Monday, September 26, 2016

Garden Work Gone Wrong

I pay my backdoor neighbor to keep the yard weed-free so I don't kill myself working on it. He had been slacking off on the yard, and he admitted it freely. Only problem is that he started cleaning up the wrong garden plot. He went after the dead corn in the back plot, instead of the front bed. Along with the corn stalks were six hearty plants nestled into their appropriate edges.

Dammit, Dammit, DAMMIT!

He pulled it all.

Now, I happen to be very proud of my garden. It grows like wildfire and I pay for the water to do this. Yes, I know, not very environmentally solid, but it also acts as my therapy.  I had been babying and watching my watermelon as a pre-trip splurge.

He ate it. Every last "tasted awesome" bite.

He thought I had been up north since I hadn't had the dog out a lot, so he ate the one thing that he knew was food--the watermelon vs the squash and unidentified melon things. Well, I saved two cantaloupes, one of which got eaten immediately, and the other which is probably still cucumber in disguise. There were also four of what looks to be overgrown acorn squash. I am not sure if they are ripe enough to hold over much time, but I am going to try for it and eat any that are looking sad when I get home.

So I am sitting here trying to not yell around the dog (he gets confused when mama is mad) and trying to not cry in frustration. I am now off of the angry that happened right at the instance I learned of my babies' plight. I couldn't even really be mad at my neighbor since he didn't know what was going on. He even suggested that I knock off half of his pay to deal with what I am calling planticide.

I am trying so hard not to cry, and mostly managing. Crying over a few dead plants. Of the one thing that I have been trying to grow for several years. That is what stings the most--something I have tried so hard to get and have it stolen away. Minor thing. But for some reason it is sticking like glue.  At least I got to have my very own (and very ripe) cantaloupe all to myself. And there are an armload of squish too. And there are still the tomatoes to keep running.


I guess that stops some of the water usage.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Time for a Trip

The desert weather seems to have found fall on time. I am dubious. Just like spring got invaded by winter, I believe the same of this reprieve.

I am enjoying it while it stands. Temperatures 70 to 50ish, I like this weather--not needing my AC is wonderful. I can even leave open a couple doors and cool or warm the house. The dog loves it too: he gets to go in and out of the house as he likes. I don't even feel bad about ignoring him during the day. He has birds to chase (and people to bark at) to keep him busy.

Soon I will be taking a shot at Bambi and I am making a giant list of things that I need to pack. The list gets longer with every passing day. But The Beast--the giant crew cab long bed F250 Beast--can handle it. It is great for packing things in and taking gravel roads so long as the turning radius of a football field is available. I have learned that sometimes a ten-point turn is necessary. Filling the tank up is painful. My car could fit in the back of the bed. Parking in two spots is sometimes necessary. But I also love the truck. It gives me great intimidation in traffic. I also despise it because I can't really navigate in traffic. I pick a lane and go with it, slow or not. Pretty straightforward.

So I am managing to keep the cargo to a minimum so that my dad and I have four coolers, and hunting gear, and clothes, and every other thing we need. All while not over-packing ridiculously, since it would be so much easier to pack everything that we might possibly need. I am packing the truck for me, my dad, and the dog. I am sure that the dog will be getting more space inside than either of the humans. Typical for vehicular travel with the dog. Then he gets to smell new places, new animals, and havenew places to play.

I will be traveling solo for the way to the hunting grounds, then my dad is flying in and I will meet him there. The dog absolutely loves car rides. I think he would hop into anyone's car if they asked him to (sort of a bad idea). He has two spots he likes to sit: on his comfy couch/hammock where he can see outside, and below the hammock to take naps because it feels secure. He rarely needs to go out and sometimes he refuses to go till we are done for the day. He just lazes around doesn't even want to play. Just stares out the window, smiling. Till it is time to play.

So we all hope that the forecasts for our happy hunting ground stays on the cooler side, but no snow thank you very much. If it is too hot we will just have to go fishing instead! Well, really we hunt in the morning, fish/sleep till just before dusk and then head back to home base to have dinner. Rest. Repeat.

It's a hard life. Especially if you are a dog.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Flab, Flub, Fat

There are many words for being overweight. None of them are particularly nice (except for maybe zaftig). Sometimes I have all the names on repeat in my mind, so many terms, on repeat. My own self-destructive wheel.

Then there are other times where I don't have to worry about repeating tracks, instead I have glowing reviews--another pound lost!

I like to be somewhere in the middle--no big up, no big down, just a nice middle ground. A place that both motivates and keeps my brainz on an even keel. I'm quite happy where I now sit.  I have not exercised in a couple of days and I am fine with that. It is one of the first times that I have missed more than a day in ...well.. over a month. Taking a break just feels wrong...but still feels so good.

Now the rain is falling and I have the doors and widows opened up and I am contentedly writing to the sound of softly falling rain. Not even high winds to break my happy typing night.

The dog has also declared that it is bedtime since he doesn't want to get his paws wet. Prissy puppy! He is zonked out in his cage. (Only after I cleaned up his dog bowl full of water from off the floor..still not sure which of us knocked it over.) We both will sleep alright tonight. Looking at him sleep makes me calm.

Am I fat, oh hell yes. I just have some good tools to make some of the pounds go away. Still thinking I need a doughnut and realizing that I would have to drive 45 miles to get one...or I need to make some of my own. Just because I want something does not mean that I will partake. Especially when partaking involves energy.

That middle ground is more solid when everything is calm. I like the calm.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Three Hours of Hell

I decided that I would be useful and go get my mail, drop off a return, and stop at the grocery store. It should have taken me thirty minutes to get this done, so I left Link alone inside where it was cool. It has been a while since I left him alone as last time he ended up peeing on the (already nasty and horrible) carpet. Since then he has been fine alone in the house for short there-and-back-again trips. He also has been good while I have been working outside without him, so I figured this short run should be a starting point for his training.

It did not take a half hour.

I needed to make a mail return. First, I had trouble lifting the 50lbs of box into the car because it was so off balance. Then I drove to the post office and realized that A: I needed an RMA number, and B: I needed the label printout to deliver a FedEx box. There was no way that I was going to try to mail that behemoth on my own dime. So I waited in the car while I was on the phone with Nutrisystem. First call. Good; I got the RMA. I ended the call and looked around for my keys.

And searched.

I checked under and beside the seats, on the ground outside of the car, in the back seat, in the door pockets. I checked my purse at least five times. I couldn't find them anywhere. What I did know is that I couldn't leave the box in the car too long or it would melt the chocolate items. I didn't have anything in the car worth stealing so I left the car unlocked and headed in to make a return of that damnable box. It was all the box's fault.

I did manage to wrangle the box through the doors (thanks to a very nice gentleman who held/opened doors for me. Then it hit me. I have an RMA...but no label to ship. I was starting to get shaky and losing thoughts right after I thought them. Even making a call to Nutrisystem was hard. I couldn't even remember a phone number for Nutrisystem right after I looked at the numbers.

I made the call and the nice lady asked what my email address was...I couldn't even get the email right, but I now had an RMA number. I hung up and tried to just write down the number on the box when the nice post office lady explained that I would need a FedEx label. "Dangit, I should have thought of that."

Back on the phone again, where the lady took my information and tried to email it to one of my email addresses. No luck. Twice. No luck. Called back again: Success! But I didn't have a place to print it out, especially since the car keys (and the house) were misplaced. The nice lady let me use her computer to access my email and print out the the label and even taped it on for me. One down.

Back to the car and the missing keys. I searched and searched. I went to the lost and found department (on campus where my post office is) and they had not received anything. Dangit. I purchased my go-to brain calmer: chai. Back to the car.

More searching. Much pleading. I checked the same places over and over. I kept having the nagging thought to check my purse, so I did, over and over again. Finally I sat down and just tried to figure out my last moments of when I had the keys. Nothing. Then I picked up my purse to check for the keys on the chair and something went clink. Clink? MY KEYS! They were in a side pocket on my purse. I never checked that pocket because I don't use it. Duh.

I survived, the package is shipped, and I am safe back at home (no shopping this trip) using writing to get myself back in control.  The dog was safe and sound (asleep). No doggie drama, just a dog wanting to play after a nice nap.

I'm done.  I survived.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I like to walk--most days.

Other days...not so much.

I have been leaning more on walking than swimming thanks to the monsoon weather we have been getting. If there is a lightning strike within fifty miles the alarm goes off and everybody has to bail out of the pool.

Yeah, I could get up early (six in the morning) and go swim before the clouds build. But I dun wanna. Mornings have been my enemy as of late. Besides, the dog likes walks better. See? I have a good reason for not going to the pool--blame it on the dog.

Speaking of the dog, he has gotten more persistent about pointing to his leash when he feels that it is time to go outside. Which is frequently, especially around six or seven at night when he knows that is the most likely time for me to get off my arse and get moving.

I haven't been using Pokemon Go for much as of late, leaning instead on my music. I am sure that at my parents house when I visit there will be more hunting since their neighborhood has many opportunities for playing. It is a good motivator to keep moving. For free! This is a good version of video gaming.

My music selection keep growing thanks to Amazon Prime--well spent money. I have most of the music I want all in one place. I have more music that I can load from CDs, but have not worried about thanks to having most of them already available on Prime...and I have been lazy. Luckily, I can be lazy and just use the downloaded music--and have the playlists I want.

I don't have unlimited data though. That means that I don't even try to stream music, much less videos. I have the feeling that the data available down here wouldn't be strong enough to really stream anyway. All part of living in the middle of nowhere. (At least there is reliable cell service now that we have a whopping two cell towers in the vicinity.)

Instead of streaming, I just attack my phone's memory and download all the music to my hard drive. This is getting to be a problem since my phone only has 64GBs and I am using 51 out of those gigs. I soon may have to pare down my selection or delete (GASP) some apps. Scary thought.

So I will go on a walk tonight and make the dog happy, music or Pokemon in hand.

Yay walking!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Death to all Bushes!

Okay, not all bushes, just those branches that are really overgrown and scraggly. My front yard has about twenty large bushes,  and boy were they overgrown and huge! I don't think that I cut them more than once this whole summer. In ideal circumstances I do them every month from May to October. Not this year.

So just how did I tackle an entire front yard of bushes?

It's SUPERDAD. Yup, my dad came down and helped me attack the overgrown mess. I even got a new hedge trimmer since someone (coughcough-dad-cough) had broken my old rickety one (that I had been threatening to throw away). Now I have a much quicker and safer device for attacking the twigs. The new hedge trimmer combined with a ratcheting lopper made our work much less difficult. (Notice how I did not say that the job was easier. It was not easy.)

After we got the brushes cut we had to haul out the branches. Yeesh, were there a lot of them! I hadn't realized just how bad it had gotten. It was also strange to see which plants were the most overgrown. Those farthest from the house were the most stressed because I don't really water them. I had a few die after a hard freeze several years ago and one just this last summer. Now there are giant gaps in the hedges that need to be filled by some sort of bush. Perhaps something productive instead of basic bushes?

Today, looking out at the yard, I am happy. I am also sore. There is a definite sense of satisfaction in a day full of work. It does mean, however, that I am down for the count today and probably will not get in my daily walk or swim. We will see.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Life Without

My dog is three and a half years old. He still thinks he is a puppy. People who see him think he is a puppy. He also has the daily routine of a puppy.

For example:
Sleep. Eat. Play. Sleep. Change sleep area to near mom. Beg (and get nothing). Sleep. PLAY! Sleep. Play? Mom! PLAY! Sleep. Why won't you play with me? Wait. Mom, something's wrong. Mom. You need to do something mom. Okay, you're good. PLAY! Sleep.

He knows how I am doing better than I do. Last night he was firmly convinced that he needed my attention. He would bring me a toy, I'd throw it, he'd fetch it, and then he would lay down on my feet with the toy on his paws.

Eventually I pay attention to him and take inventory of my mental state. Under most instances, when he prefers my feet to a toy he is telling me that he is worried about me. This can take me a while to sink into my brain. Sometimes an entire day.

Like yesterday.

I was getting frustrated with his wanting to play and how he kept being clingy and needy. It took me till this morning to realize that he was trying to tell me to take one of my meds that keep me sane. When I have gotten that far into anxiety no amount of focus exercises or meditation can calm me down. He was trying to tell me to take my darn meds! Once I had taken my nightly planned med he calmed down and went to sleep over on his couch. He had done his job and was able to take a break.

Good dog. I don't know what I would do without him. That makes me nervous. I have dreams of losing him and wake up in tears.

The dog came to me when I most needed him, and when he most needed help--about three months after my husband's death. The dog has the same brown eyes as my husband did.

So yeah, I have a fear of what would happen if the dog wasn't there anymore. I just hope that doesn't  happen. Till then, I keep up listening to his insistence (after a while of him trying to get my attention) and he keeps up being a puppy.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Gimme That Burger!

I would kill for a burger right now. I could get out of the house, drive down to the local burger place, and then come home. Moving is a stronger deterrent than having extra calories to count. I am still hungry for a burger, but it is a comfort that I might have more control over hunger than I thought.

Yet the urge is still there. Typical. When I was up at my parents' house I had lots of real food instead of my Nutrisystem packaged stuff. My portioning is not what it could be yet. I am underestimating my servings. I know my mom has a food scale, I just tend to eat out more there. I will be dusting it off and do some calorie patrol. I also have to give myself more practice measuring real food.

In other news, I have realized that summer is almost done. The leaves haven't started turning, but I was able to take a walk at 8:30 am without dying of heat. It may be that the rain a few nights ago was cooling down the day, but we seem to be out of the high 90's and down to he 60's at night. It still seems rather warm, but this is a nice change.

I am not sure how I feel about changing over to fall (to be quickly followed by winter). It feels like I haven't done anything productive this summer... this last year. But it was not really bad, just different. Things have gotten done; things got done that have taken some gumption to get finished, even though some took a lot of friends' help. There is still a whole list of things to do, but it is shorter than the last year.

This coming fall will help me see new horizons in the future. I also have a hope that my brainz get more calm as well. Hurry up!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Let me preface this by saying, 'Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg!"

Okay, now that I have that out of my system momentarily I can explain.

I had been slowly chipping off the pounds. Slow but reasonably steady. Except the past week I have actually GAINED weight. Up from 214 to 216 I am 99% sure that it is meds. I also am 99% sure that it is water retention...but it still hurts on the brainz front. Even with the weight gain I did end up going for a walk yesterday, once it got cool enough to be active outside.

Part of the gain is how much I ate out last week, even if the day was mostly in calorie range. Extra salt and just plain extra food are not good for dieting. Now back to making the Nutrisystem the norm rather than the standby for a while. I even have a brand new shipment coming in today!

On a good note, even with the weight gain, I have pants that fit nicely now and are very comfortable. They may look like simple cotton medical scrubs, but oh no, these are special. This a pair of microfiber soft, quick drying, rugged pair o' pants. Only problem: they are long. Solution? Walk in them for a while so I can tell how long I should shorten them (and to make sure that they are really all done shrinking).Yay! New Pants! Next up, the shirts to match the pants--I am guessing 210 should do it.

The house seems empty. A major house renovation has come to a close so all the tools need put away. There is even empty floor space! After over a year we got it finished! Just cleaning up to do.

Next project: practicing archery to get myself honed in again. My dad and I are going up to go get a deer (or two) and put them in the freezer. I really need to clean out my freezer soon to make room for Bambi. Call that today's chore since garbage day is tomorrow. I also need to figure out how much I want to rely on Nutrisystem while I am traveling. Probably not much, but we will see. Nothing will be bad if I take it and don't use it.

Bad news: blegh. Good news: yay! General news...well... news.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day Three

Today marks the third day that I have not formally exercised (not counting today). Short bursts of activity were all that appeared those days Today will be different--it has to be. I took a streak of seven weeks and dashed it to bits. Oh well. Life sometimes intervenes.

In the area of food I have been relatively good. Only having a few days outside of the 1200-1400 calorie range. I have two methods of eating: perfect or all out. I have been careful to not let myself lower than my range, but the upper outages tend to be in the 1600-1800 calorie range. For the most part I have been where I need to be.

The last week I relied heavily on real food. It was nice, but so much easier to eat a lot at one time. I can tell what a portion should be most of the time, but eating only one portion is harder. This is not news to me, merely frustrating. But the more that I practice, the easier it gets. Repetition is where the Nutrisystem comes in. It normalizes how my body feels when it is hungry or merely munchy. The combination of real and fake food (alright, Nutrisystem is mostly food) means that I have an easier time eating in general. Mostly.

I am lucky that my splurge of the moment is fruit. It may not be the healthiest thing in large amounts, but it is also far from the worst. Besides, you can't just leave a melon open and alone, right? It is one piece of fruit! One portion. Right?

Riiiiiiiight. Or not.

Mass sprees on food are no good. For some reason I have have tons of chocolate and goodies around and not get a bad case of the munchies. But there are some things that are I know are killer diet crashers that I cannot have anywhere in the house or they will be gobbled up in a hurry.

So what are these little calorie bombs?
Monkey Bread
Homemade treats

Most of the items can either be avoided completely or frozen in portions. My fresh bagels get split in half and frozen right when I get home. I don't bake goodies for myself without packaging them up as well. The time it takes to thaw out and get whatever treat I make edible again gives me a little bit more time to decide if I am really hungry.

And now I am hungry...munchy...I want food.