Monday, April 26, 2010

Popinjay - Excessive

Today's Popinjay prompt is "Excessive"...

There were OH SO MANY things I could have used for this prompt, but it just so happens that I'm in the midst of a decluttering project at home. And right now, the decluttering at this very moment is focused on my very large, and quite EXCESSIVE CD collection.

See, I used to work in a music store, and I also have always been a huge music fan, so it's no surprise that my music collection should be so abundant. But, this photo:
Is only a small portion of my collection. There is also this:

AND this:
That last picture represents CD's that were in drawers of an old desk I was using as a TV stand for the last few years. I had not opened those drawers in years, and had forgotten they even existed.

See? Excessive.

This week Popinjay is being Guest Hosted by Amber over here. Please do stop by and see what she finds to be excessive. And do come back next week, when I'll be hosting and the prompt is:


See you then!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

If I Had a Boyfriend - Everyone Needs a Workout Buddy

I had a strange dream the other night.

Strange, not because there were creepy creatures of freakish activities like flying over a purple river in a hybrid of a motorcycle and a Pegasus (What? Like you’ve never had that dream?)

No, it was strange mostly because of how ordinary it was. And also, not.

I dreamt I was running, which, in and of itself, is a strange phenomenon. Because I? Am so NOT a runner. Well, at least I wasn’t until last year, and now, suddenly, I find myself not only running and enjoying it, but dreaming about it.

But that wasn’t even the strange and yet ordinary part.

See, I wasn’t running alone. I was running with my boyfriend. I don’t remember much else about the dream, just that we were running, and chatting, and laughing along the way.

Except, the thing is…I don’t have a boyfriend.

So, therein lies the strangeness of the dream. That in dreaming about a boyfriend, I would dream of such an ordinary activity. I didn’t dream of an elaborate date on a horse drawn carriage through central park, with a candlelit dinner by moonlight. I didn’t dream one of “those” dreams that you don’t elaborate on in the morning, you simply smile to yourself and think “yeah, that was a good dream” (what? Like you’ve never had one of THOSE either? Please!)

And right there you have the truth of my situation. I’m not one of those girls who want the fantasy romance that will sweep me off my feet.

If I had a boyfriend, I would want to go running with him. I would want him to show me how to properly use the weight machines at the gym.

If I had a boyfriend, I’d want him to be the type of guy who would help me figure out what ingredients to pick up at the grocery store so we could invent some healthy version of our favorite meals.

We would cook together, eat together and then argue over whose turn it was to do the dishes.

But I don’t.

So tonight, I’ll go on that run alone anyway, I’ll create my own healthy recipe, and I guess it is my turn to do the dishes again.

But hey, you never know who I’ll be running with in my dreams tonight…

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Popinjay - Funny

So, yeah...I cheated again this week. As in, I went back to my archives for this week's Popinjay prompt "funny". Also, I used a picture of someone's kid, my cousin PM's son to be specific. But I believe you'll forgive me once you see it:
See? Obviously he found something incredibly funny, and I don't remember exactly what it was, but it makes me giggle just to look at it.

Make sure to stop by Michelle's and check out what other funny things are out there.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Princess

“We’re going to have to make a run for it” I said looking over at this shy little girl sitting in the passenger seat of my car “are you ready?”

She nodded her head and gave me the tiniest little smile, looking out the car window at the downpour just outside.

“Okay, go” I said, jumping out of the car, locking the doors, running around to grab her hand and running across the parking lot into the mall. By the time we made it inside, we were soaked, and in hysterics. The sound of her giggles warmed my heart up. And it was in that moment that I knew I would love her forever. It was in that moment that our bond as “sisters” was sealed.

Lil’ K was barely 8 years old, and I had just met her that afternoon. After an extensive interview process and background check, I had finally been matched up with my little sister through Big Brother Big Sister. I was 26 years old, single, with no prospect of a husband or kids anywhere in the near future, and I knew I needed to do something to quiet down the maternal instinct that had been nagging at me. I also knew that I was blessed to have a good life, a great family, and a strong head on my shoulders, and if I could use those blessings to reach out to a little girl, and make a difference in her life, I had an obligation to do so.

For the most part, I did it for selfish reasons. I was lonely, bored, going through a tough time with both a recent break-up and a stupid fight with some friends that left me wandering why I bothered, and I was desperate to find meaning in my life.

But I had always wanted to join BBBS, and I knew this was the time.

I know now that not only was making that call the most important decision I have ever made, I also know it was my destiny, my calling, my fate. It would set me on a path that has led me to today, that has made me the person I am. It would, quite literally, change my life.

Today is Lil K’s 17th birthday. SEVENTEEN. She is beautiful, she is smart, she is bright and fun, and mysterious and silly, she is frustrating and delightful. She is a teenager. She is a lady. She is still that little girl. She is a young woman.

What Lil K’ and I realized that day, nine years ago, at the mall was that we were kindred spirits. They couldn’t have matched two people up more perfectly. Our souls were created for one another in heaven, and it was only a matter of time before we’d find each other.

I love her as my own child, I worry about her as my own child, I celebrate her successes as my own child and I suffer her pains the same. She gives me reason to be, and hope that I am doing something valuable while on this earth.

I have seen her grow from that shy young girl who would speak to no one to a strong young woman who will speak her mind. I’ve seen her struggle with troubles, only to come out shining on the other end, bigger, better, and brighter than ever.

She’s joined my family as one of our own, celebrating holidays, birthdays and all other events with us. And as she’s gotten older, she’s become a dear friend as well, someone I can have conversations with.

I am 35, single, with no kids. But in the last 9 years I have never felt that nagging maternal instinct again, because whenever it would even try, it would be reminded that in Lil K, I have fulfilled it. Whether or not I ever have kids of my own, it won’t matter, because with Lil’ K, I have parented, I have loved unconditionally, and I have grown.

And as she continues to amaze and bless me, to mature and flourish, my heart swells.

Happy Birthday Lil’ K, you are and always will be my baby girl, my sister, my friend.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Popinjay - Bitter

Okay, so here's the thing...I was going to skip this week's popinjay. I couldn't really think of anything to photograph for the word "Bitter".

Well, I could think of several things, but none of them were the sort of things that could easily be capture on camera. Emotions, you see, are a hard thing to photograph.

And for me, bitter, is more an emotion than anything else at the moment.

But, who wants to dwell on that sort of thing?

And yet, I didn't want to skip this week, because I haven't posted anything to this blog in a few days, and I really wanted to.

So...I put on my thinking cap...okay, not really...honestly, I just opened up my fridge, and...

This is what I came up with:
That, my friends, is balsamic vinegar and capers.

If nothing else, I got you to laugh.

Go on by Michelle's to see who else was having bitter feelings today.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Active April

I’m always looking for motivation to be healthy.

If you don’t know, about two and a half years ago, I signed up for Jennie Craig on a whim. I’d gone to an appointment with my mom for moral support. I knew I needed to get in shape, but I was sure I could do it on my own, and didn’t need to sign up for any program to do it, I was just going with mom because she didn’t want to go alone.

She was going to sign up, and I was going to walk away and go do my own thing.

But I signed up. And I’ll be forever grateful that I did. In the next 4 months or so I dropped 25lbs.

More importantly, however, I changed the way I thought about food, about exercise, and about my health.

This post is not an advertisement for JC. Although I feel I do owe it to the program for my weight loss, and I think it is a great program and it DOES work, this isn’t about them, it’s about me.

I needed to be in the right mindset to take control of my health, and although JC helped me on that path, it was I who made the decision to do it.

And since then, on my own, I’ve done a pretty darn good job of staying healthy.

Over this past holiday season, however, I slacked a bit. I regained about 10 lbs. Now, to be honest, considering where I was before I regained this weight, I’m still in pretty good shape. If I wanted to, I’m pretty sure I could stay right where I am, and would never be called overweight by anyone.

But I know my body, and I know that the 10lb difference matters. Over the last several months I’ve been able to manage the food and exercise balance so well that I have maintained my weight pretty steadily. I have not been super strict with either food or exercise, but have managed to not gain an ounce.

I have also not managed to lose a single pound.

You could say I’ve maintained, or you could say I’ve plateau.

Either way, the scale’s not budging, up or down.

I read somewhere that the “cursed” last 5 lbs women struggle with constantly are a woman’s body’s way of telling her that maybe she’s not supposed to lose that last 5 lbs., which is why she’s constantly re-gaining them.

I wonder if that is true. I’m wanting to put it to the test.

I am determined to lose the last 10 (or actually it’s 13) lbs. to reach my goal weight. I’m going to do this one last SERIOUS push in the next few months to drop the weight, get in great shape, tone my body…and see what happens. I wonder if after I do, with this new balance I seem to have found, I’ll be able to maintain it, as I’ve maintained the weight I am now for several months…

So, starting today, I’m putting myself on a 1200 calorie a day diet, with healthy options, regular snacks, and a complete and varied diet.

And also, I’m joining my twitter friend Ami on her Active April challenge.

Here are my “activity goals” for April:

Mondays: Shred at the gym

Tuesdays: Kickboxing at the gym (with the exception of Board Meeting Tuesday, because…well, I can’t miss the meeting)

Wednesdays: will probably be my day off from the gym, but if the weather allows, power walk outside, and if not, abs and arms at home with FitTV

Thursdays: Cardio day at the gym

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are always a crapshoot schedule wise for me, so I’m just going to focus on trying to get in at least 30 minutes of “real” exercise each of those days.

On top of that, my plan is to walk at lunch daily, take the stairs at work instead of the elevator, park far away from wherever I go, and just MOVE more.

I also have a plan to chat with a friend about starting a weight training routine of some sort. I’m completely clueless when it comes to weight/strength training, but really want to get into that a bit…

So, there you have it, my ActiveApril plan…wanna join in? Visit Ami's blog to find out more, or let me know in comments that you'll be joining in...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Popinjay - Accomplished

I haven't posted in a while, and I haven't done a Popinjay in weeks...but, instead of dwelling on all the reasons why my blog has been so neglected (stupid dumb old laptop), we're just going to move forward.

That said, today's Popinjay word is ACCOMPLISHED.

This was a bit of a crazy weekend, the weather wasn't even so much Spring Like as it was Summer Like here in New England, and after a long, dark and dreary winter, we New Englanders know to take advantage of every second of good weather we can get, especially when it shows up early and unexpectedly.

So, I spent all day Saturday outdoors. My goal was to soak up as much sunlight and vitamin D as humanly possible.

I drove around all day with the windows and sunroof open. Ran a bunch of errands, did a little shopping, and then came home and headed out to my balcony.

And that was when I noticed how dingy and dirty and gross my balcony was from a winter of neglect and weather beatdowns.

So I set to sweeping the deck, cleaning off my potted plants, watering them in expectation of hopefully some new buds coming out of the perennials I planted last year...

And then I grabbed my brand new chair cushion, and took a seat out in the setting sun...

But not before I made myself a drink...

Outdoor summer day in April...mission accomplished.