The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not Ready To Go Back

I don't know what it is about a 4-day weekend that just kills my motivation for going back to work. I didn't even do anything fun - just kind of putted around the house, did some cleaning, some laundry, a few errands (car wash, Target run). Heck, I didn't even go to the grocery store or Trader Joe's. I figured we had enough food in the house to last us for a few more meals.

I'm late night leader today so at least I don't have to go in until 10:00, but it does mean I have to stay until 7:00 PM. I actually get a lot done between 5 and 7 when everyone is pretty much gone. I have filing to do, a few meetings to prepare for and reviews to read. I don't have a lot going after work this week - just one appointment on Wednesday. I might actually get into the gym on Tuesday and Thursday.

The best part is that I have another 4-day weekend next week when my Dad comes to town. Then it's just a few short weeks until I have the week between Christmas and New Year's off. I don't have any plans for that week - probably just recouping from the holidays. I haven't even decided if I am going to decorate this year. It just seems so pointless. We put up lights, the tree, other assorted decorations for no real reason other than it's habit.

I guess I'm in a bit of a holiday funk. I miss having family around this time of year. With Don's travel schedule, we can't really go any where together and I really don't want to spend the holidays apart from him. I am just not in the holiday spirit this year. Maybe it's because I realized that we have now spent as many years in this house as we did the one in Los Angeles, and it still doesn't feel like home.

Anyway, enough wallowing. I need to finish getting ready for work and head in a little early. I'm not accomplishing anything sitting here waiting for the clock to strike 10...

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Oh, So Thankful

What a perfect day. It started when Don was kind enough, despite a bit of a cold, to get up at 6:15 to let the dogs out and feed them. They came back to bed and we slept until 7:30. We spent the next two hours sipping coffee, watching a bit of TV and planning our day.

At a little before 9, we headed out to Staring Lake for a hike with the dogs. It was cold - 28 degrees - and it was flurrying. I put the dogs coats on to keep them dry and warm. Plus, they just look cute. Anyway, it took us a little over an hour do do the 2.5 miles (we let the dogs set the pace) and we were both chilled to the bone. We came home, took a very hot shower to defrost and had some hot apple cider while we read the paper.

I started cooking at around noon. I had made the cranberry sauce on Monday and the stuffing on Wednesday, so I only had to do the green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy while the turkey (with sage butter and a maple glaze) cooked. The meal came out perfect. The entire menu was Maple Glazed Turkey with Sage Butter, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Grandma's Green Beans, and Cranberry Orange Sauce. I didn't make the dessert - pumpkin pie from Trader Joe's. I think we both ate reasonably well and didn't overdo it.

I think by making a few dishes early helped with my stress level as was just keeping on top of the dishes as I cooked rather than waiting to do them until the end. Don was a huge help - he did most of the post-dinner clean-up while I relaxed.

Of course, two of the best things that happened was the Cowboys and the Trojans won. The Cowboys win sets up a 10-1 showdown next Thursday against the hot Green Bay Packers. That should be a huge game. The Trojans win means they could share a portion of the Pac-10 title at worst and actually win outright and make a trip to the Rose Bowl if Oregon loses to either UCLA or Oregon State (a huge possibility since Oregon lost their QB). Of course, USC needs to beat UCLA next weekend as well, but after last year's beat down, I think they will be up for it.

Anyway, I am avoiding all shopping today. I just don't believe in Black Friday. We're not in the market for any large electronic items, which is where the biggest savings are and the fact most savings are $5 or less just doesn't make it worth getting up at 3:00 AM. I have dishes to do and I really do need to go through my closet again. I could join the throngs at the gym working off their third serving of pie, but I didn't gain anything, so I think I may just be a homebody and couch potato...

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Is It December?

The first smack in the head was on October 31 - when most are dressing up in scary costumes and begging for candy - that the mall in Ridgedale, specifically Macy's, already had their Christmas tree and trimmings up - IN OCTOBER. Today, in several stores, they were playing Christmas carols - IN NOVEMBER. On top of that, in front of the grocery store this afternoon, there was the iconic Salvation Army bell ringer - THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING. I've also gotten e-mails that my local mall is opening at 1:00 AM on Friday. Retailers - desperate much?

Even around the neighborhood, lights are not only going up (typical in these cold climes - who wants to hang Christmas lights when it's icy out?) but coming on! Yes, I have my wreath out and my pumpkins are still on the front porch...

I remember when Christmas wasn't even visible until after Turkey Day. I don't even think we had a "Black Friday" when I was growing up. We usually put our Christmas decorations up 2 weeks before Christmas and took them down one week after New Year's. Now I'm hearing about families decorating their (fake) tree over Thanksgiving weekend.

So my new mantra is "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." — Carl Bard. It's very fitting for me at this point, as I've come to realize that spending energy trying to change my past is doing nothing to progress my future. I'm getting so stuck in what I was I neglect what I'm becoming. To that end, I did my own Rune reading a few weeks ago. I've been reading Runes for a few years - mostly for my own entertainment. Runes are like a primitive Tarot that the Vikings used as an oracle. Each stone was marked with a symbol that could be used to write, read the past or predict the future. The nice thing about reading Runes is that there is really only two ways to see it - upright and reversed (upside down). With Tarot, there are symbols, colors, pictures to interpret. It's much more complex, although some might say more accurate.

Anyway, I drew a Runic Cross of 6 Runes plus one for Resolution. The six that make up the cross are:

1. Past - from where I am coming; what lies behind
2. Me Now
3. Future - what lies ahead; what's coming into my life
4. Foundation - unconscious elements
5. Challenge - obstacles in the way
6. New Situation - success in meeting the challenge
and then
7. Resolution - essence of the situation

1. Past - The Blank Rune
Rune of the unknowable, the Divine
This is my past
The end is just the beginning
Connection to my destiny; rises like a Phoenix; Fate
Death is symbolic
Relinquish control - I am a Spiritual Warrior
This is potential
Total being - what is to become
There are Deep Fears - failure, abandonment, taken away
There is willingness
Leaping into the void
The past tests the faith
This is the Rune of Karma
Lessons are learned for a life time
I must shift and evolve
There is progression

2. Me Now - Rune of Disruption and Power
There is change, freedom and liberation
I must break free of identification
It's beyond my control
There is a great awakening/coming to my senses
I need to rip away the fabric of my former reality - sacrifice security and beliefs
There is disruption
But there is growth

3. Future - Rune of New Beginnings and Fertility
Intuitive part of my nature
There is harmonizing and adjusting to personal relationships
There is a need to share and to be desired
There is new life and new paths
Strength to achieve completion
Emergence from a closed state
Clear away the old
Release from tension
Free myself from a rut, habit, relationship, behavior pattern
Movement may involve danger (change) but also remove me from danger
Need to be centered and grounded
Open to the will of Heaven
Ultimate calm certainty

4. Foundation - Rune of Opening and Fire
Renewed clarity
Dispelling darkness that's been shrouding life
Clear intent
More light = seeing in what needs to go
Operating in light

5. Challenge - Rune of Withdrawal and Ice (see the relation to #4)
Winter of spiritual life
Feelings of powerlessness, need to submit, surrender, sacrifice
Freeze on useful activity
Plans are on hold
Outmoded habits to cope
Feeling of being out of touch with life
What am I holding onto and what can I let go of?
Shed, release, cleanse
Sacrifice of the personal
Submit and be still
What was full now must become empty to move forward
To surrender is to display courage & strength
Time of restoration
Do not work my will
Watch for signs of Spring

6. New Situation - Rune of The Warrior
I am a spiritual warrior
The battle is within the Self
I need to stay out of my own way
Cut away the old, the dead, the extraneous
Look within; delve down to life itself
Find my deepest needs
Allow it a voice
Self-conquest is powerful - calls for awareness, compassion, total trust

7. Resolution - Rune of Breakthrough and Transformation
Major shift
Breakthrough of self change
Complete transformation
Transform life forever
Radical trust
Leap into the void (see #1)
Warrior nature reveals itself
Period of achievement & prosperity
Darkness is behind; daylight has come
Hard work is ahead but undertake it with joy

I know this might not mean a lot to most, but it means a lot to me. This is so where I am right now - and so where I want to go - to the light and the understanding and the shedding of the old. This speaks to so many layers - the old body, the old mind-set, the old self hate. I really need to focus on who I am now, not what I was or who I thought I was. That really goes back to the new mantra of not trying to change my beginning but my end, which is what ultimately matters.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tag, You're It!

OK, unofficially tagged by Denise

Here are the Rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

1. I cannot go anywhere without chapstick - I but it in bulk! I have some in my purse, my desk at work (at least 3 tubes), 2 tubes in the stand near my recliner, 1 in my nightstand. Right now, I probably have at least 2 dozen chapsticks in my possession.

2. My current favorite commercial is for Jeep Liberty. The coyote just slays me - Rock Me Gently

3. I am a food porn addict. I read cookbooks and magazines. I watch Food Network religiously. I won't make half of the recipes I print or clip, but I have two binders full of them. I subscribe to Cuisine at Home and Everyday Food. I own 58 cookbooks and refuse to throw out my collection of magazines like Food & Wine and Gourmet. Why? I don't know. In fact, I'm watching Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello right now.

4. I read runes. I haven't done it in awhile but I did a personal reading last night, and it was so right on. The reading is a separate post, but it answered a lot of questions for me.

5. I have weird celebrity crushes. Granted, some are typical like George Clooney and Liam Neeson, but I am really attracted to Pete Carroll (coach of the USC football team) and Mike Rowe (host of Dirty Jobs).

Off to start the morning... Please feel free to play along!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Still Flying High

What a great response from my last post! I am still feeling a high from having the light bulb go off. Even people at work have noticed this new glow about me. I am allowing myself to feel the highs and lows of day-to-day life. If I'm pissed, stressed, giddy, excited, confused I am letting myself vet those emotions out. It's so much better than holding them in.

Work is going crazy. We're going through some staff changes, which makes my job much more complicated as we need to not only plan for next week, but we're starting to plan for early next year. Luckily, my staff is not impacted directly, but we still have to lad through some of the upcoming changes.

Many asked about my new laptop - I chose the most basic MacBook. I had a pretty fancy iBook previously, but it had a lot more bells and whistles than I ever used. I do love my Mac! I haven't played with all the new functions, but the crack staff at the Apple Store was able to move my iTunes and iPhotos over, which was my biggest concern.

Don is off to Green Bay this weekend for the game. He's not leaving until late Saturday night, so it's nice we'll have pretty much the whole day. We have an appointment at the vet for the dogs' yearly shots, and I'm sure we'll take them for a hike, weather permitting. I do need a pedicure, so I'll do that Sunday, plus I'm working out my Thanksgiving menu and what I can buy in advance. I'm sure much to Don's (waist) chagrin, I am planning on making a big batch of my family-famous Chex Mix so I can ship some back to California.

Tomorrow will be an odd day for me - we are testing our Business Continuation Plan in case our office was ever not accessible. I've never been a part of it before, so this will be all new for me. After that, we have our Employee Club's annual Turkey Bingo night. I went for the first time last year and had a blast, even if I didn't win a thing. It's at a local supper club, so we all have dinner first and then play about 2 hours of Bingo. I think I only played 2 cards last year, but I think I might be up to 4 this year. Some people can play 10 cards! I don't think I'm that adept yet, but plan on having a fun time.

It's dinnertime - leftovers - but I made a killer dinner last night. I took 4 (huge - from CostCo) skinless/boneless chicken breasts and stuffed them with cooked couscous with lemon juice, lemon zest, toasted pine nuts/almonds and green onions. They were cooked on the stove top and, once browned on both sides, steamed with a little chicken stock. I served the chicken breasts with a mix of steamed baby carrots and peas. Yum!

Can I tell you I'm so not ready for the cold weather?

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