online shopping post

I’ve spent more money shopping online than I have in real stores. It’s a wonderful set -up for introverts; you don’t have to deal with other people, can look at whatever you want and do so without putting on shoes or makeup.  It gives you access to things not available in your tired sad local stores and most of it is on sale. No Christmas music. All you need is a valid credit card.

It’s great and dangerous at the same time.

So far I’ve bought small stuff–dishes; t-shirt; a phone charger; some earbuds; bath gel; lotion and towels. This is only because I’m not rich enough to actually buy all the stuff I looked at, put into my cart and then removed. Some things I won’t buy online, even if I had the money. Like luggage, I realized this when I looked at the real life version versus the online image and saw why some of it was so darned cheap. The same goes for most jewelry, but that’s about it. I realized I could furnish a whole house, even landscaping and some groceries, all online. If I wanted to, that is.

I don’t have a lot of people to buy for and that should make me feel sad. It really doesn’t, as I am broke and can’t afford it, not really. I’m going to make Scooby Snacks, my version of Chex Mix, for Christmas presents and that’s going to be it. My trip to Vietnam is costing me, being unemployed is really costing me and people are just going to have to accept my piddly gift or go lump it. I don’t care,  I won’t be here anyway.

Being broke any time of year sucks; the holidays just make it harder. For families with kids it’s much worse, I know we had some lean Christmases but there are people who have it worse than we did. Which is why this Giving Tuesday thing bothers me. It’s not that I don’t want to give, that I’m a greedy, selfish person. I’m a broke person. But I am selective about who I give to, I am a sourpuss who says no to big charities like the Red Cross and PETA. I rather give my money to local charities like Second Chance Animal Sanctuary, the Central Humane Society, Sister BJ’s Pantry and our local Catholic Charities, PBS and ACLU. KGOU and KNHC in Seattle, I’d like to know I would continue to have access to good radio as well.  Oh heck with it, even my cheap butt can pony up five bucks for each of these. That’s forty bucks, what I could have spent on something I didn’t really need; it’s two months of pedicures. I guess I can have ugly feet a little longer. If I am better off financially next year (I’d better be) I want to give more.



New Year’s day

I stayed home last night, listened to the Wings beat the Devils and made the last batch of Scooby Snacks. Bear stayed home too, he’s still getting over his cold but said he got happy new year’s greetings from Germany and China.

We stayed up til midnight. When we woke up the streets had iced over and travel was discouraged. I learned about the black ice firsthand when I took Olive out and I fell, ripping my jeans. We had our black-eyed peas and decided not to go to the movies.I planned to go to yoga too but now there’s no way.

It’s a low-key beginning. It’s probably what we would have done if Jerry were here, eat, watch Netflix and stay in. It’s
different from last year when it was him and me, both wondering about Bear and what
the year would be like. I don’t know how this year will be, what will happen but in all honesty we never know. It’s a good thing in most cases.The only thing I can imagine is I’ll enter the next year in a
different place, possibly a different city. A different job, climate and even different life. Wherever I am I plan to be with Olive and that gives me reassurance.

Now I’m going to read, finish the laundry and hope to see the last period of the Winter Classic. Happy New Year’s day to all.


Last Saturday I went walking for the first time in nearly a month. It was foggy, windy and I was on a different track than my usual one. It was great, a little hard to feel motivated at first but once I warmed up it just happened. I went slowly, even for me, and did a bit over 3 miles. It was over almost before I realized.

Some ducks I saw along the way IMG_20141206_183417


I walked at the lake tonight, the wind was blowing hard, it was hot and I was lazy so running was not an option. I decided that I was going to do something radical, I was going to buy a pair of shorts. It was hot and black pants are not a good choice when the temps are in the 90s.

So before I could talk myself out of it I went to Goodwill and bought 2 pairs of shorts. I figured if they looked like crap or I felt really dumb at least I didn’t spend much on them.  Also I didn’t have to wear them in public,  I could sleep in them or send them back to Goodwill, so no pressure. 

Why is this a big deal? Because the last time I wore shorts was in 4th grade. True. I had chubby Hobbit legs and all these years later I still do. But I was not body conscious then; I knew I was a fat kid and had fat little legs but shorts were comfortable and I didn’t think about it, until 4th grade. One of my friends commented on my chubby legs and I felt embarrassed and that familiar feeling of shame. I told my mom I wasn’t wearing shorts anymore, just jeans like my friend did. I kept my word and didn’t wear shorts for more than thirty years.

So here are a couple of bad selfies of my Hobbit legs in my new Goodwill shorts. Ignore the clutter, I’m still not completely moved in and will be clearing out of Bear’s room at the end of the month and sharing Jerry’s space. I’m not going to impress anybody or stop traffic in these. Yet I’ve seen people who are bigger than me, people with pale legs and they don’t care what you think about how they look and I’m trying to capture a little of that attitude. Ironically I don’t care about how they look either but the little flicker of shame that I felt when I was 9 years old still burns in the back of my mind and the embers seemed to grow stronger when I looked at myself in the mirror. Which is why I took these, though my lack of previous selfie taking experience shows. I’m not sure when I’ll actually wear either of these in public, but I will, eventually.





protein bar taste test

Although there are lots of protein bars out there, with varying nutritional values and tastes, I’ve been loyal to one, Life Choice. They have 21 gm of protein and 190 calories per bar, are cheap (Wal-Mart has them) and most importantly, they taste good. Most high protein bars, with more than 10 gm of protein, tend to be higher in calories and some of the lower protein bars do too. Even the healthy bars life Clif and Luna do, which I was surprised to learn when I started to read their labels. Because of my special nutritional needs I want a bar that’s less than 200 calories per serving and has 20 gms of protein. I don’t eat meat except for fish, partly for ethical reasons but mostly because I’ve lost my taste for mammal flesh. I also don’t want to gain back the weight I lost after my gastric bypass so I try to watch my calories, I try but a few get by me. 

So when I was in Target today I saw a new protein bar, with 21 gms of protein and promising 180 calories.My eyes lit up when I saw they were on sale and though they cost considerably more than Life Choice I bought them. Pure Protein, a Target exclusive. I tried one about an hour ago and though I love Target and appreciate their foray into the high protein bar market I’m sorry to say they were disappointing. Not nasty but the taste was, well, meh.  A lot of meh, they reminded me of those diet meal bars I used to eat in high school, some brand that no longer exists (and for good reason). Like the cookie that stirred Proust’s memories these artificial flavors reminded me of a time when I was perpetually hungry and cranky.

I am picky but the truth is I have very little space in my stomach so what goes in has to be worthwhile and taste really, really good. I’m also trying to undo a lifetime of training to clean my plate, no matter what. I was told if I didn’t finish it would be considered an insult and a waste of food. Even when I’m at home and there’s no need to protect anyone else’s feelings I still struggle with this. I deliberately stopped eating the bar because I realized I didn’t like it and it was all right to leave it. I plan to take them to my sister’s house; she or our dad will eat the darned things but I’m figuring dad will, probably while he watches Gunsmoke.   

So Life Choice 1, Protein Power 0. 

Disclaimer: I’ve not received any money or goods from either Wal-Mart or Target, this was my own experiment using my own money and not influenced in any way from either Wal-Mart or Target. For the purposes of the taste test I compared the Life Choice double chocolate bar with the Pure Protein chocolate deluxe. 

three in one

I did 3 workouts today. I lifted my 8 lb weights and did some sit-ups this morning, which was more intense than it sounds, at least for me. Then I went to yoga class at 10am, with 29 other people, the biggest class I’ve been in so far. This was the main event of my workout day and I sweated like a pig while trying not to poke or kick the people around me. I walked at the lake for an hour and half, not sure how far I went but it was good to be outside since the day wasn’t hot and the lake nearly deserted for the holiday. I did this not for bragging rights or to prove anything, not really, but it’s good to know I can. I did it because my dad is going into the hospital tomorrow to be fitted with a pacemaker. I will go to work but leave early and make it to the hospital so I can be there when he comes out of recovery. My sisters, my nephew and Jerry are going to be there too. He will have plenty of company and a small entourage Wednesday when he leaves the hospital.  

a victory of sorts

In the grand scheme this is a minor event not worth mention. In my boring little life it’s something significant. 

I went to yoga class tonight and by the time I got inside, found a cubby and took off my shoes the room was already full. The back row, where I normally toss my mat, had no room and I ended up in the middle row. There is an unspoken hierarchy, those in the back rows are usually beginners and people who are self-conscious, sometimes unable to do all the poses. I dwell in this place, mostly out of habit and because it’s secure. The middle row, when there is a middle row, is more advanced,confident and sometimes more fit. The front row is the group who needs the least amount of help and are usually the most advanced students. 

I ended up in the middle by default; there was no room left in the back. So I threw my mat between two women who were probably in their 20’s and dressed in little yoga pants and tight tanks. I wore my wind pants and an old Eskimo Joe’s t-shirt. But this is the important part: I held my own. In the middle group. with people roughly half my age (well, maybe not that young) but people much younger than me, much cuter and confident I was able to move from pose to pose with the same relative ease. I kept my eyes on my own practice and the teacher’s voice but casually looking around me saw the girls on either side of me exerting the same effort, maybe more because I did hear grunting and this time it wasn’t mine.

I had some trouble with hero pose but that’s because my knees hurt when I sit back on my shins, a reminder of how I overtrained for my first 5K and did some damage to my right knee. I did camel and noticed a couple of the young ones did it as well. But overall I did everything the teacher did and didn’t embarrass myself like I feared. I am not planning to sit in the middle row next time but if I do I won’t be as anxious.