Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How Do I Not Love January, Let Me Count The Ways!

Last weekend it hit me....since we moved back to Texas I really don't like January very much! Count yourselves lucky that I have waited until almost the end of the month to start my ranting, you have been spared for over 3 weeks!

 January is a month most people think of as a "winter" month (unless you live south of the equator).  It is usually dark and cold.   It is a month I used to hibernate and do things like read War and Peace or some other equally long tome because I had time to sit by the roaring fireplace and read.  I like reading next to a fire.  I also like being able to put on a coat and go outside into the cold fresh air and take a nice walk or ski or shovel ( yes, I like shoveling).  I may be a bit on the crazy side but I really like winter, most of the time.

Well, it was 80 degrees here on Friday and 79 on Sunday.  It is not winter in Texas!  There was also about 90% humidity, enough to cause lots of frizzy hair, fog and wet sidewalks but not enough to actually rain...lovely.   Yeah, just think of how sticky that feels!  Days like that make me just want to scream, especially when they come in January.  Another side of the winter weather coin are nights like last night followed by days like today.  The winds were so strong that the power went out, at 2 a.m., several times and stayed off for over an hour while we lay awake listening to wind howl and our neighbor's alarm systems that were set off by the power outages.  Today the torrential rain hit.  That is what happens when cold northern air hits the hot humid Gulf air.   One would assume that the cold front would eventually win and we would be gifted with "winter like" weather....not so much!  Unless you call 65 degrees "winter".   Give me 3 feet of snow and sub freezing temperatures please, after all it is January! 


Another reason to not love January... it's a pretty boring month if you ask me.  Christmas is over, the decorations are all put away and the visitors have gone home.  There is a certain let down after the holidays.  When I worked for Weight Watchers, January was our month, everyone and their overweight brother wanted to join and lose weight in January.  It was a very busy month!  Now it is just long and there are no holidays, unless you count New Year's Day which is over before we even realize it is January.  Combine dark, dreary, warm and humid with boring and you get my new least favorite month of the year.  I know...I have a bad attitude about this and it is very early to be calling the game... but really?   The Super Bowl is not even in January this year! 

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I booked a flight to Madison, Wisconsin.  I leave tomorrow in search of winter and grandsons.  If the winter won't come to me, I will just have to go to winter! I am also guaranteed that it will not be boring!   I hope I get snowed in for a couple extra days and then January will be over.

Hello winter, I'm coming!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You Have To Try Really Hard To Concentrate

While I was in my yoga class last week I had a thought.  I know....I'm not supposed to think while doing yoga, I am supposed to breathe.  I can't help it...I was thinking, sometimes I pray.  I still miss my Mississauga yoga studio and probably always will because it was the best yoga studio ever!

The awesome Mississauga yoga studio was a bastion of peacefulness, it had beautiful new cork floors..that were regularly cleaned, low lights, a hot room (which I loved) and a regular room, mirrored walls, soft music and excellent instructors who mixed  up the class every week.  They were great!  It was luxurious! 

I go to a yoga class at our country club now... because it is there and does not cost me anything extra.  It is in a gymnasium type room with icky wood floors.  I have no idea the last time they were washed.  In the room next to us there is loud thumping music  and  shouts from the instructor for the spin class that takes place at the same time as our yoga class.  Our room is FREEZING cold when we get it because there is a step class before our yoga class and they like it cold because they are working up a sweat and need to cool off.  When we come in the room the lights are bright, the fans are going at warp speed and the floor is grimy with sneaker grit, ahhh so zen.  Our instructor turns the lights down, turns on some very nice music and tries her best to create a yoga worthy atmosphere. 

You really have to concentrate to forget the whomping music and shouting in the room next door.  You have to concentrate to avoid freezing your ass off before you are able to warm up.  It takes a lot more time to loosen up your muscles in a freezing cold room, we all wear our jackets for the first 15 minutes of the class.  We put our jackets on for the end of class too, otherwise we would shiver right through shivasana.

I still go to the frigid yoga and most of the time I enjoy the class.  I must say though that there are days when I would just love to be back in Mississauga at my old yoga studio all warm and clean and challenging, sometimes I just try to transport myself there....mentally, I just have to concentrate really hard!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

And Now A Word About Football

I like football....  I really like college football, specifically LSU football!  I am also a Saints fan and a recent Texans fan. Knowing these things you might conclude that this was not the best week in my life, as far as "my" teams are concerned.  It is not the end of my world and there are not global consequences due to the unfortunate losses by ALL of my teams this week, but man, did it take the wind out of my spirited sails.  Coming in second or 6th,7th, or 8th in a season might seem less than perfect right now but it is not bad for a season's work....I guess. 


After watching LSU lose and the Saints lose, TJ and I decided to record the Texans game today and play golf.  We thought the golf course would be wide open during the game, and we were right!  It seemed like the entire city had gone in to watch the game, there was no one on the course and there were not even any cars driving on the roads, these people are serious about their football team.  As it turned out, we are very happy we took advantage of the mild January weather and played golf instead of wasting an entire afternoon only to see our team lose the game in the final minutes.  It was a good game and made even better by fast forwarding through the commercials!  I guess we are going to be forced to cheer for the Giants?!  Whoever we choose to cheer for is destined to lose.....
just saying. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

All It Takes Is One Song

One song on my ipod during a flight taken in January can transport me to Nova Scotia in a minute.  It might be an Irish tune or some folk song by Spirit of The West or The Rankins but I can hear a song, look at the calendar and sigh because it is only 5 months until I get to live that other completely different yet totally familiar....even unattended for nine months at a time.

While reading a memoir on the plane I wondered how my own  memoir would read.  This weekend would be in it and so would Nova Scotia.  This weekend our youngest moved to NYC.  I flew up to help her least into her apartment.  I can't control everything!  This weekend made me realize how sheltered I was at her age ( I would never have been as brave/savvy/talented/prepared as she is), maybe my memoir would mention that and how important we thought it was to expose our children to the world and broaden their horizons. This weekend will serve as a launching pad for our LG in her new life in the city...and when she feels lonely or lost or overwhelmed, at least her apartment will be an oasis, a home, organized ( it was when I left), unchaotic? and a place for her to just be herself in that awesome, crazy, busy city.

The Big Apple

The chaos....


Any way, another song, Dire Straits "Your Latest Trick" is playing on my ipod while I fly home and it brings me back to my first trip abroad at the ripe old age of 33. Back when you didn't have to strip naked to go through security and shampoo and toothpaste were not lethal weapons and were allowed to travel with you on the plane.   I  listened to that CD all the way across the ocean on that trip and did not sleep because I was so excited about finally realizing one of my dreams...going to Europe!  I learned that the jet lag from not sleeping on the plane is monumental!  To this day I can't hear that song without thinking of that trip! 

What songs can transport you to another place and time?

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Last Week and the First Week

The week after Christmas is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  There is no gift shopping to do, no gifts to wrap, no pressure or anxious anticipation.  It is the week that I get to actually enjoy Christmas!  The house is decorated and full of life. The kids are still out of school.  Many people have few work related responsibilities which means they are either home or home early.  There is still a holiday to look forward to in New Year's Eve.   Oh, and there are some really great sales at all the stores for when you return that hideous gift and get whatever you really wanted...for less! 

This year the week between Christmas and New Year's has been one of the best.  First, a little review of some of our holiday activities.  We have adopted a Christmas Eve Eve tradition that involves eating out and going on a pub crawl (and responsibly taking a cab home).  Be sure to mark this on you calendar for next year because it is one of the most fun nights of the season.  In the past we have had the CEE pub crawl in Toronto, Madison and Houston.  We could be visiting a city near you next year!  We had a full crew that night but Michael had to go to Mexico for work on Christmas Eve, leaving TJ to fend for himself with all the women. 

His future is so bright he's gotta wear shades?  Cheers and Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas was beautiful and quiet, unless you are talking about the weather.  It rained for 2 solid days.  We all spent most of the day in our pajamas!  Luxurious!  Kelly managed to work pajama pants into three was just that kind of day, very comfortable.

Evening wear pajama pants

Sleep/morning wear pajama pants

Day wear pajama pants
The day was great and we all got a lot of reading done, I know we are an exciting bunch. 

The week between was a lot of fun for some and a little work for others.  Michael worked in Mexico, till mid week.  Kelly had to go back to St. Louis for about 24 hours and watch all of her worldly possesions get packed and loaded into a truck for their trip to NYC.  She came back to Houston for the remainder of the week to gather strength for her big move.  We decided to go to Baton Rouge for a few days and visit the rest of the family.  Maybe TJ just needed a little male companionship. 

New Year's Eve ended up being a lot of fun.  It was like Christmas Eve without the presents.  We played games, we laughed more than humanly possible, we sang....badly, we went to a party at a friend's house and managed to get home before midnight and brought in the new year home.

 New Year's Day was spent much like Christmas Day, eating, drinking, playing games and being together.... in clothes this time instead of pajamas and the sun was shining.  

Happy New Year! 

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