Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Slowing it down

Happy New Moon! According to my astrologer, "This new Moon is one for starting healthy habits. Consider what you can do to better your personal best. However, since Mercury is retrograde put your intentions on paper and wait to put them into action after September 12."

What a busy last 10 days! Work has been crazy due to a hold up at the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. All the carriers had to file and receive approval for their October rates as a result of changes due to health care reform, so we brokers were left scrambling to get things done on time. Couple that with my honey spraining his ankle right before a bunch of really important gigs (equals me having to load his drums in and out of rehearsals and gigs, and drive him everywhere because he can't depress the clutch) and helping one of my bestest friends move this past weekend ... I'm just glad things have gone back to their normal pace.

Autumn has hit the Inland Northwest. Normally I crave autumn. Some of it is nostalgia for the back-to-school times of my yester-years, but mostly because it's heralds a time to slow down. Busy summer days are over. The growing season has come to a close, and it's time to sit back and enjoy the bounty. Us lazy folks love being able to sit back and enjoy, preferrably with a nice cabernet.

But the past two years we've had long winters and short summers. My burning bush started turning red the last week of August, and I wasn't quite ready for it this year. One day it was summer, and the next summer up and said "I'm outta here!" I missed it through Labor Day weekend. I'm over it now, and am welcoming autumn with open arms! Time for inside stuff, like sewing and reading and glasses of cabernet.

Speaking of slowing it down, I have had zero time to create the past few weeks, and I am looking forward to an un-busy weekend during which I can sit down at my sewing machine and play. I have been trying to brainstorm about what I can make for my friend Esther's birthday at the end of October. Having just moved this past weekend, she's going to have a housewarming/birthday/Halloween party, so I thought I'd make something housewarming themed for her, with a little witchy pizazz. She's very crafty (she made me a quilt!), so I need to come up with something good. I have a few ideas, but would love some more!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Practical Magic ... a quote

From the movie Practical Magic ...
Sally Owens: "All I want is a normal life."
Aunt Frances Owens: "My darling girl when are you going to realize that being Normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage ..."
Saw this quote on Cauldron of the Goddess. My comment? Absolutely indeed ...

Getting back into the swing ... finding the magick

It's been just about a month since I re-joined the gym, and it's going well. I've made it there no less than three times a week, with the exception of one week where I was having a lower back issue (slept wrong or something).

This week that 5:30 am alarm hasn't been the most welcome sound in the world. Monday I rolled over and gave into my laziness with a "Hell no, not today." Tuesday I hit the snooze a couple of times, got up and ready to go, then looked at the clock and realized I didn't have enough time, so I went back to bed for a half hour.

But Wednesday I dragged my ass out of bed. My goal has been three days a week. I can hit all the muscle groups in three days, and eventually will get to four days and switch a few things, like calves and abs, to day four. I seriously thought about staying in bed, but if I want to get in three days a week and not have to go on the weekends, I had to get up and go that morning. Leave it to me to procrastinate.

What I've discovered over the last month is that getting back into the gym goes hand in had with finding my motivation to do other things, like create! And creating makes me feel magickal. Not only that, but I'm strangely more motivated to make better food choices. Not sure why that is, but I'll take it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Art Journal

I was inspired by reading The Whimsical Cottage blog to create an art journal. What a neat idea! I've always journaled, but never regularly (it's a lazy thing). I just have to be in the mood to journal, and this blog is my attempt to do that, while at the same time trying to motivate myself to create. An art journal seemed an easy way to not only sit down and play without having to expend a lot of effort, but something I could use as a therapeutic outlet as well.

I found a nicely sized hard-cover book in one of my bookcases that I knew I was never going to read (it's a diet book, who really wants to read those?), and got to work on it last night. I really didn't want it to be recognizable as The Beck Diet Solution, so I glued paper bag to the cover and had fun decorating it. Creating my first entry was definitely therapeutic.

I read something about coming up with a theme, but really just wanted to record meaningful events over the coming year, the year I am 37. My goal is to completely fill it by my next birthday. It should be interesting to look back through the year at what I record.

I'm so thankful to Danielle over at The Whimsical Cottage for the idea!

Monday, August 23, 2010

37th Birthday Weekend

This past Saturday was my 37th birthday. What the hell happened to 27? I remember thinking that high school would last forever. And here I am, 19 years later, and the time has absolutely flown! When did I become the mom instead of the kid? I guess time flies when you're having fun.

The festivities began on Friday night when my friends Amber and Coley came to Spokane to celebrate with me. We had champagne, went out to dinner, and observed karaoke at a little dive bar down the street. There is no way I am doing karaoke, I refuse to subject anyone to that, or myself to that embarrassment!

On Saturday the plans were to go out to lunch with my son, mom, grandmother and sister, and then that evening go watch Rick play salsa with his salsa band Son Dulce with my mom & step-dad, and my friends Esther, Carol and several other people.

Saturday morning I was feeling a little off, and NO, I did not have too much to drink the night before. I managed lunch, but by the time I got home I was feeling queasy and icky, and the thought of having to deal with loud music and people made me want to cry. I gave it a couple of hours, but just was feeling worse, so I ended up cancelling on everyone. I felt so bad about that! But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Sunday morning I was feeling better, but had a headache. I took some ibuprofen, drank some coffee, and then got off the couch and went up to my craft room to finish the skirt for my kitchen island. It turned out pretty good and makes my kitchen look cozier.

Then my friends Esther and Carol came over to deliver my birthday gifts and the birthday cake they had gotten me. They'd had such a party planned! I loved my vampire cake!

And I was so excited to get the quilt Esther made for me! It's absolutely beautiful, and huge! She made it 100 x 100 inches with a double border embroidered with my favorite Goddess symbol, the elements, spirals and paw prints. What an incredible gift of her time and her amazing energy. This is an heirloom, something that I will be able to hand down.

My 2nd in Command, Roar, in the picture below shows how appropos the paw prints are!

And here's a close-up of the Goddess symbol on the border. I love it! I have a necklace and wall hanging of this symbol, and it also was part of the inspiration for the tattoo I have on my back. It's just beautiful.

So, despite being sick on my birthday, it ended up being quite nice. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Luke fixed the header and grab-it buttons!

A big thank you to my son, Luke, for fixing my header and grab-it button so they displayed properly! I was too lazy to keep messing with it ...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Little by Little

One of my beliefs is that the environment in which we choose to live, and how that environment makes us feel, can influence our well being. Some people are quite content with a messy, cluttery house. I have very good friends who are quite happy that way, and more power to them. I'm just not one of those people. I may be lazy, but I do keep a pretty clean house. For me, there is something magickal about the feeling I get when I can sit down with a glass of cabernet, and look around at my neat and sparkling clean house. It's like the shackles fall away, and I'm free to do whatever I want to do. It makes me feel incredibly good and effective, hence it's become one of my magickal preparations.

But ... my basement has a closing door. And it's become the domain of a bunch of stuff I no longer want or need, as well as some stuff I do want but haven't found a place for yet (ie, some of the contents of my grandfather's condo, which I sold last November). And I can feel the icky juju creeping up the stairs.

When I first moved in, the basement was mostly clear. It wasn't a creepy basement at all, despite the octopus furnace that used to reside there. I didn't have a problem going down there, and I didn't look over my shoulder for the monsters to get me on my way up the stairs. But over the last 9 years, the mess has slowly been growing, and the gremlins have moved in. I will go weeks without doing laundry because I just hate going down there.

I would tell myself that I just needed to take a weekend and go through everything, toss stuff, donate stuff, and organize it. But the last thing I ever want to do is spend a whole weekend in my dark basement! Ugh!

Then I found a puddle of water, and figured out it forms when we turn the sprinkler system on in the front yard. That alone should have motivated me to spend a weekend in my basement, but not so fast, considering the easy fix is to just use a hose and not the sprinkler system. Have I mentioned I'm lazy? And it is summer ...

So instead I remembered the Fly Lady Way: a little bit every day gets the big jobs done. I decided to haul out a trash bag full of crap each Wednesday (garbage day is Thursday). I've got a notes app on my phone that reminds me as soon as I get home from work, and it takes me less than 10 minutes. This saves me a weekend, and also several trips to the transfer station. What you can't see in the above picture is that I've cleared out about 15 square feet inside of two Wednesdays.

I also have a large box and duffle bag full of decent, wearable clothes ready to be taken to Goodwill.

Motivation to Get Back to Me

The last four years have basically been me saying "I've had it, I am done running here and there and everywhere, I am sick of the gym, I am tired, I have worked all day, I don't want to do laundry, I don't want to clean the house, I don't want to cook dinner, I am going to sit on the couch and drink wine." And that's what I did. I sat on the couch and drank wine for four years. And I started ordering from the dollar menu at McDonalds. And I gained 30 pounds.

I've made a few attempts during that time to get back into my old, good habits: getting up in the morning to work out, cleaning the house every week, cooking dinner more regularly, etc. But then something would happen for which I would assume responsibility, such as me becoming the legal guardian for my grandfather as a result of his advancing Alzheimer's, or being a parent of a teenage boy whose father causes more problems than he solves, or being the sole breadwinner of the household working 45 hours a week. And I'd hit the couch again.

This summer has been a turning point for me. I weigh more than I've ever weighed, I wear a bigger size than I've ever worn, I have cellulite on my thighs, my house is a mess and covered in dog hair, I haven't really created anything in I don't know how long, my gardens are a mess, I'm tired all of the time, and I don't feel like doing anything. And I'm turning 37 this summer (this Saturday), which means I'd better start being aware of how the foods I eat can clog my arteries, cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks and strokes, not to mention gravity is a bitch.

But where to find the inspiration, the motivation, to get up and move? To create? To want to do something other than watch chick flicks with a glass or four of wine and a wedge of brie?

Well, the above picture is where that motivation slammed into home. I know, I know, it looks like a manipulation. My boyfriend's mom hasn't sent me the real picture yet, and I took a picture of the view screen of her camera so I could have it immediately. That's me on July 22nd with Ryan Qwanten, otherwise known as Jason Stackhouse of True Blood. He was having a few beers with a friend at a local restaurant, and was kind enough to take a picture with me. Very nice man, about 5'10, and if you've seen True Blood, you know how hot he is. I look enormous next to him!

Granted, I'm 5'9, I'll never be petite. But I was never big either, having sported a size 8 for most of my adult life. Now I probably outweigh him. The day after meeting Ryan I purchased a membership at my old gym. Nothing like feeling like a cow next to a celebrity to get you motivated! I've been going faithfully since. And you know what? It feels really, really good. I used to be such a gym rat, so it felt like coming home.

I am firmly on the road back to me.