Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / 90 Calories

Picture by me.



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Less Paper Clutter: Using Print/Save as pdf

Upgrading my computer was one of the best things I did this year.
I’m proud that I managed to use my old iBook for more than 6 years, but it was so time to upgrade.

I chose the MacBook Air. And I love it.
But this isn’t about that.

I just wanted to share something here that is reducing my paper clutter  and obviously reducing use of paper and printer ink.
That is the use of Command: Print >Save as pdf.

I have no idea if something equivalent is available on PCs, but on a Mac, most of the time when you use the Print command, when the window pops up, there is an option to Save the page as a pdf.  This isn't something new on Macs either.  I just didn't use it like I'm using it now: to reduce the amount of paper I have to deal with.

Here’s how I’ve used this just in the last couple of days, to save things I normally might have printed out or tried to save the URL so I could go back later to read online:

Order record from Republic of Tea
Article from the July  28 2008 New Yorker on how we come up with ideas
New York Times article on Marianne Moore
emails from Blogger with my blog entries

That’s at least a dozen pieces of paper I might have printed and then had to find a place for. Of course, I have to find a place for them on my computer. I generally try to do that right away.  I have a file marked Digital Articles which I use to store articles until I read them and decide whether to save them permanantly. Then they go into a more informatively labeled file. Or get deleted.

Here’s a screen shot of the Print Window and location of the drop-down menu that lets one Save as pdf.

See it large in your browser window here.

Sometimes you'll still want to print things, but this option gives you a chance to have it securely stored (if you back-up regularly!) and think a bit before making a hard copy.


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Friday, November 25, 2011

My New Motivational Metaphor

I watched this video, laughed (a lot), passed it on.
Then I began to think about cooking a turkey as a metaphor for all the procrastination and dithering, rationalization and fear that keeps me from getting things done.

"Just put the f*cking turkey in the oven"* is a catchphrase I'm going to try out for awhile.
 (Edited, of course, when in sensitive or impressionably young company.)

Thinking of certain items on my To-Do list as 'turkeys' might be very useful.

Think about all the ways we needlessly complicate things that must be done, when the tasks are often quite simple and straightforward.

If we just start getting those turkeys in the oven and going for walks (metaphor, of course, for the stuff we are eager to do) how nice would that be!

So, do you have any turkeys to get in the oven today? Any walks you want to go on?

*If you're a vegetarian and that image repulses you, feel free to go with  tofurkey.  Actually 'f*ckin' tofurkey' has some very nice consonance to it.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

and another simple thanksgiving

Still doing the simple Thanksgiving.

Only this year I'm adding a batch of spicy ginger applesauce.

It's very, very quiet here at almost 10 a.m. Strangely quiet. I realize it's the quiet of no leaf blowers or other lawn machines. And right now, I am very, very thankful to know this blessed quiet.

The cranberries have popped in the hot sugar water and are out in Mother Earth's fridge.

For this moment, all is well. All is very well. (and quiet....)
Blessed be.


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / Bathroom 1911

Picture found here.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Fitness Project Redux Update: Week 2

 Tuesday Fitness Project Update Facebook Status:
One more week of eating cleanly & lightly but no significant weight loss from last week. Tai Chi every day, but obviously must move more.
One excellent thing to report is that I am no longer feeling depressed/guilty about my weight regain. So I have lost a great deal of spirit weight.
And the Tai Chi has already gotten me more limber. And I totally resisted my usual poetry reading sweet binge, though the pumpkin rolls were trying their cream-cheesy filling best to lure me

150 calorie teatime - cinnamon raisin toast, light butter, chai

What I need to do is resume using my mini exercycle.

That will entail a whole process of overcoming resistance to being down in the basement for any length of time. It's partly the lack of good light. It's partly the clutter, though it's pretty functional clutter, not just Stuff piled higglety-pigglety.

And it's Lily, our new dog. I'm not sure (since I haven't actually tried to get down there and seriously work or exercise) but I feel like she won't be content to lie down in the doggie bed while I cycle. I feel like I will be constantly having to make sure she's not grabbed a ball of yarn or started gnawing on my Saori loom.

Perhaps, too, it's a reluctance to be down there with all my looms and the tools of the art work I've been neglecting lately.

There.  Now that I've articulated my resistance...I have a sense that is step one in ridding myself of it.
Really? I'M stopping you from exercising???


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / Meditation Room

Picture found here.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Fitness Project Redux Update: Week 1

This morning’s Facebook status:

Tuesday Fitness Project Update: Right back to food journaling everything, upgraded my Tai Chi practice from 'sporadic' to 'daily' (and it's been amazing outside this week, esp. in the wind.) Happy to report I am minus 3.2 lbs. (you should see the happy on my face!

What a great start - losing 1/5 of the goal!
I doubt I will continue to lose at the rate of 3 lbs a week, but do hope to maintain a steady pace of 1-2 lbs.

Last week I focused on clean, light eating and getting back into the habit of keeping a meticulous log.
That’s relatively easy for me.  I love eating things that are good for my body - more than I love eating things that are not so good.

When I stay present with my body and my desire for health, it’s not so difficult to say no to sugar. Writing everything down helps to keep me present with that desire.

It’s the ‘moving’ part of my plan I find difficult.  Especially if I call it ‘exercise.’ So I won’t.

Tai Chi isn’t ‘exercise’ to me.  Neither is training & playing with my canine companion, Lily.
Plan for this week: find more ways to move.

Not me.  Not my backyard.
Picture found here.
(That blog looks very interesting, I'm bookmarking
it to read more.)

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / Planning a New Tradition

Picture (and lighter gingerbread cookie recipe ) found here.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tuesday Fitness Project Update: Doin' It Again

Getting out the tools.
Time to get serious and lose the 15 lbs I gained back.

I know how to do it. 1200 nutrition-packed calories. Measure and weigh. Write it all down. Move my body.
Go public.


Sunday, November 06, 2011

In Which I Pay Homage to My Polartec 300 Jacket

[This is a long post - you might want to make a cup of tea]

I have had this jacket for 19 years and I think it’s still got plenty of years left.
It’s a Land’s End Polartec 300 jacket and quite often it’s my primary winter outerwear.

I bought it in 1992, after moving here to Indiana the year before.
From Miami, Florida. 

I was forty and I’d never seen snow..

I hadn’t a clue about winter comfort, except I knew about dressing in layers.  That’s because when it gets what passes for cold in Miami, you just put on a pile of clothes.  If you have a sweater, by the time you figure out where it might be, it’s warm again.  In Miami, we didn’t have Winter, we had the annual Season of Cold Snaps. *

So I knew nothing practical about keeping warm in Real Winter (except maybe to stay inside with central heat, another - brilliant- new thing to me.) That first winter, I made do with cloth coats I got at Goodwill and the staying-inside-as-much-as-possible plan. 

The following fall, I sat down with catalogs and studied the outerwear sections. I liked the catalogs that rated things in terms of temperature suitability. If I remember, the catalogs I liked best were Land’s End and LL Bean. 

What I wound up buying was from Land’s End -  the Polartec 300 jacket above, in charcoal, and a hooded, insulated coat in a deep burgundy.  Both go with most everything I wear.

I reasoned that one or the other would do for regular cold or regular cold and snowy, and that I could wear both of them together for extreme cold. I added a pair of Polartec gloves to the order and called it in. (I don’t think there was any online ordering back then, but in any case, I had no computer.)

That winter (and every one since) I discovered that the Polartec 300 jacket was what got the most wear. It’s an amazing jacket. It keeps me warm and dry, even in light snow. A washing every once in awhile and an occasional once-over with a sweater de-piller keep it looking presentable. Often I wear it with a hoodie underneath, which gives me a hood and layers.

I still have the hooded coat, too. It’s my go-to when it’s really, really cold and I have to be out shoveling snow (something which always, even after 20 years here, makes me think, ‘How did I get here, doing THIS?’ and ‘I hope the neighbors aren’t watching because I’m sure I’m doing THIS wrong.’ )

The point of this post, here on this blog is this:
I cringed at spending about $250 on these items of clothing back in 1992.  But I bought after careful thought and I bought what I believed was quality.
And I was right in this case. Getting 20 years of wear comes out to a cost of $12.50 a year for my well-performing outerwear, and will continue to decrease with every additional year these items are used.

My other point is that I am satisfied with wearing the same outerwear year after year, as long as it keeps me warm and does not look too worn.  I chose colors that I liked that go with most of my clothes and I’m so pleased with these items year after year that I’m not tempted by passing trends in style or color.

What I lack is a coat for dressy occasions, but those occasions are so very few in my life that I don’t feel the lack often.

Another point I consider when I’m feeling all puffed up about my winterwear’s longevity is that I probably put minimal wear on it.  I do get out and about in the cold, but my tendency is toward reclusiveness and retreat in the winter (which could be the beginning of another post) and I’m very blessed that I can allow that natural inclination its head.  For people who have extensive outdoor activities -- work or play-- the notion of a jacket’s usefulness lasting more than twenty years might seem way too optimistic.

How many winter coats and jackets do you have cluttering up your closet?  Do you really need to keep them all? 

*One memorable Cold Snap (my last one in Miami - perhaps I was being warned) we actually had temperatures below freezing for a couple of days. That year, the power company instituted rolling blackouts on Christmas Day.  For fifteen minutes of every hour, our power was shut down.

A couple of nights before I had been up at 4 a.m. with pain from an abcessed tooth, digging around in a closet, searching for the lone space heater I dimly remembered we owned.

I found it, way at the back, underneath some boxes and old toys, pulled it out and started to plug it in when I realized it was layered in dust. With visions of blazing dust balls shooting from the elements, I then dug out the vacuum cleaner (not quite so deeply buried) and there I was:
Freezing and shivering, in pain,  with a bunch of Stuff pulled out of a closet,  cluttering up the hallway, vacuuming a tiny space heater at 4 a.m.

 I wanted to weep, but was afraid the tears would turn to ice on my cheeks.

That same snap caused all the trees,  freaked out by the freakish cold, to just drop their leaves. All the trees, all at once.  The Problem of the Leaves was the great topic of concern - no one really knew what to do about them.  It was a very strange time in Miami.  (Well. If you read Carl Hiasson ‘strange time in Miami’ is quite redundant.)



Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / Ottoman2