1. See that cozy little spot right there? It's in my bedroom, and it's where I parked myself for a good chunk of the Blizzard of 2016. In fact, one week a go today, I was curled under that blanket, reading by the quiet of the newly fallen, swiftly falling, deep and heavy snow. Today, I took Jake the dog for a walk through the neighborhood, enjoying 60 degree temps and sunshine in jeans and a t-shirt. Crazy ass winter we're having.
2. But pack to the photo of my reading nook. It's a quite delightful little spot, with everything I need accessible with minimal movement; the perfect place to get lost in the pages of a good book and forget your real surroundings altogether. When I look at this photo, I wonder why I'm not sitting there right now, right this very minute.
3. I won that chair in a random drawing during a downtown street tailgate party where we watched WVU beat Texas on the road our first year in the Big 12. It was pretty flippin' amazing when they called my name. I had been wanting a chair for that particular place in the bedroom; I even wanted a brown one. And while it's doubtful I would have selected this particular, rather ungainly abomination, I can say without reservation it is the coziest recliner I've ever had the pleasure of curling up in.
4. Snow days are great. I love them, with all my heart. The aftermath, however, is just gross. On so many levels.
5. My husband has taken a sudden interest in the Paleo diet, so I recently purchased a couple of magazines on the subject and exploring what it all means. Thus far, the main thing I've learned is that paleo/clean eating magazines have a spectrum as broad and wide as vegetarian magazines. EXTREMES. From "Strive to eat healthy, natural, real foods!" to "Me eat meat. Meat good."
6. It's a learning curve, but here's the main point of this "lifestyle": eliminate the fake junk you've come to believe is "food" that has zero nutritional value and adds nothing to your life but pounds, ill health, and sorrow. No processed stuff. No refined sugar. No grains. Some go so far as to say no dairy.
7. Anyway. I found this book that breaks down the diet and offers a month's worth of weekly meal plans and shopping lists to help you jump start your effort. There are a few things in there that I will never prepare; by way of example: I will never, not ever, grind up some liver and make my own sausage out of it. But 90% of it is do-able, and I can substitute other things for the rest. So we're doing it. We started today, in fact.
8. Last night was the last of five dinners out on the town this week. Most all in celebration of Restaurant Week, but capped tonight by a get together with a group of old friends we hadn't seen in years. Knowing all this fine dining was on the agenda, I've slowly been removing the noxious "Do Not Eat" items from my kitchen and today we went to the store together (this is serious, people) to replace it all with healthy choices as prescribed by the Week One shopping list.
9. So, here we go again. Next thing. Something new and different to try. Something legitimately, progressively, forwardly healthy to pursue. I can do anything for 30 days, right? And if I make it through, in committed fashion, it will be interesting to see how different I feel, if at all.
10. The hardest part will be foregoing the easy stuff. Bags of chips. Crackers. Fast food. Lean Cuisines. Pasta! OMG, pasta. Bread. Sandwiches. The snacking! How will I satisfy my need to snack?! What if life gets in the way of eating right? Well, here's how I'm going to try to avoid the pitfalls: by being prepared. After getting home from the store, I split the almonds into 1/4 cup servings in snack sized bags. I baked up a broccoli-bacon-egg casserole to have on hand for breakfasts. I roasted some chicken to have on hand for emergency quick meals. I cleaned and chopped broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, celery, and grape tomatoes, popped them all in an easy to grab container in the fridge. It's all so stupid easy, really. It's not hard. It's habit.
11. Then there is the whole "move more" thing. Again...I'm trying. I've taken Jake for a midday walk the past couple of days and it's a habit I can cultivate every day if I so choose. There's yoga. There's an exercise mat and a series of Shaun T. workout DVDs right outside my office door. There are ways. There are no excuses. (As per usual, of course.)
12. The husband is leaving Thursday for a long golf weekend at Hilton Head. He returns Sunday, then leaves Tuesday for a few days of meetings in Houston. He returns Thursday, then we leave for Virginia to celebrate Henley's 4th birthday. Hello, good-bye.
13. A friend of mine, one I've never met and yet, for a time, knew better than people I would actually see in person day in and day out...a friend met in 2004, in my blogging infancy...a friend who intimidated me with her dry wit, razor sharp intellect, and British-ness...a friend who became part of a sort of trifecta of blogger buds - one American, one Brit, one Canadian - who supported each other, cheered each other, wallowed with each other, loved each other...a friend, a very dear friend...is dying. She has been fighting for a couple of years now... fuck you cancer, you bastard. She sought joy, she fell in love, she traveled, she engaged, she raged, she connected and reconnected. She fought, dammit. She is still fighting, although the cancer... fuck you, cancer. Her husband of just a year posted on her Facebook page, advising all of us who care about her of the precarious and dire situation she is in, of the turn her health has taken, of the betrayal of her body over her determination. I'm not sure how much longer she has, but it doesn't matter, really. Cancer has taken her, is taking her. This time, cancer will win, and she will leave us behind. But her words, some of them, remain. And this is a gift, particularly to those of us who only knew her through these words we shared, back and forth, blog to blog, pieces of me, pieces of you, pieces left for each other, braver some days than others, sharing, growing, getting to know ourselves and each other.
Her words, some of them, remain.
Fuck you cancer, you fucking rat bastard.
*Title quote courtesy of a man I tend to quote quite often: Henry David Thoreau.