Monday, January 30, 2012

12 hrs of work means...

Not much time to keep up on all my blogs! But since there are (at least) 40 of you dear readers out there - Check out the wellness blog when you can! Click here!

...Paved with Good Intentions aka Single Riders Line

Quote of the Blog: "L'enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs" - Samuel Bernard of Clairvaux

Going on 16 straight days of work and/or duty, it's safe to say we've forgotten what a "date night" is, and the brunt of the housework has fallen to me.

While I am NOT a domestic goddess, it kinda sucks to work full time and take care of everything around here too, so that's my tiny vent.

That said, it felt great to fulfill some of the "good intentions" I had upon moving in here. You know, those little household things that nag at ya', and you want them done - yet, they seem to slip your mind time and time again?

I've had a few of those. I have 2 tables that need refinishing. Until this evening, the dining room table needed bolts tightened. In fact, it's needed those bolts tightened since I moved in (April of 2010, for those keeping score at home).

Earlier today, I was at a loss with what to do with the day. My Sailor had an surprise duty shift. So I took myself out on a date, party of one style. Heading to a local micro brewery (Silver City), I took up a seat at the bar and enjoyed a micro brew and a salad for a great deal. (Using a certificate their "loyalty" program sent me for my birthday, I spent a total of $10 with tip.) I then took myself out to a movie - Man On A Ledge - which was pretty good.

Coming home rejuvenated, I started on a cleaning spree. I'm currently folding an embarasing 2 weeks worth of laundry! (We kept hoping he'd have a day off to help out, but no luck as of yet.) The kitchen is spot less, as is the entryway, and I did all the vacuming (though Clydas and his bone was quick to remind me that is a futile chore).

I even grabbed a wrench and a flashlight, got under the dining room table, and FINALLY tightened those bolts.

I'm surprised at how accomplished I feel for doing things that seem so easy.

Now to get the rest of this folded before he gets home!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oh, The Plans of Mice and Men

Checking out a new hiking trail with Clydas.

Today, My Sailor is finishing up his 15th straight day of work. Tomorrow, he was supposed to be off work, so all week I've been looking forward to FINALLY getting out to Seattle to use those coupons we printed up for my Birthday (Jan 16th). They expire on the 30th, and Sunday is the 29th. (I did try to give them away, but no takers - yet anyway.) 
  But last night we found out he's working today (home around midnightish), and, due to yet another a change in the duty schedule, he'll be doing a duty shift (until around 3am on Monday). So there goes our Seattle day.
  There are still some chores to do around here tonight, but if I get them done, I've decided that I could certainly use the break to head to the city myself - but since we're trying to save money - "2 for 1" coupons aren't really a "deal" when you're flying solo.
  Ah the plans of mice and men. Actually, it's been great for me. While I don't agree with a live with zero expectations, I do agree with life full of hope, activity, and something to look forward to. It's challenging to do when schedules don't seem to line up, but I'm not the type to let it get me down for long! I'm so grateful that I learned to fly solo. It's really helped with the adjustment up here!

 Take tonight as a perfect example. I got a text around 4:45 saying that "Should be done soon" from My Sailor. It's RARE that he can send texts at all, let alone gets off HOURS early!

When 7pm rolled around and he wasn't back yet, I just started dinner. (Define "soon", right?) Portobello Mushroom caps stuffed with crab and feta cheese! Delicious and oh so healthy as well! There is some in the fridge he can have when he gets home, but I'll probably be asleep by then.

See, I refuse not to have expectations. I think it's healthy to have them. But it's equally as healthy, perhaps, to have realistic expectations that involve the ability to change plans, when needed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

That ain't no whistlin' Dixie!

Living in Washington has truly been a great adventure so far. From snow, to hail, to "frozen mix" (an indescribable mix of tiny hail, sleet, snow, ice and rain), to rain, to sunshine and back again, it's been a fun 9 1/2 months so far. Never a dull moment! Tonight, there is a "Wind Advisory". There have been a few of these before, and they haven't really been a big deal. I've been through desert winds before so I figured, with all the trees to break it up, this would be nothing.

Not true!

Tonight, the wind is rattling through the trees as if the world was barren. Nothing seems to slow or diffuse it. It's far from a tornado, but 50 mph winds are certainly worth writing home about (or blogging about).

To make the evening a bit more fun, I'm flying solo at watching The Dead Files - probably the most unabashedly staged "ghost hunting" show on television. The spooky blowing winds seem like more of a special effect than a true act of nature at this point. (Though the dog pressed against my hip would beg to differ I'm sure. Clydas storms don't really get along all too well, but he's learning to cope with them well, as long as he has someone to snuggle up against.)

Speaking of "that ain't just whistlin' dixie", I was catching up some podcasts today and heard that Lou Mongello is committing to the Disneyworld 5k every year for the forseeable future! His recap of the marathon gave me the itch to do it. Which put me in a strange place. My spirit is excited about the prospect of a marathon (well, 1/2 marathon - gotta start somewhere!). But my feet and my body aren't too sure about it. First step is to call the podiatrist. 2nd step is to figure out what is going with my endometriosis or scar tissue. It's acting up again (though not as severely as before). It gets worse when I do heavy work outs, so I've been scaling things back, but I know training will push me.

Fear of pain is keeping me from training right now. Fear of pain, good shoes, and arch issues.

So I'm faced with a choice - which dog will I feed? Fear? or Dedication? Dedication doesn't know failure. It doesn't care how long it takes to meet a goal - only that it's met.

I think Dedication wins this round. Fear is still there a little, but ya know, first step is first! Time to call a podatrist!(LONG overdue!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Are you Feelin' Lucky, Punk?"

This morning I woke up to the apartment almost completely cleaned. Dishes? Done. Counters? Cleaned. Hard floors? Swiffered. Futon cover? Back on the Futon. Bathroom? Clean (expect for the shower). My Sailor got home at 4am and couldn't sleep -so he cleaned! I win. I feel very lucky.

So today I pitched in and put the finishing touches on the cleaning job with a little grocery shopping to stock up on some goodies. I started dinner for the week (lentil soup, the beans have to sit overnight - makes about 10-12 servings so I plan to freeze most of it in serving size containers)... and then something got the better of me.

Call if lack of sleep. Call it the weather change (snow to rain). Call it just plain "a bug", but I ended up puking my guts out worshiping the (clean) ceramic god for the better part of 10 minutes... and my stomach still isn't sure if it's done.

It was funny though - as I was kneeling there - I had a whole new appreciation for a clean toilet...

Even though my stomach was playing the part of Dirty Harry today.

Sadly, that scraps my plans for a visit to the YMCA tonight.

BUT on the UPSIDE, My Sailor and I FINALLY decided on a HONEYMOON! So while I rest up tonight, I'll spend some time getting our honeymoon registry all hammered out. Next week's task, Guest List! It's pretty exciting that everything is coming together as well as it is. The finances have worked out so we can take our trips we need/want to take this year, and, while things take effort, it's not as overwhelming as it once felt.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Day!

Yesterday, My Sailor had a 'snow day'! He got to stay home from work, so we went out in the evening to play in the snow a bit!
  While Clydas isn't in LOVE with snow, he's 'warming' up to it. (I know- bad joke, but I couldn't resist.)
So today, I'll share this clip of Clydas and My Sailor playing "catch". Enjoy!
Disclaimer - I am 100% for leash laws, and it's VERY rare that I let my dog play outside off leash in a public area. We felt safe with it this time because Clydas was between 2 of us, in a very small yard area.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My 32nd Year

It's a little hard to believe I turned 32 this year, but I like to think I rang in my 32nd year in style - even if we had a few hiccups.

My Sailor had a duty day the night before (which involves working from about 2pm until about 3am - Yes, that's not a type. 3am) so even though we intended to get up early and make the most of the day, we didn't check into Shari's for birthday breakfast until around noon. Oh well! It was delicious.

My original plan was to head to Seattle, but after such a late start, we opted to stay closer to home and hang out at the Tukwilla Mall. Now, hanging out at a mall may not seem like the birthday wish of anyone over the age 15, however, it's about an hour to the nearest large mall, and this one is HUGE! Great for walking and browsing, and I had an order that came into the bridal store there, so I got to complete a fun errand too.

First off, sleep deprivation is not a pretty thing. We were both a bit crabby and my crabbiness had started the night before. But when all was said and done, we ended up making a great day out of "Plan B".

We picked up the fabric goodies first, and I chatted with Sistah' Girl (LONG overdue) -

Then headed to the mall. After a few hours of browsing around, we got some goodies at the game shop (My Sailor got some Magic cards and I got 2 new expansion sets to my Zombies!!! Game. Click here for our game night review of it. Obviously , it was a hit!). And we stopped at a funny hat shop too -

And then we checked out a Thai place I've always wanted to try! See, in California, I used to walk to a local, delicious Thai eatery fairly often. Usually a couple times/month. So I developed a taste for the unique blend of spices found in that food. It's a different type of "heat" over Japanese, Mexican, and Italian foods.

Anyway, we decided to try hot pot for the first time (at least the first time I remember ever doing it).

It was fun and delicious - and not too high on the calorie count either! We used Tom Yum soup for it (my favorite) and tried just about everything they offered us.
It was a great experiment in dining that I can't wait to repeat someday soon (though I don't think I'll ever eat a mussel again... still don't like 'em, but at least I tried)!

We capped off the night with drinks and dessert at the Cheesecake Factory! It's my first visit there, and it was a hit as well - the perfect way to cap off the evening. (And I know Sistah' Girl would be proud.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Overwhelmed much? Happens to the best of us!

Night shifts suck. I don't mind working them myself. When it's just me, it's a great time for me to focus and move forward in my productivity without all the usual distractions that occur during the day. I do my best writing (song writing or otherwise) at odd hours of the night. But eventually, I end up feeling like I do nothing but sleep and work. Now, My Sailor working such crazy hours, I feel like we miss out on all of the day. I'm finding that it's hard for me to start off on the right foot when he's sleeping until 2 hours before work, getting up just in time to get dressed and go.

I'm not complaining about him, per say. I completely understand that he's completely, legitimately exhausted. And he does do the best he can with time off. For example, he had last night off and really tried to make it great quality time. We went to go see Beauty and The Beast in 3D (just as amazing as it's 2D predecessor), and we went out to a great dinner at a new place (Brix 25) in Gig Harbor. It was delightful. But afterwards, he was awake until 5am! I gave up and passed out around 2:30am. (Which is SUPER late for me and probably accounts for part of what I'm feeling - it always screws me up the next day.) But when it's all said and done, I sort of miss the guy who used to give me a break from being the one that gets up with the dog on weekends (he gets up around 8:30am-9am to go outside - and since we live in an apartment, someone has to take him out on the leash).  Since the dog's wake up call is only a few hours after My Sailor goes to bed, it's on me all the time - which isn't any different than any other time I'm flying solo, really).  It isn't really fair of me to hope he'll get up and take the dog out. After all, Clydas is my dog - my responsibility chiefly. At the same time, it's not healthy for me to try to stay up until he gets home (which is after midnight or after 3:30am, depending on the day).

So today I realized I need an attitude adjustment if we're going to get through this stage without me being Miss Annie Annoyable all the time.

So I'm taking a bit of my own advice.

"Control what you can. Let the Rest go." And "Health first. If you're not healthy, you can't help anyone else." 

What can I take control of today that can change the way I feel?

The most obvious thing that came to mind is my living space. So I did a bunch of housework, ran all the errands, and took down the Christmas stuff. It was a great start to feeling productive. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm far from a domestic goddess. I'm just not one of those women who naturally finds great joy in housework. I like things clean, but clutter just tends to happen no matter how "on top of things" I try to stay. Well, when I love my living space, I find I'm MUCH more motivated. But when I don't, it's oh-so-easy to just let everything slide because it feels very temporary and I can't WAIT to leave. Truly, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't mention how I can't WAIT to move, so it's safe to say I have a mean case of "I Can't Wait To Move"-itis in here. See, this apartment was always intended to be a "short term" move - like 6-8 months. In April, I'll be hitting 1 year here. There is a light at the end of the tunnel - the lease is up in May.

  Tomorrow is my birthday, so I want to spend my personal New Years as I have in the past - looking forward to the next great year coming.

 Tonight has been a myriad of stuff. I'll just say this:
I'm leaving My Sailor a note that says "Don't ask about the stoneware cooking sheet, the futon cover, the chunk of paint missing from the living room wall, or the Baking Soda if you value your life." Luckily, I think he does...

The Pet Took Over This Post!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lots of New and Strategizing

So the good news is - My Sailor is home safe and sound! We had 4 glorious days together. We saw 2 movies: Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocal - which is SO much more entertaining when you're watching with someone who understands nuclear weapons to the point where he starts to laugh at the inaccuracies, and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. We both really loved both movies.

We also bought a new car!
Well, new to us - which is all that really matters. It's a 1999 Audi that we love. Since My Sailor is having to work crazy hours, 2 cars are a must now and thankfully, we're in a position where we can afford a second car, without overextending ourselves. Which is a relief! It's also nice to know we have a back up if something goes massively wrong with the other car and we can't repair it right away.

So we had a few days together, but we decided not to both turning around My Sailor's sleep schedule. His work schedule is noon until 11pm on some days, and until 3am on every day. That includes weekends - though he'll be getting every other weekend off. So that doesn't make for a lot of together time. In fact, if I had a "day job" that required me to be at an office, we wouldn't really see each other much at all for the next couple months.

So how do you make "quality time" when all you have to work with is a lunch break?  Well, you do little things for each other.

Today was a great example. While I was working, My Sailor did the dishes and general cleaning in the kitchen. A small thing that only took him a few minutes but took one thing off my mind, so when I got off work, I could just relax.

And a clean kitchen made it so much easier to bake up something special to return the favor -
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies - Hearts and Stars

I made very few of them (1 small batch) so I had a few for dessert tonight, and the rest I'll leave for him around his work week. I figured I can hide one inny the Audi (I couldn't resist) before work, and maybe leave one or two on a plate for when he comes home. The left overs will be shipped out in some care packages for some gal pals. They aren't that bad for you either (4 of them run about 190 calories).

When the going gets tough - the tough get creative!

I can't wait for our "spring break" vacation! Looks like this March we may be going to Michigan and making a quick trip to Disneyworld and SeaWorld!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Decisions make all the difference

It's been wonderful to have My Sailor back! Just these first few days have helped remind me what an amazing relationship we've grown into. The commitment is still the same one that he left with. We're in this life together, whether that means he's out "Finding Nemo", or I'm dealing with whatever this thing is. That decision alone has shaped so much of our lives, even when we didn't realize it.

When I was dx'd with PCOS in 1999,  I went through the usual stages of depression and all that which comes with being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Once I snapped out of it, I realized that it was up to me to decide how much of my life this was going to define. How much was I going to relent and give in to symptoms? I think I've done a pretty good job of understanding that it's part of my life, while pushing back enough to not allow it to rule my life. This week has been another good example. That 'phantom pain' I mentioned before? Well, it's starting to have more in common with Endometriosis symptoms than anything else right now. To put it bluntly, it feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife where "righty" used to be. It's better when I don't move around much, or when I can distract myself by walking. Yes, it COULD be some weird muscular adhesion as well, but either way, there isn't really anything to be done but take some ibuprophen, put on my big girl panties, and carry on with a smile! So I haven't let it slow me down too much. Why? Because I decided long ago that I would listen to my body, but I wouldn't let aches, pains, and chronic conditions control how I feel about myself or what I do with my day (whenever humanly possible).

Because of that decision, I've really been able to enjoy time with My Sailor since he's been home (even though he's already back to work).

When I moved to Washington, I made another decision. Before I even left California, I decided that I wouldn't let the weather keep me "trapped" inside. So far, it hasn't. Sure, it's been super stormy sometimes, but I still get out a little bit everyday.

I guess this whole blog is a reminder to myself that, when we truly make decisions and firm commitments, the sky is the limit.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

When the tide comes in...

My Sailor chatting it up with his family.
Well, wouldn't ya know it? Look at what the tide brought in last night?

That's My Sailor chatting it up with this family on the way home from pick up! I'm still in shock a little bit, but we are both really enjoying each other's company. It's funny the little things you miss. Holding each other's hand... voices... kisses... the way each could shares a glance with that intimate form of unspoken communication...

We're a bit nostalgic, so we ate dinner at the same place where he had his last meal on dry land, and spent the evening in a usual low key manner, snuggling on the couch to the rest of the a Michigan football game, and catching up on a few episodes of a favorite shows (Castle, Terra Nova, and South Park), enjoying the comfort of just having one another there.

Today, he's back at work, checking out of one boat and into another, and I'm doing laundry. As expected, there won't be any long breaks until March at this point, but we're hoping he'll be able to get a few days off so we can us a gift certificate my parents gave us to a gorgeous resort - 
See that building on the upper left hand side of the phote? That's the Salish Lodge!
One of their amenities includes a fireside couple's massage. SIGN ME UP! We're pretty excited to cash in our gift certificate! And it certainly helps that January turns out to be the month of their "Welcome Home" promotions for military! That means our gift certificate will go a little further, since we'll be getting 30% off! They are booked up every weekend for the next few months, so I'm looking forward to a week day get-a-away someday soon.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Something wonderful to meditate on today...

I am borrowing this list from a friend who is borrowing it from an unnamed Facebook friend so I can't site the source, but it made me smile, as it's the last thing I'll read before bed. Instead of scanning this list, take a moment to really meditate on them. I hope you'll find some of the peace and joy I did!

1. Believe in miracles.Yes, it is a choice.2. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance!
3. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
No one walks around with the inclination that they are perfect, but we all seem to think other people are.4. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
5. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile!
But everything in Moderation.
6. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
7. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
8. Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
9. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
10. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
11. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
12. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
13. Forgive everyone everything.
14. Sometimes you have to forgive yourself.
15. Well done is better than well said.
16. Fair comes once a year!
17. It's better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you're not.
18. Absolutely everyone is weird inside.
The more you share with a stranger, the more alike you'll see we all are!
19. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
Dogs dry tears well.
20. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
Or smarter.21. The most important sex organ is the brain.
22. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
23. You can't stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh.
24. You succeed when you've gotten up one more time than you've fallen.
25. I'll lean on you and you lean on me and we'll be OK.
26. Power is nothing unless you can turn it into influence.
27. Be gentle with the earth.
28. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
29. It's OK to play with your food.
30. Life doesn't weigh you down -  it's the way you carry it.
31. A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.
32. Life is a JOURNEY, not a destination.
33. Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.
34. If you say you can't - you're right and if you say you can - you're still right.
35. Do unto others as you would have done to you and expect nothing in return.
36. Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes. Welcome the new adventures, and know what pieces of the past to learn from and let go of.

38. All that truly matter in the end is that you loved.  And in that, everybody wins.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Of Email Checking and Other Blogs!

Greetings dear readers!

  This last morning of my little "weekend" came far too early - even though I didn't roll out of bed until 9ish. I think Clydas has the right idea. Eat breakfast, take a nap.
 I just wanted to take a moment to say - THE WELLNESS BLOG IS BACK! I'm still hammering out some issues with the look, but it's up, running, and readable. It'll be focusing on Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual wellness (since they are all tied together) without focusing on any on religion. Enjoy !

 In other news, I find myself almost obsessively checking my email lately. I was really great about it when My Sailor first left - getting out of the house leaving the Acer behind seemed easy. But lately, it hasn't been. I guess that means I need to get out of the house more! Probably the truth. So that will be my goal for the day. Get out of the house a bit for something other than running errands.

Off to the showers I go!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A peice on Phantom Pain

As most of my regular readers know (ye brave, ye few), I had "righty" (my right ovary) removed in the summer of 2010. In so many ways, it was a refreshing experience. On a personal level, I got to see how people handle their own fears. I got to see how I handle mine in a situation that could have turned deadly. And I got to see who was really in the trenches with me, and who couldn't be.

5 days post-op in Disneyland with Gerber Baby Family. Like my wheels?
 I'm about a year and a half out from that and I'm finally understanding some of the strange experiences I have now because of the surgery.

It actually started yesterday, and I didn't want to believe it. Thinking I was just exhausted from working such long hours and generally stressed, I thought I'd "sleep it off". Well, today, there is no mistaking it. After a little research, I'm convinced.

There is such a thing as phantom pain. I mean, I assumed it was true for limbs, but missing organs? Apparently the scar tissue can tighten and swell because your body is still designed to vascularize each ovary, depending on what internal schedule your body is on. Apparently it's been "lefty"s turn for a while and now it's "righty's" turn. Only "righty" checked out of hotel body a few years ago, and now the body is going, "What the (fill-in-explative-of-choice-here)?!".  It's not as bad as I felt when I still had the tiny ball of disease growing in there, but it doesn't exactly make me want to get up and move around today.

But I've never let a little thing like pain keep me indoors, and today is no different! It's my first day off after four 10-12 hour days! I plan to enjoy it. I slept in for a good chunk of the day, and now I'm headed to take a shower, get dressed and head to a movie! And yes, I plan on starting the new year off right. I'll be walking to the movie theater and back. It's the first day of the new year!
New Years eve dinner - chicken and barley soup, spinach salad, and steamed veggies

I ended the new year on a healthy note, and I plan on starting off this one the same way and keeping it going. I weigh less at the end of this year, than I did at the end of last year! I plan on hitting my birthday in a few weeks in 1-derland, and I plan to stay there.

So there that's how I'm starting off 2012 - learning something new, making good choices, and, as Lou Mongello (and Walt Disney) said - "Keep Moving Forward."