Friday, May 28, 2010

Random Thoughts for Friday

As I moved toward the holiday weekend, I noticed that the time was really dragging. Each time I looked at the clock, I surprised myself by how little time had elapsed since my last furtive glance at the wall. I began thinking random odd thoughts which continued on and off throughout the day.

The first was, “The faster you want time to pass, the slower it goes.” Conversely, “The more you want to savor and enjoy time, the quicker it flies.”

There are so many little mysteries in life, such as “Why does soft bread get hard when placed in a jar with hard brown sugar while the sugar gets soft?” We all know it is a simple matter of transfer of moisture, but why? Is it indeed water seeking the lowest point?

And what of the Buttered Cat Theory? It is said that if you drop a cat it will always land on its feet. It is also said that if you drop buttered bread, it always lands butter side down. If both of these are indeed absolutes, and you tie buttered bread, butter side up, to the back of a cat and drop it, does it just spin in mid air?

Enough esoteric thought!

The weekend is upon us and everyone needs to make the most of it, because it will soon be over. Make a plan, have a picnic, get together with family and/or friends, attend a Memorial Day parade or function; otherwise the time will fritter away and you’ll be back at the grind on Tuesday morning, wondering what happened to your three-day weekend.

Remember Our Fallen Heroes

Memorial Day is upon us! It’s the official beginning of summer for many, but more importantly, it is a national day of remembrance of those who have fought and have given their lives to protect our country and to help us feel secure. If you have never celebrated Memorial Day in honor of our fallen heroes, then perhaps it is time. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy being part of it.

Take your basic portable outdoor amenities (lawn chairs and a cooler of pop) and find a place to set up along the Memorial Day parade route in Painesville. It’s free and fun. The parade launches around 10 a.m. from Riverside Cemetery (385 Riverside Drive) and winds up at 501 E. Main St, Evergreen Cemetery. Afterward, head to the square in Painesville for an hour-long concert featuring Tom Todd in a Salute to America.

Bring a blanket, your lunch, a bunch of family, and friends. And bring some colors to wave as well. It’s all free. What have you got to lose?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Six Hours in the Driver's Seat...Now Back to Reality

“Oh my God! You’re driving to Columbus and back on a busted tailbone?” I must have gotten that question a dozen times before I left yesterday for my little excursion down South. I have to admit, I did have a certain level of trepidation about 3 hours in the car…each way. I actually called my doctor and asked if there was anything (not anti-inflammatory and non-narcotic) that I could take to lessen the non-stop pain I’ve been having, whether sitting, standing, walking, or lying down.

I told the womderful ladies in the doctor’s office that I would be stopping on my way out of town, and that I was willing to take whatever he recommended. When I arrived, I was asked if I had a few minutes to wait. Next thing I knew I was getting multiple shots in the rear, around the tailbone area. I’m not sure what heavenly homeopathic preparation was in those shots, but I made it to Columbus with nary a twinge! It wore off many hours later, but the intensity of the pain has lessened considerably.

I am told the effects will wear off and I will need to have the procedure done again. I can handle that. Anything that will give relief to this incessant pain is welcome. The last time I broke my tailbone, it took about 4 months before I was able to sit down without worry that I would accidently reinjure the delicate area. I’m hoping this new treatment will help shorten the time to no-pain nirvana! Perhaps the 3-day weekend will be of benefit.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

As the World Watches Lost...

I have to admit, I too was fascinated with Lost, at least during Season 1. I watched during Season 2, but only half-heartedly, and only about half the time. After that, I have no clue, and I’m not particularly interested in knowing what happened or how it ends. I’m not a fan of tying myself to the television so I can watch a show. It reminds me of women I used to know who just couldn’t miss their soaps. I actually know some who record the soaps every day, because heaven knows it might kill them to miss an episode.

I’m here to say that any addiction is incapacitating, whether it’s crack, alcohol, food, sex, soap operas, or prime time shows. If you HAVE to do it, you’ve got a problem.

We all have our little addictions, whether we want to admit it or not. My worst food addiction is Craisins. Yup, Craisins. I admit freely that I can’t stop eating Ocean Spray dried cranberries. If they are in my house, I will eat them until they are gone. If I manage to pass by the section of the grocery store where the Craisin’s are displayed and manage to get out of the store with no Craisins in my shopping cart, I congratulate myself heartily.

Worse than Craisins is my Diet Pepsi addiction. I actually panic if I don’t think I have enough in the house to last until I can get to a store. But unlike Craisins, the Pepsi is physically addictive because of the caffeine it contains. If you’ve never suffered caffeine withdrawal, trust me when I say it’s not pleasant!

I consider both of these addictions to be personally unacceptable. I regularly make attempts at defeating them. But neither of them interferes with my use of my time. TV addiction prevents you from living your life while you’re glued to some fantasy on the tube. It stops being an entertaining interlude and becomes centric to your life. You don’t have to think, or move. You just sit there and let a form of broadcasting permeate your brain with bizarre thoughts, violence, and anything else it throws at you.

I’m not saying that it’s bad to be exposed to those things, or to other ideas and unknowns. Exposure to new and different things generally causes growth, fosters creativity and encourages us to question what we know and what is good. What I’m saying is that addiction “saturates” the brain with that stuff, the same way brainwashing techniques imbue someone’s psyche with information they would otherwise not believe or would at least think about or question.

The platitude “All things in moderation” seems most appropriate, doesn’t it? Don't you wonder how many Lost fans will be absolutely lost without their weekly fix?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Literal Pain in the Rear

In the never-ending quest to be thin and beautiful, I went walking with a coworker on Wednesday during lunch. Unfortunately, I neglected to switch from my slipper-comfortable flat Cobbie Cuddlers into a decent pair of running shoes. I paid the price for that oversight when I was awakened from a sound sleep that very night with excruciating pain up the fronts of both shins.

In an effort to relieve the pain, I jumped out of bed and promptly fell, breaking my tailbone and wrenching my neck in the process. To say that I'm a "hurtin' unit" is to put it mildly. Of course, life goes on. It was work as usual on Thursday and today...though I have to admit that getting my butt into the driver's seat was extremely painful. Tonight, I only managed to make it home, eat dinner, watch an hour of TV and then head up to bed because the neck was hurting as much as the rear end.

Not one to sleep for hours, I woke up a little after 11 p.m. and I'm sitting here in the quiet of the house, typing away and wishing I had a bottle of my pomegranate zin in the fridge! Unable to take any of the anti-inflammatory medications on the market, I'm limited to Tylenol, so wine is looking pretty good from an anesthetic point of view! It is the weekend, after all. And it will pretty much go on as scheduled.

This weekend's offerings include a trip to the beauty salon for Mom, the usual Saturday errands (bank, post office, groceries), a scheduled stop at a friend's house (bearing comfort food and libation), laundry, the mother-daughter breakfast at church, as well as another Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Somewhere in there I have to fit a stop at K-Mart or Wal-Mart to pick up a new watchband (something else that was broken in the fall) and a stop at the fabric store to pick up the material for the baby gift project.

And so, life rolls on!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Popcorn and Chicken Feet

Someone burned a bag of microwave popcorn at work today. The acrid smell of charred popcorn kernels filled the air, giving me an almost instant headache. On the positive side, it reminded me of an incident that took place when I was in school. My older sister was doing a science project that involved dissecting a chicken, identifying all the internal organs, and reconstructing the actual skeleton of the chicken to display along side the labeled jars of “innards” for the class.

She laboriously cooked the chicken in a large stock pot and meticulously removed all the meat, fat, skin, and ligaments. Then she ran string through the bones to reconstruct the skeleton. It was a thing of beauty, except it had no feet. Chicken feet are covered in a thick cartilage. Removing the cartilage is not an easy task, and requires an extremely lengthy cooking time to loosen. Since we had to be in school all day, Mom agreed to cook the chicken feet while we were away.

The main entrance to the house was a large foyer that housed, behind a tall divider, the laundry and a small stove used for canning. The foyer sat between the dining room in the old section of the house and the living room that was in the newer addition my father had built. Not wanting to take up kitchen stove space she needed to prepare dinner, Mom put the chicken feet in the stock pot, filled it with water, put the pot on the canning stove in the foyer, and then went about her daily chores.

Unfortunately, her chores took her upstairs for several hours and she just plain forgot about the simmering chicken feet. Needless to say, after hours of boiling, the water evaporated and the chicken feet began to burn. By the time she realized what was happening, the smoke and smell from the burned chicken feet filled the lower area of the house. Frantically, she raced downstairs and took the burned pot of chicken feet outside to smolder, then opened all the windows and doors to evacuate the smoke and odor.

The smoke soon dissipated, but the odor of burned chicken feet lingered for days! To add insult to injury, we had to get a second chicken and go through the cooking process again to get unburned chicken feet my sister could use in her skeletal reconstruction

It wasn’t particularly easy to live with the smell at the time, but the thought of that incident makes me roar with laughter.

So the next time you burn the popcorn in the microwave, just remember that it could have been chicken feet, which I can truthfully say smell much, much worse!

From Gewurztraminer to Septic Systems

Another weekend is now just a memory. I sat at the laptop last night, writing this blog and sipping a glass of Brandborg Gewurztraminer 2005 (a very good year I might add). I discovered this Umpqua Valley, Oregon winery in my dealings with the old Sawyer House in Mentor many years back. When they closed, I was heartbroken that no one around seemed to carry it. This gewürztraminer is slightly above dry with a faint pear taste…and it is excellent. I finally found that Reider’s in Concord sometimes has a bottle or two on the shelf. Normally, I’m not one to drink at home alone, but I had opened and shared this bottle earlier in the week, and I didn’t want that last glass to turn to vinegar. Besides, it was a stress-relieving way to end yet another busy weekend.

The back-up printer now appears to be working fine. I’m not quite sure what I did to fix the problem, but you won’t hear me complaining. I managed to get all my postcards printed without incident so we’re back on track.

Unfortunately, an even bigger problem arose over the weekend. The compressor on the septic system burned out, as did the circuit board in the control box…to the tune of almost 400 bucks just in parts! But, it’s one of those things you have to fix now. Having absolutely no choice, we called in the service guy from the original installer and it is now running properly again. The old style septic that was on this property originally never had a problem in all the years we lived here prior to the new system (28 years give or take). Considering the atrocious amount we shelled out for this system just 8 years ago, I anticipated it would last a wee bit longer. Fooled me!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mousie, Mousie, who's got the Mousie?

It’s been a frustrating day so far. I’ve been having minor computer issues, which, to the power user in me, are most annoying. For weeks now I have been double-, triple-, quadruple- (and more) clicking my mouse button trying to select anything. I'm using a laptop, and I would use the mouse pad, but I really hate it. I was raised on the mousie itself, so-to-speak, and I find changing that basic hard to manage.

One of my errands after dropping Mom at the beauty shop yesterday was a fast stop at Staples to replace the errant mouse with something that actually worked. Out went my OffSpring optical mini-mouse, replaced by a Targus optical mini-mouse. I’m not yet ready to go wireless with the mouse, but the mini is on a retractable cord, which eliminates tangled messes in the laptop case. Now the mousie problem is no more. The Targus works great!

But even as the mouse issue was resolved, another popped its ugly head up from my most needed office equipment. My old workhorse printer, the Konica-Minolta PagePro Laser (black only) that spews out 21 ppm, is not only incompatible with my laptop (no USB connection capability), but it has a cracked drum that needs to be replaced. Fortunately I have my not-quite-as-old color laser backup (Samsung) that spits out 17 ppm in black and white and 4 ppm in color…when it’s working.

And therein lies the rub! For some reason, I was unable to print anything last night, and had continuing issues this morning. I hate to think I may have to sink money into a new laser printer right now. But if I do, it will definitely be wireless!

So I’m struggling with basic jobs than need doing, most importantly, I need to print off postcards for the project. I’ll just keep fighting with it until I have a month’s worth for both recipients. I did manage after several tries to print off some new business cards, but we won’t discuss how many I had to toss in the round file after jamming the printer yet again.

When I refer to myself as a power user, think keyboards. I had to replace my desktop keyboard because I had used it so much that I not only wore off the Braille bumps on the F and J keys, I completely wore the letters off of the W, E, R, T, A, S, D, B, F, J and M keys as well. I got to the point that if I looked down at the keyboard, I would panic wondering if I had my hands in the right place.

For now, I am not off to see if I can cajole this printer into doing these postcards for me. Time will tell the tale.

Writing without Guilt?

The weekend is half over. Several projects are moving forward. I have changed the baby quilt plan to making a huge plush zoo critter. At least I know the creation won’t clash with the décor. I’ve decided on the ideal centerpiece for the king-sized bed quilt. I found a pattern for a stained glass window that will work beautifully as the focal point of the quilt. I hope to have the entire pattern of the quilt laid out on graph paper before I head back to work on Monday.

Then I have to take my sewing machine to the shop for service and repair work. The poor thing is at least 30 years old and really needs an overhaul, if they still make parts for it. Hopefully it won’t need to be replaced. I’ll purchase the requisite materials, threads and batting soon. I may even have all the parts cut and ready by the time the machine is ready for me.

Mindful of the fact that I can’t just let my writing and associated book projects go while thinking about other things (like quilts), I will be dedicating at least an hour a day strictly to book projects. I need to get the Postcard Rx website up and running. I need to redesign my business cards, and I have a novel to finish writing.

I hope to get several hours of undistracted writing done while on an out-of-town overnight next week. It is amazing how much more focused I become when I leave the family at home and go someplace where the dishes, the laundry, the bills, and the ordinary demands of daily life don’t exist. When I’m at home, just being around those things has me putting my writing on the back burner.

It’s guilt pure and simple. Logically I know that I shouldn’t feel guilty about spending time writing, but life doesn’t always let us make decisions about how we’re spending our time and guarantee that we won’t get those little niggling doubts. The only way to remove those feelings of guilt is to remove one’s self from the atmosphere that creates them.

I have actually been so desperate to write that, in the days before laptops, I disassembled my desktop computer, packed it in my car and reassembled it in Vermont, three times. My sister was part owner of a ski house and let me stay there for a week at a time in off season so I could get away. The place was ideal. It sat halfway up Sugar Bush on the East face. The unmarked driveway to the house was almost impossible to find, and once there, no people or vehicles were seen or heard…day or night.

Unfortunately, she sold her interest in the house when they moved from the East Coast to the Midwest. My biggest regret is that I didn’t ask to start using it much earlier than I did.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quilts and Torch Singing

As luck would have it, my plan for the beach scene baby quilt went right down the tubes when I learned that the color/design scheme for the baby’s room is zoo critters. Old Robbie Burns was correct about the best laid plans of mice and men…

Gone is the need for the beautiful bright blues, reds and yellows I purchased. Lions and tigers (and bears, oh my!) require more earth tones. Now I need to rethink, redesign, and acquire new, appropriate materials for the project. Or I may have to change to a venue other than a quilt. The wheels are churning.

Just in case I find myself lacking for something else to do with my time, I am seriously considering making a king-sized, quilted bed cover as a gift for some dear friends. I’ve already begun researching stained glass window patterns that I might be able to adapt for the center design block. The remainder of the quilt would be built around it. It has to be a spectacular focal point with materials surrounding it that complement and enhance the design without clashing. The wheels are churning on this project as well.

On another topic, I was distressed at the passing of vocal diva Lena Horne. No one lives forever and intellectually I know this to be true. But the world will be a lesser place without Lena. The woman had looks and a voice that could stop traffic. She was an outspoken activist for civil and human rights, was instrumental in breaking racial barriers, and she was active until her passing at the age of 92. I am fairly certain she is singing with the angels as of this writing. I think of her as the ultimate in torch singers. I always wanted to try my hand at it, but I was so short and heavy that the weight of the sequins on the signature full-length gown was prohibitive!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Yes, that is what it means. Thank goodness it’s Monday! Right now, I need a weekend to recover from the weekend. It was two days of not-stop “doing.” I dropped Mom at the beauty shop for her weekly “do” and raced off to the grocery store. It’s amazing how much faster you move and how few unnecessary items find their way into your grocery cart when you only have an hour to accomplish the task (including round trip travel time).

Mom emerged from the shop with a shiny new “do” covered in a protective plastic rain bonnet to protect it from the rain and gale-force winds we were experiencing. The winds were truly brutal, and since the beauticians secure the hair by the application of “prom spray” (think super glue) that turns the hair into a solid white helmet, a really big gust could have ripped her hair out by the roots and sent it sailing.

We stopped for a quick breakfast at Yvonne’s Sweet Shop on North St. Clair near the intersection of Main St. in downtown Painesville. It was a first for both of us. Mom had a very good stuffed French toast, which I knew would be 2-3 times what I could manage to ingest. She downed about half and took the rest home. I had a side of homemade hash browns and a couple pieces of bacon. I rarely eat either one, so it was a treat. Everything was reasonably priced.

Soon, we were back home, where I unloaded the groceries and stowed them away. Next I checked my bank balances and wrote checks for the bills. Then came the mad dash to the post office, which I made minutes before closing. I stopped to check on my daughter, who was suffering from an abscessed tooth before heading to the library to replenish my stock of books on CD that I listen to obsessively while driving.

Back home again, I sorted laundry, then packed everyone into the car to attend church services. After mass, we headed home again to nuke frozen lasagna for dinner. A quick clean-up later, we headed back to Painesville to attend a wake. It was an incredibly sad gathering for the 24-year-old son of friends. I can’t begin to imagine what those parents are going through. The lines were long and filled with family, friends, co-workers, school chums, scout leaders, and teachers. We stood in that sad, slowly moving procession for more than an hour, but sore feet and all, I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. We left solemn and exhausted, and headed for bed shortly after pulling into the garage.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I spent half the day being the good mother and half the day being the good daughter. After doing some groggy, early morning research, I found a place that could perform emergency oral surgery on my daughter, who is unemployed, uninsured, and broke. Since the good Mom had to foot the bill, I was pleased that I was able to find something reasonable. American Dental Centers in Severance Mall was the only option and we spent half the morning and a couple afternoon hours taking care of business. The trip home from Cleveland included a stop at Wal-Mart for pain killers, antibiotics, and protein shakes for a little liquid nutrition.

Next it was making a quick dinner before the evening’s festivities. Mom and I got cleaned up, dressed and into the car. We stopped in Mentor to pick up my sister-in-law and the three of us headed to Cleveland to attend the KSU Centennial Celebration Concert. My nephew was singing in the men’s chorus, and we were treated to Barber”s Second Essay for Orchestra, Janson’s Visions of the Omega, and Mozart’s Requiem. The concert was wonderful. It was a nice way to wind down from the weekend activities. Severance Hall is an incredible concert venue to have right here in our own backyard.

All in all, I was thankful the weekend was over!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Life on Your Own Terms!

I happened to catch part of an interview on the news the other night. They were talking to country music star Chely Wright. She was discussing finally coming out of the closet regarding her sexual preferences. There is an obvious worry about her career and her future in country music, where conservatism and family values reign.

I admire her courage and the strength required to make that decision. I believe we all have to live our lives on our own terms. Those who live by the courage of their convictions rather than according to the expectations of others are happier people. We could certainly benefit from being surrounded by happier people, could we not?

This is not a declaration in the battle of pro-gay versus anti-gay. Sexuality is not the issue. I’m just pro-people. It has been my experience that when people are not true to themselves, when they pretend to be something or someone they are not, they hurt not only themselves but those around them as well.

Flash back to Betsy’s Life Archives! I graduated from high school a totally naïve Catholic school girl. I had never dated or had a boyfriend. The topic of sex was NEVER discussed in our house. I will never live down the humiliation of not going to see “Romeo and Juliet” with my senior English class because my parents wouldn’t sign the permission slip. (The movie had nudity, according to my parents. It was a 15-second camera shot of Romeo’s bare behind…truly scandalous!)

When I got to college, I started dating a cute guy named Chuck. We went out for 6 or 8 weeks. Then he disappeared from school without a word, not even a phone call. When I finally contacted his roomie, I was told that Chuck had admitted himself to the University’s psych ward with thoughts of suicide because he was gay and couldn’t reconcile his feelings for me. I was totally confused. Why would Chuck bother asking me out if he knew he was gay?

The other guy I dated in college was Don. Our relationship lasted the rest of the school year and into the summer. I was “in love” and blind to any reality. I would have walked on fire for that boy. Then, out of the blue, he broke it off. He confessed that he was gay and told me that he just couldn’t keep up the façade any longer.

I was devastated. I never saw it coming, and it hit me like a 10-ton garbage truck at full speed. I was a mental and emotional wreck for months afterward. I worried that only gay men would find me appealing. I wondered what I had done to “send them” over to the “other” side (remember, I was totally clueless at the time). I scared many legitimate suitors away by asking them outright if they were gay and pretending.

Worst of all, decisions I made during that time of extreme emotional upheaval have had long-term repercussions that haunt me to this day.

All of that heartache and heartbreak was the result of two young men hiding their true selves and trying to be what other people expected them to be. When I consider the pain, anguish, and bad decisions that resulted from those encounters, theirs as well as mine, I know that the only way to live life it to be true to who you are on the inside, regardless of what others may think.

And so I applaud all the Chely Wrights of this world. It’s not always easy to be yourself, but it is certainly a better way to live your life.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There's Cinco de Mayo, then there's The Death March

For those of you who tend to be forgetful (like me), just a reminder that Your Vine or Mine? is having a Cinco de Mayo celebration today. All you can eat tacos for $7.50, Sangria at $3.00 a pop. Alex Anthony will be hosting karaoke. The event runs from 4 – 10 p.m., but the karaoke doesn’t officially start until 7. Of course if you want to get up there and sing earlier, no one will stop you! I will definitely be stopping in, but probably not until 8 or so. I hope to see all of you there!

In the area of being a glutton for punishment, I haven’t stopped with biking. I just returned from “The Death March.” Let me explain. I hate exercise. When I decided several years ago that I really needed to lose weight for my health, even the possibility of medical issues did not seem to motivate me to move. Oh, I had fabulous intentions. I would get up in the morning, get dressed, put on running shoes, and head out the door. But I discovered something about myself. Without a huge amount of motivation, I found excuses to cut the workout short.

“It’s raining, I’ll head back now.”

“It’s really cold, I’ll head back now.”

“It’s dark. I’m tired. There might be a mean dog. That nasty sun is shining in my eyes. The moon is setting in the West. I forgot to tie my shoes.”

You name it and I used it as an excuse. I came to realize that I needed a “foolproof” method that would guarantee that I would finish what I started every time. That’s when I came up with the idea for The Death March. I had seen a mention of the Bataan Death March during WWII, where the prisoners were forced to march for days until they reached their destination. They had to keep walking no matter what. How could I use that historical event to fuel my exercise routine?

Then it hit me. It had to be a one-way trip. But the destination had to be home. So I got up one morning, put on my running shoes, and got into my husband’s car. I asked him to drop me off as he headed for work at a place two miles from my house. He thought I was nuts. But when you are stuck, two miles from home, with no transportation, no buses or taxis, and you have to get home in time to get ready for work, you walk until you get there. From a psychological standpoint, you are heading home, so there is no turning around 5 minutes into the walk. You do it because once you are dropped you have no choice but to get back on your own foot power. It no longer matters if it’s raining, or you’re cold, or you’re tired.

I lost a huge amount of weight by doing this on a regular basis. At one point I was doing it twice a day. But I’ve been lax for much too long, so I will start slowly. One Death March per day for right now. Give it a try. It really does work!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

There's Got To Be A Morning After...

…and blessedly, the pain is minimal! However, I have come to several conclusions regarding bike riding and me. Don’t worry though, like most problems, they only take money to fix.

1) I definitely need street wheels. Mountain bike tires make every slight upgrade feel like slogging through heavy mud.

2) I need to invest in biking shorts – though I have been told that the chafing protection only works if you don’t wear underwear. (I’m not sure how bike shorts with no underwear would fly at choir practice!) If I can't afford the gel-chamois shorts (or can't get them in a size big enough to cover my rear) then I'll have to pick up a gel-chamois seat cover.

3) I should invest in toe clips, or the shoes with automatic toe clips, which I was informed increase the efficiency of every pedal stroke.

4) I really need to learn how to use the gears. I never had a bike when I was growing up. Only rich people’s kids had bikes with gears and hand brakes. The bike I learned to ride on belonged to a friend. It had one speed and back-pedal brakes.

5) I need to raise my handle bars. It seems that I lean forward while riding, leaning on my hands and putting pressure on the carpal nerves. A mile or two into the ride, both hands start getting painfully numb.

6) I need a water bottle holder and some other type of contrivance to hold necessities.

7) Last but not least, I need a chain and lock. Normally I ride to a destination where there is not much worry about the bike disappearing, but that will not always be the case.

By my calculations, it will cost about $200 to resolve my biking dilemnas. Guess I better get a part time job to pay for the new vice. In the meantime, it's more sore glutes and slogging up inclines!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Okay, so I complained last week about the weather preventing me from riding my bike to choir practice. Since the weather today was absolutely gorgeous, I made up for it by taking an even longer route to the church and I do believe I will live to regret it! It took me about 50 minutes to make the 8-mile ride, and just when I was in site of my destination, I got cramps in the arches of both feet and in my right calf. To say it was painful would be a gross understatement.

As I’m sitting here typing this, my office is stinking to high heaven from the massive amounts of Badger Sore Muscle Rub I have slathered over my extremities! Not only did my legs and feet get the treatment, but my arms as well…oh, did I forget to mention that when I got home, I worked out on the Bowflex with my current client? Just call me a glutton for punishment! Now if only my body would reflect that punishment by lowering the number on my scale, I would be a much happier camper.

I have now drawn the preliminary design for that baby quilt. Next I will transfer the image to graph paper and figure out if I purchased enough material on Saturday when I lost my mind and went to the quilt shop! The actual templates come next. Stay tuned. I will definitely post a picture of the finished product…after I give it to the proud Mommy!

For those who are still awake (11:00 pm on Monday night) and want to entertain yourself with a decent movie…try tuning in to AMC for “The Bone Collector” with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. It is the first in a series by Jeffery Deaver. If you haven’t read the books, give them a try. If you’re a mystery/thriller junkie like me, you won’t be disappointed. I really want to stay up and watch it for the umpteenth time, but I have a 7:00 a.m. committee meeting at United Way. Enjoy the movie!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Now I've gone and done it!

I bought material today. I have this drive to make a quilt. I've made a number of them over the past 20 years, but not recently because of the time crunch I seem to find myself living in constantly. I told myself, as I headed into the quilt shop, that a baby quilt won't take too long to make. My time limit is mid July...the person for whom I'm making said baby quilt is due a few weeks later.

I have a notion to make a beach scene, with a sail boat, sun, clouds, sand bucket...something youthful, but boyish enough that it won't be tossed aside when the kid turns 5. Buying more material was a bit of overkill. I already have an industrial-size, rolling storage bin in the attic filled with material. In case you have difficulty imagining the actual size of that bin, suffice it to say I've always been a proponent of the adage "she who dies with the most material wins."

Now the question is, will I have the time to design, template the parts, assemble the quilt top, and get all the actual quilting done within my time limit, given the other stuff I'm doing at present? I will accept all suggestions for time-saving shortcuts to getting this project completed in time. While waiting for those suggestions, I guess I'll get started on drawing up that design!