Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vacation Packing

I spent 15 minutes last night looking for an item of clothing that I wanted to pack for our trip. Then realized that I had it on. Did the same thing Friday looking for a certain pair of jeans to wear, only to realize that I had packed them already. There are downsides to packing early.

I was struck last night that I could fit all of my clothes and shoes into a carry on bag for a 10 day trip. I remember when I was just out of college and we'd go to Arizona every winter. I'd take a HUGE suitcase and carry on and a purse. Silly. Or I've just become a better packer/planner in all these years.

This trip I tried to take more casual clothes, rather than just jeans and t-shirts all the time. I also tried to plan so that my tops would fit with several pairs of pants/capris and in one general color group. Black, blue, white with a few pops of corally-red. So everything should mix and match. I'm taking a couple of pairs of black sandals to coordinate. Simple and makes life much easier.

The other thing that makes packing so much easier for me all the time is the ready to go toiletries bag. I keep a bag stocked with small sizes of all the things that I use in the bathroom. It's so easy to know that I have it there, that I don't have to scramble for it and that I have everything. During the summer when we camp a lot, I just refill the bottles every month. Honestly, if I needed to I could pack for an overnight in about 10 minutes because of that bag.

And the last tip for the day: pack your bathroom/make up items the night before you leave. When you get ready to leave the day of your vacation, get ready from the bag that you packed. It will tell you if you forgot something just by not having it while you're still in your house.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lost and found

Last December I lost someone. A person who was important to me. Someone who helped me through some difficult times. Someone who I helped. I thought that she'd be there forever, waiting to meet someday at a brewery halfway from me to her.

Since that day, I often think about her. I wonder what would have become of her life had she lived. I wonder where she'd be now. I wonder if her son would have chosen a different path. I wonder if her relationship would have taken a turn. I wonder if she'd have convinced me to meet her this summer. I wonder. I guess I wonder a lot.

All my wondering does no good. It doesn't change that she is gone. It cannot bring her back. So I do my best to remember her. The smile and tilt of her head. Her thoughtfulness. Her willingness to listen. Her daily impact on so may lives.

At times I think the world should stop and everyone should get off and remember her. The way I remember her. Think of her the way I think of her. Respect her memory the way I respect it. And then I'm reminded of one of my favorite sayings: Harboring resentment is like giving yourself a dose of poison and waiting for the other person to die. It isn't going to happen. But it's going to make me unhappy.

So when that happens I look down at the ring I have in her memory and I breathe. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A lesson to remember

Do you remember sitting at the kitchen table as a kid and being told to finish your dinner? I do. Do you remember wanting to skip dinner to go out with friends and being told no? I do. Do you remember being told that you need to finish whatever you take from the fridge? I do.

I think that it's created a person inside me that feels like they need to finish whatever I'm eating, no matter if I'm FULL or I don't necessarily like it. In reality I DON'T have to.

What a powerful statement. How freeing.

Now if only I could get myself to remember it. Today I had a cup of soup and a wrap from a restaurant. The soup was wonderful on this rainy fall day. The wrap? Not so good. The wrap was stale and hard, the insides weren't that flavorful. I ate half, thinking how not good it was. Then I picked up the other half and took a bite. I thought that I'd just eat the insides, but even they were not good.

Then I stopped. I mentally said "I don't have to eat this." So I didn't.

I wish I could get myself to remember that all the time. It's powerful and it's something that I need to practice more often.

On another note, the bad wrap? I lost part of a cracked tooth on it. I leave for vacation in a week. It's a tooth that I can't open wide enough for them to get at. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A-List maker

Get it? A List? As in, a famous person? Bad joke? Ok, sorry.

I am a total list maker, planner, organizer (only don't look in my extra bedroom currently, ok?) As I said, a list maker. It's about a week before vacation currently and I have several lists going.

Packing list
Things to Do list
Things to Buy list
Packages That Should Be Arriving list

See, I told you. Lists.

I often wonder how other people pack for vacation. Because packing, to me, is a very involved process. I sit down and figure out how many days I'm going to be gone, the weather where I'm going, how may outfits I'll need, how many pairs of shoes I'll need and that's just clothes. Add in things like jewelry, hair care, make up, electronics and other things and you have quite a list.

I started out this time with a list in my head of things to wear about 2 weeks ago. Then Pete crushed my list by reminding me that it's still SUMMER where we are going, not FALL. Whew? Good thing I started the process so soon. I had to scrap my mental list and start over. So a couple of weeks ago I started making a mental list of days and how many outfits I'd need. Then when I'd be looking in my closet for clothes to wear each day I'd make a mental list of the things in the closet that were possibilties. Then I went shopping. *peeks out behind hands* Yep, shopping. I shopped online and in person for a few things to supplement my outfits. Then yesterday I made a real pen and paper list. Last night I started pulling things out of my closet to add to the suitcase pile on the bed.

Now a couple of things. First, I decided a while ago (after looking at other people's travel pictures) that I wasn't going to be jeans and Tshirt all vacation. I'd throw in capri's, knit tops, bouses, khaki pants and sandals. And for good measure I'd throw in a dress for our anniversary dinner. I'm hoping to talk Pete into the same by having him bring polo shirts instead of Harley shirts. We'll see.

The other thing is that this pile of clothes on the bed? It will change. My list making process will continue in the next week, both in my head and on paper. I'll edit it several times. In the end I know that the best part is the final part. Marking things off the list as they go into the suitcase.

Ahhh, the sweet sound of list making...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A processor

I'm a processor. When something is bothering me, I process it. Lately my processing has been done internally. But I really prefer to process with someone else. They can reflect back what you're saying. They can empathize with you. They may have gone through this previously and can give you suggestions. And it feels good to have someone validate what you're saying, going through or doing.

On 9/11/01 I was living with my Grandma. She was out of the country on vacation. I was home alone. I had taken the day off to do some things, but only slept until 8am CT. When I got up I turned on the TV and saw what was happening. Oh my God! My life was shattered. The security and safe feeling that I never in a million years thought would be gone, was just that. My mind race, my thoughts were all over the place. I was scared. And I had no one to process with.

People think that I am weird. I live over 1000 miles from the sites where this occurred. Yet, I felt like I was right in the middle of it. I felt like my world had forever changed. I couldn't sleep. I was drawn to the news shows so that I was informed about what was happening and because I honestly thought there would be more attacks. Yet the constant stream of news made my thoughts worse. Double edge sword.

To this day I still think about what happened. I still go over the feelings and I still cry. And I an again alone in this. The people around me think that I'm over reacting, so I don't say anything. But I rememeber. I pray for those who were lost. I respect and honor those firefighters who race up a burning building when everyone else was racing down. I pray for the military that we've lost since then. I pray for the children who will never have the safe feeling that I grew up with. I pray for me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My 2 week goal

I'm looking forward to our trip to the South. But I think it's holding me back mentally from starting to work out again. On the other hand, the scale at the doctor's office tells me that I need to start up. The blood work that said my cholesterol is high also said that.

So my 2 week goal (we leave in 2 weeks for the trip) is the following:
1. Track my food for 2 weeks on my iphone aplication.
2. Gym at least 6 days a week. 4 days walking/running and 2 days building the workouts back up again.
3. Better eating.

It's 14 days of this and hopefully something that I can accomplish. I'll check back in the day before we leave (or there abouts) to see how well I did.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Reservation Block

You know how some people will have writers block and be unable to write about something? Well I have reservation block. I need to make hotel reservations for our trip in 2 weeks and I can't seem to do it.

1. Plans seem to be fluxuating, daily.
2. The rooms I want are non refunable.
3. I think the prices will go down soon? (yes? no?)
4. It's a huge chunk of our travel budget for this trip and I don't want to mess it up.
5. Pete's a little picky about his hotels. 2 of the ones that I chose on the Wyoming trip were sub-par to him.

I just need to do it, right?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

That nutrition/fitness thing....

On 2/1/10 I had a goal of being 70 pounds lighter by 2/1/11. Currently I'm around 30 pounds lighter, but most of that work was done in February, March & April. Then I had issues with my back and a cyst on my chest. I started working out again in late May, but by that time it was getting to be motorcycle season and I was too busy to work out.

The bad: I haven't been to the gym in a month. Actually I take that back - I went once in August. I haven't been counting calories or drinking as much water. I haven't been eating every 3 hours.

The good: despite all this and going on a vacation for 12 days, I haven't gained more than 3 pounds over the summer.

The plan: I see my doctor for my annual physical this week. I need to have a plan for accessing physcial therapy or something for when my siatic nerve acts up. I need to start working out in the moring before work again - it is the best time for me to get it in. I need to start drinking water and going back to the eating habits I had this spring.

I bought clothes at Costco the other day. Clothes that I fit into. I can buy clothes in some of the 'regular' sections in Target. When I think about that and how it feels to buy the lower sizes and shop in the stores, it's amazing. Then I think about the old saying that the food I eat doesn't taste as good as the feeling of fitting into lower sizes. It is true. At least for me.

Monday, September 06, 2010


Pete and I got married by water. Unconsciously, we started a tradition. Because when we took our anniversary we went to a city by water. So when I planned our first anniversary trip, I planned it by water. That's when we decided that each anniversary would be spent by water.

For our second anniversary, we're going south. Way south. We're headed to North Carolina to visit some of Pete's relatives. After spending a couple of days there with the relatives and checking out the area, we're headed to South Carolina. To the ocean. Water. For our anniversary.

We're going to spend a couple of days in Charleston. I'm pretty excited about this and have been researching places to see and do and EAT!

Then we;re headed to Grorgia to visit more realtives. After spending a couple of days with the realtives and checking out the area, we're headed to Nashville. Pete used to do security for the Grand Ole Opry and I've always wanted to see a show. So, we're in Nashville for a couple of days to see the area and see a show.

Then we're headed home. It's a lot to cram into a week of vacation, but it's how we do it. Always on the go, finding new places and things to do. I can't wait.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Pete was offered a job today. Did I tell you how he was laid off on our last day of vacation in August? Well, he was. He's been looking for jobs and had some very weird experiences in the journey. Today he was offered a job. Kind of. A 30 hour a week job on a temporary basis. A trial basis. The job is at the very top of his skill set, but the company loves his personality and persistence. So the are letting him try it out for a bit and if it's a match, they'll keep him.

Interesting, no? I'm starting to think that full time permanent information technology jobs are a thing of the past...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Talk

Pete and I had a great talk the other night. I think we both tend ot bottle things up and then they just come to a head and shoot out all at once. We're fairly good at communication, but still have some things to work on.

I tried to explain to him that he is a very matter of fact/that's how it is person. I'm more emotional about things. It's why, when I'm frustrated I cry. It's why I cry at those darn commericals and some movies. I don't think he got it that night, but last night I had an on the spot example, in the moment it happened. I think he got it then.

Last night we discussed the fall trip we're taking to visit his relatives and for our anniversary. I'm now super excited to plan the rest of it and get going. I've never been south of Missouri. I giggle each time he talks to his cousin on the phone because of her accent. And I want to meet his second cousin who just graduated from high school and posts on facebook all the time. I think she's cute. She reminds me of my teenaged drama when I was her age.