Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Shearing

People without much hair, have no idea what those of us who are more hirsute endure during the summer. Those of us who are patchily hairy are even more unique as only certain parts of us will be sweating while the remainder of our body is fine.  Hairiness affects my head and legs most profoundly.
After a day of helping a friend with work in his yard, I decided it was time for my  summer “do” and pulled out the clippers. Rather than going without a guard as is my normal routine, I decided to step the cut down by using several guards and working my way down to the length I wanted. After just a few minutes my head felt free with all the weight gone from it.
The newly shorn me

While I had the clippers out, I decided to go on and shorten the hair on my legs. 
Clipping behind the knees proved exceptionally challenging.
Clipping the upper thighs proved to be even more so - it involved bending around, trying to keep the clippers level against the skin as I bent to get the hair evenly trimmed.
Eventually, though, my much less hairy legs emerged and I realized just how much nicer they felt with the air coming out of the air conditioning vent overhead flowing over them without the interference of hair. It was HEAVEN. I did not usually feel the air from the AC vent.

Yes, folks - that is the hair form my legs collected on the bottom of the bathtub.

Looking at my legs, I fantasized about how easily sunblock will go on the next time I go to the lake or pool with someone. No more of the gloppy streakiness - just a smooth application and a quick absorption by the skin.
I looked at my shiny nearly bare legs in the mirror and fantasized about how much better they are going to look as my running further tones them up and the definition is seen without the interference and shadows of hair.
Turning my leg side to side, I imagined what it would look and feel like to have a hand running up it - catching the now short hairs and tweaking the skin beneath them.
People without much hair have no idea what those of us who are more hirsute endure during the summer. And they have no idea how the imagination can run wild when freedom from hair is achieved.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I have some truly amazing friends with whom I have been spending more and more time lately. And on Friday nights, instead of going out, we have been dining in at my house (with the proposal to rotate homes) and just hanging out. It has been a wonderful break from going out to restaurants where we feel somewhat limited in the amount of time we can spend together visiting or being as loud as we want to be.
My friends have also been wonderful in jumping in to take part in washing up and helping clean the kitchen at the end of the night which is far beyond anything I would expect of friends or guests in my home. They wash dishes and help put away the leftovers which saves me so much time of doing it by myself. As much as I love having the company, but I probably would not do it as often if I had to do all the cooking and cleaning by myself - it just makes for a very long evening.
But I can be a little particular about things. My daily use plates are yellow and red (two same style sets in different colors). Just for visual purposes, and because I’m a bit compulsive about some things, I stack them yellow red yellow red yellow red, etc. I do the same thing with the bowls and the small plates.
One day this week I opened the cabinet and had to consciously restrain myself (long enough to grab the camera).

Two red plates were stacked on top of one another. My arm reflexively went out to shuffle the order of the plates so they would be alternating. I realized I was not the person who had stacked the plates and that I would just have to look at that plate, stacked in a way other than the way I would do it, and realize it was because my friends are amazing and wonderful and put away the thoughts that they do not know how to stack plates.
It took conscious work for me to do, but all this week, whenever I have opened the cabinet and seen the two red plates stacked together, I smile and remember the great time I had hosting my friends at the house and look forward to a time when I can do it again.
But I really want to restack the plates.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Give Me Chills

This past weekend I was with a good friend who kept talking about his sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in his neck, and, indeed, the nodes under his jaw resembled those of people photographed for medical journals to demonstrate what mumps look like. But this is Austin and allergies cause this kind of reaction all the time.
The second day of it, he called me asking for Gatorade and orange juice because he was running a high fever. Maybe it wasn’t allergies, so I quickly took him the requested items.
Within a few hours, fever overtook me and chills set in. So began my three days with it. Turns out my neighbor behind me and his son had the same thing a week ago, so I guess it is something going around.
I always search for someone who will give me chills, but with this circumstance, I think I will pass.

Monday, June 14, 2010


The other evening I noticed a butterfly flitting about the different plants in my herb garden, so I came inside to get the camera. I tried to take pictures, but everyone came out appearing blurry and I couldn't even focus through the viewfinder because the lens had fogged up due to the humidity.

I took the lens off the camera and let it sit outside for five minutes. What a difference it made to get the condensation off the lens.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


At the pride festival last week, a booth for  a chiropractic service offered discounts on an evaluation and  first visit, so I signed up. I finally gave in to the nasal wash for my allergies and it worked out great; for over 10 years I have had a steady pain in my right shoulder, so I was looking for something to relieve it. Chiropractic is non-invasive and since nothing else has worked, why not give it a shot?
I came away from the first adjustment and the regular pain I had experienced, in one case for 10 years and one for four, was gone. We will see if this continues and what I end up feeling from it, but I am willing to try it our for a while and see if it helps me reach my overall fitness goals.
Will it help with that last 10 pounds?

Monday, June 07, 2010

My Banana... bigger than your banana...

...pepper that is. 

My garden is growing the most amazing banana peppers this year. I dont' know what is going on but since these are some of my favorite peppers for flavor, I am glad to see it happening.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Treats and Tricks

For just over the past month I have made it a point to bring my lunch with me to work. It was the first strategy toward losing weight and being somewhat more healthy. Most of my lunches have been soups which are filling, healthy (if carefully selected), and filling. There is enough variety in soups that I won’t soon grow tired of it as I often do with leftovers. 
I have wasted so much food by cooking a large casserole on Sunday so I would have a quick and easy lunch to take for the week - only to be tired of it by Tuesday and cheat with a burger and fries somewhere along the way. Thus ends that weeks plan for eating healthy home cooked meals for the week.
The soups have been working well for me. Though they are not homemade, they are relatively additive free (if you buy the right ones) and low in calories. I usually eat a whole can which counts for two servings, but  in most cases, those two servings come in at under 250 calories which is not bad for the middle of the day. The lunch can be prepared, eaten, dishes washed in fewer than 15 minutes on most days considering I eat most of them at my desk and continue working between spoonfuls.
I wonder if Microsoft has considered that for their “New Busy” campaign.
Yesterday I was preparing my can of tomato soup. I had a craving for some crackers, thinking they would be a nice addition. I went to the vending machine to see what they might have. As far as crunchy things go, my options were fairly limited, so I settled on a popular brand of corn chips. Because I’m a label reader, I naturally turned the package over to see the nutritional information. To my shock, that vending machine, single-serving bag had twice as many calories as my double serving of soup. The calories from fat alone matched the total calories in the soup!
If I had not been paying close attention, that little addition of texture I sought with my soup would have completely defeated my diet plan.
The dietary information is there, but I wonder how many people actually use it in making their eating decisions. Just this week, The Center for Science in the Public Interest released their report on the highest calorie meals in restaurants. They found meals in common chain restaurants that contained over 2000 calories - more calories than many people need in a day! Soon this calorie information will be available on restaurant menus; however, I wonder if it will make any difference? I know that I will be careful all week long just so I can pig out on chips and queso on Friday night. The packaging on labels in stores have not worked for the growing ( bad pun) number of obese people in the country - will information on menus do anything to help the number to help them making decisions in restaurants?
I am one of those liberal contradictions who fully supports personal responsibility. WhenI make decisions, the consequences of those decisions fall squarely on my shoulders. i believe the same should be expected of everyone, but when a single dish can cover a days calories or a single serving bag can undermine the efforts of a day, those marketing the product need to take some responsibility for deceptive practices. I know I am overindulging when I have the chips and queso on Friday night - that is the point of it - and when I order pasta with Alfredo sauce, I know I am not doing my diet any favors; however, it should not be so much that it undermines the work of a week in the gym or at the track. Restaurants and food companies know better and owe consumers better.
I ate the bag of chips. I am not going to waste 75 cents either. I just spread the bag out over several days and kept the calorie intake to a minimum. I pay attention to what I eat and so far it has been worth 12 pounds of my heaviest weight. Now I have to keep up the vigilance for the next 10 pounds and I will be almost happy.