18 January 2011


So, January, and those pesky resolutions.  Hmph.

We are still on track with our dietary changes and I'm still on track with my decluttering project, so that's good.  The 3 day weekend was a challenge in the snacking department, but overall we handled it pretty well.  The best news about all of this is:

We are not lushes!

Since we decided to give our livers a rest during January, we haven't had a drop of alcohol.  I was worried that it would be difficult, but thankfully, we are not yet addicted.  There have been a couple of times when we struggled, but we didn't cave in and I'm happy for both of us.

That being said, I'm looking forward to February!

14 January 2011

Me just now and weekend!

I cut my hair short this week.  Whew!  What a relief!  That chin length bob was irritating me.  Here is a blurry cell phone pict...

It's out of my face, and I like that.

What else is going on?
Three day weekend!  Thank you, Dr King!  I know I should be doing something worthwhile and altruistic, but I am going to start on a new project.

I think that the two most popular resolutions that are made in January are:
1) Lose weight
2) Declutter

I’m going for both!

T and I have started a weight loss plan that seems to be having some positive effect already.  Yay for that!  Next up for me is the long process of decluttering my house and life.

Here’s the thing, I have a two story house with a basement and an attic.  I’m happy to say that the attic is completely empty.  It’s the basement that is an absolute embarrassment.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that!  I don’t let people down in my basement because it is a disaster of epic proportions.

When I moved in to my house, I had too much stuff but couldn’t make decisions about letting it go.  Add to that a moderate tendency to be a packrat, a strong attachment to things of sentimental value, and a desire to reuse and repurpose everything rather than throw it away and you have a recipe for junk.

I did pretty well last spring when I took a week off work to clear out some of the basement.  I took 3 or 4 loads of junk to the dump.  Yes I did!  And I was proud of myself, because it was hard, dirty, and at times wrenching work.  I had to throw away stuff from my daughter’s childhood and that made me sad.  But, I had two “water intrusions” as they say in the home repair business, and I had to clear out the stuff that was ruined.

The first water issue was when the water heater sprung a leak.  The second was a leak in the basement wall under a downspout.  The result of these two leaks was that I had to move crap from one side of the basement to another and then back again.  What had once been reasonably orderly was now complete chaos.

As I said, I cleared out a lot of it last spring, but there is still much work to be done.  Here’s my new plan: I’m going to empty one box per week (minimum, more is ok too) for the entire year.  Yes, I realize that might only add up to 52 boxes, but that should make a difference right?  I might put a widget in the sidebar here to keep track and increase my accountability.  Feel free to ask how that project is going… I’ll need prodded from time to time.

07 January 2011

NFL Playoffs


Look for us near the end zone, cuz we are going to the game!!!


06 January 2011

Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s not just the winter blues, it’s the winter blues on steroids.  It’s the winter blues that have been working out and pumping iron and are coming after you.  It’s the winter blues that take no prisoners.

Yes, I suffer from this disorder.  It’s prevalent in the Pacific Northwest and in other places that are either very cloudy or very far north.  Lots of research has been done in places like Norway.  Go figure.

One of the therapies for SAD is the use of light.  There are two main directions you can go with light therapy.  One is the full spectrum light box that you sit in front of for a period of time every morning.  Many people use this while having their morning coffee and reading the paper (or checking their Faceboob page).  The other method is the dawn simulator lamp.  I use both.

My wonderful, sympathetic, loving partner got me both types of lights for Christmas.  What perfect gifts!  We had two Christmas’ this year; the first with my daughter early in the month and then again with T’s family on the actual date.  T gave me the light box on the first occasion and the dawn simulator lamp on the second.

I used the light box for a couple of weeks and while I couldn’t feel a dramatic difference I think it might have helped.  The odds were not in favor of success, though.  My kid had made a short visit and while it is always fantastic to spend time with her, the saying goodbye part leaves me down in the dumps for awhile.  I’m still using the light every morning because… why not?  Anything that will help seems like a good idea.

The dawn simulator lamp is the most wonderful, brilliant, inspired creation in the history of lamps!  In the history of getting up early!  I LOVE IT.  For reals.  I have been using it for two weeks and can give it a solid recommendation.  It has already had a noticeable and positive effect on my mood.

Here’s how it works: you set the alarm for the time you want to get up – in my case 4:45 am.  A half hour before that time the lamp turns on and starts gradually getting brighter and brighter.  When it gets to the alarm time, it is at full brightness and it also makes sound.  Mine is set to chirping birds!  You can choose a buzzer or the radio as well, but the birds are charming.  I begin to wake up about 10 or 15 minutes into the cycle but don’t feel pressured to jump out of bed.  By the time the lamp is at full brightness I feel ready to get up, although sometimes I’ll lie there for a few minutes listening to the chirpy birds (who, by the way, get louder and louder).

The only downside to the miraculous lamp is if you have a bedmate who gets up after you and can’t sleep through it.  Fortunately for me, T sleeps through most things and even if the light bothered her she wouldn’t want me to stop using it.  When I get up, I prop up a couple of pillows to shield her face from the light.  The first couple of times I turned the lamp off when I got up, but that just made the darkness feel more oppressive. Now I leave it on while I take my shower and only turn it off after I am dressed and ready to go downstairs.

I have definitely noticed an improvement in my depression and I feel confident in saying that it is a direct result of the dawn simulator lamp.  I should have bought one years ago, but I have one now.  If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, I highly recommend that you get one of these.  Best money spent on mental health ever!

04 January 2011

Catching up with Bullets!

  •          Happy New Year!  The resolution?  Just like everyone else… lose weight.  We are trying some new strategies this time, though.  One should help: we’ve stopped drinking.  We are not drinking alcohol for one month and, when February rolls around we will limit ourselves to weekends only.  Sigh.  Talk about a sacrifice!

  •          Besides needing to lose weight and detox, I am also resolving to call my friends more often.  My two best friends live in California and I miss them a lot.  The phone is a poor substitute but it will have to do.

  •          Changing up my teaching schedule.  I have been teaching kids classes two evenings a week and starting in February I’m going to be teaching a women’s self defense class one afternoon a week.  Much as I love the kids, I’m looking forward to the change.

  •          Changing up my work schedule.  My department is undergoing some changes in leadership and I am going to switch from working the early day shift to the “white man” hours, ie: more like 8:00 to 5:00.  I am going to position myself to take my manager’s job because, for one thing, I already do the majority of it, and for another thing, he’s a putz and a useless one at that.  It will take a fair amount of strategy but I’ve developed some skill in that arena.  Wish me luck!

  •          Also pursuant to the job strategy: new shoes.  And clothes.  But, I hate shopping and I’m not buying any clothes until I shed some weight.  But, I do need some office shoes.  Athletic shoes just don’t send the same message.

  •          Hair cut!  For some damned reason I decided to grow out my hair, and specifically my bangs this past year.  They are just now to the point where I can tuck them behind my ears so I am almost there.  But, I realized that I now have the same haircut as my mom and much as I love her, I don’t want to look like her!  I browsed through some awesome styles at dykehaircuts.tumblr.com and I have an appointment on Monday to chop it all off.  Nothing too dramatic; I don't want to scare the administration.

·         Other than that, my goal for the New Year is to keep doing what I’m doing and love life and the people around me.  How about you?  Goals, resolutions, dreams?