Saturday, June 30, 2007

Goal Checking (CAC)

I'm home, which means it's time to start catching up on the fun at Create A Connection. Today, Julie ZS made a great point:

Are we accomplishing our goals? Let's check in!

Last December 30th, I wrote:


-get strong physically. It helps me feel healthy.

-control the "siren song" of the laptop and the TV. (I'll admit it, I'm
addicted, but more later)

-get out among people more (volunteer? work?) .

-continue working on my writing.

-learn photo shop.

-get back into the workroom.

When I checked the year-long prediction from the new astrologer at BlogHer, KT's major theme for we Crabs was: develop a diet and exercise program that you will maintain for life. Seems that the universe was pushing that idea on me. Yes, it succeeded. I am 30# lighter, eating more healthfully (most of the time), and actually miss it when I don't work out. My moods are better too.

Control time on the computer and background TV: Not so much. I'm going to revise this for the 2nd half of the year to make it more specific: Turn off the TV and close the laptop for 4 hours a day. The way the original was written was too vague.

Slightly successful. I've started trying to get out more. It's baby steps for me, though. Perhaps another more specific goal: have 3 occasions (an hour longer or more) each week where I am out interacting with people in some planned activity. (and no, spouse, taking the dog to the vets or seeing the dentist does not count). Acceptable activities: luncheons/evening lectures, Geek Breakfasts, docent at a museum, movie with a friend.

Not successful. My writing has suffered this year because of personal distractions. Often I simply crank something out, barely proof it, and press "publish". I have, however, started several blogs about great writing. And I'm slowly beginning to integrate those ideas into my work. And this summer, with most of the evening entertainment in repeats, I will spend some time each evening sharpening those skills.

Nope. Haven't done it yet. The only positive step I took was buying a photo shop elements tutorial book.

Nope. Pretty much a failure there, too. But I'm beginning to think that I need to redefine what I expect from the workroom. Before I get in there to work, I need to define the work I'll be doing there. I have ideas. I don't have a clean and uncluttered place in which to expand upon it.

In January I proclaimed: I see the possibility for big change this year but it won't happen if I don't work at it. So 2007: The Year of Living Pro-Actively. And I believe that I am taking that position most of the time.

In review, my I am only moderately successful at achieving my goals for this year. But I've still got half a year to become more successful. And thanks to Julie, I've been reminded of the commitments I made at the beginning of the year to refocus the rest of the year.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
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Friday, June 29, 2007

Ok, I've my sidebar.

DO NOT PANIC!! (I hope).

I got the sidebar working before, and the text is there in my template. Somehow I've got to finish the stupid Blogger that it need to publish this information.

However, with it missing, I do have a nice clean layout. A little sparse, true... but clean.

(grumble, mumble, stupid clean...)

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Zodiac-Whacky, I Miss CAP...

Alas, it just isn't as much fun since Laurie of Crazy Aunt Purl has stopped writing her monthly horror-scopes. I understand get her book published takes up the time.. I'm not complaining.. it's just...

Remember how much fun her predictions for the month were?? January for example! OK, I'm quoting my monthly message. Yours was probably different, and if it wasn't Happy Birthday, Soon!!
And your To-Do is equally simple, but very satisfying: Use this month to exercise your future-tense daydream muscles. In place of all that time you spend in your head trying to fix or re-live the past, now just actively focus on daydreaming your future. See it in your mind, down to the shoes you'll wear. Be whoever you want to be in your futures, your fantasies, your imagination. Us crabs never fully live in the present, so if you have to choose between obsessing over the past (which you can never change) or daydreaming a beautiful future... always, always pick the future. (And yes, my daydreams include what shoes I will be wearing. Indeed!)
So Laurie found a substitute to take over. She did not leave us in the learch, un-horrorscoped! And Phyllis Firak-Mitz is a fine writer. Just not quite as quirky as Laurie. My prediction for this month:

Idea! Contracts! Realizations! Your mind and your phone will be buzzing all month as Mercury and other planets stimulate your thoughts and communications. Sure Mercury retrograde through July 10th can cause some snafus in your plans. But it’s also buying you time to think more deeply about what you really want. And it’s attracting others to think more about you, too! Expect some good ideas and offers around July 1st, 5th, 14th, 28th, and 29th. Friendships will also be active during July, as Mars gives you courage and sex appeal to strike up new alliances. It will also help you climb out of your Cancerian shell and assert yourself in existing relationships. That’s a good thing, since it might be time to hash out some value or financial differences you’ve been experiencing with others, especially between July 23rd through August 2nd. Remember: As rocky as matters can sometimes get this month, you can ultimately gain greater security by standing up for yourself and by letting go of projects and relationships that don’t support you. In doing so, you’ll realize what’s worth cultivating with that wonderful nurturing energy of yours, and what (or who!) is just draining your energy.
Let's just imagine what Laurie would have done with that. Guess I should get back to editing those photos...

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Freaking Out A Little...

(I believe this is Hagia Sophia. Anyway, it's Istanbul, Turkey)

Somewhere in the second half of our vacation, I realized I was happy. Happy for no obvious reason.

Just plain and simply happy.

That emotion has carried over to this week, too.

Now happy isn't an emotion that I'm used to, and when I am happy, I expect it to be for a specific reason. I'm because _________________.

I'll admit it: this happy-for-no-reason thing is freaking me out a little. I'm suspicious of it.

Yet I'm still happy enough that even that isn't too sad.

Now for all those waiting for trip photos to appear... I'm slowly adding them to Flickr, one folder for each city, so you can see them as I'm working on them. My goal for today is to go through the photos from the Acropolis and maybe Dubrovnik. You'll notice that I mainly take detail shots of buildings. I hope the spouser took some of the more "touristy" photos!!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where I mourn my limited Geek score.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Home Again... Home Again...

Sorry, no photos yet.

Yes, I have arrived home safely from my 2 weeks vacation. I am rested and relaxed. Yesterday afternoon I found myself walking around the house and feeling very happy for no reason. So I'm guessing that the vacation took.

The dogs are back from the boarder's (and bathed); the computer is back from the computer spa (and should last me until 4/5/08 when the warrenty expires!). I'm almost back to living on Pacific time!

Later today I'm going to upload the 180 some photos onto the computer and start editing and organizing them to upload to Flickr. Maybe by tomorrow or Thursday I'll be able to send you to the links. Each city will have it's own folder. I'm not sure if there are any photos of people.. but you will get a visual "taste" of the beautiful in historic sites and European cities.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Friday, June 08, 2007

Laughing All The Way

The Last Second of Sunset, 5/21/07. Most likely the last post before my trip.

Thursday was the last workout with my trainer, Guido, before my vacation. I don't know if it was the upcoming break or our moods, but we laughed through the entire hour.

It started as soon as we began talking.

I joked that Roger Clements (overpaid, aging pitcher soon to start for those Damn Yankees) has a "tired groin" because scar tissue from an earlier injury is starting to break up. Scar tissue from my foot surgery last January is breaking up, too, so I wanted to be excused from doing some moves because I have a "tired toe." Yeah, that didn't get me as far as it's getting Roger.

I whined. I still had to do the moves.

During bench presses (I'm using two twenty-pound dumbbells!! Twenty Freaking Pounds!!), I got a new nickname: The Debinator. I like it as much as a name the kids gave me when I was a substitute teacher: Roby-wan Kenobi. I was always teaching them stuff that went beyond the lesson plans...

The laughs continued through funny stories about earlier workout session: the Jim Brown story while we did wall squats; the time I threw a fit about an exercise; the time I almost fainted:

I breathe poorly while working out, gulping air like a guppy then holding my breath. Not a good thing. Guido can spend a third of my workout telling me to breathe. (Breathe in, Deb. Now out. Now you have to remember to breathe back in again...) I was doing lunges across the basketball floor and apparently gulping and holding my breath. When I turned to start back, it was time to stop and catch my breath or time to faint. I chose catching my breath.

"We stopped and went on to something else at that point then, right?" Guido asked Thursday.

I gave him "that" look. "No. You let me rest for 30 seconds then told me I still owed you eight lunges."

He couldn't believe that he made me continue and that I did.

Well, yes, he could. That's the relationship we have. He pushes me a lot further than I'd ever push myself. And afterward he marvels that I do it all (with a minimum of whining). We always surprise each other. Makes it worthwhile doing the work.

While we did the weight and measure thing, he asked me for details about my trip. I told him we were flying into Istanbul and staying at a hotel with a view of the Bosphorus Straits.

"That sounds beautiful, Deb..."

"Um, Guido, you haven't the faintest idea what the Bosphorus is, do you?"

"Nope. Not a clue! But it does sound beautiful!!"

Yes, a geography lesson followed. I earned that Roby-wan name long ago for a reason!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Look What We Found...

Look what we found!

After a great final workout at the gym, I came home, inhaled some lunch and took the dogs for a walk. It was a nicely paced 2 mile walk along Pinole Creek. As we approached the last part of the walk, we found this basketball in the weeds along the side of the path.

Basketballs are Jake's favorite toy.

So the rest of the walk, he happily chased the ball along the path and carried it with him back to the car.

Free toys!! Gotta love it!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Busy, busy day...

Knitting in public

Had a busy, busy day today.

This morning I stopped at the post office, walked the dogs, picked up a reserved book at the library, did some dishes, made several appointments and still got to lunch with my friend Janice early. (Every year I get a $25 certificate from Pear Street Bistro for my birthday month, and I love to take a friend there to celebrate. This year it was my bud Janice.) No well-wishing yet, my birthday isn't until the end of the month...)

Anyway, I got there as she was leaving her house, so I had a little time to wait on her. I stood out on the sidewalk (so she would know exactly where to turn) and worked on knitting a sock. I may not be making much art, but I'm still whacking away with the needles on occasions. Ala the Yarn Harlot (though not as skillfully) I decided to take a quick shot to memorialize the case today.

(I can take a photo on my phone and email it to flickr! complete with it's title. Doncha love technology??)

Anyway, I had my standard dish: a romaine salad with balsamic dressing, topping with Gorgonzola cheese, candied walnuts and slices of bosc pears. I added a bit of grilled salmon to the side. It was yum.

After lunch, it was turn around JoAnne's, a stop at the PetSmart for dog food and bird seed, some cardio workout at the gym, an annual exam for Jake at the vets, and I was finally home and ready to stay here about 4:15 in the afternoon.

This evening? Working some more on that sock (it's a Jaywalker in a tropical punch kind of colorway (#205) of Katia's Mississippi 3 print. A nice all cotton sock yarn.) Next will be the same pair in the blue colors (#207).

Supper: grilled vegetable frittata with whole wheat toast.
So what did you do today?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions for Thursday afternoon's Tale of the Scale.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

BlogHer Now with More Action...

Ya'll know I that write about things hobby-related for I'm honored to be part of this group even though I mainly live in the quiet little hobby corner.

Anyway, today Lisa, Elisa and Jory... three of my personal heroines and the sweetest gals you'd every want to spend an afternoon with... announced the next step for BlogHer:


According to the announcement:

We're introducing BlogHers Act. And just like the BlogHer Conference is the conference the community built, we want BlogHers Act to take on a cause the community develops.

We're starting today: We have asked the incredible duo of Cooper Munroe and Emily McKhann, from the Been There Hurricane Clearinghouse Blog, to lead this effort for us, by helping us work together to identify both:

1. The global issue that the BlogHer community wants to support

2. A voter manifesto identifying the top issues that the community wants addressed during the American presidential election in 2008

I'm encouraging you to go over the BlogHer and let Cooper and Emily know what you think (and register your blog if you haven't already). Or leave a comment here and I'll pass your messages along.

For myself, I'm considering the following:

1. Global Warming and the Environment. This is one issue that we can benefit from grassroots activism. And if women can't work to protect Mother Earth for our own children and future generations.. who should?

2. Top voter issues for the 2008 election:

Health Care. The whole enchilada: prescription drug costs, universal health care, preventative care.

Protection of Retirement Benefits. Stop allowing companies to cancel retirement plans that employees have paid into for years. If they must, make sure that all management loses EVERYTHING they've been promised from the corporation first.

Environmental Issues. From freeing ourselves from the "corn cartel", to making it economically possible for consumers to "go green" to reducing greenhouse gases. Again the whole enchilada please.

One that I feel strongly about, but that won't make the list:
Infrastructure redevelopment (I see the threat of infrastructure collapse in the next 10-20 years as a major concern. Yet nobody is willing to completely rebuild our power structures, our water supply system, or our roads.)

Are you surprised that the Iraq War, the economy, terrorism didn't make the list? While these might be important issues to discuss, I really have little faith that much can be done to impact these issues.

And why am I excited about being part of this?

Britt Bravo shares this appropriate quote with us CEs:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead.
And I added to the quote-fest with:
Before something happens in the world, it must happen in your mind. CS Lewis
So what do you think?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where I wrote about green grocery bags, and Thursday will write my Tale of the Scale.. with good news!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Doing Better...

Well, the visit with the pros left things temporarily undecided. Just before going out of the country on a cruise is NOT the time to be playing with better living through chemistry. So I'm sticking with my old prescription and hoping that it works for getting me through the severe time-adjusting reset.

Ya know how they make Lunestra sound like a really simple nice drug with no side effects? Take it, fall asleep quickly, sleep for 8 hours and wake up. Limited chance for addiction. Sounds great, right?


For me, I took it and fell asleep over an hour later (so about midnight). Woke up at 3:30 am and never fell asleep again, though I stayed in bed and prone until 7 am. (it's one of the suggestions.. if you're not sleeping through .. fake it. Sometimes you make it.) And I was severely depressed and weepy throughout the day.

Bad, bad reaction. or bad, bad drug for me.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
for my Tale of the Scale... or my new grocery shopping bags.. who knows?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Just keep drumming along...

This is an image from the Bay to Breakers that I never uploaded. Women drummers in Golden Gate Park who drummed their support for us. It was fabulous.

(Truthfully I'd love to learn how to join these gals. Drumming would be a great stress relief and social activity. Don't we all have times when we'd like to beat the living daylights safely out of something? Oh.. that's just me?? Nevermind.)

When I walked by these ladies I was so tempted to stop and soak in the rhythm from them. But it wasn't quite the strong soul beat that I needed. It was slightly off from what my cells were seeking, so rather than fight with alternate rhythms, I walked on.

Lately, I've been struck by the realization that when the rhythm of something is "right" then the action is effortless. Walking, sewing, painting, breathing, living. It's all about finding that effortless rhythm. And it's amazing what a good night's sleep and remembering to eat every 3 hours can do for me! It's my part of my rhythm, part that I have been missing the last couple days. The part that tripped me down into a well.

I'm not perfect today, but I'm better. I've got some of my rhythm back; I can feel it beating in my muscle fibers. Thanks for all your kind comments and emails over the last day or so. (Heck, thank you for every comment you've ever made! Every email you've sent! Every connection we've made.)

You, too, are the drummer women of my lives. And you rock!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
where I'll be a bit about Twitter. (after I eat something...)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Just So's Ya Know...

(sailboats on San Pablo Bay. Taken with full zoom. Have I mentioned lately that I love my camera?? I do!)

Just so's ya know, I'm still here.

Looking at the last month, I haven't taken many photos (and have shown even fewer); I haven't written many blog posts; I haven't done much of anything worth blogging about.

Monday I'm talking to the pros about better living through chemistry. Sure seems to me that mine must be outta whack.

And also so's ya know...

Friday or Saturday I'm dropping off my laptop for a trip to the computer spa.

Next Sunday (6/10) I'm leaving for a 2 week vacation.

So whatever you hear from me this week will be it until sometime after 6/24.

God, I'm going to have a readership of about 10 by then!! But I'll love each and every 10 of ya!