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Today at the bus stop, I watched a group of Yellow-Rumped Warblers in some kind of berry-bearing shrub. I can forget how nice it is to pay attention to the world out there–but you certainly need eyes to see and ears to hear, so to speak! Otherwise, you just wait for the bus.

No Show


Our spinning instructor was a no show this morning–which was a little annoying, but one of the other people said that in the past when there was bad weather that it was hard for her to get to campus. Apparently, she doesn’t live in town–but still we have two instructors, surely one of them could have hauled herself down there this morning.

So, I didn’t exercise–yeah, I know I was at the gym in workout clothes with over an hour left before parking started up. But there’s a reason I pay people to make me exercise–I’m unmotivated. Plus, I didn’t have anything to read or listen to, so I would have been even worse. Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah. Excuses!

Instead, I came back home and burrowed under the covers for a couple more hours. Whee! The good news is that the day of weights and measures revealed another pound and half inch down–with my luck, I’m going to be able to fit into all my nice wool pants in April when it’s way too hot to wear them. Such is life.

10 pounds by March, 8 to go.

Snow Day!

Well, not really, because it is the weekend–but the training I was scheduled to have today was canceled so I have spent the entire day in my pj’s, reading a mystery novel (for class!). And sleeping. So far, a very nice day. As usual, there’s not very much snow–but the ice is out in full force. I would have a picture of the snow dusting our yard, but I can’t find where I put the camera!

Edited to add: I found the camera! Here is a picture of the backyard yesterday morning–it’s actually icier now than it was then.

Many more of the trees are bowed over with ice. This one is from this morning. I don’t think the settings on the camera have been changed since yesterday, causing everything to look lighter–there’s just a lot of ice.

My brother called at noon–he was having to pry frozen mailboxes open with a screwdriver on his route and watch for falling trees. They are out of power down there–so no furnace! My mom was curled up near their gas logs, and they may have to break out the gas heater again. She wanted to make sure we were warm and safe, which we are. That is one thing that I don’t miss about rural life–the forever it takes to get power restored once it’s out! I don’t think we’ve gone a whole day in the past three years with the lights out here in town even with the bad weather associated with the hurricanes.

Yesterday was a day full of all kinds of fun, as a day off should be! RA and I met up with a couple of friends for lunch and a movie. This weekend is the Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Fest here in Athens. We saw the Triplets of Belleville, which is a blast! It’s a very rich feeling animated feature with no dialogue and fantastic characters. After the film, a UGA professor who studies French film and animation spoke a bit about the director and French animation in general, which was interesting.

In the evening, M and I went to the Ballroom Magic performance (link to general website). One of our classmates was a performer, which is why we showed up–but dance performances are making my calendar from now on, even if she’s not in them! The dancers were really grace and beauty personified. I told M that if I went to either a dance or trapeze performance once a week, I would never eat potato chips again! Ha! Especially trapeze–you realize how strong they are, and how incredibly weak you are in comparison, which is inspiring.

Busy Day

Today was a busy day, so I didn’t get my usual internet time in this morning! I did go to Pilates, as scheduled, though.

I love when I can write about little achievements–and today’s was that during the full rollup (or whatever it is called) I kept my feet much more grounded than usual! When I started, it was very difficult to keep my feet/legs on the floor and use my abs to pull my body up and over–and I’m still not doing it completely, but there was marked improvement. I don’t know if I can attribute it to my abs being a little bit stronger or that I’ve finally practiced it enough to be able to focus on form rather than just doing. Either way, is fine with me!

The only problem is that we’re starting to practice more work where we support ourselves on our hands–and, for some reason, my left wrist just will not hold my weight when my hand is flat. If I cheat and rest on my knuckles, I’m fine–but my wrist hurts pretty badly if I do anything differently. It actually hurts if I try to bend it back and don’t put any weight on it at all–just bending it back with my other hand, for instance. RA noticed that when he moved my wrist around, it does pop every time. My right wrist is fine–and I’m righthanded. I’m going to ask the instructor on Tuesday if it’s ok to keep cheating like that–or if she has any suggestions on how to fix it. It’s pretty annoying.

Other than that, the only other big thing I did today was help my friend M set up the meeting room for the panel of speakers we co-hosted this afternoon. The panel discussed “What I wished I knew then” about law school and employment–7 female attorneys answered questions about anything job-hunting related. Mostly, this was for 1L’s because their interviews are coming up for summer work. So, I helped M set up and take down the room as well as attended the panel discussion. I also gawked at all the 1L’s who will be my classmates next year when I return to the law school–it’s hard not knowing most of them! I’m sure I’ll know plenty of them next year.



Finally, a good day in spinning. First of all, I wasn’t immediately tired–my legs were happy. Secondly, I think I’ve been starting off with the resistance up a turn–because today I could actually crank the resistance up a couple of whole turns without dying. Thirdly, we did interval training today, so even though I was still working pretty hard, there were plenty of breaks.

Also, our instructor took the clock off the wall and put it on the floor by her so she could time us better for intervals–so it was harder to watch the clock and think “ack, 20 more minutes!”

About half of our class know each other from work or something–and they’ve been taking the spinning class at this time for a while. If they weren’t so friendly to everyone else, it would be strange–but, they are really nice and it makes the class much better.

I’m glad that today was a good day, because it’s been really hard to get out the door to go to a class I’m dreading. When spinning is good, it’s very very good–but when it is bad, it is horrid.

Oh, and when I came home–a deer was in our yard! She crossed the street, and then ran through our backyard and into the shrubby little woods.

Ahh, Pilates


Pilates is such a lovely class. Not that I don’t look like a spastic duck compared to most people in there, but I enjoy it. I can’t see most of my classmates, because I’m on the first row, so it doesn’t bother me all that much.

The way the room is situated, you face a wall of large windows through which you can see the first light of day creeping up the dark sky. That may be one of the best parts of Pilates, the morning sky.

I know I complain about getting up in the mornings, and dragging myself out of bed and to Ramsey–but I realized today I should really shut up about that, especially since I get to my classes 15 minutes early. I am more of a morning person than not, and it is nice to be up and about before the sun, watching the moon if there is one. I really like being able to say that I get up and go to Ramsey most mornings for classes at 6am–score one for random points of pride.

Another good thing about exercising–it makes me feel better about myself. I like me a lot better when I’m active–and it’s not that I’ve changed shape or anything (I’ve lost one pound), I just am more positive about how I look. This shouldn’t surprise me–when I don’t exercise, I sit around thinking “I am a total slug.” so not acting the part of giant land slug can really only generate positive thoughts.

45 minutes of Pilates today!


Another day of dragging myself out of the bed at an insane hour of the morning! I did try to go to bed early, but I know I didn’t get to sleep until after 11.

I am the weakest person in our class–but I don’t care! I’m going to show up and pedal around for 45 minutes twice a week until March (at least). I was semi-good today and didn’t watch the clock too much–that just makes it worse, but I do it anyway.

Wah. Wah. It’ll get better soon–everyday makes me just a little more fit. Wah. My skin is smoothing out more–always a plus. That counts as my positive statement about exercise.

Oh, and I didn’t mention it yesterday, but no movement on the day of weights and measures. That was expected, since I didn’t get as much exercise in AND I ate my way through my Note-writing.

Today, I get to go to the Mall of Georgia with M, and then this afternoon I will take my tax training for VITA. I have no idea what VITA stands for, but we’ll be helping low income people in our community prepare their taxes.

Sunday Walk

My friend M and I walked today–it took us a little bit less than two hours to make the loop. M has already registered for the Breast Cancer 3 Day this fall, and I’m thinking about it. We looped around on the roads near our homes, which have sidewalks since there are schools nearby, and talked the whole time.

Some of the walk was very pretty, overlooking some fields. Part of it was through a busy commercial area, which wasn’t nearly as scenic. We’re going to bring money next time, so that we can stop and get hot chocolate at one of the coffee shops!

Brr! I’m still thawing out, sitting around in my pjs. I also need some new shoes if I’m going to keep that up!

Time to think about Spring!

Well, of course, after I make an announcement that I’m going to keep an exercise log I don’t do anything for two days. Friday is always an off day for me–that’s a rule from my 1L days. Today, I was going to work on my walk-jogging program, but after sleeping til noon (first adequate night’s sleep in about a week), clearing several hundred back-logged emails out of my inbox, grocery shopping, and cooking dinner–well, I didn’t make it out. Plus, it’s windy and cold, which means that I’d have to go to campus (I have a limited wardrobe)to walk/jog on the indoor track and that was beyond me.

But, tomorrow is another day!

My mom called me today to ask if I wanted to ride in the Wheels o’ Fire bike ride again this year. Last year, this was our first long ride–26 miles!–as part of our build-up to BRAG. My mom had just bought her bike in November, and we rode 8 miles a couple of times over the holidays, which seemed like an eternity then. So, 26 miles was going to be *the* test. RA, my husband, ever the positive one, thought we’d quit halfway through. I’m sure my dad did too.

Mostly, I’ve found that things like this, whether it’s running or cycling or whatever, are more mental than physical. I made up my mind that I would not walk my bike any that day–which was a big challenge, since even the 26 mile ride climbs Pine Mountain twice. Not that Pine Mountain is some kind of rugged peak–but it’s a lovely steep climb within the first mile. And because I’m stubborn like a mule, I didn’t walk a bit. I’m not saying I never stopped to take a breather for a minute or three on the way up, but that bike didn’t move without me in the saddle. I wish they had elevation profiles available online.

I’m really surprised that we did so well. It took us forever, although we didn’t really know that at the time. (We clued in to it a little when we realized that people who had ridden the 45 mile ride were returning with us.) I was on my fat-tired bike with rusty gears and my seat too low, barely keeping up with Mom on her speedy new hybrid (although I always passed her going up the hills). No padded shorts. No padded gloves. What were we thinking?

We were thinking that it would be impossible–but it wasn’t! After making it back to the high school and eating our yummy spaghetti dinner, we were SO proud of ourselves. This BRAG thing might actually be possible (nevermind that the shortest day on BRAG was nearly twice the distance that we had just ridden).

So, of course, I’ll be raring to go again this year. I’ve got to take my bike to the shop–my fab road bike that I lurve. The ride is on my dad’s birthday, so we’re thinking we’ll just do the 26 miles again and not try to move up to the 45 or 68 mile ride, so that we’ll have plenty of time to spend with him. (Edited to add–it’s not my dad’s birthday, actually–now that I’ve looked, but since I would be down there we’d probably celebrate it then.) We are going to be so fast this year, with both of us on road bikes! Of course, my mom is still faster when coasting–her bike is designed to be speedier! That’s my excuse! I can’t wait. I wonder what color the t-shirt will be–I’m going to bet blue!


Let’s just say that I don’t want to hear any more about Frederick Taylor this week. Or, possibly, ever.

Additional Focus


I’m going to start keeping my exercise log here–the online journal I was using at another site was being hogged by moi and my near daily reports. Back when I was running (ok, jogging), I realized that it really did help motivate me to keep a journal to help me recall how much fun I had, how good I felt, and my progress. So, here goes.

I started two classes this semester at the rec center here at UGA–a spinning/studio cycling class and a Pilates class. Both of which are kicking my booty, but they do get me out of bed in the morning, every morning at 5:30ish. Well, not every morning–just Monday through Thursday.

So, today being Thursday, I drug myself to Pilates. I drank a glass of milk before class, since on Tuesday I learned that late night junk food eating and early morning Pilates class is a yucky combo, and the milk helped soothe my stomach. I learned a new lesson today, too–that I should never wear the pants I wore today to Pilates again. In the first stretch, I realized that, you know, these pants aren’t really stretchy–and suddenly had the image of splitting the seat of my pants during class. Despite the giggle that gave me, I really wasn’t as comfortable after thinking that. Lesson learned!

I like Pilates–not as much as spinning, but it’s still fun and I can tell I’m working. At the end of our session, we do a relaxation exercise–which I am always in need of. Today’s was especially great, because the way our instructor talked us through relaxing was so similar to how my mother used to talk to us when we (my brother and I) were children and couldn’t sleep. She’d come sit on our bed and talk us through relaxing all of our muscles in a soothing, calm tone of voice and rub our backs or arms. I miss being a kid! I think it was just the turn of phrase that the instructor used today that brought those memories back so strongly.

My goal was to lose 10 pounds by March, but I didn’t really get started on it until last week. I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to make it, but that’s ok. I’d like to a)fit back into all of my clothes (lose a size) and b)be healthier in general. It’s hard to realize that I’ve gained 20 pounds since Sept 2003, but it’s the truth. I pretend that 5 pounds of that is muscle (heehee) because I gained five pounds after BRAG and never lost them–and riding nearly 400 miles in a week just shouldn’t make you fatter, you know?

The end goal is to lose about 30 pounds–but if I ended up being able to run and to ride my bike at a faster pace, that would be great even if I didn’t lose any weight. That’s really just an arbitrary (but round!) number–10 pounds less than I weighed when I stopped jogging. (Re: running/jogging, I’m using the Couch to 5k plan that’s on the Cool Running site, which helped me start jogging in 2003.)

Reading other fitness/weight loss journals was really inspiring and motivating–not that I think mine will be, but it will keep me on track. Thanks, Rebecca, Mia, and Denise!

So, 10 pounds by March, 9 pounds to go. Exercise: 45 minutes of Pilates

And yes, I would lose weight faster if I changed my diet, but I’m not that motivated.

Poor Grumpelstiltskin

Last night, RA agreed to go letterboxing with me this morning. So he had no one to blame but himself when I bopped out of bed, ready for adventure. Poor Grumpelstiltskin.

He was a very good sport about it all, though, especially because it was cold (32F) and he hates the cold. (No, I still didn’t wear my coat, although I did regret it.) We did have a successful letterboxing journey at a place I would never have known existed otherwise. This brings my total to three.

Last MLK weekend, we visited my cousin in Augusta, GA and took a boat tour of the Augusta Canal. The canal is growing into a Greenway type corridor for the area, and what’s not to love about that? Also, on this trip, I saw my first American Kestrel.

Of course, last MLK weekend, we also experienced the loss of someone close to us. Marjorie was RA’s advisor and my former employer, and someone who was full of life. Things were always getting better, in her opinion! I know both of us still miss her, and I’m sure her family does too. The year 2004 began in the same way it ended for us.



My parents came to visit today, and it was good to see them. I wish they could have stayed longer, but they had to get back home again.

The purpose of the visit was to load up our extra furniture that we decided that we didn’t want or need. So, they took (back) their loveseat, a bed and mattress set, a tv/vcr combo, and the sewing machine. Oh, and my old bike. Now I just have one (fabulous) bike that I don’t ride.

Our living room feels a lot more spacious now. I’ve done a little re-arranging already, but we “need” a larger bookshelf and a trunk/coffee table. Then, we can re-arrange Lenora’s room and the office look like a working area instead of the junk room no one can look into. At one point, it was a working guest room–and guests actually did stay in it. Lenora is the computer, by the way–we called her that because she is so loud (roaring like a Leo, the o got lost in her name though), and it really has stuck. I forget how weird it is to say “We fight over who gets to use Lenora all the time.”

Of course, I’m supposed to be writing my Stupid Note for the journal. I’ve made good progress, and I don’t feel so hopelessly lost. Not that I’ve written all that much, but I have sorted big chunks of it out in my head and I should be ok. There is a point to it, and I’ve found it after all!

My parents also brought me one of the plants from my grandmother’s service–a bromeliad. There were so many plants sent–poinsettias and peace lilies and some non-blooming plants that I don’t know the names of. I asked for this one, but didn’t have room in the car for it either time we came back from there last month. I’m glad that they remembered to bring it. The card is still attached–from a family at my parents’ church that I know well, so it is nice to think of them thinking of us.

My mom said she didn’t really think about how much it meant to know people were thinking of you in tangible ways–and I agree. One of my close friends, S, sent me a sympathy card, even though her mother and sister passed along her condolances–that one extra thing means so much to me! S is always very thoughtful in all seasons of life.

RA suggested that I take a picture of the bromeliad to put here, so here we go. I put it on the kitchen floor to get a better view of the flowering part of it, and Precious came over to see if it was good to eat.


I have added a new subsection to my blog, titled “Participate!” I’m playing around with my templates, but I think that I’m going to keep this subsection. I learn about all sorts of events from my email and the news–and even though I can’t attend all of them, the ones I think are interesting I’m going to list in this section.

Really, I just wanted a place to prominently link to the Breast Cancer 3 Day event. But, since I really love conventions and conferences and events and get-togethers I will probably add all sorts of things here.

Org Theory

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Today was my first day of classes this semester–started it off with a bang with Public Management: Organization Design and Management in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors. Otherwise known as Organizational Theory.

I can’t think of a better way to spend an hour and a half than in a cold, cramped, noisy room (due to the AC!!!). Actually, I’m interested in the material as far as I can tell–theories about how best to get things done and how to motivate people. The professor rather endearing; he called us “poor devils” at least twice. That along with the comments “We’ll use this daft book” (Daft is the author’s name, but it still makes me giggle) and “there will be a final unless there’s a class uprising” delivered in perfect deadpan were also nice touches. Of course, because I’m perverse, I would prefer a professor who tells us how difficult the class will be and promises to drive us to the edge of our abilities and then some.

We’ve been warned that there will be group discussions about case studies. Bleck. Actually, I love group discussion of material–as long as it is outside of class and spontaneous. This requires interesting material and time to hang around with people that enjoy the same things you do.

I’m trying not to dread this semester–trying to sell it to myself as building skills that I’ll need in the real world and having an opportunity to work with organizations both outside the school environment and within the student organizations that I’m involved in. The truth is, I miss law school. I kinda always thought that the Public Admin degree would be what would really draw me in, and that law would just be the super shiny thing that I also did to make my parents happy. Ha! This semester cannot be over soon enough.


Have you ever heard of Wrapsacks? They are only the niftiest things I’ve heard of this week! Wrapsacks are re-usable cloth gift bags…that have adventures. No joke.

Actually, each sack has an individual number on a tag that can be tracked through the website. So, you can follow the bag on it’s adventures throughout the gifting world! Plus, it’s good for the environment.

My fantastic Secret Santa sent my presents in one, and now I have to figure out who is worthy to get it from me! You can purchase wrapsacks online from the website if you are not cool enough to live near a shop that carries them. I say that like I’m cool enough.

I feel like a SPY!


Or something. Heehee.

Today, N and I went letterboxing! A very silly way to spend an hour–trying to look normal and not like you’re just loitering around, looking for something. But we got two new stamps–the first ones for us!

It was so exciting, finding the first one. We thought that it was missing, because the first place we looked was empty–but after subsequent poking about, tada! A tiny little container was spied, and we got to rifle through it and play with ink.

On the second hunt, there was another girl wandering around in the garden, and, at one point, she wandered over right beside us. So, we’re sitting on a bench–suddenly quiet because we don’t want to look suspicious(haha!)–and she wandered back where she had been standing not long afterward. On our way out, we walked over to where she was…she was picking camellia blooms and floating them in the fish pond. Which was a little random–she was around our age–but we figured that it was no odder or more random that what we were up to.

N said we should have spoken to her–and I think she is right. After all, finding other people who are apparently entertaining themselves with little random acts is probably a good way to stock up on interesting friends. I’m going to be better about talking to interesting people this year.

Christmas Never Ends!

Bwhahaha. Even though I took all the Christmas decorations down (um, today), the season just keeps on giving.

My parents bought us a queen-sized mattress for Christmas–it’s what RA asked for–and it was delivered today. WOOHOO. It is so ultra-cool–it’s a pillowtop mattress and it’s enormous. It’s at least a half a foot higher than our old mattress–and so soft and wonderful.

So, after it arrived today and we figured out how deep it was I bought new sheets and mattress cover and I’m in the process of washing everything up and making our lovely new bed! Wheee!

Our old bed was a full sized, which didn’t work well with two bed hogs like us. I can’t help it if I like to sleep diagonally, you know. Now there’s more middle of the bed to go around!

Also, today is my friend J’s birthday–and I hope she’s having a great birthday weekend.

My Christmas Present!


Today, we finally went to the art supply store downtown and bought my Christmas present. What did I get? A basic linoleum carving set, some carving medium, and carbon paper! I have been waiting for them for months.

What on earth for, you might ask? Go right ahead. Years ago, and I do mean years, I read about Letterboxing–kind of a scavenger hunt involving stamps–kinda like geocaching. You need a personal stamp–and a “real” letterboxer would have a hand-carved stamp. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but unfortunately I’m not incredibly creative so I could never think of a stamp. This didn’t matter much, since when I first starting googling letterboxing, there were only two boxes in the entire state. Last year, I checked again and *kapow* there are a couple dozen with several in my area.

So, I used the spare time in my applied stat class to doodle possible stamp designs. I knew they had to be simple so that I could actually carve them–and eventually came up with two designs! Woohoo! Now that I had a design, I needed to create the stamp. After visiting the art supply stores around town, I figured out what I wanted and decided that I would ask for carving supplies for Christmas.

And Christmas has finally arrived! I spent the evening carving the stamps from the designs I created earlier this fall–and now I’m ready to start collecting!

For more information about Letterboxing, visit Letterboxing North America.

New Year's wishes

This new year stretches out before us all, full of potential and wide open. Anything can happen!

A good way to start this new year would be to give to one of the many aid organizations working on the relief effort for the earthquake/tsunami victims. Here is a link to a list of some of the agencies helping.

Favorite quotes to inspire the New Year:

Life isn’t about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T.S. Eliot

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2004 is the previous archive.

February 2005 is the next archive.

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