Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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On Vacation on a Quiet Monday

Here I sit on a quiet Monday morning, Sipping coffee with my wet hair wrapped up in a Turbie-twist (these things are awesome and have freed me from that heavy towel wrapped around my head that kept falling off).  I’m on vacation for the next 10 days and love days when I don’t have a race from task to task to keep on a work-day schedule.  Of course, Tessie is there to remind me that, “yo mama, give me crunchies” comes early whether I think I can sleep in or not.

Today’s agenda is finding a swim cap (hoping that drug stores have them because I don’t want one of those racing caps that squeeze your brains out), getting my hair colored and cut, going to the gym for an hour pool workout with my personal trainer (hence the need for a swim cap with newly colored hair).  My outside stuff finishes up with a fresh pedicure.  Then it’s time to actually think about what to pack because tomorrow morning I head to Texas for a week’s visit with my family.

Left to my own devices I wouldn’t go to Texas at the end of June.  Do you know how hot it is there??  I am a New England girl now and don’t have a high tolerance for heat.  Plus I’m shifting sizes again so who knows what will fit and be appropriate for the weather.  The trip was originally timed so I could go to my nephew’s wedding next weekend, but it was called off and the engagement ended (by the bride) so there is no wedding.  But my aunt and I had non-refundable tickets, and we hadn’t seen the Texas fam in quite a while, so we’re making this a mini-family reunion.

Lapband update – my doctor told me he did NOT think I needed a fill, especially with two trips coming up.  He reminded me that as I get smaller, the weight will come off more slowly, and that 5 lbs a month is a good rate.  I’ve now lost 108 lbs and am 3 lbs away from breaking 200 for the first time in over 30 years.  Believe me, I’ll keep you posted on that.

Since I’m going away for a week, naturally I needed to clean this weekend.  Ever since I spent a summer as a hotel maid, I’ve hated cleaning.  I know how to do it, I just hate doing it and procrastinate amazingly well.  Yesterday, though, I vacuumed up enough cat hair to make a kitten for Tessie to play with, scrubbed the bathroom, cleaned the stove and sink, and did 3 loads of laundry.  I still have to dust and finish cleaning the kitchen.  I always forget how much nicer it looks after I do this.  Maybe I should do it more often 🙂


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The Parents Have Airline Problems

The Maids Working InsideAlmost everything on my to-do list is done, except polishing a few silver pieces that came from Mom’s family.  Yesterday was very busy.  The Maids arrived as a team of 2 instead of 4 (people were sick) but they cleaned up a storm and everything looked and smelled fresh and beautiful.  I’d tidied everything in sight before they arrived, partly for them and mostly because my parents are coming and I want things to look uncluttered.   I might even be inspired enough to keep this up on my own for more than a week 🙂

After The Maids left, I did a run down Dixwell, ticking things off my list:  1. Get gas.  2. Carwash (which undoubtedly caused the torrential rain later).  3. Buy wine.  4. Stock up on groceries.   And after all of that, I did three loads of wash, leaving me clean towels, sheets and clothes.  Phew.

But then around 8pm, my mom called to say that the airline had cancelled their 6:30am flight and rebooked them on Sunday, putting them into Hartford at 5:45pm, almost 18 hours after their planned time.  I know they are upset and confused, but at least they weren’t stranded in an airport for days (visions of my Christmas trip delays at Newark Airport flashed through my head).  They can relax today and leave tomorrow at a humane time instead of having to wake up at4:30am.

AirplaneThe airline reassigned them to new flights but they don’t have seat assignments and were in a tizzy beccause online the seats showed as full.  At least I knew to tell them that seats are held back to be assigned at the airport, but I made some calls to American and confirmed some info, which I passed along, as well as the 800 number for customer support. I have it programmed into my phone and I’ll make sure Mom has it in her cell phone when she’s here (she hasn’t figured out programming in numbers yet).

So instead of having a packed morning ending with a run up to BDL to pick my parents and a full day with them tomorrow, I have today and most of tomorrow to myself.  Not what was planned but I can enjoy the very clean and tidy apartment and my kitty, who is mostly recovered from the trauma of having a team of loud people invade her little space.  Maybe I’ll throw in a trip to BJ’s which isn’t exactly a visitor’s destination, but fun for me.


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I’ve Been More Interested in Living My Life Lately than Writing About It

I wrote this last Sunday but somehow it stayed as a draft rather than publish to the blog. Oops 🙂

Buddha and a child

As of last weekend I’ve lost almost 10 lbs and am feeling in the zone of following my plan.  More than that, I actually WANT to follow it which makes things so much easier than when I was fighting with myself every step of the way.

I’ve been working with Weight Watcher points for so long that reading recipes and food labels doesn’t require major brain twisting to understand whether something is a good choice or not at any given time.  The best part is that I don’t have to give up anything, just get comfortable with eating less while balancing what I actually do eat.

It’s a quiet time of year if you work in academia and especially in a law school, where there is no summer school.  The building is deserted of the usual hustle and bustle of students and staff members are taking vacations so the office is emptier, too.  Economic uncertainties with budget cuts and potential layoffs have made this a stressful spring and it’s a relief to see this fiscal year coming to a close.

The Maids are coming to deep-clean my apartment the day before my parents arrive later this month.  In a way it feels like cheating; I know how to clean and really should be doing it better than I do.  I just hate it (that summer as a hotel maid kind of backfired).  On the other hand, they send a team of 4 people who clean everywhere at the same time, including the floors on their hands and knees.  My knees can no more contemplate that than fly to the moon.  So the apartment will be sparkling clean – and as I told my mom, I’m not doing it for HER, I’m doing it for ME.  I think it’s probably a bargain and a service I may want to outsource a few times a year.

Tessie is waking up earlier and earlier, along with the sun which starts streaming light way earlier than I want to get up.  Yesterday she sat on my back, played with my hair, and meowed at 5am so I’d get up and keep her company – and feed her, of course.  It was not my idea of the best way to wake up on a weekend day and today was not much better.  Good thing I’m not on vacation or I’d be really cranky.  She desperately needs to have her claws clipped but I’m trying to hold out until closer to my parents’ visit so she doesn’t accidentally puncture the Aerobed if she happens to jump on it. Although we plan to keep the door closed, she is tricky so we need to expect anything.

Today is a quiet day with chores and errands to run and probably a walk outside in the warm sunshine.   Maybe a nap, if the kitty will allow it.


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Indiana Jones and the mundane

The first five minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark are among the best on film. They set the framework for the story and define the character, and along the way, let you know it’s time to buckle up the seatbelt and just go for a fun ride. Raiders is on TV even as I type, playing in a marathon on the USA network. Tho for some weird reason they showed them backwards.

Since the new Indiana Jones movie opens next weekend, I’m sure this is to get us back into Indy’s world and caught up in his adventures so we’re ready to jump on after 19 years. Can you believe it’s been that long?? Makes me feel old when I realize that the kids on campus weren’t even born when the first movie came out. I’m going to a special law school event showing of the movie, complete with popcorn, since some of it was filmed in our building and it will be fun to see how the local stuff got changed around.

It’s been a pretty quiet day with normal errands such as laundry, grocery shopping, trip to the pharmacy, and cleaning. I despise doing it and usually spend more time procrastinating than actually cleaning. But seeing how much cat fur I picked up was eye opening — and I brush Tessie twice a day and the house is still loaded! I have to keep this under better control with more frequent vacuuming but somehow I’m not sure my brain will get that done. Sometimes I don’t even remember what day it is.

Having gotten all of this good stuff done today, tomorrow I can go out to play. The plan is to get to Indian Well State Park, armed with my trusty camera and maybe a picnic lunch – assuming I don’t get lost. There are hiking trails, not that I’m so good at hiking but surely we can walk too, no? And a beach, though it’s too early (and too cold and too public) to get in a bathing suit. I’m really going to be outdoors, see the waterfall and walk around and take pictures. Should be fun, and it will get me out of the house.


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Almost Ready for Company

CountdownI’ve been counting down the days before my parents come, using my list of Things That Need to be Done. It’s broken down by room and I’ve been trying to get one done a night. But I hate working around the house when it’s dark outside and after I’ve been gone all day doing Work. I figured that having a way to break things down would make it at least manageable.

One thing, well okay, two things, I’m doing this week have nothing to do with the parents’ visit and everything to do with personal boundaries. Yesterday I went to my water aerobics class and added an extra 30 minutes before we started, so I must have walked miles in the pool. It really was a hard workout but I’m getting to know what the exercises are and how to do them without hurting the knee but still feeling it in the muscles. Of course afterward the whole class hopped into the whirlpool and chatted some more.

Although I know I’ll be ultra-anxious tomorrow, since they come on Friday, I’m still going to tomorrow’s WA class. I need to set that time apart for myself to do something physical FOR myself. I’ll have to miss at least one next week but I deserve the workout and I’m going to carve out the time to do it even if it means not cleaning something that no one would probably notice anyway.

The other thing I did for myself was go to Weight Watchers for a weigh in and stay for the meeting. We talked about butterflies, and how to be able to fly we first have to be willing to let go of being a caterpillar. There were 6 things on the list, most of which I’ve already forgotten because I have a memory like a steel sieve. But I noticed that when the leader asked us for ways we could work on “Believe in Yourself”, we all sort of drew blanks. We could come up with motivational things but I think we really didn’t believe all that much in ourselves and that we could do what we’ve set out to do.

I know this is true for me. I believe that I am a good person, a good friend, and have lots of positive qualities. I’m not saying I’m a schmuck or evil because I’m obese or because I’ve gained back some of the weight I’ve lost. But I’m going to have to think about this one, what it means to believe in myself and live that out. I think it could be an important piece.

For now, though, I’m waiting for the dryer to stop. There is wine waiting to chill, the study is dusted, the bedding for the Aerobed has been pulled out of the storage chest, and the freezer had lots of protein. I have a batch of browned ground turkey, onions, peppers, and garlic ready to thaw and use in meat sauce with pasta for Friday’s supper. A basket holds tour books, maps, and brochures of things to do.

I haven’t seen my parents since Thanksgiving and can’t wait to see them. The visit is really about the time together, not about whether I’ve fixed the perfect meal or dusted everything that doesn’t move.


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Mixed Bag Weekend

Window with rag dollsI love being able to sleep until I wake up on weekends. Getting up at 5:50am on work days is hard for one who is totally not a morning person and even though I try to get to bed at a decent hour, I’m usually somewhat sleep deprived by Saturday. Now that I changed to a Wed. WW meeting instead of on Sat., I’ve got more time to wake up slowly and then piddle around doing stuff.

The original plans for the weekend were to head to the Durham Fair but I ended up not going. Much as I loved the idea of seeing farm animals, crafts, and riding the ferris wheel, I was a little worried about the amount of standing and walking involved. Not to mention the stations of fried dough. I don’t even like it but it’s awfully tempting to eat weird fatty stuff just because it’s around.

So instead of the fair, I attempted to put up curtain rods. Ha ha ha. It was quite an adventure that took me two days and two trips to Home Depot. There were three rods all for double windows, for a total of 9 supports and 18 anchored screws. There was the problem – I ended up mangling some of the anchors and/or pulling some out of the wall, leaving big holes that required spackling. Thank heavens they’re all up now and they do look pretty stylish if I do say so myself.

The curtains are another matter. Last weekend I went to the Country Curtains store to pick out curtains, knowing that being able to see and touch them make it a lot easier to do than just using a printed catalog or website. I ended up with insulated weaver’s cloth tabbed curtains in a natural shade, made for really wide windows for “proper draping”. Unfortunately, once they were up on my bedroom wall, I knew they were not going to work. Too blah and too much fabric.

So today I was on the road again, entertained by Prairie Home Companion as I drove back to the store. I exchanged the boring curtains for different kinds for the two rooms, a lovely soft rose microsuede for my bedroom (goes nicely with my quilt) and a soft burnished gold patterned velvet lined curtains for my study. I was struck on the way home by how lovely the ride was – more trees were sporting reds and golds than even last week and I can tell we’re into fall.

Cleaning up the mess I’d made with the curtain rod installations led to full-scale house cleaning, including mopping the kitchen floor, which I despise doing. I’m still sneezing from the dust I released but things do look a lot better.

The cleaning also gave me a physical release for the emotions that were bubbling inside. I learned today that a friend died on Saturday morning. Bob had been recovering from complications related to knee surgery when he went into cardiac arrest and died. Just like that, he’s gone.

ob was a giant in my field and had been looking forward to retiring in a few years after a satisfying career that took him from local to national and international activities. He was an extremely wise, intelligent man with great compassion, a lively sense of humor, and keen insight. He was also a good friend to many of us, including me, and news of his death is already filling the ether with shock and grief.

“Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord. And let light perpetual shine upon him.”