp gave me some exercise and today I got my butt back to the gym.

Tomorrow my butt goes back to work and then in three weeks we are off for California!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why and How I Run

I am writing this on the eve of June 26th, the night before departing on the mission trip.� Last night at the fire pit, I mentioned how I had gotten four of the five blogging days covered but was still short a blogger.� Tod asked me if it really mattered that I miss a day.� "Noooo" I hedged.� But I guess it does kind of matter.� I like being dedicated to something I have committed myself to.� It means something to me.

My blogging ethics are a lot like my running.� They are both activities I enjoy even if at times they can each, in their own way, make me crazy with a feeling of obligation.� Yet the payoffs are worth it.� I haven't lost another pound since I started running but weight loss was never my reason for wanting to run.

When I was a teenager my father briefly took up running.� He would come home in the evenings after a long day of delivering mail, have dinner and then start a slow jog down the sidewalk.� I would feel a pang of envy watching him, but as heavy as I was at the time it felt as if it were barely an option for me.

I tried it once when no one was looking and I made it to the corner before gasping for air and making the instant decision that I could never be a runner.� There was a pang of disappointment that accompanied the thought but I buried it deeply with all my other disappointments concerning the hand I felt as I had been dealt where my body was concerned.� I remember having to run cross county in high school gym class and walking almost all of it, despite the teacher's barking at me to run.� I would only run until I couldn't hear her bitching at me any longer.� I had given up on running and if I couldn't do it to please myself, I would be damned if I was going to attempt it again to please someone else.

Then I lost weight and in the back of my mind came the little niggle of my long time desire to want to run.� But I was scared.� What if I couldn't do it?� I spent a lot of time talking to Tod about it as he had taken it up a few years ago.� Talking.� A Lot.� Not much action.� Sure, I was working out religiously, but fear kept holding me back from trying.

Fear held me back from lots of things in the past.� Relationships, friendships, goal setting.� I felt there was very little point.� I had abandoned many of my dreams figuring I would never be good enough to achieve them.� Too defective.� Too much had happened to me in the past for me to possibly believe that I would ever be able to achieve the things I wanted to.� There are times this still flares up but I now struggle to ignore it.

Losing weight finally gave me the confidence to try to run.� Two minutes kicked my ass but I kept at it, kept setting new goals and little by little I was able to do more and more.� I love the journey of running, of only competing against myself, focusing only on what I chose to focus on, which for now is distance and not speed.�

I will be taking my running shoes on the trip tomorrow with hopes of a run or two, but minimally, our extra day at the beach I want to get in a run near the water.� It's a dream of mine and I plan on holding onto it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday 13: The Gastric Girl Edition

I met Miss Laurie when I was researching my RNY.� We have never met in person but she is one of my C&P girls on-line and she is great fun.� I am also very jealous of both she and�Jil� because they get to live close together and are friends in real life!

Hi, my name is Laurie and I'm normally found at� and I'm filling in for Kim while she's in North Carolina!�

Kim had gotten me involved with the Thursday 13 meme, and I have had so much fun with it. Naturally, when Kim needed some fill-ins for her blog, I wanted to get Thursday!

This week - we'll discuss 13 things that are helpful to me in my journey to fitness, if not necessary!

1) Music - This is super important to me - as I can't even work at my full time job without music in the background.� It is what helps motivate me to keep going and it's just a joy to me!�� Sometimes I just chant to myself, "I just have to make it through this song!" over and over again... It helps me!

2) Good shoes - Good shoes are essential in your fitness journey.� Old and worn out, or shoes that are too heavy, etc. can cause an injury.� Not good!!

3) A good bra - You want to keep the girls in place!����

4) An activity you love - If you don't love what you're doing, you probably won't keep doing it!�� I like to vary my routine so I can change things up and avoid boredom.�� My activities of choice - weight classes, the elliptical machine, and weight machines (not brave enough for the free weights yet).� I am going to try zumba soon, as well as a spin class.� I've watched the classes going on while I was on the elliptical, and I look forward to trying them!

5) A heart rate monitor - Not sure if you're working hard enough, or even working too hard?� A heart rate monitor will help remedy that situation for you!�� I love mine...� It tells me when to slow down, or kick it up a notch... and it tells me my calories burned!�� It's much more accurate than the calorie counts on machines, and you can even wear most models while swimming.��

6) A workout buddy - I have a workout buddy for my muscle blast class, and I love it!� It is really helpful to me.� And, when 7 am on a Saturday morning rolls around and I want to stay in bed, just knowing that she's going to be there waiting on me makes me get up and go!

7) A healthy "diet" - while I refuse to ever go on another DIET again, eating right will certainly come in handy on your journey.� My choice - low fat proteins, complex carbs, and low fat.�� I try to stay away from fat free items because the taste just isn't there.� Moderation!

8) Breathable clothing - if you wear heavy clothes while working out, you'll feel like you're getting heavier and heavier as you sweat..� Investing in some clothing that allows your skin to breathe is essential - plus, it will help you not break out so easily!

9) A plan - It's easiest to start and keep up with a routine if you have a plan in place.� What are your goals?� How much time do you have to invest in your workout routine?

10) Measurements - Whether your goal is to lose weight, bulk up, etc., take your measurements periodically.� We all know the scale is a pain sometimes, but measurements don't lie.���

11) Pictures - Taking before and during pictures will help you, especially during those days that you just don't feel like going to work out.�� Put those before pictures in a prominent place and look forward to taking those "after" pictures!

12) WATER! -� I know water doesn't taste the best, but it is one of the most important elements to your success!� You have to keep your body hydrated.� Without water, your muscles will not get hydrated, and you will not have the stamina to complete your workouts!

13) Patience - We live in an "I want it NOW!" society.� Well, our bodies did not get out of shape overnight, and they're not going to bounce back overnight.� Realize you are a work in progress, and that the changes WILL happen.� It may not be as quickly as you like, but it will happen!�� Keep on keeping on!

Happy Thursday to you all!���

Kim, I hope you're having a great time!