Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She's Baa-aack!

What a long two weeks it has been! Window broken, purse stolen, home changin', phone gettin', full week o' workin', bank account fussin', late night bowlin' and I'm sure a couple of other big events that have fallen by the wayside while I was anxiously awaiting the connection of the precious internet to my shiny new digs. And then another two days passed before my friendly ex- and personal computer doctor trouble-shot and replaced the network card on this aging beast of a p.c. (Thank you, Martin)

So finally, I have returned. And I need your phone number. Most thieves don't leave the sim card behind when stealing a phone. So if you want me to call you in my abundant free time, email me your digits at jennifer@mountainoflaundry.com and I'll get you programmed in.

And the house is Great! I'm settling in fairly quickly and am thrilled every time I cross the threshold. I've had the honor of enjoying several friends' company here and I can't wait to throw a shindig. (Probably two weeks from Saturday if you're near your calendar.) It's a warm and friendly house with lots of built-in happiness from residents past. The energy here is great and I'm even sleeping well. It's absolutely my home and I'm certain many good things will come my way while I'm here. Perhaps you could come my way. That would be good :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I look like I've been in a bar-fight from all of my moving bruises, and my hands could double as medium grit sandpaper, but I'm elated to be sleeping in my new home. The kids have settled somewhat into their rooms and I into mine. There's a remarkable positive energy to the house. Very good things are happening in my life.

And as much as I'd love to rattle on about my fabulous new digs, I must head to work. I hope to have internet connected within the week and then return to my obsessive blogging habits of the past. For now though, I'm grateful to our public library system and their banks of public use computers.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rude Awakenings

I slept sooooo poorly last night. Actually, it started out as a potentially good night's rest and then around 3:30, Audrey awoke (loudly), missing her irreplaceable unicorn, "Pretty." I helped her find the purple doll, then she asked to sleep with me. Martin wasn't home, so I granted her wish. Then I didn't doze off. Ack. So around 5:00, I decided I could catch up on a long-due email and got ready for spinning class, had my Greek Delight for breakfast and a slice of bread made fresh last night (though I rarely eat before exercise), and headed to the gym. And when I got there, I sat in Hot Red Speed with my head low as the lack of rest caught up with me.

But with gas prices as they are, I had to do what I'd gone to do. So wearily I stepped out into the rainy dark and greeted my classmates with a tired sigh. Then I got my workout on and enjoyed a better-than-average class. Threw in a few minutes of abs at the end just to feel especially good about my morning and headed back to the van. When I got in, I noticed some dark splotches behind me. Had something spilled during transport to my new house? I flipped on the light and was appalled to see that my side window had been shattered and my purse stolen.

And that pretty much set the tone for my morning. Police report, credit card and bank calls, canceling cell phone, wishing I hadn't put the camera in my bag yesterday. That kinda stuff.

And if you haven't done the math, this is my move-in week. So Mrs. Diggs and Concert Katrina planned (and followed through) on helping me today with general unpacking and tidying. Mrs. Diggs took the morning shift and Katrina the afternoon. They both made me realize how blessed I truly am to have the most fabulous friends in all the land. . .

. . .even if someone is out there enjoying my less-than-stellar credit and writing checks that my a$$ can't cash.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Last Meal Served. . .

. . .but it was a happy meal. My buddy Toby left Hope Care Center on two much-stronger legs than those that walked in. He came to us about three months ago with not an ounce of fat on his weak frame. And he came to Hope with every intention of getting well so he could return home.

So he ate.

I learned after a week or so that I needed to plan for one or two extra servings for him at each meal and he appreciated every morsel. It was wonderfully rewarding to see him grow stronger and more talkative each day. And in those months he gained 37 pounds. Thirty-seven. Granted, it took more than food to help him recover. Regular meds and a caring nursing staff kept him upright and moving toward the dining room. But I do take a lot of pride in his recovery. He asked for recipes for a couple of his favorite dishes and I couldn't have been more sincere when I hugged him goodbye and told him I would miss him.

Have I told you lately how much I love my job?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Once again, I'm having computer trauma. The kids p.c. has a toasted video card it seems. This is not my diagnosis, of course. I am a true technology moron. Martin is the computer doctor at the house. And we'll try to breathe enough life back into this one that it can make the move to my new place in just over a week.

So don't take it personally if I'm not responding to your correspondence. I'll try to hit the library daily to keep up on things, and the home siuation will likely be resolved before too long. Just know that I am busy getting ready for the move, working, exercising and cooking. Same as it ever was.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Comfort Zones are for Ninnies!

It was a solid six weeks ago that I saw the signage go up at work for today's AIDS ride. I knew I was capable. I knew it was my weekend off. I knew I should do it. But it was uncharted territory for me. I've never participated in any type of charity walk, run, ride, swim or even talk-a-thon for that matter. What if I did it wrong? What if I showed up grossly mis-dressed? What if I accidentally expanded my horizons?

As the days and weeks passed, I stopped thinking about the ride. Until work on Thursday when a few folks were buzzing about it. And I made some mamby-pamby excuse to the effect of, "Oh, we'll see what I have to do for the kids that day." And pretty much knew I wasn't going to participate. Then Friday morning I realized that my Saturday fitness regimen would either be running eight miles or spinning eighteen, I started to feel silly about not playing along with my kinfolk at Hope. But alas, no working bike. And what about not riding outdoors since I was 12? That certainly deserved to be a factor. It wasn't until about 10 p.m. last night that I finally concluded I would do it.

I. Had. So. Much. Fun!!! I woke early, ate my favorite breakfast, snagged Neighbor Teri's bike, borrowed Emily's helmet and found my way to the trail. It was an absolutely perfect morning. About 60 degrees. A light breeze. My dear friends from work. My dear surprised friends from work. I registered, got my number and hung with my homies while we awaited our start. First the 35 milers went. Then my group riding 18. And last, the 10s. There were a couple of times on the trail that I felt lonely and assumed I'd lost my way, but at our half-way point, I found Super-Nice-Maintenance-Guy John and we grabbed a bottle of water then made our way back onto the trail. It was a challenge. Very different from spinning. I haven't decided yet which is harder.

And just as I thought I might be lost again, I saw a tent, a barbecue grill and kids passing out water and bananas. I'd made it. The ride was no outrageous physical feat, but overstepping my ridiculous mental boundaries was worth celebrating. I spent another hour or so chatting with my friends and noshing on a veggie burger, savoring my small yet profound accomplishment.

Let's bring back the lesson portion for today's post. . .

1. If Audrey can ride a bike outdoors, I should be able to as well.
2. Benefit participants aren't going to point and laugh even if you do something incorrectly.
3. Just do it!


And one big shoutout to Sam. Thanks for your support.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Riding for a Reason

Not one to prepare in advance for anything, just in the last ten minutes I have decided to ride in tomorrow's AIDS Bicycle Challenge. I'll be a part of Team Hope Care Center and am quite excited to bike in the wild. (Feel free to donate here.)

I have to borrow Neighbor Teri's bike since Em took mine a few months ago and has done quite a number on it. I tried to ride it tonight and it's a major tune-up away from being able to go 18 miles on a trail.

So no running before dawn. No early morning spinning class. A whole new world is opening itself to me. Biking with a helmet and two wheels. Interesting concept.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Movers and (Salt) Shakers

To allay all of your worries and fears, you should know that I managed a trip to Whole Foods today and restocked my Greek yogurt supply. I'm feeling much better now. Yes, the other brand was a reasonable substitute, but much like exercise for love, it wasn't exactly what I needed, and when the real thing is available, I'm gonna take that option every time.

Speaking of exercise, I forgot to tell you that I still love spinning. I had that bad morning and was ready to write it off, but persevered and am back in the groove. I realized today that I strongly prefer the 6:00 a.m. working-bloke class over the 8:30 a.m. at-home-mom hour. I'm gonna be brutally honest here -- not such a polite crowd at the latter class. Less chatty and not so friendly. A bit on the snotty side, really. Self-obsessed. And when I mentioned to the instructor one day that I had a job and wouldn't be such a regular, the inaudible gasp and subsequent total alienation was palpable. No love lost there. I dig my pre-dawn addicts all the more now.

And running. Don't get me started. Yesterday I ran six miles and was ready for more but I had to get home to get the kids ready for school. I really do need to pick up my pace or plot 90 minutes out of my sleep schedule to get more mileage in. It's a fun infatuation. At least until the temps drop below 40 degrees.

So I'm getting ready-ish for the move. In my days off this week I managed to get most of the utilities set up and have dug about town for furnishings and whatnot. I'll tell the kids this weekend and take them over to see the place. Then I'll feel a bit more comfortable dismantling portions of this house. I did sort through one cabinet in the kitchen this morning. I was astounded at how much I packed, how much I threw out and how much remained for Martin's use. And that's only 1/10th of what needs to be done. In the kitchen.

Much work to be done. Maybe I should get movin'. Literally.