Roses and Running and…Lease Extraction?

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Heh – I was reaching for the alliteration to be complete in the title and just couldn’t get there.

New habit check in to start: $55 in the change kitty as of this weekend.

However, work outs? Oh, utter fail. I was thrashed after the 10 mile run and the Wednesday half day run didn’t happen because the half day didn’t happen.

However, I didn’t let that get me down – I knew there was a three day weekend coming up and I put it ON my weekend To Do plan – run all three days. I’m 2 for 3 and I don’t see ANY reason that I wont be able to get in another 5 miles tomorrow morning.

I ran 3.1 miles Saturday mostly doing hill repeats (5 times up and down the hill nearest my house).

I ran 8 miles on the usual Sunday trail run – there was time for another shot at 10 but I purposely wanted to save something in the tank for tomorrow. I want to get myself into the back to back to back running as I was able to do easily before October. In fact, I looked back on my Runkeeper and saw that the first time I reached the 8 mile mark was just before the final race of the season so I was at my fittest and I completed it a solid 10 minutes faster than I did it today. Not that I care about speed – but it lets me know what my fitness level really was before the fibroids slowed me down.

Ok, so I started in the middle so now I will jump to the end since it is boring but worth updating/semi-bragging over. Lease #55 – the FINAL one that needs to be done – is 3/4 extracted and will be finished tomorrow. That’s on the 18th – a full 10 days before the deadline I set for myself. YES!

There is just something about writing down a daily/weekly To Do plan. If it is written down in front of my, I *will* be compelled to cross it off. The way I did was that at work I would extract a lease, then do a non-lease task, then back to a lease and so on and so on. That way, I didn’t get COMPLETELY burned out working in the program non stop. The breaks helped tremendously.

Then, at home I challenged myself two nights a week to post one and then every weekend I brought home three. And suddenly, the list was done! Now we have a solid two weeks to work on pulling reports and testing the rent payment process. I know – boring, but I tell ya – it is huge.

The Silver Lining to all this hyper focused work? I now know this program so well that my next task – training a temp to cover the job – will be EASY. I never like managing people for a task that I don’t already know how to do in depth.

And now, the roses. So, there was this DAY this week that normally The Boyfriend and I ignore, BUT…he works for a company that happens to ship flowers so these arrived at my office on Thursday:

2013 Roses_day1

So pretty – AND – this is what they look like today – note that I followed every step of instructions that ProFlowers included. The vase came with the roses and there were two packets of food to drop into the water. One for day 1 – and then another for today after I changed out the water and cut the steps one more time:

2013 Roses_day4

Still  beautiful and all opening up!

 

 

Of checklists, shopping, dust bunnies, phantom kids & wardrobe malfunctions.

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Started the weekend off with great intentions to do at least one more closet clean up in preparation for the someday upcoming garage sale I want to have, and also to read the next book in my pile which I have been carrying around for about two solid weeks now without cracking open. For some reason my brain thinks that before I can start a book, I need to clear out my magazine pile and since I had three unread magazines on my coffee table, I had to tackle those first. Yeah, I know – illogical, but I bet we all have those silly corners of our brains that do things like that. Right? RIGHT?!

Also on the To Do list was some massive computer clean up, some gardening, some exercising and some shopping. Started the running off well with a 2.5 mile outing Friday after work. Would have gone longer but things were starting to ache and sure enough I woke up Saturday feeling pretty damn sore from the waist down. So that was the day I declared as “sit on my ass doing computer clean up and reading day”. A trip to Rite Aid to get a new heart rate monitor battery resulted in finding some flowers I wanted to plant in the pots that sit on my wall so the gardening got done too. The Boyfriend swung by in the evening for some online shopping help (I’ve mentioned he’s a luddite, right?) and we made tentative plans to run together Monday further making me feel better about taking Sat off from exercising! So, computer cleanup (check), gardening (check) and at least PLANS to exercise (check). On Facebook I figured out that SportsBoy was in Palm Springs with his dad & step moms family leading me to wonder when he would be coming back – or if his dad would just drop him off to school on Tuesday am as we’ve often done after a 3-day weekend. I figured they would let me know. (cue Jeopardy theme). That would come back to haunt me.

Newly potted verbena & lobelia plants

Sunday was shopping day. Specifically shopping for clothes for me at Macy’s since I have a trip coming up in a couple of weeks and really prefer not to wear the same clothes around the same group of people if I can help it. Not that they would care – but you know what I mean, right? Plus my summertime casual shoe collection was moving into the nearly 10 year old age group and really needed updating. Of course, my bathing suit was already in the 10+ year old category but I only gave that department a cursory glance and I rarely use it these days. That would ALSO come back to haunt me! ALSO – hey, I HAVE been exercising and lost some weight so things fit a little differently. It was fun to try on the first sets of capris/shorts choosing both sizes I normally wear and finding that the larger ones can be totally eliminated from my selection! Since I only shop for myself about once every 18 months or so, I cruised every department and checked every sale rack and tried on a LOT of things. Plus, I had coupons. When I finally checked out I was plenty pleased with the haul which included two items marked down under $10. W00t! Shoe department was also a hit with three new pairs of sandals and then finally a new purse complete with matching mini-wallet and umbrella. Yes, I said umbrella! That was different!

Macy's haul. The purse w/ matching umbrella are in the bottom left corner. Too cute!

Speaking of different – anyone noticed an increase in knee high socks this fashion season? I didn’t notice them in the store – I noticed them ON people! Pretty funky patterns too. I somehow missed that trend (but then, I miss almost all trends since I only shop every other year!)

As I left Macy’s I realized I was *starving* but having just dropped some money I wasn’t willing to eat out of settle for fast food so when I got home I threw a burger in the frying pan and started toasting some bread. Well, I turned the heat on so high that when I went to flip the burger it literally spit hot grease at me and now I have a lovely splatter of burns up my left arm. Oddly not terribly painful, but also not fabulously attractive. Creating ugly sores/scars just before a trip in the summertime? Oh so classic! (check).

After eating I did clean out a closet – just not the one I had planned. Since it is my rule that if I bring in new clothes, I must discard at least an equal quantity of old ones, I made a rather large pile from my dresser drawers and closet and then I tackled the shoes. They sit in a smaller closet right off the bathroom with double doors that don’t actually latch and often stay swung open a bit. Prime cat adventure spot. As I reached in to pull out old, unused in the last year shoes – out they came with layers of dust bunnies that LITERALLY were the size of bunnies! Oh, it was so disgusting! I was horrified enough to pull the whole mess out along with the shoe rack and sweep the piles of fur clean. Ugh! I am pretty sure if I was prone to asthma that a major attack would have hit! So while that didn’t count as garage sale closet cleanup (no, the old shoes could not be GIVEN away they were so covered), I could mentally check off another item. Clearly I need to sweep in there more often.

I followed that adventure up with a really nice 4 mile run. Soreness from Saturday was gone and with a fresh battery in the heart rate monitor I was actually looking forward to hitting the road. I know, so weird to me. Even if I intend to only walk as I did Friday night, I still end up running now. Oh, and The Boyfriend had finally remembered to bring over the exercise ball Sat night so I was able to do some ab and hamstring work after the run. Then I FINALLY settled onto the sofa and polished off those magazines. It was really lovely. An awesome article in Rolling Stone on Lady Gaga which made me then play her new album that came out this week (.99 Amazon sale – sweet!) Dang, that girl can really sing and is just mid numbingly talented & creative. Every interview I read or see with her shows how fascinating she is. And so damn YOUNG. Gah! (no, GAGA! Heh)

Monday morning and I think – “I just need to go the grocery and then the day is free until running time just before dinner”. So I make my list and then tackle Amber to trim her nails and give her a brush down. You know those disgusting dust bunnies from the closet? Yeah, well I created another small cat with the pile of fur pulled off her after a 10 minutes brushing! Good thing she loves to be groomed – purring and kneading her paws the whole time.

Pile O' Amber fur from grooming - originator of the monster dust bunnies

At the grocery I get to take my time comparing prices and sales and using coupons and just as I get to the checkout line I get a text from a new workout friend to see if I want to join her at their pool for some sun & relaxation. Given that I just picked up a 12 pack of Sam Adams beer on sale & was thinking I should invite them over for beer on the patio one night, this worked out grand. I still had at least 5 hours until SP would be contacting me about running/dinner and I knew if I did bail on the running part with him – he’d be fine. (As long as I cooked dinner!) I get home and MM helps me unload groceries so I can head upstairs and dig out the 10+ year old bathing suit. Get everything together and realize that my beach towel is in SportsBoy’s room so I head across there and notice the door is closed (I had left it open on Saturday when I took sheets off the bed for washing and discovered it was kinda teenage boy stinky in there!). Open the door quizzically and – voila! The Boy is home! Uh???? Thankfully my friends are totally cool with him joining us but now I am thinking about food (did I plan to feed him lunch and dinner tonight?! No. At least I plan on cooking dinner so he’ll be covered, but…gah!) So now I throw in some just purchased hot dogs & strawberries to go with the beer because I can’t show up with a soon to be hungry teen without being able to feed him! BTW – this is the third time in a month that I’ve arrived home to find him there unexpectedly – all three times when I made plans with these friends. Renee has dubbed him the “phantom kid”. Yes, I can blame his dad (so easy to do), but he does have a cell phone too and I asked if it had occurred to him to text me about when he would come back. Yeah – no, clearly not!

Off we go anyway and I swim for the first time in…AGES…really. Maybe it was the last cruise we went on in 2005? It was fun and relaxing and just as we were polishing off the last of the strawberries and thinking of hopping back into the pool and spa for a second round – *sproing!* – my bikini top unhooks on its own and starts to slide. Thankfully I caught it but further inspection indicated that the plastic snap enclosure had completed snapped apart. Ever prepared – I did have spare clothes in my bag and changed into those but dang – no more water fun! Now I’m wishing I had cruised through the bathing suit department at Macy’s! I guess I’ll be back 🙂

In really Big News – SportsBoy is now taller than me! I watched him walk with Renee to go cook up the hot dogs and noticed that he seemed to be towering over her more than usual (She’s 5’2”). So when they returned with the food I had him stand next to me since we were on equal (bare) footing and sure enough he’s snuck past me! Probably 5’5” now which will be confirmed at a football physical this week. He’s pleased as punch and now I’m back to being the shortest in the house. That’s what I get for having boys.

All in all, a lovely three day weekend getting some planned chores done, some unplanned, leaving a couple on the table but for plenty fun reasons. And no matter what, wishing when the alarm went off this morning that there had been just ONE MORE day off 🙂

Poolside before wardrobe malfunction

Are you technophobic?

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Well, you can’t be too technophobic if you are reading blogs, right? But then, that is a pretty passive activity. Surfing the internet for info or entertainment shouldn’t be too scary.

What about internet shopping? Facebook? Twitter? Writing your own blog? Posting pictures on the internet of you or your family? Online banking? Heck, (and yes) even auto deposit of your paycheck?

All those things above? My dear boyfriend freaks OUT about them!!

That last one he has finally figured out how to accept. Mostly because his workplace wont issue paper checks anymore (I don’t think mine will either, but then, I don’t know because I haven’t HAD anything but auto deposit since it was first offered 15+ years ago!). And he concedes that nothing has gone wrong and that (hallelujah!), it IS oh so nice not to be running to the bank every two weeks.

Still, he is skeptical about EVERYTHING else! It drives me, a notorious early adopter, utterly insane. He shows up at my house with his bag and his stack of bills in a grumpy mood & demanding stamps. Who has stamps? At least, at any point outside of Christmas card mailing time? I haven’t mailed a household bill since Wells Fargo started online bill payment which I KNOW was before SB was born! Shoot, I sign on nowadays to my bank account with my phone if I need to check on something! Waiting for checks to clear? Ancient history! I’ve tried to get him to setup online bill pay. He is, again, at least cracking open his mind to the topic, but whenever we start the process he is missing some info or something and it never quite gets done. Shoot, I’ve got my parents setup with the service!! My mom does two things on the computer – plays Pogo Games & does online banking. At her age (something SHE would rather be kept under wraps), that’s pretty damn impressive. Like the paycheck deposit, I am more irritated about this issue due to it being a huge inconvenience on both of us. (since he’s always begging me for stamps!).

The last time I posted something on here with his picture in it? I had to take it down. He’s amazingly afraid of anything about himself being online. It’s OK that I write about him because I use a blog name, but you’ll notice there’s no photos. His brother and sister and I are all on Facebook – he wont do it. His brother setup the beginnings of an account but he wont follow through and has left my friend request dangling for over a year. It’s not like he’s ever been burned or knows personally of anyone who has been hurt by something online. He just is fearful of it all.

He is the classic luddite I suppose. Except when it comes to cell phones. He’s had one since THOSE first came out and it is never away from his ear. Well, there you go – even on that he is behind the times because he keeps insisting on TALKING to people on the phone! Text dammit! 😉

So do you know anyone who just will not be dragged even kicking and screaming into 2011? Heck, I’d settle for 2000 at this point!

Mental Spring Cleaning

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Time to brush off a little dust around here. *cough* *cough* Sorry about that.

Worse than the dust accumulation in here though, is the clog in my brain from not posting! Twitter helps for those quick bursts, but man has it been hard to not go through each day thinking in terms of potential blog posts. Or worse, having something pop up that would be an awesome topic and then…having no time to pursue it and having it drift out of my memory banks, leaving the residue of an idea, but no pertinent details. Just a dust bunny of an idea. Sigh…

Anyhoo, for shits & giggles would you please go to my other site and vote on whether or not you vote? I actually have the framework of a post for over there but I’m curious to know how many others might be in my same voting status boat.

Giggle – vote, boat – I rhymed! (oh so easily amused, I am) Geez, now I’m Yoda-ing.

Excuse my insanity – but you see, with my much beloved circuit training classes ending in March, I’ve had to motivate myself to continue working out on my own. Thanks to a mega cool App for That which tracks cool stats like distance, pace, speed, time etc, I’m heading out to run/walk every other night or so after work. Yes, I used the “R” word. Tonight was my 4th night out doing the combo and the 2.3 mile route was completed in 25 minutes. 1.6 of that was running. Well, not exactly *running* – I really should call it jogging. Trust me, 12 minute miles when you are running is not fast 😉 Considering that I walk the uphill portions though which may not be at 5mph, I suppose I might be running in faster, but it’s still slow – trust me! The point is – I would have labeled you INSANE if you had told me that I would voluntarily be doing this but – there it is. The non jogging days I have got a pretty solid 30 minute circuit routine going with my free weights. So far, so good on the self motivation thing.

Heck, since I started working out almost 2 years ago? 10 lbs gone. 10! What the hell? So, you’re saying that cutting out the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, the occasional fast food meal & doing heavier duty workouts would mean losing weight? Huh. Really. Maybe they should publicize that more ;-))

Meanwhile I was sitting here the other night telling The Boyfriend about a FREE shipping deal I found for some more hand weights and some resistance bands and how I want to save up for a Bosu ball.

His response? “Oh, you want some home workout stuff? I’ve got a Bosu ball and one of those red stability balls. I think I have some hand weights too.”

Dude! Really?! And how thick is the layer of dust on those items huh?!! Seriously, I’ve been lamenting the loss of the classes since we found out a month ago and it just NOW occurs to him that he might have the items I need to duplicate most of the exercises at home??!!!!

GAH!!!

Late Friday beauty – is there anything better than cats with kids?

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A rare moment when someone ELSE has a cat problem

I had to capture this moment last night – Amber actually sat in someone elses lap while mine was available on the same sofa! And? They are BOTH smiling! Doesn’t get better than that does it?

After 10 days of winter break, the first work week of 2011 has been survived – barely!

Each day did get easier, but MAN it was hard to focus on work all day long.  On Monday my eyes were literally hurting from looking at the computer after just 3 hours at the desk. It doesn’t help that we go full speed ahead into a month end close being in the accounting department. Which means no gradual adjusting – Just Do It!

The weekend wont get better. There’s the 1st freshmen winter baseball game tomorrow morning – 40 minutes away of course.  Then an August dad comes in town for business so we will hang out with him for dinner.

Sunday I drive up to LAX to pick up my long absent Sweet Prince who has been in China on business. Yes, he missed NYE & my birthday. He has some making up catching up to do!

If I get back down to San Diego in time, SB & I will go for our third workout of the week. Which is good since it seems like all I’ve blogged about up until now this year was FOOD 😉

Speaking of which, tonight I tried the slow cooker roasted chicken that I posted about a couple of weeks ago but with a twist. Bacon. Lots and LOTS of bacon. Shoved in the middle. Shoved under the skin. And then draped over the entire carcass. A whole pack of bacon.

And? My house smells divine and it tasted even more divine. Yeah, I think I better make sure I make it to that third workout!

And yes, I am a huge sports fan normally and YES, I would normally be grumbling about being away from the TV for the 1st weekend of NFL playoffs. But much like the baseball playoffs when the Padres were eliminated the last day of the regular season, my Chargers fell on their helmets this year and are done. And I am bitter. And this weekend anyway, I am FINE being too busy to watch. The rest of you who have teams still in it? Bite me!

And I mean that in the *nicest* possible way of course 🙂

How to get a 13 year old to snuggle with mom

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No, you don’t have to dress in a funny blue dog suit. No, you just get the OTHER guy in the picture to remind the boy that he used to like doing that 🙂

Recently, I’d noted that SportsBoy had rather subtly backed away from a few little-boyish things. Like having me read to him every night which we were still doing until he got back from Sweden. Lately it’s been that I will read to him if he asks, but many nights he just goes to bed with a “good night mom!” yelled down from his room. He’ll forgo reading to watch something on TV with me instead. Like Glee. Oh – GLEE! Let me digress for just a skosh….

Did you watch the season finale last week? With the sectionals performances?? You didn’t? Well, get thee to a computer NOW & do a search on “Glee + And I’m Telling You” and listen to Mercedes sing that song possibly better than Jennifer Hudson and THEN, (and this is more important actually), search on “Glee+Rain On My Parade” and listen to Rachel’s solo performance at sectionals. I *double dog DARE* you NOT to get chills listening to either of those. I’m partial to Rachel’s though & I’ve watched it on the DVR about 6 times now.  OK, back to the topic at hand…..(you can thank me later for those recommendations)

Anyhoo – even sitting on the sofa together to watch TV, I noticed that we will end up foot to foot, but that he no longer leans in to me or even puts his head on my lap or comes close to any sort of snuggling. And he’s always been a snuggler. We snuggled at Padres games all the time 🙂 So yeah, I noticed that he wasn’t but hey, I expected it to happen. Shoot, I expected him to ditch having me read to him much earlier. It still happens about twice a week when he will request it with an “I’m ready mom!” vs the “good night”.  But the snuggling seemed to be done.

Until last night.

Sweet Prince (the other guy in the pic up there) returned from yet another damn trip to China (I’m glad he’s employed, but really Petco, can you back away from these once a month trips half way around the world??) He came by at dinnertime spent the evening with us and part way through I was on the sofa with SB as we watched Monday Night Football. SP approached with his “watch his” look on his face and sat next to me and wrapped me in his arms and said “MY mommy!”

And that, my friends, is how you get the 13 year old to remember that HE likes snuggling with mommy too. You also might get a black eye and bruised arms from the ensuing battle over you from either side, but hey! What’s a bruise here & there between snugglers?

Even after SP left, the little guy continued to snuggle up. He even let me read to him too. He’s still my baby boy 🙂

Monday musings

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Amber shows us how Lazy Sundays are supposed to be

Amber shows us how Lazy Sundays are supposed to be

I love when she rolls over like that 🙂 So I am showing off the camera a bit. That photo was taken from about 6 feet away as I sat on the sofa. Here’s another from the same distance but with zoom:

"Mommy, WHY are you taking pictures of me?"

"Mommy, WHY are you taking pictures of me?"

Now here is one from the other night. Low light, me sitting at the dining room table and SP standing at entrance to the kitchen, partial zoom – I’m about 20 feet away?

Grinnin' fool :-)

Grinnin' fool 🙂

Then this one at the game on Saturday – oh hey, they won again 24-0 and I got gypped out of ice cream AGAIN! Anyway, I was pretty far away with this shot. In the stands on the opposite side of the field from where they were practicing – full zoom:

Holding for the kicker during warm ups

Holding for the kicker during warm ups

When you look at the full sized version you can see SB’s face pretty well and you can read the numbers quite clearly.

For a camera on sale for $150 I am quite pleased at the results so far after taking zero time to read up on how to use it!! :-))

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For those who actually read here regularly, the roof leak from last year’s rainy season is due to be repaired this month. Coordinated with the neighbor who shares the building with me (she has almost the same leak) and we are getting both sides repaired for under $1600. Whew! We were both kinda freaked about possible 5 figure costs and total replacement! Five year guarantee on the repairs too.

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Something I’ve noticed on twitter is how many folks complain about their particular cell phone providers. Specifically those who have iPhones salivating over the potential opportunity to ditch AT&T once that exclusive contract runs out sometime in 2010. Here’s the problem – be careful what you wish for! The complaints I hear about AT&T are in regards to the network coverage and signal strength. Fair enough as I’ve had some issues depending on where I am in the county. Though, quite honestly, no connection issues in quite a while. However, the issues I hear about Verizon, T-Mobile etc are related to billing errors and customer service. IOW, the stuff that hits your wallet. And for me anyway, that is where AT&T *shines*. I’ve NEVER been hassled if I call with a question about what I feel is an erroneous charge on my bill. They have reversed everything I’ve ever questioned. And when you have 5 lines and 2 are your kids’ well you know how easily they can sign up for stuff without knowing! But they *always* reverse it! It makes me very happy to know that whenever I call, it is EASY to get to a live person, they seem to be here in the US (no accents that you cannot decipher), and they always go out of their way to take care of the problem. So, you know what? I’ll put up with some spotty signal strength now and then in order to keep that stellar customer service!

Meanwhile I still adore my iPhone. Sat on that sofa all day yesterday but still felt connected thanks to the little computer in my lap. Between that and the new camera with two large capacity memory cards, I am going to go to DC laptop free! It will be so odd not to drag that laptop bag around the airport, but oh so wonderful.