Blog Archive

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Neat Finds...

I am addicted to purses...there is no denying it...but not every single one has to be Vera Bradley. I feel in love with a great store in Annapolis...Vivo!. The store features works from local artists...and there was a purse I just had to have. It had owls!!! And being that I was there in November at the end of National Novel Writing Month...a few thousand words away from 50,000 words I had to get the painting too. I love a good inspiration...and the pink and teal were so me. I also bought a few journals. I'm excited to go back soon to see what other things I will find.

A cute store tucked off the beaten path of Main Street whose cute heart sign outside of their door lured me in..."Shop Local, Eco-Friendly, Fair Trade, Handmade, Recyled, and Vintage". I sort of had a shopaholic moment while there...especially since I had just been to Lilly Pultizer. I was on a high. I kept finding more and more things that I wanted. The store reminded me of how the truly special things are hand made...and how amazed I am at the creativity of people. There is great power in being able to create things with your hands. I don't have those skills...but I am happy to support those who do.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mommy Knows Best...

I finally had some quality "Mommy and Me" time last Mom and I did some Christmas shopping. I love how well she knows me. I love how she has been putting up with my super sensitive INFJ'ness for 33 years. I love how she loves me despite it!! From the get go in 1977, she has always understood me. How I worry. How I fret. How I work hard. How I need to remember to have fun too. Have I mentioned how she used to tell me when I needed to stay home from school to just chill out?

In our flurry of shopping fun, she had yet to find something to get me. I was telling her how boring I am in that my hobby (writing) is pretty uninteresting in terms of gift gifting. There are only so many journals and pens you can give a person. I was talking about how all I do is may be there was something work-related that I needed. And then, like a mirage on the desert sand, a store appeared in my view from Rockville Pike...Shoe Retreat. Shoes!!! A work necessity!!

As if knowing that Santa was going to shop there for me, the Couture section had many, many lovelies for me to choose from. My Mommy bought me two pairs...and get this...they were further reduced at the register!! Under the tree for me?? Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. Aren't they pretty???

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Done!! Well...You Know the Deal...Word Count = 50,691

I have won my sixth National Novel Writing Month...checking in at 50,691 words. Is the novel done? No. Is it ready to be read? No. Do I love it as much as the one I wrote last year? No. Will I ever do something with it? never really know. This year was tough for me. I was so tired. I was so worried that I was not going to finish. I was not entirely in love with my story. But I did it. I got 50,000 words and have something that I can go back and fix should I ever want to. I know that I will at somepoint go back...this one was actually a series idea that I had that I carried over from my NanoWrimo 2008 Novel. Remember Lolly Friar? She was the star of this years too. I guess I should have mentioned that at the begining of the month. ;)

After writing this year, I am totally convinced that last year's novel was very different and I think that was because I had a realy story that hangs together. And truth be told, I can't wait to get my hands back on it again. I loved the story that much!!

And then there were Three... Word Count=47,035

Before you know it, you are three thousand words away from 50,000...I am thinking of stopping for the night and finishing up tomorrow. I still have three more days...but why put off for two more tomorrows what you can finish in one? I wrote just about 7K words today...not too bad considering that I was able to do other fun things too. Shopping...too much shopping...but it spurred the writing...that and an incredible view...and really good music. Those are pretty much the secrets to my word count exponentially increasing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh right, it is November...Word Count=41,018

Three days left...that is all. This is definitely going to be one of those NanoWrimo years that was truly fueled by weekend writing. Week night writing seemed pretty lousy this month as did my Thanksgiving Day plans to bust well into the 40Ks. I don't think it matters Tuesday I will finish...and by finish I mean...get 50K words of truly shitty first draft punched out into a document. The good thing is that I am having lots of fun this month despite being busy at work. The noveling is good, but living is better. I think it is an excellent sign that there has been more of that than writing...

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Search of the Turkey...Word Count = 38,016

Unlike my Mom and Sister who are not afraid of all things culinary...I just like to do the dishes. But, there is one thing that I do contribute to the Thanksgiving festivities...I get to pick out and buy the turkey. It has been awhile since I have done so...the past few years we have dined out. The great 2010 turkey chase was not too took me only two stores to find "the one". That is not too bad, especially since it was so late in the day.

Long work day which started way to early to admit, but I was happy that I didn't leave as late as usual so that I had time to get said turkey and add to my word count. Not bad!! I'm so excited about Thanksgiving...I can't wait to spend good time with my sister putting up the Christmas Trees and writing my novel at the kitchen table while the turkey and other yummy delights cook away. Can't believe this time of year has wound it's way around again.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Six Thousand Kind of Day...Word Count = 37,314

So my goal for the weekend was to get to 40K, but considering that I did not write much of anything on Tuesday through Saturday...37K is nothing to sneeze at. I wrote 6K words today!! I feel like I made a lot of progress and am feeling much more confident about my novel at the moment. I was able to merge everything together into one Master Document again...I had about three different documents with scenes mish mashed all over the place. There is great comfort in having them assembled into some kind of order at the moment. I'm looking forward to going to sleep soon...I am feeling kind of icky and know that this week is going to be crazy, busy again. Hopefully I can sleep and not worry about everything that I need to get done tomorrow. I need to just take deep breaths and take things one at a time. Much like my novel is all about going word by word.

Early Christmas Prep...

We are in total Christmas mode already...and this may be the earliest we have ever started. Lots of new decorations for the house...which we have already started putting up. Our big "wish list" items have already been purchased and ahem...received...but I will save that for another blog entry. We just couldn't wait. It all started last week when Grandma declared that she wanted some new Christmas decorations that "sparkle". So Grandma and I started last weekend picking out some things...things for the kitchen and for the living room and family room too. We hit Lowes and Target...but knew that we needed to still shop some more.

On Friday, the four of us met up and did some major damage getting all kinds of new things...garland for the trees, new tree skirts, two wreaths, more decorations for the various downstairs rooms and the banister. New stockings too!! We have seriously gone all out and are having so much fun. Grandma is so happy and loving it!! Upon looking over all of our purchases yesterday, we decided to just start putting things up. We still have some odds and ends to add. Plus both Christmas Trees...which Sis and I will do on Wednesday night.

We have not done a proper Thanksgiving or Christmas since Grandpa has been least here at home...and this year...we just seem ready. Grandma is so excited about the holidays and we are too. These are the moments you have to hold close and be fully present for. We are a lucky foursome with much to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Theory...

I am finally, after puttering around all day, settling in write more of my 2010 NanoWrimo novel. I have not written since Tuesday and have been trying to figure out why. I have lots of excuses but I think it really boils down to just two things, I'm tired and I would rather sit and chat with my Grandma and hold her hand. Because, if I'm being really honest, we did not know that another Thanksgiving or Christmas was even possible back in the summer. Even though it is November, my novel isn't first. Grandma is and the truth is...I am totally okay with that.

I know that reason isn't particularly entertaining, so I have provided of the following of list of other excuses for my stalled word count.

* After a 13 or 14 hours workday, my brain is no longer young enough to decompress by writing non-stop for an hour to get 1000 words. It can only handle watching rubbish on TV.

* I don't need to write as an escape any longer.

* My idea has no staying power and I was stupid for thinking that I could write a whole novel around it.

* I am a hack and everyone knows it, so what I am really doing?

* I need a new song to obsess over which will fuel my word count and inspire all kinds fo new twists and turns.

* Panera Mac and Cheese halts the word count...too many carbs and way too delicious.

* My 2009 NanoWrimo novel was so good, that I can't fathom thinking about a new one knowing that it still needs attention.

* I peaked after the meet cute and lost all interest in the story, which by the way, was inspired by photo I saw on Twitter. (Note to self...maybe you just need to find another picture to inspire ideas.)

I really just need to snap out of it and get back in the game. The past five years were filled with stress and life happenings but I always finished. This year will be no different...I'm just upset that I set a goal of 65K and that I am probably not going to hit it. My goal for the weekend is to get to 40K...the night is never know. I will excuses!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rolling Along...Slowly!!! Word Count = 30,030

Slow night after my speedy increase of words last night...I knew that I could not go to sleep until I hit 30K. Now that I is sleep time. I am hoping to get to Panera after work tomorrow a few word sprints would really help to push me. They make such a huge difference. I realized that I haven't blogged much about my novel in terms of the characters or the subject. Maybe over the next few days I will post a excerpt...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Panera Progress...Word Count = 28,398

I decided to head to a Write-In at Panera this evening on a whim...and it was not just because my sister made venison for dinner. I knew some time away from the kitchen table would help my word count and it did. I got an additional 3K!!! Not bad considering I was there about 3 hours.

We did three word sprints and that really made things add up quickly. The first one I had 525 words, the second I had 637 words, and the third I had 620 words. Each sprint is about 14 minutes long...we track the time with a spiffy hour glass. I wish I could do them at home, but for some reason, you need to have a bunch of other NanoWrimos around you for them to be successful.

I will have to see if I can get any more words once I head home, but for now, I'm happy to be at 28K...just shy of my 30K goal for the weekend. Today was the first time this month where I felt like things were starting to come together nicely.

Still More Weekend to Go...Word Count = 25,121

I am glad that there are a few more hours left to the weekend so that I can keep the number of words growing. I wanted to get to 30K before the end of the weekend...but that is probably not possible. But I am happy to be moving along at a good is so slow going this year. Every 1K words I'm surprised that I came up with more to add to the word count. That is how this year is going. I'm having a hard time. Maybe once I get through tomorrow...I can really gain some speed. We shall see. And...I still have a few hours left of the you never know.

The scary thing is that I set 65K as my goal this year...and I am not half way there. Yipes!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Panera Magic...Word Count = 22,101

And with the tragic ends that I thought were going to be the beginings...I have had a spurt of novelness on a Friday evening at Panera. It was good run tonight...I enjoyed writing the scene that had been in my mind during the past two years. Good Times. I have the best time writing stuff that is not happy.

My soundtrack for those tragic moments was as follows:

* This Woman's Work - Kate Bush
* This Little Babe - from Benjamin Britton's Ceremony of Carols
* Cry Little Sister - From The Lost Boys(A Dance Track Remix Version I have...)
* Untitled - Interpol

So I'm getting ready to check out of Panera tonight. I earned three whole stickers on my progress chart which made me giddy with NanoWrimo excitement. It was the perfect ending to another busy work week. On a novel high at the moment...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Different Kind of NanoWrimo...Word Count = 20,008

I am finding this year's NanoWrimo journey to be very different than others. I am wondering if it is because I had this one idea and one scene which gave me the whole premise for the novel. The problem is, I still haven't written that one scene. I wonder if that is what the problem is? That and the fact that I am just crazy tired. I am excited that I am in 20Ks now and would love to bust through them before the weekend is over. That would be really cool.

Here is to hoping that I can clock some time with my NanoWrimo Buddies tomorrow at Panera for a few hours. I have yet to participate in a word sprint this year...and I am really jonesing for one!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Clearing the Head... Word Count = 16,018

A quick 1K in so that I can sleep soundly tonight...I had fun writing tonight despite how crazy tired I am. I'm not sure why, but I have been completely exhausted for the past few weeks. I think I need to get a bit more balance back in my getting to the gym in the AM. These long days are kind of eating away at my thinking skills...the nice thing about being concerned about my word count is that I do find the time to churn the words matter what. So that is kind of like balance.

I'm proud of myself...I finally took time to pay some bills...and still got to jot down some words. Woohoo!!! Feeling pretty good about that...and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to be super excited about having a day off work on Thursday. That should help to get a bunch more noveling done...and some laundry too...maybe.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First NanoWrimo Weekend...Word Count = 15,028

I can't believe that I wrote 11K words this weekend...I am feeling much better about things. I'm starting to think that it is okay if I seem to be going slower this doesn't really matter. All that matters is that I get to the end of the finish line. My goal this year is to write 65,000 words. We will see how that goes...I am excited. I am excited and kind of tired. I did have a short power nap around 5pm helped. How is it that we gain an hour and I'm still tired?

It was a good writing weekend...I'm closer to being on pace with where I need to be to reach my goal. Lots of things go undone during the month of November, but it is worth it. The one thing I did take care of was moving my novel to my laptop since Google Docs was giving me some trouble this past week. I love my netbook, but I really felt like it was slowing me down not being able to use Word. I think it helps to see the word count constantly at the bottom of the screen on the left hand side. Watching it increase makes me go even faster. I'm well on my way...

Goal Met...Retail Therapy Too...Word Count = 10,025

So I did it. I got to 10K before the skin of my teeth. Thank goodness for the extra hour. I will be using mine for sleep. How great is it to fall back? I'm feeling better having caught up to where I should be. I'm so tired. I was really in a slump earlier. I did some Vera Bradley purse for Winter...note pen and pencil set...a few other odds and ends. It was just what I needed. I guess I got myself a reward before I made the goal. I wrote 6K words today...a reward was warranted!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Panera Progress....Word Count = 8,597

I seem to be really slow going this year...and I'm trying not to be discouraged. I don't know if it is because I am tired or if it is because my novel still has no legs to stand on...but I am not at all happy with my output today at Panera. I have been here since just before 10am. I really had this goal of getting to 10K words before leaving. I used to write 1K words an matter where I was. Not this year it seems.

Well...I am leaving the crew of NanoWrimos here and may make a quick trip to one of my Vera Bradley "dealers". That may help to perk me up a bit. I need a second wind. Maybe I can get to 10K before I go to bed tonight. Guess that will have to be my new goal for the day.

In honor of the Muse...

I didn't write last night because I was totally captivated by my new TV show addiction...Sons of Anarchy. It is now added to my list of current obsessions...along with Mad Men. I never remember when shows are on...and can't even commit to watch things regularly on the DVR...I know...sad. So watching shows on DVD...a season behind everyone else seems to be how I roll. I felt bad about not writing, but good novels, movies, and even TV is inspiring. That is how I felt last night.

The growth of characters, the twists, the ups and downs, the matter what the genre or the mode of inspires me to get words on paper. A song. A scene. A line of dialog. Each is the magic that gets me going. Each fuels the thing in my brain that churns the words out through my fingers. So many muses. That is the best feeling there is...when the words come flowing out onto the page. That is why I love November so much.

So, I'm at Panera...secured my favorite table by the outlet...ready for a full day of writing. I haven't ever done this I am excited. I'm at 4,102 words...wonder where I will be in a few hours. Any guesses?

PS - I just heard a roar of a motorcycle...muse...I love it!! Never thought I would feel so passionately about a team...a family...of gun runners from a place called charming. Best show ever...seriously...and the Season 2 finale...woah!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Can of Chili... Word Count = 4,102

Another late night at work...this week has been really crazy I guess!! I was so tired when I left the office and I seriously didn't think I was going to get another 1K when I got home. Did I? Yes. Am I up too late? Yes. But it is November!! I love random thoughts that lead to writing...tonight it was a can of Chili. I know right? As I was walking out to the fridge in the garage, an idea popped in my head. Eating Chili from a can...and that lead to my first few words tonight.

I had another moment of tiredness...but I pushed through by playing one of my favorite NanoWrimo games. When surrounded by people, I ask them to give me a word. It never fails. I got two tonight that fueled me well past my work night bedtime...Clavicle and Phantom.

Happy Writing...looking forward to the weekend. My word count will really get some action then...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Need Rest Now....Word Count = 3,027

Another long much to another 1K in...need sleep now. The end.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A slow start...but progress...Word Count = 2,099

I told myself that I was not allowed to go to bed until I hit here I am...and now I can go to sleep. The novel continues to grow and it is looking like I'm writing the one that has been in my head for the past few years...finally!! It is exciting. Still in the honeymoon phase...but I do love this month...even if my writing never goes anywhere or leaves my shelf...I am so happy to barf out the words onto the page.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And she is off...Word Count = 1,212

So the fun begins...after a crazy long day at work...I came home...and cranked out 1,212 words without really stressing too much. I eased into it really. I have a main character with a name. I have a boy character (of course!!). I have the main character's boss. I love my names this year so far...very inspirational thanks to the NanoWrimo Kick-off Party yesterday. My muse is working!! It is a cute little monkey named Choptank...more to come on that later. All I can say is that it is working!!

Discoveries made this evening in my short time noveling - my character works at a company called Canton Niles. Her bosses name is Brenna Kent...who is the boss's daughter. I know right? Who knows where we will go from here!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Favorite Day of the Year...

If I was really being honest...I probably have more than just one favorite day of the year...but today is definitely one of them. It is the only day that stands in the way of opening up my laptop...creating a blank page...and writing a new novel (or at least a crappy first draft of one). At midnight...November 1...the journey begins. Novel writing!! I am so excited!! kind of a side note for today. The real celebration is that it is the last day before I become entranced in a story that I hardly know at this point. Characters who are vague notions in my mind. I will be driven by word counts. Inspired by songs. Clocking lots of hours at Panera. Today is the pre-game show...filled with anticipation before I take the field.

The only real planning I have done is to start my notebook for this year...which is a cute Vera Bradley notebook (in Java Blue) that one of my good friends gave me for Christmas last year. I have also started my NanoWrimo 2010 play list...which is filled with songs that I think are going to help me write this year's novel. That is if I think that I am actualy going to write the novel that I think I am. The muse has a way of messing with that..and that is one of the most fun aspects of novel writing. You can't possibly know where things are going to go. Not if you are doing it right!!

There has been one story baking in my brain for so many years...I want this year to be the year that I turn it out of the pan and onto the page. We will have to see...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Next Version of Novel...Complete!!!

With a few days to spare before I embark on another National Novel Writing Month adventure on November 1, I have finished the next version of my current work in progress. I am on cloud nine...and I have an amazing song from Sons of Anarchy to thank. It is called Girl from the North Country...written by the brilliant Bob Dylan which was covered by Lions for the show. Genius. I love music. I love writing. It is a magical day!!! I did it. I freaking finished it!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

A month away....

I can't NanoWrimo Novel for 2010 has a title and inspiration and a playlist forming in my mind. That is all I need. November 1st can't get here fast enough. Ready, Set, A Month to Go!!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ode to Mommy...

There have been so many moments over the past many months were I am astounded by the strength of my Mom. She is patient. She is caring. She hasn't lost her touch. She is graceful. She is fully present. She is balanced. I watch my Mommy take care of her Mommy. With love and respect. Amazing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The things you learn along the way...

This summer was not like any other that I can imagine. I did not swim. I did not sit in the sun. I did not clock any time by the water in Annapolis. I did not take two weeks off from work. I did not throw a surprise party for my sister's 30th birthday. I did not have lots of yummy meals and cocktails out on the deck.

Instead there were late nights in the ER and hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Watching my Mom blossom into an even more amazing care taker and giving more of herself...even when she thought there was nothing left to give. Eating out many many nights with Mom and Sister...with some yummy drinks every now and then. Seeing my Grandma work hard and rally so that she could get back home. Taking on a new job of sorts...with a new Boss. Witnessing the graceful entrance of my sister into her third decade. An amazing week at camp...and coming home to a full house...finally. Seeing the joy in my Grandma's eyes as she took the stairs and slept on her own bed after almost three months. It was perfection...each and every moment.

For all of the did not's...there was so much more...the best things...the things you can't!! It was exactly the summer I needed. And the best thing is...I am pretty sure I am not the same person I was when it all started.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I totally forgot I blog here...

Wow...have I really not blogged since June? Well...I guess that makes many things have happened since then. It has been a whirlwind...all parts of life were humming and changing. But now...I'm getting ready to step away from it all. I'm going to get my camp on. I can feel all the stress melt away...I am going to the most perfect of all places...Camp Fantastic!!! Want to be a phatom camper?? Join us by taking a trip here... ;)

As I stand before a week of unknowns...I get goosebumps. So many amazing moments fill the space between when I get to Front Royal on Friday Night and leave 8 days later on Saturday. You never know ahead of time...but it all stays with you and grows. You don't ever forget a life altering conversation or a smiling face. It is what keeps you is fuel. It is a purpose. My purpose. Our purpose.

I could not help going back through a scrap book I created after my first year at Camp in 2002. So of course...I am going to share those memories here too. ;)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Things I Do Not Want to Forget...(Part Two)

Have I really not blogged in over month? Yes...I guess that makes sense. My world has been a bit crazier than usual and at so many points during the day it feels as if a perfect storm is brewing. Sometimes I wonder if the storm is already here or if it has yet to hit. I guess you just need to live through it to see what happens. I always love a good thunderstorm...maybe I need to remember that.

My grandma is an endless of source of fun for us...serioulsy...she is 85...has a great sense of humor...and a positive attitude. I wanted to take a quick break and blog about some of the incredibly cute things she has said or done over the past week or so. There are times when I wish I took more time to jot down all the adorable things she says. Here are two of my current favorites -

1. "I've got it all...somewhere."

2. In a loud whisper to both my sister and I - "How do you like my doctor?" [Editor's Note - I'm sure you can guess what is next...because he is adorable.] She continues, "He is cute isn't he?" [Editor's Note - I should point out that he was right outside the door.] He leans his head in afterward to scold her for not drinking enough fluid. She hates to drink water. It is a struggle we always have with her. I guess I don't have to mention that she seems quite enthusastic now about drinking water and juice. Amazing how that works. ;)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

For My Chassity...

I went shopping today with my Vera Girls...and it was perfect timing. I needed to escape my worries and have some good girly giggly fun. I'll post more later about our shopping adventure...but I just had to do a quick blurb about one of my new necklaces. It is a butterfly...I love butterflies. I love butterflies because I love Chassity Flint...XXXOOO. I think she would have really, really loved this. In times like this when I worry about work...I need to remember why I work so hard everyday. Chass is one of those reasons. I have too many reasons...but I love each and everyone of them.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

OGYST - Week 19 in Review

Overall it was a really good started off with a really big boost. My fitness test revealed that I have made tremendous progress in my work at the gym. My trainer was thrilled. So that made me start to believe that I have actually made progress. My blood work and my fitness test measurements all showed improvements. OGYST is working!!!

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #19

1) Exercise Five days a Week - Done...was at the gym for 3 lifting days and 2 cardio days. Was really happy to finally get back into the game. Love my new lifting routine.

2) Follow Weight Watchers Online and Log Points - Done. Had a few slip-ups but all in all it was a good week. I think I need to eat a bit more at lunch...that will help me to not be so hungry at dinner time. We will see how that goes. Low blood sugars during cardio workouts are still a big I need to incorporate a bit more of an afternoon snack on those days.

3) Leave Work no later than 5:30pm Most Days - Done. I worked later than 5:30pm only one day this week. And took Friday off...which was much needed.

4) I Control when I Look at the Blackberry - Done. I look when I think I need to look and I am generally spot on. It is scary. I really only had one day that I had trouble managing how stressed I was. Not bad.

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights - Get back on track in terms of keeping a blood sugar log. Increase cardio workouts a bit...try for three days in the week.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sometimes I Can't...

There is always this thought lingering in the back of my mind that surfaces every now and then when things happen. Sometimes I can't. It becomes clear when only one thing happens...when my blood sugar goes amuck. Sometimes I can't. I like to make progress and I like to get work done. Sometimes I can't. I don't always remember it, but sometimes I can't.

When I was working with my sister last weekend to put together some bookshelves, I had to stop because my blood sugar went too low. I had to treat it...which means...eating 15 grams of carb and waiting 15 minutes to see if my blood sugar has returned to a normal level. During this 15 minutes, you just sort of have to stop and "be". But while you are trying to just "be"...your brain freaks out and worries about all the things you can't do while you wait. Things like - -

* Continue to Build Bookshelves
* Finish the last 15 minutes on the Elliptical Machine
* Send an email
* Make a phone call
* Continue getting ready for work
* Drive to the Birthday Party you are excited about going to do

Because your brain is already fuzzy from low blood sugar...things sort of manifest and you freak out that you have all these things to do. There is a point when you think...I am never going to get all these things done. I am a failure. I wish I didn't have to stop. Those are the only moments when I get angry. Those are the only moments when I feel like I am not normal. Those are the moments when I realize that sometimes I can't.

And then...time passes...blood sugars rise...and if it were magic...I can do anything I put my mind to.

Sometimes physically you can't...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I think I have a Team...

For years and years I have read in diabetes book after diabetes book that you have to have a team. I always used to roll my eyes…knowing that the only one who can make it happen is you. You doing the work. You watching what you eat. You taking the right amount of insulin at the right time. You exercising. You taking responsibility for your actions. You dealing with the consequences. You getting blood work done. The list goes on and on…it is your thing to manage.

I have been thinking a lot about my latest diavista journey. The fact that I have data to show positive results. This is a first…in almost 23 years of managing my T1 diabetes. I have been contemplating what is different…what has made this particular journey different. It boils down to one thing really…I have a team.

Earlier this year I did have an epiphany of sorts, I realized that I could not keep doing things the way I had been. I needed to do something different. Without even realizing it, I was forming a team. In some cases, members of the team had always been there my friend N, my sister, and my mom. Some were added more recently like my endocrinologist Dr. C. Others were just on the horizon like Weight Watchers online (I don't know if a website can be a member of a team...but let's just go with it for now) and my trainer S.

What I finally realized is that there is no one individual piece of this grouping that is making things different this time around. It is all of them together. That is what is different…I have a team!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

OGYST - Week 18 in Review

So in the spirit of getting back in the game, I'm finally doing an update. After three weeks (which I know is a long pause), I feel like OGYST is back in full swing. My revised set of goals really helped to jump start things this week. Let's do a quick review...

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #18

1) Exercise Five days a Week - Done...when I wasn't able to get to the gym...I had a nice long walk outside. Lots of cardio this week.

2) Follow Weight Watchers Online and Log Points - Done. Didn't use all of my allowance points which always makes me happy. I try to save them for low blood sugars...and perhaps a fun beverage. I had my heart set on a margarita but ended up with a mojito instead...yummy...and it was 4 as opposed to 5 points. Good Times!! I'm glad the margarita machine at Joe's Crab Shack was broken. ;)

3) Leave Work no later than 5:30pm Most Days - Done. I worked later than 5:30pm only two days this week...but the good news is that it didn't stop me from hitting the gym anyway.

4) I Control when I Look at the Blackberry - Done. In terms of managing work stress, the fact that I was eating better and exercising definitely helped. I have been worried about lots of things, but decided the best way to deal with it is to focus on my health.

5) Other - Had an appointment with my endocrinologist about my latest set of blood work and she was elated at the progress I have made. She went to great pains to compliment me on how the great results in my numbers were due to all work I had done. Reminding me that I had done it myself. And I have to admit it it felt really, really good. Had a fun time out with friends last makes me really thankful for the great support system I have. I think that is what is making this whole endeavor work.

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights - Meeting my trainer early on Sunday Morning for a fitness test and another run through my latest weight lifting program. Getting back on track in terms of keeping my blood sugar logs.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another addiction...but I restrain...most of the time...

Brighton...much like Vera kind of addicting. The catalogs come and I am pretty good at tossing them away. But one just came and well...I have to have this ring. I just really, really need it. Maybe when I break into a new weight bracket. It is all about the motivation and reward. I'm feeling back in the game for sure...

And in other news...I may have a novel idea for NanoWrimo 10...oh wait...I guess I should finish the one from 09 first. ;)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

OGYST - Get Some Go Again...

To switch things up a bit, I have been contemplating a new set of focus points. I had set some in early 2010 to help in OGYST (Operation Getting Your Shit Together) and after the past few weeks of utter stagnation...I decided to refocus. So here is my list...with only one repeat...because...well as you may have figured my priority always rises to the top. Hence #4 below. ;) Well and #3 too...but that one is new.

1) Exercise at least five days a week

2) Follow Weight Watchers Online and Log Points

3) Leave Work no later than 5:30pm on most days of the work week

4) I Control when I Look at the Blackberry

So we will see how things go. I'm back in the game folks...prepare to astounded by my diavista awesomeness. ;)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Road Back...

It is proving to be much harder than I thought to get back on track...I know the culprit...and I have been eating around it. The stress of uncertainity is getting the best of me at the moment...but I think I may go walk it out for a bit. Blaring music and a cool spring morning is probably just what I need to get centered. I need to be better about having healthy ways to deal with all the things I am worried about. In terms of OGYST...I feel a bit like a failure...but part of it is because I think I need to switch up my plans and set some new goals.

The good news is that my blood work revealed some huge improvements in terms of my numbers...especially my A1C...which gives a numerical indication of your average blood sugar over a three month time span. I think I am feeling confident enough to merge some T1 diabetes related goals into the mix. So...I think I'm going to take a nice long walk, blare some music, and think about what my next set of four goals will be.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


What is up with this week? I have not been to the gym since Sunday. I have not been eating as well as I have been. BLIP!!!!!!!! This was going to be the week that I broke into a new bracket...but now...given how things have been going...I don't think that is going to happen when I step upon the scale tomorrow. The real test is whether or not I can pull myself back up again and get back with the program. There are lots of thigns I have to look forward too...getting my blood work done...seeing the endocrinologist...things are so much better than they were the last time I saw her. I need to keep remembering that feeling...I think it is pride. I have never felt that in terms of my health...and I will get back it. This week I was discombobulated and sooo sooo tired. Off of my game. But it was a blip. A tiny little 'pause' in my journey.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

OGYST - Week 14 in Review

April is favorite tree is in bloom...and I am still at this thing called Operation Getting Your Shit Together. I hate to write this, but I am really proud of myself. Since the new year I have been focusing on being more balanced. I do feel like things have changed...especially since even though I have been dealing with a family emergency I am still at it. I haven't thrown all my changes out of the window. I am still checking my blood sugar. I am still doing the WW thing. I am still losing weight. I am still making time to go to the gym. Balance.

Here is a quick list of each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #14

1. Controlling When I Look at Blackberry - This was made easy because family emergencies have a way of making ignoring work easy. I won't lie, I did get freaked out about a few things...but I found time to get them done. The key was to focus on when things really needed to get done. I still have a project that I need to get done...and most likely I will work on it at somepoint this weekend. But I am not panicing.

2. Take Time to Breathe - Absolutely...this is essential...remembering that everything turns out as it should makes it easier to work your way through things. Also remembering that there is no sense in worrying about what you don't know.

3. Go to the Movies - Nope. Funny, I think of all my focus points...this is the one that I show the least progress in.

4. Gym = Transition - Was able to get to the gym 4 days this week with 2 strength training workouts and 2 cardio workouts. Felt great...each and every one of them. Not as often as I wanted too but life happens.

5. Other - Thought it was perfect timing that I had a great lunch with one my of Vera Bradley Girls on is always good to talk with her. She is one of my big motivagtors in OGYST...she sets a great example in terms of balance, exercise, and being healthy. I love that we can chat...she is such a huge support for me. I was thinking back to how she has been there for so many of my big "life moments". Seeing her was just what I needed so that I could be strong for all the rest that was to happen on Thursday.

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Looking forward to getting a new workout on Sunday AM...bright and earlier with my trainer. Can't wait to talk to her about all my progress over the past month. Thinking good thoughts for good health and continued progress for my Grandma. It will be a crazy week...but I will get through is all about balance.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Things I Do Not Want to Forget...(Part One)

One of the things I love best about my family is that we can laugh our way through anything...and the strength of motivation to persevere is a hallmark. Also, when you are hanging out in the ER for about five hours on a Thursday night...some funny things are going to be said. I might add that funny things come up before you make the decision to call 911 and after being admitted to the hospital too. I wanted to share a list of course!!

Before Making the Call

* My mom reminds my Grandma that she has a doctor's appointment the next day. Grandma then replies, "I don't care what you do, just don't involve me." Giggles fill the room.

In the ER

* My sister looking up to the metal object hanging down upon which you can hang things. "Is that for if they have to put you in traction or some kind of IV mechanism?" Me to my sister, "That is for IVs." Loud laughter fill our bay in the ER. My sister to all of us, "I knew that, but I said it anyway."

* We were all exhausted and it was a few hours before the folks in the ER rounded up some chairs so that all three of us could sit. My mom commented on how she knew she was tired because her legs were restless. My sister then commented, "Well, I don't have any iron...but you can lick my keys." Laughter fills our bay in the ER.

In the Hospital Room

* The nurse coming on duty for the night shift asked Grandma who the three of us were. Her reply, "Their all mine." Heartfelt laughter filled the room...and you could not help but feel pretty darn special...and really, really loved.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vacation State of Mind...

I did some planning today...becuase I have Spring Fever. As I was driving into work today, I was thinking of summer and sunshine. help me get through my inability to really concentrate today...I planned out my summer. So excited. Long weekend in Baltimore in June. Long Weekend in Annapolis in August. Hopefully Camp Fantastic. Thought I would try something different this year...I'm going to take the week off before Camp (if I am lucky enough to be invited to go to Camp) instead of the week after. I am so ready...for some fun in the sun. Baseball Games. Swimming. Cheering for friends. Sunning. Writing. Seeing Dave Matthews. Continuing to work on OGYST. I am so ready. Summer?? Bring it on!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

So Tired....

I have had two really long days at work and I am exhausted. I should go for a walk...but I don't know if I can...I am so tired. I feel like Dorothy in the field of poppies. If I could just close my eyes for a quick second...zzzzz.....zzzzzz.....oh wait....there was a point to this post...I think??

Oh guilt about not going for a walk. I usually allow myself one day of the week off from I will be today. My Nike's will just have to wait until tomorrow...they will enjoy their time at the gym tomorrow night. And maybe...just maybe...they will see their "Gymspiration" too. Every little bit of motivation helps...I'm not gonna lie. Really tall guy with the nice arms and that blue are my gymspiration.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Snack Attack...Got Bell Peppers??

I love bell peppers...they are best chilled and crisp...they are my saving grace. I am an emotional eater...I know this about myself. So now, when the urge to snack hits, I reach for things that are either no points or 1 point. My grocery cart always contains a bag of bell peppers...I love the red, yellow and orange the most. It has become a staple item. I eat at least one a day...especially when I get home from work...while I am waiting for my dinner to finish microwaving. Or in those hours after dinner when you are in the kitchen watching TV...thinking about how best to save your allowance points. They are sweet and satisfying...and did I mention they are no points?

PS - In case you were curious...I cut this bell pepper all on my own!!

OGYST - Week 13 in Review

Is it just me or have the last 13 weeks flown by? I have been back to the gym for 13 weeks and doing online weight watchers for five weeks...this past week really felt like a turning point. I just feel so much better...about everything. My blood sugars continue to be normal for the most part. I am continuing to drop about 2 pounds per week. Like I said...I just feel really good. And believe is not just because I got some new Vera Bradley to jump start spring. One can never have too many flip flops...especially when you wear them after a good workout when leaving the gym. Spring fever has definitely set in for me!!

Here is a quick list of each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #13

1. Controlling When I Look at Blackberry - Did a bit of work last Sunday...but all in all...I am mostly doing work at work. Still working more than 8 hours a day...but am not feeling overwhelmed by it. I just keep taking things one at a time...trying not to get five things done at once.

2. Take Time to Breathe - Seem to be doing this as well...had one particular assignment that I was stressing about...but stayed calm and got it done when I could get it done. Seem to be resisting the urge to work on it this weekend too. It seems it is getting easier and easier to work on things during work hours. Breathing my way through things really helps.

3. Go to the Movies - Saw a few movies via DirectTV and DVD...I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Sherlock Holmes, and Alvin & The Chipmunks - The Squeakqual. Excited to have Mad Men Season Three on DVD...may start that tonight!!

4. Gym = Transition - Great week at the gym...two strength training and three cardio workouts. Actually left work early on Thursday so that I could squeeze in a workout since I missed Wednesday. Friday was the best workout...60 minutes on the elliptical trainer with 635 calories burned. Felt freaking fantastic!!

5. Other - Did not work on the novel at all, but had a fun Happy Hour on Wednesday. Sent along my March Blood Sugars to my endocrinologist and she was thrilled with the results. Ordered some Vera online...flip flops and a fun pink summer tote for work. Yummy Chinese Food on Friday Night. Fun shopping with my sister on Saturday...more Vera. ;)

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Hoping to see some of my NanoWrimo Friends on Tuesday at Panera while working on my novel, lunch with one of my good friends on Thursday, and a few workouts at the gym. Wonder if I can get to a new bracket by my weigh-in on Friday? That is ambitious...but I wonder if it is possible? I guess we will have to see.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A New Skill...

I was excited to learn that my ability to provide feedback on writing has extended into another realm. Recipes!!! read that!! Me...the person who learned at age 25 the difference between a mixer and a blender. I have no culinary skills...but evidently provided great feedback on a recipe that my Mommy is going to be submitting into a competition. I am so proud of her. It had to be healthy and so she created something with all natural ingredients, no bad sugar stuff, or bad fat. She is a genius...and super talented. They were yummy!!

Okay...back to the writing. I was able to look at it for consistency and assure that it was understandable. Since I am a totally idiot in the kitchen...I was able to provide useful comments. I'm good at organizing here is another thing to add to my list. Go me!! Go Mommy!!!

One of the best compliments I ever recieved at work was when my boss's main writer let me know that they always pay attention to the feedback I give when reading things for them. Every now and then I serve I purpose...and the cool thing is...I can still help out with my families culinary arts...even though I am not allowed in the kitchen!! Well...unless it is do dishes. ;)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Throw me a Ring...or Five...

It was not until I was having really low blood sugars for several nights/early AMs in a row that I got to thinking about how my carb of choice for treating lows - - Life Savers. For the past 22 candy of choice has had the perfect name...Life Savers. The name...if you think about totally true. When my blood sugar goes low...I need 15 grams of Carb to begin the process of raising of it. The process is basically waiting 15 minutes and checking your blood sugar again. If it is still low, you take another 15g of Carb and wait again. (Note to self - Why do I capitalize Carbs?)

5 Life Savers are what I typically need to go from a low blood sugar to a level that feels just about right. The hardest part is that 15 minute goes against nature. You feel your body struggle...your brain is are sweating bullets...but you have to wait it out. Your instincts tell you to pile in the food...and sometimes...I do...because even though I know I need to wait...I still fear that my blood sugar will continue to drop. No good can come from I eat 10 or 20 Life Savers. I am far from perfect...but even a pro like me gets freaked out.

In the old days, I carried rolls of Life Savers...the hard candy. Now...I am crazy for the Gummi's. They are so much easier on my pearly whites and come in fun flavors...the sour ones are my favorite. I mean...if you need to be may as well rely on something yummy. Especially if it is the middle of the night!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

OGYST - Week 12 in Review

The week took unexpected turns but I was calm and able to still keep up with my new eating habits. This was my third week on WW online...and I was really worried that I was going slip up. I didn't...even with lots of work and due to a family emergency. I am feeling very positive. Seeing lots of great results. I know more tough times are ahead...but I feel ready. I do feel a sense of balance.

Here is a quick list of each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #12

1. Controlling When I Look at Blackberry - I was completely shut off from work for two days...I really did well at keeping things in perspective. Family comes first...that makes prioritizing very easy.

2. Take Time to Breathe - This was my saving grace this week...since I wasn't able to get to the gym. I kept a sense of calm by choosing to not get all stressed out. I think eating three meals a day and more regulated blood sugars have really helped. I took one thing at a time and choose not to worry. Is it really just a choice?

3. Go to the Movies - Caught a few things on Pay Per View. Did You Hear About the Morgans? The Blind Side. Also saw Meet the Spartans and The Pursuit of Happiness. Two nights in a row I have watched truly fantastic movies...ones that stay with you. Don't worry. I'm not talking about Meet the Spartans or the Morgans. :)

4. Gym = Transition - Had to forgo this given the direction this week took...but I think that standing for hours in the ER and visiting in the hospital milling about counts for some activity. Especially when I may or may not have been doing squats against the wall. I did have a great workout on Monday.

5. Other - Finished the next set of edits on my novel. Had a great dinner with friends on Tuesday Night...I was glad I was with them when I got the "call". Was so excited about the happy news from one of my was news that we had been waiting years to hear...and I knew that someday I would hear it!! Before dinner, I had fun shopping at Juicy Couture. Don't worry...I took advantage of sales. ;) A very CUTE pinky salmon outfit. Great pedicure...if only the weather could match my pinky spring toes!!

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Getting back to the Gym. Since we are adjusting to new normals (if there is such a thing as normal)...I canceled some plans for the upcoming week...dinner and time with the Trainer. Not sure if I will make a Happy Hour on Wednesday or not. My main goal will be to get back to the gym. I'm thrilled that I was able to keep eating well even though things took an unplanned turn this week. It felt really good to stay in control of something.

The Switch...

Life Happens. Things Change. You Adjust. In my journey to be healtier through lowering my blood sugars, there are times when I really think a switch has been flipped in my brain. Even when meeting friends for dinner, dealing with some really tough times at work, and a family emergency...the switch did not go off. I am making significant progress in all realms...blood sugars, insulin levels, and weight. Plus...despite lots of uncertainty...I am calm. Am I really getting my shit together?? Did I just jinx everything?? Only time will tell...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

OGYST - Week 11 in Review

I really felt in control this week...of my diabetes especially. I feel like a switch has gone off in my brain. It is all about choices. Making choices that center around the things that you think are most important. Perhaps my priority order has health is bumping up on the list. I don't think this is a bad thing.

Here is a quick list of each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #11

1. Controlling When I Look at Blackberry - Can't remember any particular time when I was frantically obsessing about work. I took time to eat lunch everyday...even when I had meetings back to back and phone calls to return. It felt good.

2. Take Time to Breathe - It was a tough week...but I feel like I was able to stay calm. I did take a few moments to breathe. Especially when I was having a bunch of low blood sugars. I took the time (15 minutes...which seems like forever when you feel completely depleted of all basic brain power) to just wait for my sugar to re-adjust after eating 15g of carbs. Even when it happened while I was getting ready for work...instead of continuing to rush and get ready...I just sat still and waited. It felt good.

3. Go to the Movies - Finally saw Alice in was really good. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I am becoming a huge fan of 3D!! So much so that I am considering seeing TRON. I know right?? Also saw New Moon...which reminded me how much I loved the soundtrack. And about my novel...because I wrote much of it in November listening to the New Moon soundtrack. There is nothing better than music inspiring words. It feels good.

4. Gym = Transition - I know that my ability to stay calm, especially at work, has been a direct result of the time that I have been clocking at the gym. Lots of cardio and strength training...I even convinced my sister to come with me on Sunday and then again on Saturday. It was so much fun to have a buddy. Thinking about when to schedule another Fitness Test so I can see if I have been making progress. I know that my form is changing. It feels good.

5. Other - The biggest highlight of the week was that my endocrinologist was thrilled with my blood sugars and lowered my long acting insulin dosage for overnight. This is such a huge deal...and I am really proud of myself. Between eating better and time at the gym...I am really seeing dramatic results in my blood sugars. I also met one of my NanoWrimo friends at Panera this week (after I went to the gym of course) and I ended up making a bunch of edits to my next set of "pen and ink" changes. It felt so good.

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Having dinner with some friends, Clocking more time in the gym, Scoping out some new Vera (think I need to get a bunch of flip flops), Getting a lovely pedicure, and Seeing how much progress I have made after my third week on WW Online.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

OGYST - Week 10 in Review

The tenth week of 2010 was my official "getting my head back in the game" week. One of the areas that I had to tackle was getting control of my blood sugar. I actually didn't make it a focus point because it has been on that list for the past 22 years. My thought this year was that my four other focus points would help me to tackle the whole diabetes thing by allowing me to be more balanced. I have had an incredible blood sugar week...which is related to the fact that I started Weight Watchers Online Thursday before last. I'm religiously counting my carbs and therefore taking the right amount of insulin to cover them. It is amazing what a bit of focus will do.

Here is a quick list of each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #10

1. Controlling When I Look at Blackberry - Monday was a very tough day...but all in all it was a pretty good week. The really amazing thing was that I took Thursday off of work...and I only answered two of the many, many emails I received. I just kept telling myself that I could tackle things the next day. So I did!! This was a huge step...and it made for a terrific day off...and I didn't even feel guilty about it.

2. Take Time to Breathe - When I did feel really stressed out...I took the time to remember the important things. Like why I show up to work everyday...because Cancer Sucks!! I looked at my "Joel Sign" and the butterflies in my office. I remembered the great time I had at lunch with my Camper Angela. I thought about my Camper Sarah and how she was having her head shaved for St. Baldrick's Day.

3. Go to the Movies - Does watching some of the Oscars count? Does adding to the list of things that you want to see count? Oh well...I'm not perfect. Did not see any movies. ;)

4. Gym = Transition - Sunday started off with a session with my Trainer who kicked my strength training workout in the ass by stepping things up for me. I felt awesome and sore afterwards. I loved it. Since the weather was warmer, I walked outside three nights for cardio. Worked so hard on the elliptical trainer at the gym that my blood sugar plummeted. Did my new strength training routine at the gym on my own and did not feel like a dork at all. Life is Good!!

5. Other - Lots of fun things this week...I was able to have lunch with one of my campers...Angela...she is an amazing person who fills me with pride. She is brave. She is beautiful. She kicks Cancer Ass. She writes gorgeous poetry. She is strong. My sis and I saw Henry Rollins on Wednesday night. He never disappoints. Amazing. The time goes by so fast. Got a really nice note from the boss...which was the extra bit of motivation that I needed. Enjoyed a productive day off on Thursday...which included a car wash. I love that my baby girl is all clean!! Filled out my camp application and sent it in. Took a killer Saturday afternoon nap. Perfection.

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Grumblings from the time change, clocking time at the gym, celebrating St. Paddy's Day, going to the movies with my sis, seeing how much progress I make on Week #2 of WW, and editing my novel

Greatest Food Ever??

Am I really going to blog about food? I mean one of my new favorite foods? The one thing...besides my rediscovery of how much I LOVE to eat bell peppers or a crispy, crunchy, cool head of iceberg lettuce...that I eat as a snack? It has fiber. It is not loaded with lots of carbs. It has only one point in terms of WW. My new love? One of my new favorite things? Popcorn!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shaking Things Up...

Part of my plan with my new "Getting to the Gym" focus point has been to avoid stagnation. I am pretty good at doing the cardio fact...I will be getting ready to take a nice hour long walk in just a bit. I'm taking advantage of the warmer weather...getting fresh air is good. The tough part for me is strength training. That is where having a trainer has been good...mind you...I NEVER thought I would have someone help me with it. This past Sunday my strength training workout was "kicked up a notch" to include a few more ab related things and a few different moves. It kicked my butt...but felt so good. Tomorrow I am going to be on my own at the gym after work...and I am going to attempt all of the new stuff. I am not going to lie...I am kind of nervous and afraid of looking a dork. But...when has that ever stopped me before?

In blood sugar news, I have had a few lows but that is to be expected when you are totally transforming your relationship with food. Can't believe my first week on WW will be marked tomorrow. First weight check...that will be my big "weekend kick-off" after my workout tomorrow night. It feels good to be eating three meals a day...and it hasn't been as hard as I thought. Even though I am counting three things in my journey...points, blood sugar, and carbs...oh my!! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Feel it in the air...

I am getting very excited for Spring and Summer...if you read my blog may know that 2009 was a very busy year for me. I made work my number one priority...which I do not regret...but it did take a toll. One of the things I have been trying to do is to not repeat the same thing in 2010. is still a number one priority...but I am working very hard to have some balance. To take time to have fun. To put the blackberry off to the side. To make plans.

I am very excited about several plans that I have already made - seeing Henry Rollins on Wednesday Night, seeing the Red Sox play a few times, a long weekend in Baltimore, seeing Dave Matthews Band, Camp (hope, hope...if they want me back), seeing a good friend of mine complete her second Iron Girl, and a full week off of work after camp. Just knowing that I have "things" coming up helps so much. They are motivating too. They are calming. They are giving me balance.

So, there is a reason behind my latest Vera Bradley purchase - A Rosie Posie Hipster in Kiss Me. You knew that something in the form of a justification for purchase was coming didn't you? Well, since I have all of these fun things coming up, I will need to have a cute little purse to hold important things - sunglasses, cell, blackberry, $$, and insulin. I am not going to lie, before I walked into my favorite Vera Dealer I may have started a mantra that went something like this - "I do not need a new Hipster." That I may have been repeating over and over. Besides, I needed something that would go with all my Red Sox stuff (which is all pink and blue). My lucky cap being the most important piece (of course).

I gathered my strength as I walked into the store, explaining to my sister that the new Frill bags would all clash with my Red Sox I really didn't need to worry about buying anything. And I approached the display...I remembered. The Kiss Me pattern is Pink and Navy. Perfect!!!

Novel Progress...Novel Experience...

This past November I drafted a novel and yesterday I did something I have yet to do after drafting many different novels...I finished my first set of edits. My experience in writing my current WIP "work in progress" has been so different than in previous years. I bet you can feel a list coming too.

Things that have been different this time around - -

1) I read the entire draft (like it was a book) and made some changes and notes.

2) My sister read the entire draft and then we discussed her thoughts and ideas. I feel it important to note that she has never read any of my other novels...she claims that she could not put it down.

3) I did not start off with a title in mind. In fact, I still don't have a title.

4) There are pieces from my previous draft novels that lend themselves to this one. Characters and Situations...

5) I have actually made all of my "pen and ink" changes to the draft novel.

6) It somehow feels less "impossible" to continue to re-shape it and make continued progress towards actually finishing.

7) I have a plan for how I am going to get it "done". Done means that I feel comfortable enough to have other people read it and give me feedback. In addition to my writing buddies (if they are willing)...I have a list of a few other people whose eyes I know will be honest and brutal. That is the point of be brutal.

The Plan

My Novel -

* is currently 140 pages and 20 Chapters (this is Version 2)

* is going to be edited for structural related things next (this will be Version 3)

* is going to have a whole section added to cover the stuff I need research more (this will be Version 4)

* is going to be read through again by myself (and sister??) with changes being noted

* is going to be edited based upon said changes (this will be Version 5)

* is going to be released from my hands to a few others for feedback

So there you have it, it is way past November, it is well past the new year, and I am still working on my novel. Progress?? I think so...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My life in numbers...since 1987...

I think I have written before about how my life is ruled by numbers and the struggle in trying to remember that my blood sugar doesn't equal my worth as a person. It is all about the numbers - blood sugar level, number of carbs, and insulin ratios. My calculator is my best friend...and a life necessity actually. It ranks right up there with insulin.

So, as part of OGYST, I have added in another component. The one that I have been avoiding over these first nine weeks...tackling food. I know what a huge commitment it takes. I know that it is really hard work. I know that I am ready to now take it on. My plan of action for this has added something else for me to count...points.

I am consistently motivated by my sister and my good friend who have been doing WW, so I decided to take the plunge too. It feels like a good kind of peer pressure. I was feeling so lousy this week that I decided that I need to shake things up and try something that I have never tried before. I'm doing the online program and I am not going to lie. For me, it is double work. Two things to count and track. Carbs and Points.

It is an adjustment...the biggest problem so far has been remembering to take insulin to cover the carbs I am eating. I am good at tracking the points and get so excited about how best to allocate them. So excited, that I forget the other part...tallying up the carbs and taking the insulin to cover them. I'll get is just getting used to a new routine. I like that there is an allowance of points that you can use throughout the week. There is a psychology there that makes a lot of sense. It is all about budgeting for the things you really want. Again..with the numbers!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

OGYST - WTF!!! Weeks 6, 7, 8, and 9

Alright...well I have been very bad about the tracking progress of Operation Getting Your Shit Together. So, I need to get back on track and chronicle things. Instead of scratching my head and trying to remember the past three weeks, I thought I would do a quick list of things to summarize...status update style.

Joy Wizziwa is...

* amazed that after the big scientific meeting the crew was playing one of my "instant cry" songs from Camp as they were breaking down the equipment. Kicking Cancer Ass...I think it was a sign. Somewhere Over the Rainbow...

* meeting up with some NanoWrimo Friends to write...after hitting the gym. Balance anyone?

* eating bad things that no good can come from.

* working on her novel and making edits. Could this one be "the one"?

* increasing her reps and weights to kick things up a notch at the gym.

* trying her best and okay with the fact that it is not always enough. I don't think I can work any harder or longer.

* getting a pedicure...ahhh....

* spending another Saturday at the car dealership...they could have at least bought me dinner first...$1K in two weekends. Enough Said...

* lost with her sister because I am bad at directions. But then drinking and chatting with friends took all the stress away.

* singing her ass off and may become addicted to Rock Band. have I missed this fantastic dare I say genius game? Oh right...because I am lame.

* realizing that saving the sauna for Friday's is dumb...enjoying it after a work out on a Monday feels just as good.

* making summer plans now...stuff for May, June, July and August...I am so not repeating the mistakes of 2009 again. Red Sox? Check. DMB? Check. Camp? Check...if they want me back. ;)

* not buying any of the new Vera Bradley Frill...I will resist the urge.

* getting a compliment on her talking points. Finally!!!

* feeling to nap instead of going to the gym.

* thinking of addressing my horrid eating habits by doing WW online. Am I that brave?

* resting the day away...gearing up for Friday...and then...the WEEKEND!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get Your Red Sox On...

I am so thrilled that I will be seeing the Red Sox play live at least three time this year!! Which of course...has me thinking about shopping. Red Sox shopping!!! I made the mistake of looking at the website. Big Mistake. I could get a purse. There is no hope...

And here I thought I was going to get a new tee or sweatshirt. Must resist urge to buy. Must resist urge to buy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Diavista Must Have...

Many years ago I decided to go on an insulin pump and had to go to training. It was a fun experience because I was in my mid-20's and my classmates were 12 and 6. The 12 year old was a little girl and she had the most fantastic medical id bracelet. She was so excited to tell me about Lauren's Hope and how they had all of these cool bracelets with little clips on the end that can attach to your Medic Alert medallions. Having worn a regular old braclet for many, many years...I was ecstatic to know that I could be fashionable with my life saving identification.

Since then I have had all kinds of fun things, including watches. Let me tell you...I would have totally flipped out if they had this type of thing when I was younger. They even have a G&S type sport band too. And...well...I'm not going to lie...I may have one of those in purple too. ;)

This past week, as I was going through emails (I am very bad about checking personal email) I had one from Lauren's Hope. And there it was. This amazing bracelet. I have to have it. I am in love. I must order it. RIGHT NOW!!! My health totally depends upon it.

Is she not the prettiest thing ever???

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meeting Prep...

I have a few quirks and I am okay with admiting it. A few times a year, I am tasked with pulling together a really big meeting. A few days before the meeting there are a few things that I do, without fail. Actually, I don't even think about it really. It just sort of happens. Ready for a list? I thought so...

1) Buy a new Vera Bradley Purse or Bag

2) Buy a new outfit for each day of the meeting

3) Pick out which Vera Bradley Hipster Bag I will use (Perfect for all the essentials - pens, pencils, blackberry, and cellphone)

So today, in preparation for next Tuesday and Wednesday...I took care of things.

1) Purchased Vera Bradley Messenger Bag in Yellow Bird (It was on sale by the way)

2) Purchased a fun long wrap-around sweather and a cute jacket (Both on sale!!)

3) Black Microfiber Hipster will be my command center that will not leave my side during the duration of the meeting.

And you know...when I pack my bags...Vera Bradley Duffle and Satchel will be stuffed to the gills. Night Owl case you curious. ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow versus Fitness...

In case I haven't mentioned it, I love snow. It makes me a five year old. Despite the beating the East Coast has been taking, I still love snow. The worst thing about snow is that it does have the power to ruin plans. It makes going to shows, parties, movies and anyting else fun much more difficult (or with some level of risk). This for me now includes the gym. I really, really miss my gym. I am in Week #6 of my new routine and haven't been to the gym since last Monday. Somehow, using the treadmill and staionary bike in the basement while watching How I Met Your Mother or Powerpuff Girls (don't judge) is not quite the same. Shoveling the snow is great exercise...don't get me feels great to accomplish moving a bunch of stuff from here to there. It is just not the same...

Here is a list of things that I love about my gym:

1) The way it looks just like a spa when you walk in.

2) The feeling of accomplishment you have when your membership card is swipped. Getting there is more than half the battle.

3) The lockers...which have key locks on you don't have to bring your own lock.

4) Locker #103

5) Free Towels...more room in the gym bag and less hassle in terms of figuring out what to do with wet towels (i.e. slung over the backseat in the car).

6) The endless sea of treadmills and elliptical trainers. One could really not want for more.

7) Getting my workout sheet from the "W" section and a tiny pencil to write in my sets and reps. It makes me feel so strong!! Especially now that I am increasing the weights. ;)

8) The squat leg is my most favorite.

9) The fact that I no longer fear the balance ball or feel like a total dork when using one.

10) The sauna

11) The feeling of a warm shower after a great workout.

12) The worn out fanasticness of walking to the car and recognizing that all the stress of the day has left me.

13) My adorable Vera Bradley "Carried Away Tote" in Sittin' in a is the best gym bag EVER. (I know this really has nothing to do with what I love about the gym.) But fits perfectly in the there you go!!

I feel better now...just thinking about all the things that will be waiting for me when I return makes me feel all happy inside.

Monday, February 8, 2010


As you may have gathered, I am not afraid of hard work. Especially the kind of work that seems impossible. My favorite kind of challenges are those that are more physical in nature...where my patience and ability to keep calm are tested. Such was the case over the past weekend. I love snow. I still love snow...even though we just got a whole bunch and may get a bunch more. I love how perfectly quiet it is. I think it is magical. It takes an every day scene...and changes it into something new. Call me crazy, I can take it. I love snow. The End.

After a fun-filled Friday evening of shoveling and a Saturday afternoon adventure too...I knew that there would be more. There is a little unknown fact when you live atop a cul de generally get screwed by the snowplow. It annoys me sometimes...but mostly I love the challenge it presents. Come on snowplow...bring it. No mound is too high. No stretch of snow too wide. I can so handle it. And I did...once again...on Sunday morning.

The Challenge - Clearing the snow between the end of the driveway and the street

The Challenge - Complete

Take that Snowplow!!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

OGYST - Week 5 in Review

The fifth week of 2010 was very tough for some reason. I am not at all happy with my progress...especially in focus area 4. I am very disappointed, but as my good friend Nicol reminds me...sometimes there are blips...and this is just a blip. Good news is that I feel like Week 6 will get me back on track. I'm also wondering if the fact that I did not do my Week 4 summary last Sunday had anything to do with my blip. I think it did. Accountability is good!!! Lesson Learned.

Here is a quick list of each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #5

1. Controling When I Look at Blackberry - Feel as if I am still doing well in this area. I am not answering emails at all hours of the night. It does feel better...I still check it often...but I do not feel like I have to respond right away.

2. Take Time to Breathe - Bad. Bad. Bad. I was very stressed and worried about many things. But when I needed most to be calm...I think I was. I also decided to work from home on Friday...which helped. I put in a long day...but got so much done. It was a blip. One week out of five is not that bad.

3. Go to the Movies - Nope. Snow kind of messed this up...but...I did start watching one while on the treadmill. That was kind of fun.

4. Gym = Transition - Bad. Bad. Bad. Only got to the gym once...on Monday. Did cardio at home on Sunday...had to cancel with my trainer because of the snow mess. Felt very guilty. But...with the snow shoveling on Friday Night and on Saturday...hopefully it made up for my lazy week. I have to say...I did feel pretty damn good that was great!!!

5. Other - Did work at home on Sunday afternoon/evening. Car battery dead on Monday had to get a jump. Birthdays - Grandma turned 85 and Mommy turned 58!!! Retinologist appointment went well and was not that traumatizing. But having your eye pressure checked with a pen thingy was strange...I had to get into my "zone". Car battery dead on Friday had to get it replaced. Couldn't get to work on time for 8am staff I just called in. Slight teasing on that call. Loving the snow!!!

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Shovelling. Busy Busy Week. Preparing for big meeting. Getting to the gym. Celebrating less than a month until Henry Rollins comes to town.

OGYST - Week 4 in Review (Belated Post)

The fourth week of 2010 was awesome...even if I am now posting about it after week 5. This will be a brief post...but in terms of getting to the gym...I totally rocked it!!!

Here is a quick list of each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #4

1. Controling When I Look at Blackberry - Doing really well...very busy with a huge meeting coming up...but I am just waiting until the next morning to get things done. It gets easier to do it seems...and news flash...the world doesn't end.

2. Take Time to Breathe - Overall doing well in the area of keeping some sense of calm. Focusing on doing one thing at a time. I still feel a difference in my stress level (not as bad as 2009...which is my gauge).

3. Go to the Movies - Nope. But check out #4 below!!!

4. Gym = Transition - I got to the gym four times this week...three strength training sessions and one kick ass Cardio. I ripped it up on the elliptical on Tuesday night. Felt so frigging good. Clocked some nice sauna time on Friday after my workout. That is like my new favorite thing. Did Cardio at home on Sunday and Saturday...Thursday was my off day. Very proud of my work this week.

5. Other - Quick happy hour with some of my IT friends...wished I could have stayed longer...but Thursday is "Grandma and Me" evening. We had a blast!!! Fun driving in the terrible conditions with my sister on Saturday. Roads were really bad...but I am totally loving all of the snow this year. Makes this January Baby a happy, happy girl!!

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Another session with my personal trainer. Seeing a new retinologist...always a bit stressful. Haven't been in over a I am worried about my eyeballs. It is the only (thank goodness) diabetes related issue that I have to deal with. More snow??? Lots of work to do. Getting back to my good eating habits?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

OGYST - Week 3 in Review

The third week of 2010 felt to me to be the "make it or break it" week. In other times where I have tried to refocus my efforts...the third week is where I abandon things. This week was the real test. The good news is that I made all of my gym goals!!! I'm learning to compensate when "work happens"...but still keep to my plan. All in was another good week. When I think back on how I felt in 2009...even with my blips this week...I am still feeling much more in control. I know it is the gym. I know it is a process. I know that I just need to keep at it.

Here is a quick list of each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #3

1. Controling When I Look at Blackberry - I am doing okay in the managing work stress realm...although I had Friday off but did some work in the AM. Got a bit stressed out...but tried to focus on the fact that it was okay to be off from work. Tried to remember that everything turns out okay...or it should. I need to remember that I don't need to take on other folks stress. I can still be calm and that is okay. I was shopping most of yesterday...and did not look at the blackberry once. Trust me...for me...this was huge. ;)

2. Take Time to Breathe - See #1 above...forgot about this one on Tuesday afternoon and on Friday. But the feeling didn't stay that long...even though I forgot to breathe and focus on one thing at a time. Most of the trouble is when those around me get stressed...I need to remember to breathe and not catch/take on angst. Just because I am calm...doesn't mean that I am not working hard or doing my part.

3. Go to the Movies - Again...DVD/DirecTV Watching...but it still counts!!! ;)

* Doubt
* Post Grad
* The Invention of Lying

4. Gym = Transition - I got to the gym three times this week...I did all strength training each I met the goal to do that 2 -3 times a week. At home on three days I did all cardio...which met my goal to do 3 - 5 times a week. So that means I exercised 6 out of 7 days. I am very happy about this. ;) And also lucky that I can do cardio at home. ;) I was able to do my strength training work outs on my own and I really loved it. Especially since I get to do a bit of cardio before and after...feels so good!!

5. Other - Went to the endocrinologist and was reminded again how much I love my doctor. After 22 years...I finally feel like I have someone that I can work with. I was really proud of myself for not canceling my appointment...that is what I do...but I didn't do that!! Also finally made an appointment with the retinologist...haven't gone in over a year (this is really bad...) but will go in early February. OMG...this sounds like an older persons entry. ;) Didn't do any work on my novel...but I am just happy that I was in Week #3 and did not abandon my new plan. Had an amazing day shopping with my Mommy yesterday...we don't get a lot of time together these days...and this was a perfect unplanned day of fun.

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Hmmm...many of my expected highlights are leftover from last week. Upps!!! Starting to edit novel (I will do this I swear!!!), Getting back on track with my food intake, Going to the movies, and Enjoying Happy Hour with some of my IT buddies.