Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Part of the Plan

We almost made it!  January is almost over!!!  Time to forget all about those ambitious resolutions we set at the beginning of the month and get on with the year. 

 I have not been particularly inspired to write this month.  I am slow out of the gate at a lot of things.  The first month of the year finds me grasping to get traction and find direction for the year.  Like the first 9 holes on the golf course....they are never my best 9, usually the second 18 of the day is my best score....slow to start.  I always made my best grades in school in the spring semester.  The second half of the day is my  most productive...not really a morning person.  So, it makes sense that January is not my best month. 

As I drug myself out on a run this afternoon I tried to think of topics for the blog.  I thought it might be time for a "comment-a-thon".  Weigh In On January.  I'll give you a few topics to discuss, choose one or more and "weigh in". 

-The annual physical
As if January weren't awesome enough, I have scheduled my physical in January for the past few years.  Nothing says "Happy New Year" like stepping on a scale at the doctor's office after the holidays!  This year my doctor told me to stop eating and exercise more.  Wow!  Why didn't I think of that?  I remember the days when a dr. visit was in & out, "you are healthy as a horse", "see you next year".  I am still basically healthy as a horse and only slightly approaching the size of one.  One of the joys of getting on in years is that now they want you to get all sorts of other "old people" tests.  "If nothing is wrong with me, why do I need more tests?"  The joy continues, getting old is sooo much fun!  Weigh in....

-Ever have one of those uncoordinated days?
Today I felt like a 13 year old girl who has feet she hasn't grown into yet and legs just a little too long.  All the parts were not quite working in unison.  I played 9 holes of miserable golf in "on and off "rain.  It was like it was my first time to hit a ball...what happened?  After golf we ate lunch, because I still refuse to take the doctor's advice and quit eating, and I knocked a chair over while trying to move it.  All morning I fumbled with my belongings and banged into things. I got home and decided to go for a run, very surprised I did not trip over my oversized feet.  I think after the run I finally worked out the uncoordination of the day and feel more like myself.  What gives?  Weigh in....

-January in Houston....4 seasons in one month!
The lowest temperature this month was 31 wintery degrees and  the highest was 80 summery degrees.  I know this because I love/hate weather and looked it up.  Most of the month we had cloudy and/or rainy spring weather.  There are leaves falling off the trees so it looks like fall and yet there are flowers blooming and the boxwoods are getting new leaves like it's spring.  I'm so confused!  Mother nature just does not know what to do down here in January.  Weigh in....

Is it Spring?

Or is it Fall?

-Do you believe in chance?
Last Friday night, TJ and I took a walk down memory lane.  The night began with some music...old music.  We tried several Pandora stations and after disagreeing on several we ended up on the Dan Fogelberg station.  We were blasted into the past!  If you are of the late '70's early '80's generation you have got to listen to this station....if you loved DF in the day.  Maybe it was just us, maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the old photo albums but the music was awesome.  Fogelberg, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Elton John....all good stuff if you ask me.  We looked at old family pictures and laughed and cried.  We came across some old wedding pictures....we were children when we got married.  Very thin.. young.. children!  TJ found a couple of pictures of him as a baby with his father.  His father was in a lot of the pictures.  Later we realized that the 19th anniversary of his father's death was the day before.  Was it chance or was it him?  Weigh in....

That's it for January.  Drop a comment or two and weigh in, I'd love to hear from you!

And now for your enjoyment, a few pictures of us as thin, young, Fogelberg loving newlyweds.
With TJ's Mom and Dad....we are all so young!

Love when you can

Cry when you have to

Be who you must that's a part of the plan

Await your arrival

With simple survival

And one day we'll all understand

One day we'll all understand

One day we'll all understand

Dan Fogelberg/ Part of the Plan

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January....the New November

A perfect day for a long walk!  I think the drought may be ending!
When we lived in Canada November was probably the most miserable month.  There was all that darkness and the weather was usually dreary.  You can check out my November love in this old blog post.   I had a realization the other day that this January is a lot like those Novembers in Canada.  January is not really my favorite month...if you remember this post from last year.  The holidays are over...and the weather is miserable, at least it is down here.   To top it all off, all of my football teams lost their play off games (again).... so I am mourning the end of football season.   This year Yesterday, I smacked myself  'cross the side of the head and decided to just get over it and make the most of the day and try to embrace all that is... January.

Sadie the Wonder Dog and I took a chilly, damp walk.  Sadie does not know there is nothing happening in January, she just knows that there will be squirrels and rabbits to chase and that makes it a great day in her book.  Oh, to be a dog.  I bundled up (I love bundling up!) and we headed out.  After a mile or so we were both feeling pretty good about the world and our walk.  I am training for the trip to Disney with the grandkids in February so I need to do as much walking as possible between now and then!  Exercise does great things to the brain, the longer we walked the better I felt.  Endorphins?!  Good music in my iPod?!

After our usual walk I dropped Sadie off at home and headed back out for a little photo taking and a leash free walk.  After all, it was gray and dreary...a great time to take photos.  I headed to my favorite trees because I have been wanting to take pictures of them for a long time.  I thought they might look cool. 

For some reason I just love these trees!  They are very Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The squirrel buffet provided by January.

The deluxe squirrel buffet!

Perhaps the happiest flowers ever!  One reason to enjoy January...in the south.

January will eventually end and so will the gloom.  Until then, I will make my best attempt to have a better attitude.  Maybe clean some closets, that must be what we are supposed to do in January judging by all the ads in the paper for storage bins and organizing tools.  Maybe I'll add a few more workouts to my routine, the endorphins and music might help too.  I do need to keep training for that trip to Disney...and the ski trips in my future.  I am sure there are a few books I have been wanting to read "when I finally have the time!"   January apparently has a lot of time!  January....the new November....in the south!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Boy in the Striped Sweater

Today I saw the light in the form of a bright rainbow striped sweater on a grown boy with special needs.  I don't know his particular condition, but I do know that while he was in church he perpetually jumped in place for minutes at a time and patted himself constantly.  He was very excited or excitable, he pulled repetitively at his brightly colored sweater and when he hugged his mother he smiled and smelled her hair and felt it on his face and she hugged him back every time and comforted him.  His mother was dedicated to teaching him when to stand, sit, kneel and when to do the sign of the cross, all the while trying to settle him and calm him and teach him.  His smile was constant- her patience seemed infinite.  He looked to be anywhere between 17 and 22 years old.  And I saw the light in their family.

Why did I need a boy with special needs in a striped sweater to jolt me?  I was in Philadelphia helping my LG move into her new life.  She is in transition- new city, new job (same company), new car, new commute.  We had just spent two days getting her settled.  There is some trepidation on her part....how will I make it to New Jersey in the morning traffic?  Where will I park my car in this very crowded neighborhood I have chosen to live?  FYI- expensively and no where near your apartment!  How will I pay all my bills?  She thought getting out of NYC would more affordable!  Transitions are not easy.  So much is unknown.  These were the thoughts going through both of our minds for the last three days. 
To end my visit we went to church Sunday morning.  If I am ever lost or have lost perspective, church is a good place to find myself and my perspective.  I hoped it would do the same for my LG.  The church was stunningly beautiful!  It was only a few blocks from her apartment.  The music from the organ filled the building... and my heart.  Still Christmas music!  I had almost forgotten it was still Christmas!  Ahhh!   Time to refocus.  I felt at peace as soon as we knelt down.  Church does that to me.  It is a place for me to bring my fears, cares, worries and praises and leave them at the altar.  Let someone better equipped deal with them for me.  I thought I would tell my LG after mass that if she ever felt lost or lonely, church could be a place to stop in and have some quiet contemplation.  Then they walked in.  Mom, Dad and the boy in the striped sweater.  They were like a bright light... or a hammer that hit me in the head as if to say- loudly, excitedly, patiently, with a smile..."Quit your whining!  What are you so worried about? She has all the tools she needs to handle this transition."  It took a jumping rainbow striped sweater to open my eyes.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, we just have to be open enough to hear Him even if  sometimes He has to shout!  So, I left today with the comfort of knowing she will be just fine.  She may not feel fine every day but eventually her life will become routine again and this will all be a character building memory.  God bless the boy in the striped sweater.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Resolutions....did you make any?  I am not a person who makes New Year's resolutions.  My husband, on the other, hand has his resolutions for the last three years written on paper and readily accessible, with the ones he has done actually checked off.  To say he was goal oriented would be an understatement.

 I have several issues with resolutions.  Having worked in the weight loss business for many years, January is a big business month!  There are thousands of people who commit to losing  weight in the new year and they last about a month in their commitment.  Yes, there were also those people who stuck with it and reached their goals.  I guess I am just a bit jaded in the resolution area.  Maybe I am afraid to put something down on paper and possibly come up short, fear of failure.  Maybe I am just too lazy to commit to "doing" something for an extended period of time.  Maybe I am just too complacent with my life and lot as they are and don't "really" want to change.  Pick one or more....

Self improvement is a slippery slope.  First, you have to admit you are lacking in some area.  Then you have to figure out what it takes to improve in that area.  Then you have to actually do something.  Sounds like a lot of work.  Don't get me wrong, there is no way I think I am perfect and not in need of improvement.  The opposite is true.  There are so many areas to choose from....where to start?  Lose weight, exercise more, drink less, write more, get organized, be a better wife..sister...mother...grandmother...daughter...etc., read more, learn more, figure out the tax code, spend more time with my dog, get more involved in my church, the list is daunting.  It is like going into a candy store, so many choices and not enough resources. 

If I listen to my former weight-loss-leader-self, it is better to start something and come up a bit short than to never start anything at all.  Ok, stop talking to me!  I get it!  This year I will spend more time with friends (because I have some really great friends), travel more, get in better shape (because really...if I'm going to do all this hanging out and traveling I need to be in shape), learn something new (like a language I will need when I do all that traveling), pay my taxes (there is no figuring out that code...), and maybe write more...because lately I can't write less!  I will also try to keep at least one of my "resolutions". 

Good luck with your resolutions and  Happy New Year!

Just in case you read this entire post and were left wondering how our Christmas was or where the pictures were....here is your answer!  Christmas was great and here are some pictures to prove it!
I think these two had a Merry Christmas!
She had a pretty great Christmas too!

There were party hats involved!

The costumes were a big hit with the boys!
AND there was snow and sledding, making it a perfect holiday!!!

The long and winding road...in the snow.  You can never have too many snow pictures if you ask me!

Good luck with those resolutions!
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