Thursday, December 29, 2016

The last week of 2016

I think that this year was a bit rough for some people.  Don't get me wrong, there were some awesome parts.  Like going to Disney and running the Princess Half!

But there were some awful parts.  Like the election, and the ugliness that followed.

My health started to fall apart.  I gained weight.  I got sick and gained more.  As resolutions go, working more on eating right an exercising will help with that.

This year for Christmas we went to visit the in-laws.  They happen to live in The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Texas.  Population 850.  It was 5 days of a Game of Thrones marathon, home cooking, and WAY too many carbs.  Like we went out to redeem scratchers and go Subway, so I can get some veggies.  I was craving a salad when I got home!  It was nice for the Spousal Equivalent to spend time with his family.  My family is big and close and all in the same geographical location.  His is not as close (geographically and in other senses).

But as good as it is to spend time with family, not that I'm home I need to make some changes.  because this happened, and I need to un-do it:

While we were gone we lost Carrie Fisher.

Not since Robbin William's death have I felt the impact of a celebrity death as acutely.  Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia was my first hero.  Star Wars was my favorite movie when I was very little.  As a little kid, Process Leia was the ultimate role model!  She's honorable, tough, smart and a wonderful leader.(And a force user!)  My little 7 year old self wanted to BE here.

Carrie Fisher was just as awesome.  She was a famous script doctor.  She was a mental health advocate.

She was a fur mommy!  (I actually was relieved that her dog was going to live with her daughter!)
(Doesn't that just kill you???)

After Carrie Fisher passed, her mother, Debbie Reynolds followed.  It's absolutely heartbreaking and staggering how much loss that family has had.

I'm going to leave you with some quotes:

And Carrie Fisher's trademark.  Or as I call it, my views on a lot of 2016:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Traditions

Christmas was one of the constants of my life growing up.   Over the years the location of these traditions have changed, but they are still the same.

Maybe that's why I love the holiday so much.  It's comfortable.  Predictable.

Christmas Eve is rather big for Polish people.  And my dad's side of the family is rather Polish.  My maternal grandmother's parents were off the boat Polish immigrants.  They settled in Syracuse, New York, where a great many other Polish people also settled.

Christmas Eve in Poland features a huge feast of 12 meatless courses.  There's an empty chair set at the table,  There's a bland wafer passed around.

We didn't do that, but the spirit was there.

At Grandma's house, Christmas was a casual affair.  We gathered in her basement family room where a buffet of pirogi, baked ziti, cheese pizza, Buffalo wings and the like were set out.  There wasn't an empty chair, but there was always room for one more.

Grandma always had a real tree downstairs.  The shape varied from year to year, but I remember the round, Hershey Kiss shared trees the best.

Midnight Mass is also part of a Polish Christmas, but not being part of the Catholic part of the family, I didn't partake.  Also, I don't know if anyone went to Midnight Mass.

Christmas Day was spend with my mother's side of the family.  That side is of Scottish and Welsh Protestant farming stock.  That side of the family had the huge sit down Christmas lunch.  It was Christmas like many people have.  Big lunch, presents, dessert.

Things have changed over the years.  After my Mother's mother died, Christmas dinner moved to my Aunt's house.  (She's since passed, moving Christmas dinner to my other aunt's house). After my father's mother passed, Christmas Eve moved to my aunt's house.  We don't do presents any more, save a Christmas Eve White Elephant Gift exchange.

The skeleton of the Christmases of my childhood are still there.  Things have changed, though.  I only get home to Syracuse every three years.  We've actually added a new tradition to make up for the absence of old ones.  Since my parents' divorce, we rarely see my dad for Christmas Eve.  Now we head back to my Aunt's house after visiting my mother's family on Christmas Day.  My dad is there, along with his family.  This is a night full of wine and leftovers and a lot of good conversation with people that I don't see enough.

Today is Christmas Day.  This year we're headed out to Texas to spend time with the Spousal Equivalent's family.  And next year we're staying home.  Christmases when we stay home are always built around laying around the house in PJs and eating.

However you celebrate, Merry Christmas!!

(I'll leave you with my favorite Christmas Special!)

Monday, December 19, 2016

'Twas the week before Christmas...

Let's recap my December:  illness, pink eye, steroids and weight gain.  (The Spousal Equivalent now has the pink eye, poor guy)

Every time I look at a calendar I'm actually surprised how close to Christmas it is, and how unprepared I am.

We're traveling this year for the holidays.  We're headed deep into the heart of Trump country, to Rural West Texas.  It's the Spousal Equivalent's family's turn this year.  In a month where I've been struggling with my health and my fitness spending a week in "smothered and covered" country isn't optimal.  But I'll get by.  I've already planned a week of healthy lunches and dinners to help get me ready for a week of fried food.

This weekend we got most of the running around done early, so I spent hours upon hours curled
under a blanket watching Christmas movies.  Which was cool until today when the temperature went up to 75.  (Seriously, 75!  Tomorrow the high is 35).  Between the wonky temperature, and being sick and impending travel (and work crap on the horizon) the Christmas Sprit has been sucked out of me this year.  The post-holiday blues is hitting early this year.  I'm hoping that between now and Saturday I can reclaim the Christmas spirit again.

Tomorrow is Monday.  Another day of data entry, account reconciling and dealing with a leaky building.  Another day of trying to eat healthy and starting my day exercising.

But seriously, can I hide under the bed this week?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Well this just sucks!

So let's recap: I started out with a head cold.  It devolved into Pink Eye.  Then it decided to become a chest cold.   Honestly, there is nothing worse than a chest cold!

I spent almost a week struggling to breathe.  The only thing that kept me going was my inhaler, Mucinex and steroids.

Sadly, those things have had a consequence.

Between the steroids (which cause you to retain water AND make you VERY hungry) and the inability to exercise I've gained 5 pounds in 3 weeks.   It's very frustrating.  Especially when you don't have the lung power to do anything,

(Also, holiday baking and birthday cakes...)

I feel like I keep starting over with this weight loss thing, but honestly, this was a bit beyond my control.  I looked at the scale and sighed.  I didn't get upset.  I didn't get angry.  I looked at that number and mentally made a plan.

And it starts tonight with ChaLean Extreme and a healthy dinner.

Actually it started last night with Vanilla Sleepytime Tea for dessert.  Fun fact, steroids cause awful nightmares and sleeplessness in addition to the making you want to eat everything.  And thanks to the steroids I've been up well past 2am for the last few nights!  Let's all pray that I don't fall asleep at my desk this afternoon!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Happy Birthday, here, have a head cold

I woke up to this sight this morning:

Yes, today I turn 42.
What did I get for my birthday this year?  A nasty head cold!

Let me bring you back to the beginning of this cold:

Last Sunday:  Hey, I feel awful....
Last Monday and Tuesday:  can I nap now?
Last Wednesday:  Pink Eye.  Seriously, pink eye..
Last Thursday through Saturday:  The eyes got better, but the headcold remained
Last Sunday:  The head cold moved into my chest.  but I can't let that get me down.  I had a race!
Monday through Wednesday:  My breathing was impacted from the cold.  I went to the doctor.  Steroids.

Today is my Birthday.  I have my free Starbucks.  I also have 6 steroid pills to take.

But today is only a day.  I have a massage tonight!

Many Wonderful Christmas Ideas!

Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I love the food, the movies, the everything.  I immerse myself in the whole season from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day.  I tended to de-Christmas my house the day after.

The time is a wonderful time of hope, kindness an good will (or it should be).  Sadly, it tends to be a time of high commercialism.

But thanks to Facebook, I found some WONDERFUL gift ideas that I wanted to share!

We always struggle with what to give our families.  I KNOW parents have issues figuring out what to give their kids.  Heck, I think this is an amazing idea!

I try to always keep an updated book Wish List on Amazon.  (I think my current one is a Kindle list, but you get my idea).  And I'm just enough of an introvert to love the idea of sitting around in PJs reading!

This one came to me today.  It's a brilliant idea!  A movie, PJs, snacks and cocoa.  I think for adults it should also include small bottles of booze to put in the cocoa.

This one applies to my friends with kids.  The idea is to get the kids to fill the bag before Christmas Eve.  Santa takes the bag away and leaves new toys in its place.  What a wonderful way to get rid of the clutter.

That reminds me, I need to start another donation bag myself!