Treading the Mill

We bought a treadmill.

People have asked if we’re hanging clothes on it yet.

Not yet. We’ve only had it two weeks. We’re still in our “treadmill honeymoon phase.”

I actually like the treadmill – there’s something about the control that I find reassuring. If I don’t feel like I can handle the hill, I don’t have to. I don’t have to just abandon the run and move in with the neighbors because there’s no way my ass is going up that incline.

*knock knock*

“Hi. I’m sorry, I know we’ve never actually met. I live up there. Up that hill in the house with the wood siding. You know it? No? Well, it’s there, I promise. I live pretty close. We’re practically related. Anyway, I can’t live there anymore. Why? Because…umm…because…well, frankly because I just can’t deal with that hill. I’m done. And your place looked pretty welcoming and I figured you wouldn’t mind. I’m an excellent cook.”

That probably wouldn’t go over as well as I hope.

So we got the treadmill and I can power-walk on it to my climate/speed/inclined-controlled hearts content.

Except it’s right in front of the front window.

So the neighbors could see me.

Which is a problem because I need to maintain a good impression.

You know, for when I have to move in with them.

Whine Vent Whine

So I had this idea a couple months ago that I needed to be writing again and “relaunched” this blog.

That didn’t go quite as I intended, and I’m not even sure why. Because it’s tradition I’m going to blame the cats. I’ve never let one to let a lack of logic or any conceivable causal relationship stop me from drawing the most convenient (to me) conclusion.

But I think I’m going to use this space for a slightly different purpose for a while. I suppose technically I can do whatever I want with it – it’s my space, after all. I can write humor, essays, transcribe the lyrics to every Deep Purple album or devote ever character to recipes for sangria, if I so choose (and if I’m being honest that last one sounds sort of awesome.)

But I think I’m going to use this for a weight loss journal for a bit.

You don’t need to read this, if that is not your thing. Both of you are free to pursue far more entertaining things than listen to me vent about this process.

But I might need the venting, so I’m going to use it as such.

Like many, my weight has been a constant battle. To be fair to myself, in general I’m ahead (if not always winning). And I remember with deep satisfaction the exact moment I realized I loved my curvaceous, hourglass shape and that I really actually didn’t want to be a reed. I will never be a reed. Those genetics are not mine. So it was liberating to realize that that wasn’t actually what I wanted. I only thought I did. And that was an amazing place to be.

Between the ages of 20 and now (which is a fair number of years) I’ve really only been truly overweight about 6 of them. That’s not the same as being my skinniest. I’ve only been that weight about 6 years also. But I’ve been in a range that is attractive, healthy and allows me to wear about 80% of my wardrobe all but 6 of my adult years.

The last 1-2 years falls into that 6, though.

Insert heavy, exasperated sigh.

I gained some weigh after the brain hemorrhage. Then I gained a bit more after the knee surgery. Then in the last 2 years of working at home I’ve gained quite a bit more. To the point where I’ve lost most of my wardrobe and ALL of the fitness I gained doing the triathlons.

Interestingly, I’ve known my whole life that I don’t lose weight the same way more naturally slender people who gain a few pounds do. I’d describe this to people and if they’ve never tried to lose more than 10% of their body weight they looked at me as if I’d spoken Sanskrit. (Does one ever speak Sanskrit? Is that only a written language? I’m too lazy to look.) “Eat less, move more.” Right?

Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

“Eating less” for my metabolism is less than 1600 calories a day. That. Is. What. It. Takes.

The scale doesn’t budge otherwise.

“Move more.”

It takes at least 3 intense workouts a week to give any assist to that calorie count.

Have you ever tried to sustain a intense workout when all you’ve eaten is 800 calories so far that day?

Maybe you have. Maybe you’re in the same boat as I am.

I hope not. It sucks. Don’t come here. The weather isn’t nice.

But back to my point. I’d been saying that for a long time and I truly think people thought I was whining.

Then research started coming out that said exactly what I’ve been saying. If you’ve ever been overweight in your life you 1) Have to create a greater calorie deficit to lose weight, and 2)Have a lower threshold for calories needed to sustain weight loss.

So to those who say, “Weight gain is just people making bad choices,” I say, “Fuck you, you clueless schmuck.”

(To be fair, I say comparable things to people who claim that obesity is not a health concern. I’ll address all the science denying that accompanies the issue of obesity another time.)

So back to me.

I have to deal with this weight. The longer it sticks around, the harder it will be. I don’t like how I feel, I don’t like how I look.

But I know….I know in a way that makes me depressed just thinking about it…what it will take to get the weight off. I know how tired and how hungry I will be.

So one of my strategies is to journal the process. As a way to distract myself, as a safe place to whine and cry about how hard it is, and hopefully as a place to celebrate some accomplishments.

Fingers crossed.

We Ain’t Talking Zodiac

We live in the woods now. People ask how many trees we have on the property and the answer is, “We have no damn idea.”

Lots.

There was what is now referred to as “The Incident” where a branch broke off and wreaked some havoc and so we had to follow up with tree work to the tune of one nice vacation. Because who wouldn’t want to trade a trip across Europe for a dozen tree stumps and a pile of wood chips the size of Mount Rushmore?

And the impact of that radical tree maintenance? YOU COULDN’T EVEN TELL WE’D HAD THE WORK DONE.

That’s how many trees we have.

Now, this may be news to some of you, but…..things live in the woods. 

Things that we simply did not have to contend with when we were suburban-dwelling, water-and-sewer-hooked town-folk.

For instance, I never once – not a single time in all of my urban living days – had to get a bat out of my bedroom.

And never before have I had a neighbor tell me that a bear wandered through his back yard. And no, I don’t think it was his consumption of herbal refreshment that led to this pronouncement. There were witnesses.

Yet it is not the bat nor the bear that screw with my sleep.

It’s a critter about the size of a quarter.

Scorpions.

You heard me.

Black, scaly, upward-tail-pointing, pincer wielding scorpions.

What the honest fuck, people??

There is something about the shape of a scorpion that is inherently freaky. The shape is unmistakable. You can’t look at a scorpion and think you’re looking at anything else.

Here is a conversation that never happens:

“Ethel, honey, is that a ring-tailed lemur?”

“No, George, that is a scorpion. And you are an ignorant, knuckle-dragging waste of a toupee.”

And they are menacing. They’re seriously like the organized crime enforcement brigade of the insect kingdom. You know just by looking at them they’re ready to mess you up. Just seeing them makes you want to relinquish your PIN number and rat out the neighbors.

To those who would say to me, “It’s not any worse than a bee sting (true of this species of scorpion) and they’re very shy and they’d rather be anywhere you aren’t (also true),” I say, “GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” while running away and waving my arms violently.

We’ve found a couple in the house. They were all dead. We don’t know why. We suspect the cats (good kitty! have a tuna!) but we’ve never witnessed the actual demise, so we don’t for sure.

But then…one night…one fateful, horrible night…

I found one in the upstairs bathroom.

In a feat of cognitive dissonance that would rival Russian gymnasts for flexibility, I decided that scorpions didn’t go upstairs.  Because gravity. And stairs. And death-cats. And clapping to keep Tinkerbell alive. And bats.

Seriously, I have no sane reason to have decided that this was true. I just did.

So imagine my hysterical-window-shattering-screams surprise when I turned the corner of the bathroom and spotted the forest-dwelling-Loch-Ness-Monster wee buggie on a towel.

For scale, this is the size of scorpion compared to the size of the room I found it in: scorpion 1 Here is how it looked to me: scorpion 2 I know what you’re thinking. “Lori,” you say, in what you think is a calm but is really an annoyingly patronizing tone of voice, “Scorpions can’t fly.”

They could totally fly.

I’m sure they can also pick locks, hot-wire cars, get your kids busted for drug possession and ruin your credit rating.

You don’t know.

So after waking Himself with a rousing chorus of “Scream Like You’ve Been Stabbed With an Ice-Pick,” I allowed him to dispose of the insect by flushing it down the toilet.

Then I made him check the bathroom for accomplices.

And then check again.

And then check again before I would use the bathroom in the morning.

And then twice a day for the next three weeks.

But it’s fiiiiiiiine.

Because I’m totally okay with being a 47-year-old woman who sleeps with the light on.

I am way okay with that.

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I Wonder if the Key Still Works?

Well I suppose this is all my fault.

Cobwebs on the browser.

Rust on the Facebook page.

And don’t even get me started on Twitter. Is it supposed to make that noise???

It’s ok though, because I don’t really need those things.

Wow.

I really, really, missed this place. I missed the bubbles. I missed the illustrations. And I so, so, so missed the words.

It’s been an intense couple years. Three kids have launched to college. I have a new job with my company. We moved out to a glorious house in the woods.

But some things never change. The cats are still evil. And Himself still brings me coffee every morning.

I’ve been thinking about coming back here for a little while now. I’ve read through some older posts and missed the writing so much. But I hesitated, in part because I worry about time and commitment, and in part because I remember getting so caught up in being a blogger.

I don’t want that now, I just want a place. A space. A room.

I love this room. I always did. So I think I’ll spend some time in it again. Even if it’s only for myself and Himself and my mom now. (Hi, Mom!)

But if you’re here reading, or reading again….welcome.

I’m happy to see you.

Oh….and Happy New Year!

 

Blogging Babes with Babies

When you have a group of women

Who have a wacky hobby in common….

Give them access to an incredible hostess

And put a couple pitchers of sangria in front of them….

There’s going to be a really good time had.

They will speak in a language that normal people couldn’t possible understand.

They will make inside jokes that no one else gets.

They will still ooh and ahh over a bundle of cuteness.

They will drink wine in completely inappropriate quantities.

They will share love as if they’ve known each other for many decades.

Even when they’ve only met once or twice (or never) before.

They will understand the essential need to capture a picture of a cat in a baby basket.

And they will laugh.

And the fact that 99.9% of their relationship exists in the pixels of a computer screen will not matter one, teeny, tiny, eensy, weensy little bit.

The Ups and Downs

The first house I ever owned was a little tract home with a yard the size of a piece of lunchmeat.

The long hallway was lit by two absolutely uninteresting overhead lights.

There was a light switch.

In the living room was pair of track-lights.

There was a light switch.

In between them was a light switch with two switches, one that controlled the hall lights and one that controlled the track lights.

Here is a schemata. (This is the technical term for silly drawings that want to seem more important than they are.)

Isn’t that impressive.

So there are two switches that control each sets of lights. Convenient, yes?

Switches A and B controlled the hall lights, from either switch. If light A was up, you could turn the hall lights off from switch B.

Switches C and D controlled the track lights, from either switch. If switch C was down, you could turn the lights on from switch D.

So convenient. Yes! Yay for modern wiring!

Until one of the light switches broke and needed to be replaced.

This should not be a big deal. It’s not like we were rewiring the switchboard for AT&T’s customer service line.

A light switch. One. Simple. Light switch.

We replaced the light switch. We turned off the breaker and followed the instructions.

Something went wrong. Horribly wrong.

Turning one switch up and the next switch down stopped turning off and on the light. A up B down no longer meant a light going on or off. C down D up no longer had anything to do with illumination in the living room.

Instead we ended up with this:

A up B down C up D down meant one light on and the other blinking morse code.

A down B up C down D up  caused the garage door to open.

A up B up C down D up launched the space shuttle.

A down B down C up D down caused Donald Trump’s hair to eat the nearest journalist from Mother Jones.

A up B down C down D up made blue chips stocks on the Dow Jones dance the polka.

A down B up C up D down meant six more weeks of winter.

A down B down C down D up caused guacamole to turn black.

A up B up C up D down made 80’s pop groups to go on reunion tours.

A down B down C up D down caused a flock of migrating Canadian geese to become disoriented and poop all over our yard.

People would walk down the hallways and we would fling ourselves at them to keep them from flipping a light switch and potentially reversing the earth’s polarity, or, equally bad, causing reruns of “Who’s the Boss” to air on all available cable stations.

Having influence over the earth this way was just not as much fun as you’d think.

Nor, I must say, was walking down the hallway in the dark for fear of turning on a light switch.

I had lots of stubbed toes during that period of my life. But, it was for the best. I really hate black guacamole.