Monday, August 31, 2009
I always felt weird in grade school when we started back in August, like it wasn't really time to be in school until I could write "September" on the page. September was the month when school kicked in gear, when the weather (mercifully) started cooling off and it started getting dark a little earlier, when the leaves gave just a little hint of changing into their amazing fall array. I can't wait for leaf change season...I'm hoping that we'll get to enjoy peak leaf color during our camping trips to Balsam, NC in September and October.
This summer has left me feeling sluggish, tired, sapped of energy, listless, and dissatisfied. What a bummer, eh? Camping with Shannon and James was a welcome bright spot. Most of the summer goals I set went unachieved. I'm really hoping that I'll get it together for my fall goals.
We shall see.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Anyway, I told you last time about how I'm royally sucking with the not getting Chinese takeout thing....*sigh*....that's mission #1. I've got to get better with that. September is our goal...no takeout at all. So, what we got on Thursday was in August, technically, AND I actually didn't hoover all of it and managed to put some away to have for dinner tonight. AND, Joey's parents got Chinese for us last night and I only ate half of that too, so I'll have something for dinner tomorrow night or lunch Monday....so, all in all, not a total failure, but I'm going to have to get good enough that I'm able to resist the temptation rather than whining about it until Joey gives in because he loves me so much.
Mission #2 has got to be less food waste. We have totally managed to keep our food budget in the $100 per month range before, so this really shouldn't be that much of a challenge, but we're really bad about letting produce rot and food go bad. I've been reading The Frugal Girl blog, which is awesome, by the way, but she does this thing called Food Waste Friday, where she catalogues the food that she has to throw away each week. I'm thinking of particpating in this too; she started doing it in March of 08 and apparently, it's helped her a good bit in reducing her food waste. We'll see what happens. Tomorrow begins the first week of our monthly budget shopping, so I'll be sure to catalogue what we get.
I'm singing tomorrow, so naturally, I'm starting to get nervous already. Those are earlyearly mornings...up at 5, leaving at 6:45 to be at church at 7. Off to bed early for me! Love to everyone!
Friday, August 28, 2009
We had Qdoba brought in by AXA yesterday, which was fantastic, and we had leftovers today for lunch, and it made me think of a few things:
- We must purchase at least one avocado per week for guacamole.
- We must get a bottle of lime juice to have on hand for said guacamole
- We must purchase cilantro to have on hand for, well, EVERYTHING.
- I HAVE to figure out how to make tomatillo salsa.
Honestly, I think that, armed with a good batch of guac and salsa all week, I'd be pretty well set as far as lunches are concerned. There's very little that's better than a black bean salad with guac and salsa as the dressing (what I had today for lunch). Avocados are healthy fats, and as far as I'm concerned, there is NO fresh herb out there better than cilantro. MOVE over, Basil. Here comes cilantro. With cilantro and lime, you really don't even need cheese, which is probably my hugest weakness.
So, I think the above ideas are pretty good...they are in keeping with the whole foods movement, and, made from scratch, they can prove to be a very inexpensive way to supplement meals.
If you can't tell, I'm in a much better mood than yesterday, despite having two really crappy dreams last night:
- in the first, I dreamed that I was yelling at Joey and throwing things over and over and over...just anything, whatever I had in my hands (not specifically at him, but anywhere), and eventually drove him away:(
- in the second, for some reason, I had gone on a business trip to FL and taken Mom with me and we were getting ready to come home and were at the airport (which was dirty and nasty and full of hoboes), when we looked at our itinerary and noticed that, because we were flying for business purposes, they routed us through Houston and then California and back to NC, so we weren't going to get home until waaaaaaay late, and both of us had to sing at church the next day, and Mom was really upset about missing singing (hehehe....I know you're cracking up about that, Mom) and started crying.
So, I got virtually no rest and almost fell asleep in the car a few times, but, I'm still feeling a whole lot better than yesterday. Plus, it's only getting up to 83 today, so I'm taking a NAP in the car at lunch today. Woohoo!
Ok.....off I go.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Today was a *very* stressful day. I already started out in a bad mood on the way to work...just let too much run through my head and got caught up in the bad, and then, what started as a relatively minor event at work (my dissatisfaction with how open my cubicle is), ended up being a much bigger deal than I'd intended for it to be and I spent half the morning holding back tears. Not sure why...usually work stress just makes me aggravated, but I guess, when coupled with the already crappy drive to work, it just kind of got out of hand.
I've also been a little ambivalent about my vegetarianism for the past couple of days....not because I'm sick of it or don't believe in it anymore, but I'm a little tired feeling guilty for people having to make sure there's a meatless option just for my sake. I thought about it, though, and I can't really see myself eating meat again...I feel too strongly about not doing it and about treating Creation the way God originally intended for it to be treated...for those of you who think we were chowing down on burgers and fried chicken in the garden of Eden, I'll direct you back to Genesis 1:29-30, where God directs both humans and animals to eat a vegetarian diet. Funny how that was never mentioned to me in church my whole life until I went back and found it this past February. I'm not trying to start an argument about this, honestly. I know full well that eating meat is expressly permitted later in the Bible...but I think that it's not intellectually dishonest or unScriptural to say that a world where humans and animals have a relationship of compassion rather than contention was God's original design.
Anyway, that's enough of my soapbox...I'm not sure why I got on that tangent. I'm probably going to go to bed shortly...don't know if I can accomplish much more today. Love to all!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Yesterday was a lot of fun. My aim isn't too bad, honestly! But I will say that the indoor range was muuuch louder than shooting outdoors at Shannon's grandparents' house. I kept jumping any time someone else fired. But, a good time was had by all and that's the point!
It's been a relaxed, but strange weekend. Usually, James and Shannon are over either one or both nights. This weekend was spent solitarily, with lots of sleep, and with Joey working to set up his website for his class he's teaching at Wingate starting next week. Uneventful and relaxed? Yes, which has been nice, but I missed the comfort of knowing that we'd see some of our closest friends.
School starts this week.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Things are, indeed, in the process of quieting down over here in Weaver-world. I don't know when we'll finally get settled back into a life routine, but I definitely hope it's soon. Joey is dealing with a two-day crash course in teaching higher ed, followed by his first day of classes on Thursday, so I'm playing PhD widow for a while; I miss Joey, but it's also nice to have a quiet house, so I'm not too terribly upset. It gives me a chance to write a little more freely...I don't know why, but I write so much better when I'm by myself.
Anyway, here are a few up-coming events, plans, and goals that are brewing over here in Weaverville...
- We're engaging in some "guerrilla frugality" for the next few months. July and August proved to be very expensive months for us, and as a result, we're not sitting as comfortably as we usually are (no, we're not in trouble). So, to build back up, we're going to be doing the "no-frills" frugality thing. I'm a little excited, to be honest (I know, sick, huh?) as it'll definitely give me some ideas for my Examiner site! Two major parts of our Uber-frugal fall are: (a) NO eating out/takeout until the end of September, at least. I suspect that we may end up doing it for longer as I'll be getting back into the habit of cooking and making new recipes, and once I'm doing it, I love it...and (b)STICKING to our $100 per month grocery budget. Farmer's markets are making this one pretty easy right now. I'm also going to try my hand at making my own flatbread/wraps to further save $$, so keep your eye out for that!
- School starts next week for me!! I'm so thrilled, nervous, excited...I actually feel the same butterflies that I felt when I was going back to college. It's a little disappointing, unfortunately, since the only contact I get with my profs and classmates is through a discussion board, but I'll take what I can get. This semester, I'm taking Ethnic Lit and Research Methods. I suspect that the former will be more fun and the latter will be more helpful, but I'm grateful for both!
- More clutter-busting! Joey needs the office to be clean so that he'll have a quiet place to work on his school, and right now, we can't even walk in the office, so it's time to get some of the crap out of there and free up some space. We'll see how much we have and perhaps another yard sale will be in order...
- More knitting! It's definitely time to crack down on my handmade Christmas goal, so I'll need to continue with the momentum I'm building up to get those presents made:)
- More gym!! My ankle really doesn't hurt very much at all, so now that it's better and all of the crazy hub-bub of the last two months is over, it's time to get back into the gym routine. I always feel better when my body's not upset at me for what I'm eating and (not) doing.
So, there you have it...a productive update. I feel like I'm starting on an adventure!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I had a long nap yesterday and then went to bed early last night, but I still woke up feeling exhausted and almost fell asleep on the way to work more than once. I felt off-kilter at work all day, like I was having trouble getting into what I was doing (moreso than just the normal laziness that plagues all of us in the cubicle world;)), and now that I'm home, I'm feeling sluggish and tired. I made some noodles and powdered cheese, as it's usually my go-to comfort food (I don't use the milk and butter to save fat grams), and it didn't really do much good, either.
It was an incredibly emotionally draining weekend, for sure, which wasn't entirely unexpected.
I'm feeling pretty disgusted with all of the clutter in the house.
And I'm pretty sure that I could crawl into bed right now and sleep a full night's sleep.
I can't wait to do it all over again tomorrow.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I'm watching CNN in the dark while Joey sleeps...since James's going away ceremony is late tomorrow night, and we won't be able to stay for it, we're going to go ahead and check out today, take James for a long lunch, and then meet his friends on base and head home this afternoon. It'll likely be pretty early tomorrow morning when we get back, so Joey needs all of the sleep he can get. I'm not worried about it, though...Joey's done longer stretches driving than the ten hours back of this trip. I'm really disappointed that James's ceremony isn't until tomorrow night, but it probably works out better this way, since he goes on "lock down" today and won't be able to leave the base after three pm anyway.
We've had a lot of fun on this trip...we've stayed up late, laughing and joking and reminiscing about the past year...we've watched Disney movies and action movies, and some show on the History Channel about guns and tanks....we've eaten out, went to Wal-Mart, walked to the gas station to get better coffee than the swill that the hotel has.
Last night, my body was DONE with the crap that I've been eating...enough said on that one...but I plan to be very careful at lunch today and try not to get anything greasy or too cheesy. We'll definitely be going back to pure, healthy, whole foods when we get home and I'm looking forward to that. It's funny how much you're affected by what you choose to put in your body. I can safely say that, should I be offered another piece of pizza, I think I'll just puke right there. Between the last few weeks and our dinner Friday/lunch yesterday, I am officially OVER pizza.
Anyway...I leave you with those thoughts. Follow me on Twitter (Melbo19) as I'll be tweeting the journey home. Love to all, and I'll catch you tomorrow.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Today is shaping up to be a very busy day at work, as it usually is when I'm trying to plan for some time off...since we're taking James to Indy, I'll be gone tomorrow and Monday, and it's always a bear trying to get an extra day's worth of work done.
I reserved our campsites for September and October!! How exciting. We're hoping that Shannon can/will go with us in October, which should be beautiful because of the leaves changing, and September is going to be just a nice vacation for the two of us with no itinerary, like we had with James and Shannon last month.
So, now I'm pining away for breezy, cooler days and changing leaves, for pumpkins and scarecrows and black cats, for cornucopias and tofurkeys, for family and friends, for fall. Man, I can almost taste it.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Joey also got some really good news regarding his class coming up right after we get back from Indy...the books that he thought he was going to have to read and have papers done for are actually no longer required, so now he's got time to focus on studying German for his quiz on the first day. I think that, while he's going to be seriously stressed at first trying to balance teaching and being a student, he's really going to enjoy himself this semester, and it's going to prove to him that he really can do it.
Thankfully, TruTV plays forensic shows until 5:30, so I've got something to keep on as background noise. Tonight is choir rehearsal, and then I'll probably go ahead and start packing for the trip so I'm not scrambling tomorrow night.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It's all worth it, though...in just a few days, James will be off to Iraq for a year and these are the times we'll have to hold on to while we're waiting for him to get back. This past year has gone so fast...it seems like he just got back, and to look back and realize that we've all hung out almost every weekend since then....it's just weird to think about how quickly it went by. It's funny how fast friendships can be made, real friendships...kind of sucks to end up in limbo for a while. But, it's a pretty noble thing to volunteer to serve one's country, a very special call. It's a thing to be honored.
So, I'm taking Friday and Monday off so that we can go to Indy with him and Shannon and see him off. And, after that, I'm probably going to have to do some sort of detox to rid my body of all of the crap that I've ingested in the past few weeks. But, there will be time for that later! We're off to bed early tonight to try to catch up a little on sleep:).
Saturday, August 8, 2009
I figured it was time for some kitty pron since I hadn't done any Shelli shots lately. I need to take some more since she's always doing something that's incredibly cute. Last night, she vascillated between Shannon's flip flops and Cory's sneakers and played with her black mousie in front of everyone! I just love her to death, really. She sleeps with me every night, curled up next to me (I have to sleep on my right side so that I'm facing her or she doesn't like it).
I checked out the book One Skein Wonders at the library on Thursday, so I'm going to pick a project out of that to work on over the next week or so. It's been a long time since I've actually finished anything, and I have so many randome skeins of yarn laying around that I think that a small, manageable, fast project will probably help to rekindle my knitting jones. Part of my simplifying journey right now is figuring out how to incorporate more of the things I love into my life while letting go of things I don't love as much. Knitting is such a fantastic hobby for someone with anxiety problems as it really gives you a way to keep your hands busy and gives you something to focus on while you have to wait for something or are thinking about something too much. I should have a WIP photo for you soon!
Today, Joey and I are going to the farmer's market in Monroe today to buy our produce for the week and to get some info for an upcoming feature series I'm working on for my Examiner site.
I'm really excited; I've never been to a farmer's market before and I'm so looking forward to the experience. I'll take pictures, too because it'll probably be worth a blog on here too.
I think I'm about to enter a season of frequent blogging here. I know that I haven't posted much over the summer, and part of it was because of my food blog, but the other part was because I've been so anxious and have been trying so much not to think about life and myself. Now that I'm taking steps to improve life and myself, I'm not so scared of it anymore.
Well, I'll probably blog again later today; we're going to relax after the Farmer's market experience and then we have a birthday party to attend this evening!! Good day, everyone!
Friday, August 7, 2009
I've also been cutting back on salt, nothing too drastic, but I can already notice how EXTREMELY salty most processed foods are. I've been using this new salad dressing, Ken's Light Caesar, and it's so salty that I think I'm going to try to cut it with olive oil or something to reduce the salt. And, last night, I had some pasta with the Buitoni pesto, and it was uber-salty too. It's just funny, you hear that you'll be more sensitive to salt once you cut it out, but I never really thought it would happen. Makes eating lower sodium stuff easier, now.
It's been a rough and dramatic week for me, most of it in my own mind, but stressful nonetheless. I had to make a hard decision that made me feel like I was in a no-win situation...let other people down, or do what's not really the best for my sanity and for my family. After my most recent bout with the anxiety flaring up and an impromptu-visit to my psychiatrist, he made me realize that I've really got to sit down and physically write out my priorities, and then keep the non-negotiables and then maybe the next one or two after that, but try to let the rest go. When I did that, I saw how full my list had gotten and how divided my attention was becoming, which I'm sure contributes to why I've been feeling so out of balance and out of control these past several days.
I found myself thinking about last year, and about how I didn't really enjoy the holidays at all because I was so busy and how I had to miss or be late to some very important events this year because of other things, and I realized that I don't want that kind of stress. I don't want to feel guilty for wanting to see a friend before she moves away. So, I'm slowly working to remove extra things from my life to free up some time.
Frightening? Yes. Sad? A little. But reliving and liberating, too.
Dr. Arnold posted all of the information for my upcoming Ethnic Lit course in the fall so that we could get a jump on reading if we wanted to. I'm pretty glad for that because I really plan to do my best to get a little ahead. One of my self-disappointments from last semester was that I didn't do as much as I could have to stay ahead in my classes, and I found myself feeling like I was barely hanging on. School is one of the TOP non-negotiables (right behind Family and Work), so it has to come before many of the things in my life that I'd rather be doing.
Ok...enough rambling from me. The reign of pictureless posts will end soon. We've got some times upcoming soon that will merit pictures, and then, life will have to become very structured. But, there's comfort in routines for me. They make me feel like there's some semblance of order in my life;)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It's funny, I went back earlier and read back through my posts on this blog and it's so funny how I run in cycles....feeling overwhelmed, out of balance, lacking control, depressed and resentful, etc, and then happy, peaceful, hopeful, etc. It seems to run in cycles with the seasons, which is kind of funny since most people get depressed in the winter rather than in the summer.
I think that summer would be more joyful for me if I had a job where I was in/around the school system and worked on a school schedule. Summer is really just like any other time when you're in the corporate world, except that it's really hot and miserable. Eventually, I'll get there, but for now, I'll just have to wish for fall to come and cool things off and give us more time to enjoy nature (without worrying about nuclear sunburn, swarms of angry mosquitoes, or nearly-naked neighbors).
Rereading my blogs was helpful, though, because it's helped me to see that I've been through this all before. I was feeling really dissatisfied today, like nothing's ever going to get better. I guess that actually seeing that I've been there before makes me hopeful that maybe it will. I do hate that, even on medication, I'm still struggling with being able to cope with everyday situations. Lately, I've not been able to handle much more than going to work and coming home and collapsing in front of the TV, which I know is extremely unhealthy, and it's not how I want to live.
Some major planning will have to come as to what I'm going to try to do for the remainder of the summer to get my head back in the game and to get life back on the upswing. I am excited, though, because we're planning two camping trips coming up....one in September and the other in October (with Shannon, hopefully!!).
We'll get there. I know.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I had to beg off on my parents to go see Harry Potter at the IMAX on Thursday night, and as usual, I feel horribly guilty:(. But we really need a night at home with nothing to do. I know that they understand, but I absolutely hate missing opportunities to have fun with them.
I'm trying to plan a camping trip for me and Joey in September, and then one for us and Shannon in October....seriously, I could camp at least once a month after what a great experience we had a few weeks ago.
Anyway, just a brief update...I may try to do a series over the next couple of weeks on how to cope when your routine gets turned upside down. If I can figure out how to cope, that is;).