Saturday, October 30, 2010

Picture Day

Today I thought I would talk about some recent fun adventures and post a few pics of Silas. For those of you concerned about this blog becoming a daily brag book of my son, you need not worry. But for today, he can have the spotlight. My apologies for not keeping up with the blog over the past week.... work was crazy as usual and I was in bed as early as possible.

Sunday night was the season opener for the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is our local NBA team. Perhaps quite foolishly, BJ and I have spent hard-earned bucks on season tickets in the upper level, and we intend to take Silas to the vast majority of these 44 games (this being the possibly foolish part). He has done so well at sporting events like baseball, hockey, and football games in the past that we thought, what the heck? Let's give it a whirl. We bought Silas some rockin' Baby Banz Hearing Protector Earmuffs, Camo Green (although his are actually Camo Blue) and off we headed. Silas was mesmerized by the crowd and the brightly-lit court until he drifted off to sleep in the second quarter. He stayed sleeping in BJ's lap until well into the fourth quarter. Thunder won, by the way. Next game is Sunday night.
 Yesterday we headed to the Oklahoma City Zoo. Silas seems to really love dogs, and he laughs frequently at Tex and my parents' dog Sam. Tex is pretty great with Silas. Here is a picture of Silas and Tex conspiring together:
We thought that since Silas now seems old enough to enjoy experiencing animals, perhaps the zoo is the place to be. Silas seemed to have a pretty good time, although admittedly he took only a mild interest in most of the animals. He was particularly interested in the nocturnal exhibit where he watched fruit bats flying all over the place. He also seemed fairly interested in the gorillas and orangutans. A couple of times we had a neat experience, such as the time that the sea lion swam right in front of our window or when the black bear paused only inches away on the other side of the glass and made eye contact with us. I thought with excitement, "Silas has got to be loving this!" only to look down and see that he was enthralled with wrestling a beast in his own hands...his pacifier. Ah well. We'll take him again in about another six months.  Here are some pictures from the zoo:
Last night was also a Halloween festival at BJ's parents' church, so we dressed him up in his lion costume, courtesy of Aunt Pat's marvelous garage-sale-ing. He got some ooh's and ahh's from friends and family (as well as a few from polite strangers), but no candy this year! We'll save that for when he has teeth.
I don't have pictures of OSU's Walkaround from last Friday, but Silas was a real trooper and joined us in Stillwater for that as well. I'm telling you, there are schools that celebrate homecoming, and then there are schools like OSU that CELEBRATE HOMECOMING. Everyone around here knows that homecoming in Stillwater is tops because of the hard work done by the sororities and fraternities in making the incredible house decs (as they are called there). When we lived in Minnesota, I was depressed each year on Walkaround night that we couldn't be there, so it's so great to be close again. We had a blast!

In other news, I am running for considerably longer distances. On Monday I ran 2.2 miles with no stops, albeit at the tortoise pace of 26:45. That last lap of the park was abysmally slow, but I never stopped moving my feet or else I knew I couldn't get going again. But the distance is what I need to focus on here, the DISTANCE. 2.2 miles! I am going to be able to do this on Thanksgiving morning. Then I followed it up by running a mile and a half, check it, a mile and a half, with a jogging stroller on Thursday. And Silas was in the stroller, so add nearly 20 pounds on to that workout! No wonder my arms are still sore.

Have a good weekend everyone. Shazam.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Signing up!

Today it looks cold and gray outside, which puts me in an excellent fall-ish mood. Thus, I have the first batch of fresh cranberry sauce bubbling on the stove. This is one of my favorite fall desserts, and this time I'm using a recipe from the magazine Real Simple, which calls for a bag of cranberries, apple juice, sugar, and bourbon. Yum. Cranberry sauce is much easier to make than is typically presumed to be, and it's one of those things that tastes a bazillion times better than its canned counterpart. So here's to the new cranberry recipe... I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tonight I am officially signing up for the Edmond Turkey Trot. I had previously set the goal for myself that I would not let myself sign up (even though I wanted to) until I was at least halfway to my time and/or distance goal. The trail that I run on is about .9 miles, so it's not perfectly easy to figure out what 1.6 miles is on that trail. However, I know that I pretty consistently run an 11-1/2 minute mile (don't laugh...well, okay, you can laugh). Thus, I figured about 18 minutes would do the trick time-wise. Just to be a smart-ass, I ran 19 minutes yesterday and nearly killed poor Tex, my somewhat heavyset yellow Lab who ran with me. He laid down on the front lawn as I was coming in the door, but pulled a quick recovery when he learned he was about to make a fun trip to his crazy grandma's house. I'll save the story of why we call my mom CG (crazy grandma) for another day, but she does not actually have mental health problems, as one might assume from this name. So last month at this time I was just a chump, and now I'm a chump that can run a mile and a half. My treat for myself in accomplishing this goal is to sign for this 5K already. Yes! And in doing so, I learned yesterday that I have three running partners signing up with me. A shout-out to BJ, Christa, and David for doing me a solid.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Statement I Thought I'd Never Make

I have long been a Chicago Cubs fan. Sadly, it runs in my lineage, much like an unfortunate bow-leggedness or propensity to snort when laughing. My Papa was born in 1919 and died in 2000, and he was a Cubs fan from birth to death. I cringe when I realize that during his span of 81 years, he never did see the Cubs win the World Series.

Honestly, some of the youngest pictures of me reveal a smiling child with an over-sized Cubs hat on my head. To my obvious delight, BJ is also a Cubs fan and always has been. I knew in college that he was the man for me when he was super cute, smart, treated me well, and told me that Ryne Sandberg was his favorite player of all-time (of course, Ryne Sandberg is also MY favorite all-time player as well). This July BJ and I had the exhilarating opportunity to meet Ryne Sandberg as he was managing the Iowa Cubs, who were in town playing the Oklahoma City Redhawks. We got to the game four hours early and were able to nab his attention in the empty stadium, and he graciously gave us about five whole minutes of his time. My heart still thumps in my chest when I remember being in the close proximity of such greatness.

All this to say that I have decided that for at least the next one year of my life, I am no longer a Chicago Cubs fan. I feel like a zombie as I type these words, as though some other strange person is typing them, but it's true. Those stupid, stupid men who are the higher-ups in the Cubs organization have once again demonstrated their extensive incompetence by choosing to NOT hire a qualified Ryne Sandberg as the new manager of a badly ailing team. What could spur team spirit more than a young Hall-of-Famer who can inject infectious energy throughout the dugout? What more do Cubs fans wish to see but their beloved Ryno taking his shot at trying to restore the Cubs reputation as a force to be reckoned with? Don't even get me started on past mistakes (cough, cough, spending a fortune on the ever-foolish Alfonso Soriano...cough, cough trading Hall-of-Famer-to-be Greg Maddux PLUS a million bucks for back-up shortstop Cesar Izturis). Don't EVEN get me started. All I know is, I have grown up knowing that those Cubs need all the help they can get every season. And next year, they'll be doing it without my support. Thanks a lot Jim Hendry, you giant moron.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Veggie Tale

With Texas having a big lead and pumpkin pie on my plate, I feel as though I can turn my attention to blogging now. I am enjoying the Texas Ranger dominance that's happening this post-season, especially since the Twins bit the dust early on once again. Go Texas go.

Well, 5-1/2 months ago BJ and I were blessed with an awesome, laid-back, adorable, happy baby Silas. I'm telling you, he's tops in my world. This is something that continually amazes me, especially because for about 28 years of my life I thought I probably didn't want children. We really like Silas' pediatrician. She had us spoon-feeding rice cereal at four months, and at five months we began vegetables. So far Silas has successfully tackled green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes with corn (livin' the big life!), and squash, and with nearly every bite of each of these he has made loud "What About Bob" mmm-mmm noises. What a guy.

So, I am now buying vegetables at the grocery store for Silas (Gerber brand, as I am no Julia Child). The other day BJ and I were perusing our Gerber options at the local grocery store and we were next to a very talkative lady who was eager to share that the particular market we were at has the best baby food prices in town. She then proceeds to tell us that it's so cheap, she has her 3-year-old child eating this stuff, just to get him away from some other options. Now, I'm no mother of a 3-year-old, I'll readily admit. But doesn't 3 years seem kind of old to be eating the pureed Gerber food? I mean, the introduction of teeth should automatically mean an upgrade in texture. She then proceeds on with how awful the stuff tastes. I am trying not to be oppositional with her, so I just keep nodding and smiling and thinking privately in my head, "WTH woman?" I, however, disagree with her. I have tried each of these vegetables (and rice cereal) personally before giving them to my baby, because why in the world would I want to feed my baby something that is disgusting? Guess what, people. Pureed green beans taste exactly like canned green beans, only in pureed texture. The same thing for peas and sweet potatoes! Nothing gross here. You can even look at the ingredients, and they say only the specified vegetable and water. So BJ and I are each thinking, this woman must not eat many veggies, canned or fresh, for her to keep babbling nonsense like this. Of course, she goes on to mention how lucky we are that we all have McDonalds. Of course. (I like a two-cheeseburger meal more often than I should, but is this the extent of our culinary aspirations?)

At age six months we get to add fruit onto the daily menu for Silas, and I'm excited. If only he could know about the delicious foods in store for him as he gets older and older.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Run Jen-nay, Run!

In my recent jogging experiences, I have noticed that I have adopted several mental strategies that make up my style (if I say I have a style, it makes me sound like a first-class runner!). First of all, I find it best to focus on everything that's going on around me, rather than keeping my mind on my breathing and my pain (yes, pain...running is hard). When I notice myself complaining to myself too much, I start trying to notice the people around me on the jogging path. Luckily, we live right next to a park and can easily get on the park's jogging path, which is nearly one mile around. Another thing I have noticed is that I become my own trainer in my head and I refuse to let myself re-negotiate distances. For instance, once we make it to the playground, I tell myself that I won't let myself stop short until the covered bridge which is a couple of minutes past it. Herein lies the trick, though, reader, because my #1 hard and fast rule is that I will NEVER allow myself to get to the bridge and then NOT finish a complete loop around the park. The completion of the loop is probably two or three minutes past the covered bridge, so if I can make it to the playground, essentially I'm golden. Of course, my training is about to get to the point where I must go past the one-loop mark and continue on around back to the playground again, which necessitates struggling on to the bridge, and then by force going all the way back to the loop, and then eventually doing that yet again. And all of this for a body that, hopefully, will not stay slim for long as we are hoping to have more children before long. Is there a point to this? Finally, the new strategy I adopted is the nonchalant attitude toward running demonstrated by Penny on the Big Bang Theory. She recently stated something along the lines of, "I run until I get hungry, and then I stop and buy a bearclaw."

I jogged for 14.5 minutes the other day, which BJ (who was patiently jogging behind me) stated was equivalent to 1.2 miles. I complained on the walk home, "I can't imagine that I'll ever be able to continue my jog by another two miles!" He helpfully said that I don't have to. I only have to extend it by 1.9 miles. The difference in that tenth of a mile is huge to me though, folks, because it takes it from the 2's to the eetsy beetsy 1's. And that I know I can do.

Also, I just have to shout out, Go Pokes! We were supposed to suck this year, and now people are actually predicting that we'll beat Nebraska at home next week. I can't believe it. 6-0 in a season where some predicted we wouldn't even have six total wins. To all the nay-sayers, I say "Suck it Trebek!"

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I love Saturdays. I mean seriously, how lucky am I that I have several weekly days, but particularly Saturday, where I can be with my family and not have to work? I remember in 2001 I was in New York City and was chatting it up with an Asian lady who sold some goods in China Town (legitimate goods, that is). She told me that she works seven days a week, never a day off. I thought, "How can this be?" And yet, there are people in this world who have to do it. But I was a lucky one today. I watched college football (OSU is now 6-0, coming off a great win in Lubbock thank you very much), jogged with friends (see below), had BJ's parents over for dinner, and baked my first pumpkin pie of the fall. Canned pumpkin has once again been pretty hard to find this year, but I'm hoping for the best as the season wears on. Pumpkin bread needs to be baked soon!

In other news, I am now able to run a mile without stopping. I run an 11-minute mile, but I just can't chide myself about the pace because at least I'm getting it done. Props to my running buddies, BJ, Chanda, and Landon today. Like a bunch of juveniles (and against the wishes of Chanda and BJ, I must admit), we ran all the way to the house about a mile away where the girl was murdered earlier this week. I don't know if we expected the house to look spooky or what, but everything seemed completely normal despite the gruesome scene only a few days ago. Both of the babies also did well in their strollers during the run. Also in other news, Silas is sitting up pretty independently at this point, which is pretty cute. His longest stretch is about two minutes I think.

Hope everyone sleeps well tonight. =)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Well today an interested thing happened, and you can probably guess by the title of this entry that that interesting thing was an earthquake. In Oklahoma. Earthquake in Oklahoma. How crazy is that? It happened at 9:00 this morning, was a 5.1 on the Richter scale, and was felt from Texas to Kansas, although the epicenter was a few miles from our house. I was at the office, which is 30 minutes northeast of our house, and the rumble still lasted probably 12-15 seconds. Enough time for me to argue with my co-worker while it was happening that it wasn't actually an earthquake, but was construction going on next door (in my defense, there was construction going on next door AND I was short on sleep, although clearly I was in the wrong here). What can I say? I guess Oklahoma just has it all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recurring Dreams

May 3, 1999 was a day that changed my life and the lives of so many people in my community. On that day our town was struck by an F5 tornado that devastated the city and destroyed the homes of many of my friends. My mom knew someone who was killed in this tornado as well. The F5 was over a mile wide and sounded like a freight train from our cellar, even though it was over a mile to our north. We even had debris like shingles in our front yard. I remember that night after it was over, and I was a senior in high school but was still too afraid to sleep alone. My brother, sister, and I crowded into my mom's room and slept that night with the windows up, so that we could hear for sure if the warning sirens went off again. Obviously there was no power, so no TV to warn us. All we heard all night was the sound of ambulance sirens wailing over and over again. I remember that the sky was brown with dirt for days afterward. Four days later, my brother, sister, and I were lucky enough to volunteer in the hardest-hit area of town, passing out water and food to people as they cleaned up the ruins that were their homes. I didn't even know where I was in this town that I had grown up in, it was that demolished. A family of five was rescued from their cellar across the street from where we were giving out water... four days after the tornado.

Ever since this day, I have had the recurring dream of tornadoes coming to get me. I have these dreams at least once a week, and it's nearly always the same: I am with my family, although the members vary from dream to dream, and I see a tornado in the gray sky in the distance. I know that it is headed toward us and we must take some course of action. In reality, I feel so uncomfortable not having a storm cellar, and there are no basements in Oklahoma for the most part, so if something huge was to come like it did on that day, you better believe I am loading up the family and driving. What's funny is that in the past three years, two small tornadoes have passed within a quarter mile of our house when we didn't even know it, and we were home. I'm not sure how to get rid of these dreams, and I'm a psychologist, so it seems like I should know. Instead, I feel stuck, so I figure I'm resigned to keep having them.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Good things to know

First off, let me add something to yesterday's post:
The person who handed down the copy of Eat, Pray, Love to me requested that after I finish it I hand it off to someone else who might enjoy it. So, if you're interested in reading the book then leave a comment here and I'll touch base with you about where I can send it.

I love sharing books and book ideas with people. You would think that I would be a member of a book club, but actually I'm not. When I'm reading a book, I often read and re-read particular parts that I enjoy, sometimes even whole chapters, before I feel ready to move on. It slows down the process, but that's really alright with me. A couple of suggestions for others who enjoy reading...

1. Nancy Pearl is a librarian from the Tulsa area who has published a couple of books about books. That's right, books about books. She is an avid reader beyond anyone I have ever heard of previously, and she has written two books entitled Book Lust and More Book Lust that give tons of ideas for great books to read on numerous topics. They have truly been great references for me and led me to authors and books that I otherwise might never have heard of. To think of my literary life without Van Reid or A Far Cry from Kensington evokes feelings of sadness. Also, she's super-receptive to emails from readers.

2. Shelfari! Shelfari Shelfari! I great website for organizing your personal virtual bookshelf, complete with covers. You can keep visual shelves of books you've read, books you own, books you want to own, and (most importantly) books you want to read. This way, when you're at the library and don't know what to get and are overwhelmed with choices, you can pull up your shelfari page and Voila! Your desires are at your fingertips. I am just the sort of person who has a hundred books I want to read or movies I want to see, and then when I'm put on the spot I blank. If you end up creating your own shelfari page, add me as a friend please! This completes the full circle of this entry, in which I love to read books and share book ideas with others.

Well, these posts won't all be about books, I promise. Have a great evening, friends.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Balancing Act

I'm currently finishing the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Typically I don't get into popular books like this, but this one was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I value, and she gave me her tattered copy that she had taken to the beach to read. I wanted to be able to discuss this book with her, and I figured that any book that has been to the beach must have some good energy vibes in it. So, I've been reading it, and I honestly have loved it so far. If you're not familiar with the premise of the book, Ms. Gilbert chose to spend one year in self-exploration, beginning with four months of gustatory indulgence in Italy. She then spent four months in an Ashram in India where she devoted herself to prayer and meditation, a journey which she describes as quite difficult but rewarding for her, as she (like most people) found herself struggling with her mind and thoughts when trying to focus more on God. Finally, she spent the last four months of the year in Bali, where she attempted to learn and practice a balance between love, pleasure, and spiritual health.

Unless I am reading a book purely for the entertainment, such as I might do with a Rex Stout mystery, I always try to apply a book to my own personal life, as I'm sure most people do. Ms. Gilbert has got me thinking quite a bit about the balance of my own life, or rather perhaps, the imbalance of it. What are the different components of my life, and how can I improve upon living a more fulfilling existence? What can I bring more of into my life, and what should have less importance than it currently does? What I have particularly been practicing in the past month, and quite successfully I might add, is eliminating the self-judgment that often comes with an evaluation. It has been quite a new thing for me to decide to exercise, for instance, without the accompanying disparaging thoughts of “Why haven't you been exercising all along?” and “Stop eating that, it only negates your jog!” and “You have such a long way to go!” Instead, I have finally made the decision to stop the tomfoolery (yes, I said the word tomfoolery) of thoughts that need have no place in my life. So I want and need to exercise more? Do it, and with no self-blame. Should I be praying more? Yes, I should be, so I'll do it, without berating myself for wasted opportunities gone by. My life can slowly be shaped this way into more of what I would like for it to be: pleasure and fun, physical health, spiritual well-being, and responsibilities. My interpersonal roles as a mother, wife, daughter, and sister depend on a healthy me. No place in this wheel of health includes judgment toward self or others. So thanks to Ms. Gilbert for sharing her journey, as she has inspired me to seek my own balance.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Well, I know that the Lord especially appreciates a humble soul, but I have to admit that I was fairly proud of myself yesterday. While on my vacation, I decided that it would be best for my body and mind to attempt a jog. I had been forewarned by Susan, my mother-in-law, that the place is hilly so good luck, and I therefore decided to only require four minutes of continuous jogging from myself. I set off walking and found a nearby trail. I thought to myself, “Self, this seems like as good a place as any to jog.” Then and there, reader, I began my 12-minute cotinuous (yes, 12 whole minute) cross-country jog! Some of it was uphill, some of it was rocky, some of it was uphill AND rocky, but I kept my feet a-movin' for 12 minutes. Then I came back and ate a couple of cookies in sweet, sweet celebration, but we shall not digress...I am ahead of myself in the Couch to 5K plan, so I'm particularly hopeful that this Thanksgiving-time goal can be accomplished.

In other news, I saw a tarantula yesterday, which was kind of exciting. The last several that I had seen were on the highway, in which I was a good, safe distance away since I was driving in my car on those occasions. This tarantula was at a picnic site, and he was a quizzical, crawling fellow. I had the heeby-jeebies afterward, but I suppose that's to be expected. Also, I am more than delighted with OSU's 5-0 start, which is more than many people expected of us.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BJ is Coming Home

Yes, that's right, he's on a jet plane right now. I believe that I can safely say that he has been out of town without fear of some crazy person coming into my house, because here and now I will tell you that I am the proud owner of a 38-special that I affectionately refer to as "Old Blue," and I'm not afraid to shoot it. In the words of Scarlett O'Hara, "I can shoot straight if I don't have to shoot too far." This has officially taken a forbidding turn. What I meant to say was, BJ is coming home! And to make things even better, we are already officially on our weekend, which extends all the way until next Tuesday. We may not have internet access on these days, so don't think this blog has died if you don't hear from me for a few days, reader.

While I'm glad that BJ is coming home to us, the anticipation of traveling is always great for me. This year BJ and I have been on trips to Chicago, Indianapolis, Dallas (a few times), Kansas City, Minneapolis, and a couple of in-state trips. BJ has also traveled a few other places for work, but I didn't get to join so those don't count in my book. We're also planning two trips in early winter, one to L.A. and one to the Big Apple, since it's on my bucket list to see the Rockefeller center Christmas tree. I have become somewhat panicky lately that this particular wish may never be fulfilled, thinking for some reason that having children makes this dream much more difficult, which I suppose it does. I thought, better to tackle this goal now when we have only Silas, versus next year when I hope to be delivering my second child at that time, and versus the few years after that when I hope to have little ones swarming at my feet. God willing, I would have time to see this Christmas tree after the kids grow up and are eventually adults, but for some reason I keep envisioning this time as some sort of invalid or nursing home resident. Clearly, this is likely not to be the case, as my parents seem to be in the prime of THEIR lives right now. Still, I'd like to take the trip now instead. And maybe then too. Poor Silas tolerates us well. He's taken four trips and we plan to have the little guy in tow for both the NYC and LA trips too. This boy will have seen coast to coast by the time he's 8 months old, and probably all he really wanted was to be at home in his own crib. Good thing he is a laid-back kind of guy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mommy Mathematics

Today was one of those days in which, with BJ gone, time is of the essence. Not all single-mother days are like this, but some of them are, and indeed today has been. If I think of it as an equation, it goes something like this:

x + y = day in mommy life,

where x may equal all of the things that need to get done in a 24 hour period. Please note that x cannot = sleep. This being said, x = first and foremost, duties such as working, pumping, paying bills, cooking dinner, laundry, dishes, other sundry housework, packing baby's milk bottles, restocking the nursery caddies, etc. Once these tasks are accomplished, x may then = things that mommy may want to do with her spare time, such as eating, watching television, taking a shower, reading, blogging, or breathing. However, one should never quote me as complaining about this schedule. Why, you may ask? Ah, reader, because of the factor y. In a nutshell,

y = time spent with baby, and therefore:

y > x

in nearly all cases. (This equation refers to quality of time rather than quantity, but it should be noted that the overall quality of the day becomes greater as the quantity of y increases in the original equation.) There are a few exceptions in which y may possibly be < or = to x, and they include changing diaper explosions, soothing your baby after hours of him screaming, and the ninth time of being up in the middle of the night with the baby. And that, my friends, is what I refer to as mommy mathematics. What what.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall has arrived!

Nearly two months ago we were visiting our friends Billy and Heidi in Minnesota, and fall seemed like it had set in there. The windows were open, we wore hoodies when we ate dinner outside, and I ate pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. It was with great procrastination that we dragged ourselves back into the Oklahoma heat, a whole 30 degrees warmer at home than it was up north. But alas, finally, we have the same weather here at home in Oklahoma now that it is October.

Can I just take a minute here to extol the virtues of my favorite season, the fall? With the fall comes many fantastic advantages, the least of which is the omnipresence of my favorite color orange. Cooler weather, football, pumpkin pie, football, Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, football, 7-11 pumpkin spice cappuccinos, football. I'm telling you, now is the time. In my humble opinion, it just doesn't get better.

In other news, I am now running 8 minutes at a time without stopping, and having the additional bonus of not feeling like I might die right afterward. Also, Silas is eating vegetables and doing a heck of a job of it. More to come on that later.

Have a great day, and for those of you in Oklahoma, enjoy this beautiful fall weather!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Turkey Trot

Well, Silas turns five months old today. He's precious. However, that's not the point of today's story. Today's story deals with the sad fact that I have not run in Silas' lifetime, nor in the nine months that I was pregnant with him, which for all you non-math majors means that I have not jogged in a total of 14 months. This equals me being in the worst shape of my entire life, and with ten long pounds to go until I'm back at my pre-pregnancy weight.

In addition to this realization is another conclusion that I have come to about myself. With my 30th birthday on the horizon, my soul-searching has led me to understand that I simply adore food, and I'm not willing to give it up. I love eating it, tasting it, smelling it, cooking it, baking it, planning my next meal, you name it. I eat when I'm happy, when I'm bored, upset, stressed... eating is tops. And one thing that I know about myself is that I don't plan to stop eating whatever I want, at least until the doctor tells me I have diabetes or some other similar fate. So to counter-balance the insane amount of food that enters my body, I'm simply going to have to exercise it off. I realized that I am okay with being the 40-year-old lady who runs 15 miles a week if it means I get to say "I'm eating that piece of chocolate cake and I refuse to feel guilty about it."

So begins Project Turkey, which is my exercise plan that is so aptly named after a delicious form of food. Jogging has begun this week and I don't see it ending for a long period of time, as long as I remain stubbornly opposed to a no-sweets diet. My first stop is a 5K on Thanksgiving morning (of course, after I log in those 3.1 miles I plan to eat to my heart's content at meal-time). This is my first week of training, and I actually feel motivated to get moving. I have a long way to go though... I only ran for 7 minutes today and it damn near killed me. Better than nothing though. November 25th, here I come...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hello and a Laugh

Hi reader. Welcome to this, my new blog. I hope to maintain this blog regularly, unlike the last joint one that BJ talked me into and then we subsequently neglected. While I realize that large numbers of people are not interested in my daily affairs, the fact remains that I literally have dear friends and family sprinkled all the way from Maine to Hawaii, all of whom I miss and each of whom I wish had a blog so that I could keep up with them more regularly. So here is mine.

Let's kick this party off with my favorite-ever book quote, a bit of writing which I believe has got to be the funniest thing I've ever read. Now, understand here reader, that my sense of humor doesn't always align with others. But the book Travels in West Africa by Mary H. Kingsley is simply hilarious. In case you're not familiar with Ms. Kingsley's work, she was a Victorian spinster who left England in the 1890's to venture into West Africa and set foot where no white woman (and sometimes no white man) had yet to explore. This book is the account of her travels and her observations of the cultures of the different tribes that she encountered, all told through her hilarious humility. The viewpoints are antiquated, no doubt, but Ms. Kingsley's regard for the African natives is certainly more respectful than was the majority white viewpoint of Africans at the time. I'm going to include my favorite paragraph from her introduction, which makes me laugh out loud every time. I'm sorry ahead of time if you are one of the many people who I've cornered and read this aloud to as well, because this will be the second time you hear this piece:

It was the beginning of August '93 when I first left England for 'The Coast.' Preparations of quinine with postage partially paid arrived up to the last moment, and a friend hastily sent two newspaper clippings, one entitled "A Week in a Palm-Oil Tub,"... the other from The Daily Telegraph, reviewing a French book of "Phrases in common use" in Dahomey. The opening sentence in the latter was, "Help, I am drowning." Then came the inquiry, "If a man is not a thief?" and then another cry, "The boat is upset." "Get up, you lazy scamps," is the next exclamation, followed almost immediately by the question, "Why has this man not been buried?" "It is fetish that has killed him, and he must lie here exposed with nothing on him until only the bones remain," is the cheerful answer. This sounded discouraging to a person whose occupation would necessitate going about considerably in boats, and whose fixed desire was to study fetish. So with a feeling of foreboding gloom I left London for Liverpool--none the more cheerful for the matter-of-fact manner in which the steamboat agents had informed me that they did not issue return tickets by the West African lines of steamers.

Have a great day everyone!