Thursday, January 16, 2014

Seven Quick Takes #9

Another Quick Takes! 

I'm deep in the mystery of the disappearing favorite work out shorts! How is it possible? I live alone, I don't have any pets that could have wandered off with them. Sure, I use a common laundry room downstairs with the rest of my neighbors... but I know I hung them to dry over my bathtub, next to my other favorite pair, and moved everything to my bed the next morning before my shower. They disappeared sometime  between then and coming home from work! Must be the same culprit who messes up my house while I'm work. Sleuthing tips welcome. We gotta get this evil genius!

After seeing the results of my sugar fast (flat tummy, which has now disappeared because I have so totally rediscovered chocolate!! Bah!) one of my friends is now doing the same sugar fast challenge.
The frustrating thing about it is, it takes a while for results. I mean, there you are denying yourself sweets of all kinds, and you want to see results NOW!
She's been texting me for moral support, and about every other day she asks when she's going to see results... because honestly... truly... you look down one day and your tummy is gone! Well, it's been a couple months since I did it and I truly couldn't recall just when I noticed the personal miracle.
I was pondering this question while running errands, and suddenly I remembered!!!  I grabbed my phone and texted her back, "You'll see the results right about when you stop craving the sweets, and you no longer have a desire to cheat!"
Ah hah!   (which is a full 2.5 weeks if you've been quite devoted, longer to never if you've been cheating) 
My life is a little bit sweeter these days because Downton Abbey is back!
Although I want to pluck Julian Fellowes' beard if he has one, for continually mucking up the lives of my favorite characters.
I do love the show, but I'm really peeved with the Brits take on drama which is to kill off favorite characters and throw gigantic wrenches into story lines!
While watching the season premiere, I thought to myself, "Gosh, I love Carson." - smile, smile, happy thought - "I hope they don't kill him. Heck they'll just realize he's old and let him die of natural causes!"

I hate that something I love so much makes me think this way!
You know how some things just need to change with times? It has occurred to me that if Author Gary Chapman were to rewrite The Five Love Languages,  one of them should be Comments on Facebook Posts.
Seriously. Likes are just too weak. I admit it, my self-worth is wrapped up in the need for comments when I post something pithy. Like? Meh. If you liked then you shoulda put a comment under it!
I'm so frustrated with the stops and starts trying to get my house back in shape! I've been trying to purge a few things. Old files, small appliances, some clothes and shoes that I'd like take to a resale shop... I have some foot issues, so I've been buying shoes like a maniac trying to find something that doesn't hurt my feet, that are cute but can still fit an orthotic foot support (IMPOSSIBLE!).  I made a lot of mistakes last year in that department. Shoes that feel pretty darn good on a test drive in a 640 sq ft apartment, don't maintain that level of fabulous walking around in real life! So I need to get some money back for shoes that have only been worn once or twice.
Problem is, until I figure out which resale shop, or whether to put on ThatDudesList... all this stuff is piled up in my hallway. No matter how clean the rest of the apartment, it looks messy thanks to the piles. Boo.
I think I have determined that I must start by finishing some sewing projects, so I can put the sewing machine away... (that thing just makes my whole living area look discombobulated!) then I can purge the piles.... clean out more closets... and then maybe I can finally relax when I come home.  Any tips?
Today I read a tip that suggested once a person reaches age 55, they should start going through all their belongs and purge anything that would be a pain in the tuckus for friends or family to have to go though should you meet an untimely demise.
I'm not sure how I feel about that. 50 isn't too far off for me (far enough, thank you very much) and I feel like I still haven't gotten to experience much of my life yet. No husband, no kids. There are some things that I own that I very much hoped my children would remember me by.
"That beautiful credenza? It was my mother's. She had great taste in furniture, and saved and saved to buy everything she had. She loved antiques and Mid Century Modern, and she could dicker a price down like nobody's business... a skill she learned from her dad. It reminds me of her every day."
I mean, I JUST NOW got my apartment the way I want it, and this article suggested that no one will appreciate my stuff but me. Sure, I'm probably never going to have kids, and my family could care less about the kinds of things I appreciate. But I kind of want them all to sort through my things and learn who I was. Since they didn't really bother while I was alive.
No matter, I've told my BFF that if I die suddenly, she needs to get here before my mom does and tidy up! In exchange, she can have all my furniture because she's the only I know who would appreciate it!

Have I told you how much I love eating fish since I got the all clear from my allergy doc two years ago?  Yeah, I spent 20 years of my life avoiding all fish and seafood because doctors were concerned about the risk of cross-contamination from shellfish, which really has it in for me.

Well, about two years ago my doc told me I could have most fish if I could verify that it's been kept a safe distance from shellfish. In the years since that initial diagnosis, the commercial food prep standards have become stricter and the risk is quite minimal now.
Let me tell you, it's about all I eat. I love it. (but not too much to risk mercury poisoning) It seems like a luxury after denying myself for so long. Any menu I see, I look for the fishies and indulge! Whee!

In fact, that's what several of my tussles with my mom were about when I was home. She jumped on me anytime I ate or ordered fish. "If I were you, I wouldn't take that risk." It's not a risk mom, it's fine. I've been eating fish regularly for two years and I'm still alive. I've done my due diligence.
For crying out loud, I'm a grown woman, I think I can choose my own meals. I think it was exceptionally frustrating because I live alone, and I'm not used to anyone questioning my decisions on a daily or hourly basis. It was so weird to have my food choices second guessed. Sheesh!

And the reality is, the only times I've ever almost died were when there was actual shrimp in my meal, that I wasn't told about. Where in fact, I expressly ordered something shrimp-free and they snuck it in. I've never had a reaction from cross contamination. Only from the sneaky little buggers themselves!
I've had only four cases of anaphylactic shock due to shellfish and first two were before I knew I was allergic. (Disclaimer: each anaphylactic event is worse than the last, and it's very, very painful and scary. I'm smart enough to not let that happen if it's in my control!)
So yeah, Salmon? Wahoo? FishNChips? Bring it on!!!
I'm so much healthier now too!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Seven not so Quick Takes - #8

Looking back on 2013.... I guess it was a fairly good year. Not as traumatic as 2010, which was the NYE I stayed home and went to bed at 9:00 just so the year could be over as soon as possible!
This year, a dear friend had a simple, low-key party at home - it was perfect!

My best accomplishment this year was getting fit!  Friends have been pointing out what they see as my noticeable weight loss. I did lose a few pounds, but only a few...  however, thanks to dietary changes, and Crossfit workouts, (I gave up wheats and grains more than a year ago, went sort of paleo, and just before Thanksgiving I gave up sugar and dairy)  I have redistributed my weight in a far more desirable fashion! I am very pleased with the changes.
On New Years Eve, an acquaintance saw me and waxed astonished about my transformation. Apparently, it looks like I lost a lot of weight, although I didn't even lose ten pounds, and I'm still fluctuating. I think the change seems dramatic because I lost belly fat due to the many changes I listed in italics, so my tummy is flatter than ever... clothes look SO much better.
I have been struggling with obtaining a flat tummy for years! A few years back, I told McTwitchy that it was one of my biggest insecurities.  He, of course, would always tell me that I looked great... he did not see the fat tummy that was so obvious to me.
Last week, I bragged a little to him and pointed out that my tummy was finally flat. He sees no difference, shrugged and said, "Believe me, no one is looking at your stomach."
I just stared at him, shocked, and said, "That's a really mean thing to say! Geeze, do you men have any idea how much work we women put into having a flat tummy?!" 
Oh well, I know men don't really notice that stuff, but to say that all my work isn't even noticeable seems a bit harsh. Even though I know that he's really saying there are other features men notice before abdominals. I get it. But still.
That's okay, I did it for me anyway!
My biggest failure this year was an attempt to refinance the mortgage on my condo. There are certain FHA restrictions on buildings like mine, that negatively impact eligibility for loans. I'm fully aware of the potential problems, and explained it all to the mortgage agent upfront.  So when they put me through months of information and finance gathering, I really thought it was going to work out.
Seriously, they traumatized me for four months, making me believe the refi was actually going to go through... then at the last minute they declined it for the very reasons I told them I was concerned about when I applied for the loan! Literally, the very last minute! An exercise in futility!  So much time and effort wasted. Ugh. It still makes me mad to think about it - and I'm not ready to try again just yet.
I also quit dating this year... After the last guy who seemed he could only be a perfect fit ... bailed out like a coward. No really, he was Catholic, divorced, but annulled before he ever pursued dating (yay, gold standard! ) and has college-aged child, so there was an empty nest with potential for me to be a grandmother, since I never got to be a mom! Whee!
We had great dates, a good time together, and a lot in common, but then this guy blamed God for his decision not to date me... (Oh please! God did not tell you to dump me in an email... THAT I KNOW FOR SURE.)
So anyway, no dating for me. I mean, I will date, but I'm not going to care about it.
When I was home at Christmas, I ran into an old high school classmate. Someone who got married right after high school, and of course is divorced now. I asked about her kids, two of whom are in their 20s... one more still at home. Kids in their 20s! That is so shocking to me!
I looked at her and said, "That hardly seems possible!"
She looked at me, shocked and said, "Oh come on TRS, we're old!"
Hmm. Speak for yourself! I'm still looking for a husband and hoping to have a family! But I guess if you've seen your own children meet so many of life's milestones, it's a whole different perspective. Yikes!
As for me, I'm still trying to hit the milestones - like marriage and children!
I had the worst Christmas I can remember. A whole week with my mom is just too much! Each day she made some nasty dig, and they all piled up and really hurt me. For example, talking about that friend with grown children, I mentioned that I'm still young at heart, fun loving, don't feel my age - so my mom suggested I'm not acting enough my age. Considering you only see me three times a year, how would YOU know how others see me? You don't even know me! 
Then my laugh is too loud, and my hair looks better curled, and I paused at a stop sign too long, I'm eating the wrong food, and drinking the wrong water, and all the "obvious reasons" I'm not married, and who I should have married, even though she doesn't know any of the men I've dated. I seriously wanted to go jump off the bridge in -2 weather!!
To you mom's out there - watch yourselves. When you think you're just making suggestions for improvement, you're actually making your child wonder if there is anything you like about them, just as they are! It's a good way to wind up wondering why your kids never come to visit.

Anyway, I'll never go home for a full week at a time again. It's not worth the pain.

This year, I finally sprang for some of the finishing touches in decorating my home. I bought a beautiful sofa in 2012, after saving up for years, so I finally knew what I wanted in terms of color, other small pieces of furniture and such.
I didn't really spend a lot... I guess you could say nickel and dimed... but more like $30 here and $80 there, except for the larger expense of an elfa shelving and desk system, and paint -- all of which made my living space beautiful and functional!
Looking at my finances though, I maybe should have spread it out over another year, but finally finding what I wanted (which generally involves antiques, which tend to disappear if you don't buy them when you see them!) I justified it with the thought, "If I can't have a husband or children, no family of my own in a house with a yard, I can at least have a beautiful home!"

At my age, what's the sense in waiting to have something nice? I should be so lucky as to have some sticky-fingered kiddos to ruin all my nice furniture!

After living here for ten years, it's finally so nice to come home to. I can feel proud of my home.

So that's my 2013 wrap up, the good the bad and the ugly!
Hoping for a little more beautiful in 2014. Realistic or not.

As for resolutions, I've found that I don't really settle on my resolutions until Lent. Which I think is just right!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!