Living Maintenance - Maintainers Weekly Chat December 30 - January 5

12-30-2013, 06:20 AM
Welcome week containing New Years with its challenges to stay the path.

We're in for some major cold according to the weather predictions. It'll be useful if I get out - I'm one of those who believes that I burn extra calories just keeping warm. It'll be harmful if I squat on the couch and mourn that I'm not moving about, LOL.

One measure of our good Christmas is the three full recycle-bins of cardboard and spent wrapping paper going to the curb this morning. The kids and spouses opened presents here. It was as if they were little kids since we wrap up a lot of fun, but low cost gifts to make it a brouhaha.

12-30-2013, 06:53 AM
Glad you had a good Christmas Bill.

Our last entertaining for the holidays was last night. The water that's been leaking out of the shower for 2 months finally started leaking through the living room ceiling 20 minutes before the guests arrived. I just started laughing and made a joke out of the large plastic tub that sat under the leak when my relatives arrived. :shrug:

These are the relatives that I really :love: so we had a great evening. My paella turned out really well, the conversation flowed, and no one checked their phones :eek: even though there were 2 teenagers present. They joined in the conversation and went through our music collection and picked out a bunch of stuff and DJ'ed. Nice girls!

DH polished off :xcheer: all but one of the holiday beers AFTER he had cleaned up the dishes - I was in bed by then - and I threw out whatever remained of holiday food just now.

We will have a quiet dinner of healthy food New Year's Eve (protein and salad probably) and probably go see 47 Ronin before that. I have given up staying up late and drinking on NYE so will be in bed by 10.

I want my first weigh-in in 2014, on January 7, to be :goodscale: and will be working toward that.

What would an astronaut do? :rofl: YOu all will be seeing that a lot in my posts for a bit - I'm totally enamoured of Chris Hadfield's book right now.

Dagmar :coolsnow:

12-30-2013, 09:13 AM

We had our 4 good Christmas celebrations (home, mom, inlaws, dad) and now just have the Cajun cookoff on New Year's Eve. Apparently, it's become extremely difficult to find crawfish tails in Michigan, so some of the dishes will have to change.

The last week seemed like a really long one. I need to decide if I'm going to take the vacation days I have planned for Thurs/Fri. Right now, and I know this sounds weird, I am so hungry to get back to "normal routine" that I think I'm going to go back to work Thursday and save those two days for the times that I need it more. :dizzy: Thursday also means it will be sooner before I can take all the Christmas cookies in and leave them by the coffee machine. :D

Coffee is ready and I have an important task this morning - Purple Heart will be arriving later to pick up anything I want to donate, and I am motivated to try to make it a really big bag(s). "De-nesting" always feels really good. :yes:

12-30-2013, 10:21 AM
I spent about eight hours in movie theaters this past weekend, seeing "Inside Llewyn Davis," "The Wolf of Wall Street," and then, as a corrective to all the testosterone in the latter, off to the estrogen-heavy "Blue Is the Warmest Color."

Yesterday was darkly comical. Around the holidays a good friend holds an annual Rugelach Ramble in Manhattan, visiting famed bakeries in Brooklyn and Manhattan, focusing solely on rugelach. He invites about 30 people who join up with him at whatever bakery they choose. Of course, you know how I freaked out I am by the spectacle of such reckless carb consumption. But he's a great guy and his friends are a smart, witty bunch, so I struggled with my anxiety and finally pushed myself out the door yesterday to meet them at Breads Bakery on 16th Street in Union Square neighborhood. Sat there drinking coffee for 20 minutes & no one showed, so I headed off to a movie theater. Only to discover later that I'd gotten the date wrong. It's today, while I am working, not Sunday! All that mental strife and fretting happened over absolutely nothing. I wish I'd checked the date, which also would have saved me from schlepping around in pouring rain yesterday, which practically dissolved some of my paper shopping bags.

Today I've got a cup of coffee in front of me, and having put in my treadmill time, am back at work. I've got just one more year-end evaluation to write up. I've got a meeting at noon, introducing a new hire to an analyst with a writing job for her. I need to listen yet again to a recording of a conference presentation and try to transcribe some of the speech in preparation to turning it into a piece of writing.

I'm thinking that I need to take vacation days later in January to make up for this stint of working while others are walking around all day sampling rugelach and having a good time.

12-30-2013, 10:33 AM
We went to see the Wolf of Wall Street yesterday. I had no idea it was a true story. Very good movie. Wednesday we'll see either Inside Llewyn Davis or American Hustle.

Two beautiful days of golf this weekend and we're hoping for a repeat next weekend. It's nice to get out in the fresh air.

12-30-2013, 10:39 AM
Hey all!

I spent the ice storm and then Xmas Eve and Xmas eating myself silly. I have not eaten that much that many days in a row - since at least 2010. We had a fun Xmas and, as always, there was a little guilt involved in getting SO MUCH when there are people with so little. I know my dogs got more from friends and relatives then some children get.

I had to work the day after Xmas. I weighed myself that morning and was 12 - yes I said 12 - pounds higher then before the ice storm!! When I worked out that day in my normal shorts, I had a huge roll over the shorts and could literally see water RIPPLING in my stomach. I took this to be a sign that I was going to gain all the weight back.

I am now on a mandatory vacation and have regained MOST of my control. I did a long run outside yesterday - the side of the roads were still ice covered, but I ran in the rural roads - I find drivers tend to be really nice towards runners. I was rewarded this morning with being .1 UNDER my redline. I still have work to do, but it has eased my mind. We do nothing special for New Year's so I should not have a challenge for a while.

Saef - I have been to the movies ONCE since 2009 - to see Star Trek last MAY. We got a $40 gift card for Xmas to our local movies, so maybe you can make some recommendations to me?


traveling michele
12-30-2013, 12:41 PM
Dagmar.... Glad you could laugh at the link rather than cry!

It sounds like most of us are ready for some normalcy. I'm trying very hard to be under 130 for January 1 but I'll try not to be too hard on myself if I'm not. I was 130.2 today but I've got some big food challenges coming.

I'm not feeling great either. Dh's cold has got him snoring horribly so I'm not sleeping well. I gave up last night and retreated to the couch. I woke up with a headache and sore throat. I'm hoping it's just from the heat in the house.

Jen-- wow! You have some wild weight fluctuations! Glad you're back down. My goal in 2014 is to get back under my redline. If I could just figure out how to do that....

12-30-2013, 12:48 PM
Like traveling_michele, I have a sick DH, complete with the snoring and not much sleep for me. I'm determined not to get sick, too, and drinking lots of water and thinking positive thoughts to aid that process.

traveling michele
12-30-2013, 04:32 PM
Like traveling_michele, I have a sick DH, complete with the snoring and not much sleep for me. I'm determined not to get sick, too, and drinking lots of water and thinking positive thoughts to aid that process.

Good luck! My throat is very sore and I'm not happy about it!:mad:

12-30-2013, 04:46 PM
Hi maintainers, I've been fairly absent from these threads partially because I'm now using an iPad instead of my barely working laptop and find that writing on forums and blogs comes a bit less naturally on this sort of interface. This whole post is actually being written by Siri, so if you find any comical errors that's why.

BF had a friend visit this Saturday and poor guy spent the entire night being violently ill from some kind of stomach bug. Naturally, we are quaking in fear that we may be carrying it around, and it's only a matter of time before we are stricken with the same debilitating symptoms.

Maybe worth mentioning but I haven't felt quite myself regarding my stomach since the day after Christmas. I feel guilty about all the time not spent in the gym, but I also have hardly any appetite.

My weight has stayed about the same. There wasn't too much holiday overindulgence on my end.

Looking forward to not doing much of anything this New Year's Eve. A lot of my friends will be watching the Phish show broadcasted live on TV. That sounds like a bit of a snore but it will definitely not be expensive...

Shannon in ATL
12-30-2013, 05:23 PM
My DH is also sick, as are all of my coworkers. My head and ears are still congested, and now it is spreading to my chest. I'm done with the sick. LOL

I worked today after being off last week. I'm using my last vacation day tomorrow. Woo!

I don't know what my weight is. I ate too much the last week, and my scale died on 12/23 and I haven't bothered to buy more batteries. It's an excuse, I know.

12-30-2013, 05:44 PM
Someone from another chat board mentioned she had been sick and now her DH is sick and they've determined that they both had/have H1N1 flu. She said it was two days of the worst kind of bad in every way possible. She's finally feeling better but her husband is asking her how on earth she survived. I guess there are several cases of it up near where they live (MA?).

Stay well and stay hydrated!

I'd like to blame my scale for a weird blip, but maybe it does need batteries. But seemingly overnight it jumped 6 pounds but on re-weighing directly again it was only up one.

12-30-2013, 05:44 PM
Jen, I wonder what's playing in your area? I wish I knew better what your taste in movies is like. Then I'd try to match you up with something that I think you'd enjoy.

Still on my list for the end-of-year is "Her," "American Hustle" and "Nebraska," which are all playing nearby.

There are three foreign-language films that I very much want to catch: "The Great Beauty," "The Hunt" and "The Past." For those, I'll have to go downtown.

Traditionally this is how I spend New Year's Day: Seeing at least two and possibly three movies.

12-30-2013, 07:34 PM
My cousin and his kids saw "American Hustle" and recommended it. I thought "All is Lost" was amazing. We are going to go see "47 Ronin" on New Year's Day - not because we think it'll be a great movie but because we think it'll be a gobbler with fantastic visuals.

Dagmar :dizzy:

12-31-2013, 11:12 AM
I have absolutely no desire to see 47 Ronin, but DH does. I don't know if that means we'll see it or we'll wait for it to come out on DVD or PPV. I think DH decided we'll see Inside Llewyn Davis tomorrow after a lunch out with DS and my in-laws.

We're having a crisis at our house. Well, not really a crisis but we've recently had a spate of glass breaking. Someone broke a glass over Thanksgiving. I broke one of DH's new Scotch glasses while washing it right after that. Last weekend DH broke another glass and this morning one of the cats knocked over a glass of water and broke it. Thankfully no one has been injured but I sure have a lot of mismatched glasses.

12-31-2013, 11:42 AM
alinnell: we purchase mismatched glasses from outlet stores so breaking a glass doesn't seem such a disaster in our house. Except that I hate cleaning it up. I always worry that I've left a sliver that's going to end up in someone's body.

A quiet New Year's Eve here. I'm hosting a Twitter chat for goal-setting this afternoon for a writer's group I belong to. But that's about it for excitement.

traveling michele
12-31-2013, 11:55 AM
Allison.... How is Chico feeling?

I'm feeling lousy and cranky about it. My weight is up and I don't know if it's real weight or due to the vast quantities of fluids I'm taking in.

My dd was struggling yesterday which is very stressful for me. We will see how she feels today.

Quiet NYE here most likely. I doubt I'll stay up. Younger dd will be babysitting and will likely spend the night as they'll come home late. We will cook and play games hopefully. I couldn't sleep so I may need to nap...

12-31-2013, 12:05 PM
For those interested in Wolf of Wall Street, here's a get-real article:

12-31-2013, 12:34 PM
Allison.... How is Chico feeling?

I take him to the vet on Friday. I'll know then how much weight he has lost. He's eating mainly rotisserie chicken and not much else (I buy at least 3 or 4 a week). I've bought several cans of liquid nutrition stuff for animals (DogSure is one--can you believe it?!). He won't drink the stuff himself so I got a 100ml syringe and give him about 3 ounces every night. I don't know if he likes me doing that but it makes me happy to get some additional calories in him (and I imagine that the stuff should feel good in his tummy). Otherwise he's pretty much the same as ever except he doesn't give kisses any more.

12-31-2013, 04:08 PM
For those interested in Wolf of Wall Street, here's a get-real article:

I think Marty (Scorcese) and Leo (Di Caprio) have been off in LaLa Land for awhile now. They have so much money they can't conceive of how the rest of us live. Seniors being defrauded of their pensions and left peniless have no meaning in Hollywood.

I don't go to any movies starring Di Caprio any more. I used to really like him as an actor but now he appears to be a supreme *sshole, both in his professional and personal life.

Dagmar :shrug:

12-31-2013, 06:25 PM
I spent about eight hours in movie theaters this past weekend, seeing "Inside Llewyn Davis," "The Wolf of Wall Street," and then, as a corrective to all the testosterone in the latter, off to the estrogen-heavy "Blue Is the Warmest Color."

I'm curious what you thought of Llewyn Davis, although I suppose if you answer this you should wait until after Alison sees it. We saw it on Christmas, which may not have been the best day to see a dark comedy. We saw Philomena on Sunday--Judi Dench is such an awesome actor. I did wonder if that was her 'real' face, or if the makeup artists added wrinkles.

12-31-2013, 06:46 PM
My sister wanted to see Philomena over Thanksgiving but we never had time to get to a theater. I hadn't heard anything about it until after she mentioned it. I have to agree that Judi Dench is awesome!

And as for The Wolf of Wall Street, I approached it as an over the top movie (which it was) and didn't know until the end that it was based on a true story. Throughout the movie I kept thinking what an *** of a character the guy was. Well, all of them, really. My DH gets calls from boiler rooms all the time and those jerks, just like in the movie, WILL NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. It's really frustrating. Our broker has said many times that when one of these guys calls us to tell them to call him. He knows how to handle the type!

01-01-2014, 10:27 AM
Happy New Year!
All the best to everyone in 2014!

We had a very odd start to NYE. DH brought home marshmallow Peeps :eek: shaped like little chicks. He thought they were cute. Apparently the Easter candy was right next to the Valentine's candy at the store.

In December. :faint:

Dagmar :lol:

01-01-2014, 11:55 AM
Happy New Year, everyone!

I stayed up past midnight keeping a nephew company on-line. I'd been helping him earlier polish up his college application essays. And then I stayed up to celebrate while he submitted them. Stanford went in just before midnight and MIT just after.

01-01-2014, 12:19 PM
A very Happy New Year to you all!

01-01-2014, 12:21 PM
For those interested in Wolf of Wall Street, here's a get-real article:

Yes, I like films that make people talk about them afterward. If any of you do go to see "The Wolf of Wall Street," tell me whether you think it's a celebration or a condemnation. There is the question, of course, whether art always has to be either/or one of these two polarities in its moral stance. (Or whether the primary purpose of art is to take a moral stance.) This came up last year with "Zero Dark Thirty," which I thought was the best U.S.-made film that I saw, and my reading of that one was very different from a lot of Op-Ed columnists. Anyway, I'm still thinking about all three movies that I saw last weekend ...

... even as I head out to see some others today. I'm trying for at least two, but we'll see how I'm doing by the mid-afternoon. We've got a snow storm predicted for tomorrow afternoon and I feel like I ought to be out doors for a while since I'll likely be cooped up for its duration.

I was supposedly working yesterday, but my streak of productivity came crashing down after I realized "The Walking Dead" marathon was on, and I told myself I'd just watch the first episode, which I've never seen all the way through, and then handle business. And then told myself I'd roast a tray of vegetables. Okay, so I did hand in a month-end report and turned in my year-end spreadsheet of written work completed, and I did exchange IMs with the new hire. But that was about it. Mostly it was a day of cooking and watching people running from and shooting at zombies.

I was quite remorseful last night.

I went to bed around 10 PM & didn't even wake up at midnight -- seems like a quieter New Year's Eve than usual. Often there are a few stray firecrackers and shots, but I slept through them if there were any.

And yes, happy New Year everybody!

01-01-2014, 01:40 PM
Happy New Year! :wave:

01-01-2014, 01:49 PM
Happy New Year to all.

01-01-2014, 01:51 PM
No one could do New Years like Dick Clark.

01-01-2014, 07:39 PM
I'm sorry to report that I cannot give a report on Llewyn Davis (will have to wait until the weekend) because we got done with lunch earlier than expected so we saw "her" instead. Um, strange movie. Entertaining (which is why we go to movies anyway) but definitely a strange movie.

I think there was more drama going on IN the theater, though. The guy a row or two behind us that must have fallen asleep and was snoring. The couple who brought their TWO YEAR OLD to the movie. Seriously, two! And he/she was wearing those light-up shoes and he/she was obsessed with them--knocking them together and setting off strobe lights against the drapes to our right (thankfully none of us has epileptic tendencies). He/she didn't know what whisper meant BUT did know what WHINE meant. They finally took him/her out after half an hour. Or the 30-something next to me who had to keep checking her phone. I've never had so many distractions.

01-01-2014, 08:43 PM
"Inside Llewyn Davis" is a dark little Coen brothers movie with an interesting circular structure, and it personally made me far more uncomfortable than anything else I've seen recently. It's about an artist and his blind spots, whose love of the art and perfectionism exceeds his innate talent, and whose pride and egocentricity cuts him off from the warmth of human relationships, which could be a consolation to him in his struggles, at the very least, and probably ought to be where he focuses his energies, rather than entirely on his art, where he keeps flailing and falling short. In fact, that may actually be why he's coming up short -- there's a lot of stuff in his life he's just not dealing with, and which he hardly lets into his art. He needs people, not just art, but he pushes them away, over & over again. I can't say much more about it without spoiling it. Not that it's got cliffhangers in it. It's more like a character study.

I saw "American Hustle," which was, indeed, like that director doing a Scorsese movie, though goofier, with a great cast that had a lot of fun.

I also saw "Her" & thought it was amusing that during a movie in which a man falls in love with his voice-command, talking operating system, many people around me couldn't sit for an hour without checking their email. Maybe because I'm in the tech industry, I found this one touching and funny, and it made me think a little bit of two books, one that I read decades ago, "Flowers for Algernon" and more recently the narrative voice in "Precious" (the book, NOT the movie), as the operating system grows & develops over time.

But the problem with spending the day in the movie theaters is that the day just disappears.

I'm uneasy about driving into the office tomorrow for my year-end review, not for the review --- I've already received my overall rating, and we get to read the review comments before the meeting -- but because we're supposed to get eight inches of snow tomorrow. I may spend the morning in the office, then drive home at lunch hour and work from home for the afternoon, as I think the rush hour may be mayhem.

01-01-2014, 09:47 PM
After a pleasant NYE spent with several other families at our house, I got up and went to take care of patients at the hospital today (I drew New Year's Day in our annual call pool lottery). Not as bad as it could have been, but a rather busy day anyway. I couldn't believe that one of the patients I saw, a woman in her 50s with persistent headaches and confusion, had 3 of her adult relatives "sleep over" in her hospital room, plus a toddler (her grandchild?). This is clearly against hospital rules, especially since she is infected with an antibiotic-resistant bacterium, and I was pretty horrified. The nurses I brought it up with didn't seem to think it was such a big deal so I ended up reporting the incident to hospital safety administration. Weird start to my year.

As for movies, I haven't seen any of the recent Academy Award contenders except for Dallas Buyers Club (which is not so recent). I want to take the kids to see Frozen, and I want to see Nebraska, American Hustle and Her, but I often don't get a chance to see a film while it's in the theaters because of work hours and kids (I've undoubtedly missed seeing Nebraska - it is already gone from our umptiplex).

01-01-2014, 09:58 PM
We saw Saving Mr. Banks. Good enough. It did remind me that I had never read the original English book, Mary Poppins. So, thanks to the marvel of the library request system, I'll soon get a copy and find out if I missed out in my childhood.

We're anxious to see August: Osage County - since I go to any Meryl Streep movie.

01-01-2014, 10:16 PM
Geez, I looked up what's playing at the local movies and none seem remotely interesting to me!!

I am instead catching up on all kinds of TV - recorded the last few episodes of Breaking Bad and am currently recording this season of The Walking Dead. We are also watching the first season of Homeland which I find equally fascinating and tremendously disturbing.

I return to work tomorrow after several days off - part of me will be glad to get back in a routine, but I think I could get used to not working.


01-02-2014, 07:54 AM
We set up our Netflix account yesterday. Unfortunately we can't get the American site (vastly more selection there) but I think on those evenings when I'm totally exhausted I will now have something to watch other than NCIS repeats. I'm a big fan of Mark Harmon as "eye candy" but there IS a limit. :lol:

We ended up not going out yesterday - too cold. Today I will be working in snowfall and minus 15 C temps, with a windchill of minus 26.

Tonite I will be :brr: :faint:. DH is taking care of dinner - salad making and we will heat and eat a tourtiere (home made so loaded with cals but with no preservatives or other icky things).

Somehow my brain thinks it's Monday. Good thing tomorrow is Friday!

Dagmar :dizzy:

01-02-2014, 08:46 AM
Arrrrgh :mad: Twice in a row the browser ate my in-progress reply, so now I'm typing it in notepad to copy/paste. :p Whoever decided that backspace should be a shortcut for "back" in the browser should be fired.

Good morning and happy belated new year! Sorry I haven't checked in lately -- I'm on vacation and don't get much computer time at home. It's been a good vacation and I'm not really looking forward to going back to work. The girls have been smiley and giggly and I got to watch them giggle at each other for about ten minutes at bedtime last night. We had a pretty quiet xmas. Opened presents in the morning, skyped with my parents, then DH's parents and grandma stopped by for a little while. His grandma is declining and really looking her age (86). It is sad but I feel like it is almost her time and I think she is feeling that way as well (her husband and most of her friends have already passed).

My sister and her wife came down to visit for a couple days which was nice. SIL is expecting in March and I'm excited to be an aunt! We also offloaded a whole lot of outgrown clothes to them which gives me some closet space back. Of course somehow whenever we see them there has to be some sort of drama though. This time they had borrowed SIL's sister's car to drive down from Chicago (their flight was roundtrip from Chicago because they were visiting SIL's sister there for a while), then were going to drive up to get their flight home. Well, the car broke down before they even left Indianapolis -- on a Sunday of course. After a mad dash to find a mechanic who was open, it turned out they wouldn't be able to fix the car in time. I drove them to the airport here to get a rental car so they could get back to Chicago for their flight and they barely made it in time. SIL's poor sister had to drive with a friend down to Indy to pick up her car a couple days later though. What a mess!

I think my plan for this year fitness-wise is to get my gym bag together (after identifying which gym clothes still fit me) and start working out at the office gym. I have been skipping lunch breaks because I spend so much time pumping milk, but really they are legally required to give me both a lunch break and time to pump, so it shouldn't be a big deal. If I only had an office instead of a cubicle, I could work while pumping. :p It looks like there's a good chance I might get to take on a leadership role this year at work which is good. Hopefully that will get sorted out in the beginning of January.

I would write more replies to everyone but I think the girls are starting to wake up from their nap -- early again as usual. Hopefully this time A hasn't managed to pee through all her clothes and sheets like she did the last two days. :lol:

01-02-2014, 09:12 AM
I've hit [Backspace] in my browser and mourned the lost post-in-progress.

Then discovered that the little arrows in the upper left of the screen let me "Forward-space" back to the posting window so that nothing was lost after all. It's worth trying it for practice to see if that works in your browser.

01-02-2014, 10:23 AM
Thank goodness my boss left a message on my cellphone not to drive into work today, that she'd do my year-end review on the phone & through sharing screens on our laptops. The roads were already dusted over at 6 AM and slippery, with the brunt of the storm supposed to hit late in the afternoon. I wasn't looking forward to driving in, only to drive back at noon, particularly since the holidays and my relatively empty email inbox have left me feeling sluggish.

Don't know if anyone else is expecting a storm and record low temperatures on Friday, but I think I've got pretty much everything I need here to hunker down and wait it out.

01-02-2014, 10:32 AM
The backspace/back problem has affected me as well, but there are some days that it works just fine. So one never knows when a whole post will be deleted by one small move. And for those of us with less than stellar typing skills, it can really be a problem. I wonder why it is intermittent? Just now I've backspaced several times without incident.

These mid-week holidays are messing with my mind. I mean, wasn't yesterday Sunday? And isn't today Monday?

EDIT--is the weather so bad back east that it is still causing UPS problems? My Chewy order was set up to be picked up by UPS on Monday morning and this morning it is still waiting for them to pick it up. Usually the shipment arrives on Friday, but obviously that won't happen so I'll have to go to the pet store today for provisions.

01-02-2014, 10:33 AM
Hi all,

I'm back from almost a week with family and then a few days off at home. I made a conscious decision to try and stay offline and unplugged, er, less plugged in. With my family, I was busy playing with my nieces, at home, I was trying to do some of the deeper cleaning & organizing that doesn't get done too often.

Christmas with my family was so nice, in the sense that it was so good to see my family, but kind of a mess in some ways. On our way to the airport my mom called to tell me my grandfather had passed. This was expected and we weren't close, but I knew my mom was sad. Her sciatica was also still flaring, so she couldn't help my dad w driving, didn't sleep much, and was generally in a lot of pain. She is usually the first one to grab my nieces and play with them and wasn't able to do so. I babysat my younger niece who is 15 months on Christmas Eve w my mom & dad around but I was primary caregiver. We were all home for Christmas and then Mom & Dad drove to SC for the funeral for 3 days, and I babysat for my younger niece & my parents dog for the next 2 days while my DS & BIL worked and older niece went to pre-school. (Daycare was closed for younger niece). I haven't spent as much time w younger niece since she was born, and she is really a sweetie, so the quality time w her was nice. BIL volunteered to babysit one night so DS & I could go out to dinner. My parents got back last Saturday night and I got very sad that I was leaving the next day and felt like I had barely seen them. My parents will make their annual visit in March and regardless of how busy I am at work, I will cash in my exchanged Thanksgiving ticket and go see them this summer. I don't visit as often as I should bc of the expense of plane tickets but then I get sad. I need to be better this year.

I had 3 days off when I got home. I cleaned my car, dusted a lot of corners, worked on reorganizing my spare room to make it a workable office and not just a junk room, etc (trying to get my laptop off the dining table). I made us Hoppin' John soup for New Years Eve and pork and saurkraut on New Years, and we went out for happy hour and were in bed well before the ball drop. It doesn't sound glamorous but we enjoyed ourselves.

We haven't been to the movies anytime recently as no movie theaters have been built nearby, but we've been going through our DVD collection lately. We watched 40 Year Old Virgin a few nights ago and LOTR Return of the King last night. I need to catch up on my Downton Abbey Season 3 via Amazon Prime.

I think if I start personals I won't get any work done this morning. I'm glad everyone had happy and relatively safe holidays. I will say Happy New Year to all and try to come back later.

Shannon in ATL
01-02-2014, 12:22 PM
I'm back at work today, cleaning up and recovering from the whirlwind that was the holiday. I sill have decorations up, can't take them down until after my parents come up on Saturday for their Christmas with DSS. Hoping they don't cancel and reschedule - we had to move the world to get him at our house Saturday. This has been a holiday season where we have had even less time with him than we normally do, with XW's machinations and manouverings of the schedule.

Happy New Year to all! :)

01-02-2014, 03:54 PM
We had snow over night and very cold temps today. But I'm headed out to take a pass at the driveway since it's very steep. I figure if I do it in 15 or 20 minute stretches, I'll get my exercise and we'll be able to get out if we have to.

01-02-2014, 06:38 PM
Survived the day - howling winds, snow, and waaay below freezing temps :brr: - but maybe lost the back wiper on my vehicle. Fortunately it fell off while I was parked and I retrieved it. Hoping DH can put it back on, rather than having to replace the whole arm and blade.

Going to be a while til dinner. I'm starving but there's nothing I can do to hurry a frozen tourtiere along. DH puts on the TV and loses track of time so the pie went into the oven 5 minutes ago.

I'm staying in my office until dinner is ready - don't want to be near any snacking food or I'll go :crazy:

Dagmar :tired: and :drool:

01-02-2014, 08:42 PM
It's so warm here I just had to open the sliding glass door in our kitchen. I'm sweating and I don't like sweating when it's supposed to be the cool part of the year. Last night, despite never having the heat on in my bedroom, I couldn't quite cool off enough to get a good night's sleep.

I'm taking Chico to the oncologist tomorrow and I know I'll get chewed out for his losing weight but tonight he's been an eating machine! What is it with food that is about to go bad that makes a dog want to eat it (or roll in it)? The canned cat food that had been out since this morning made his nose twitch and he ate all of it, followed by two huge chunks of chicken jerky. I didn't want to overload him, so we waited a bit and then he ate a whole Stella and Chewy's turkey tablet and then half a sample bag of dry cat food. Later I'll give him more jerky. I guess I have to mix it up and keep him guessing and he'll eat.

01-03-2014, 09:52 AM
Morning all,

It's quite chilly and windy for this area. The dog didn't want to go out last night. What can I say, she's a Florida girl. My plan to have healthy, spinach, flax and fruit-filled smoothies to get me back on track are not mixing well with this weather. It seems strange to have 2 days of work and then a weekend again. BF has had 2 weeks off and is still waiting for the boss of this winter job to call him about going back to work. He is getting antsy and anxious. He's picked up a few small jobs but was counting on this big one to get him through til his charter season starts with spring break. I think I will head to the city and run some errands tomorrow, but it will be more need shopping than fun shopping.

(knock on wood) I don't think the backspace button has ever done that to me. Now I'm wary. I use it all the time!

Allison, surely he won't chew you out if you explain all the many different options of food you've offered Chico, and the great lengths you've gone to in order to get him to eat. At least he was hungry yesterday, despite questionable food choices.

Stay warm Dagmar! Are you enjoying your new coat?

Shannon, I hope your parents can make it this weekend and you have a nice family holiday celebration. The holidays are always a whirlwind. As I've said it's the whirlwind, shopping part that makes them stressful for me, which is a shame bc that's not what they're about.

Jessica, how nice you got to spend more time with the happy girls. Was DH able to get a little break with you home? How is he doing stress-wise? How is your mom's shoulder mending?

Gardenjoy, shoveling is excellent exercise. Stay warm.

Saef, I'm glad you didn't have to drive in that mess. I need to check in with my parents and see how they're doing.

Have a good Friday all.

01-03-2014, 09:53 AM
Happy New Year everyone! Glad you're all enjoying so many great movies. They always save the best for year-end Oscar buzz, wish they were better distributed through the year.

I've been gone for several weeks and gained more weight than I "should" have over the holidays. What's really surprising is that for the first time I'm not engulfed with shame over it. I just promised Karen that January 2 was the time to regain my equilibrium and lose the holiday weight. For one brief moment I thought, maybe I should leave the Maintainers and go back to the dieters, but here is where my friends are. And here is where the inspiration is, because so many of you share stories of being disciplined in the face of stress or temptation, which is exactly what I need right now.

Stress is in the air, as this is the month we are no longer able to make enough money to pay our bills (we had to sell our wedding chapel last year after 17 years due to 80% drop in business). So we watch our savings be eaten away as we put into place our next business venture, which won't make $$$ for us for several months. But spending $$$ at restaurants is generally not worth it. You really notice unnecessary expenditures when you are taking it from your life savings!

01-03-2014, 04:14 PM
According to something DH read the Rover on Mars and I have been working in the same temperatures for the last two days - a nippy minus 31 degrees. :brr:

Dagmar :rofl:

01-03-2014, 11:37 PM
It was -14 today in Fahrenheit (-25 C), without the windchill factored in. Yeesh. Dagmar, sometimes I think your job sounds really fun, but I confess the idea of spending hours outdoors today seems pretty tough. Hope you have hand warmers and the dogs have coats!

01-04-2014, 07:05 AM
It was -14 today in Fahrenheit (-25 C), without the windchill factored in. Yeesh. Dagmar, sometimes I think your job sounds really fun, but I confess the idea of spending hours outdoors today seems pretty tough. Hope you have hand warmers and the dogs have coats!

I don't use the hand warmers as they make doing stuff difficult. I dress in layers and I have thinner gloves for driving and my trusty Marmot snowboarding ones for walking. The Marmots are thick but still fairly flexible, as are my snowboarding pants. Not a sport I would ever consider doing but I love the gear for those extra, extra cold days.

Most of the dogs don't wear coats. They are out for 40 minutes on the cold days and I keep them moving and out of the water. They do fine. I use my face (my only exposed skin) as an indicator to whether their ears or feet are getting too cold. If my cheeks have gone numb and I can't tell whether my eyes are in their sockets it's time to get back in the car. :lol:

I'm dogsitting since last night and this morning we face howling winds. Different gear, which I packed after carefully monitoring the weather forecast. I know one dogwalker who doesn't consult the weather forecast or a thermometer and she is always complaining about having the "wrong clothes" and being too cold, hot, etc.

I am a planner and I have gear for everything that the environment can throw at me. I like to be reasonably comfortable at work.

Time to get ready for the wind! I really need one of these :kickbutt: to get out there this morning (it's still dark and I can hear the wind howling around the house).

Dagmar :brr:

01-04-2014, 08:37 AM
Okay, I'm hoping that my keycard will get me into the building at my office over the weekend, because I need to pick up my laptop so I can work from home Monday and Tuesday. Our forecast is for 8-12 inches of snow over the weekend and -17 F :brr: :brr: :fr: :brr: Monday and Tuesday. Should have gone in to pick it up yesterday, I'm not sure why I didn't. Today at least it should be in the 20s so safe for running errands and such. Dagmar, I don't know how you do it. The dog sitter/walker we use for Carter typically plays with the dogs indoors in lieu of a walk when it's this cold and only takes them out just long enough to do their business.

I've never been in a temperature that cold in my life and to be honest I'm kind of freaked out about it. (LOL, why did I ever move away from Los Angeles? :lol: ) When we lived in RI it was down around 0 and slightly below a couple times and I remember it being pretty brutal just to get from the car to buildings. The news has been reporting about homeless shelters opening up for more people in all the areas that are having this arctic blast. I can't imagine being stuck out on the street in these temperatures. Sad that many people will probably freeze to death, and we won't hear about it because they were homeless.

I am getting totally thrown off this morning. A branch on a shrub is squeaking on our window and it sounds *exactly* like Carter whining. I keep hearing it and looking over to check on him, and he's just snoozing away in his dog bed by the window.

Shannon in ATL
01-04-2014, 09:19 PM
It is cold here, but nothing like Jessica's temps. Whew. Though we may have ice Monday, which will shut us down with just an inch.

We have seen no movies this break. We had plans for several but sick interfered. We want to see Walter Mitty. And the Hobbit. And something I already forgot. Oh, Anchorman 2.

I found my line in the sand this holiday. Not to get into anyone's politics or stir trouble, but I have decided that I set the rules in my own house for firearms and no one will bring one in, not even family. I'm not sure where the chips will fall with this, but I had to address it. Blah. I think family is sometimes better not face to face.

01-05-2014, 08:00 AM
Shannon I tend to forget that you Americans do indeed have different rules from us. We are not allowed to carry firearms :eek: without all sorts of licenses and permits and certainly not on our persons when we go visit for Christmas. :yikes:

:bravo: to you for standing up to that family member in what, to me, was a dangerous and difficult situation.

Dagmar :dizzy:

01-05-2014, 08:14 AM
Shannon, I read this over breakfast and was very, very shocked. I do know that gun laws are quite different in the US, and I know about 'the right to bear arms' tangle. But this struck me so forcibly. I could not imagine anyone coming into my house with a gun.

Please note that this is an observation about life outside the US. I know there are people on this board with guns in the house. In fact, I suspect there are in my sister's house.

01-05-2014, 09:05 AM
The snow/freezepocalypse has begun! It's coming down pretty fast right now. I think after I finish eating breakfast I will take Carter for a walk -- he hasn't had one in a while (again, I am a bad dog mom these days) and this is the last day it will be warm enough for him to go out. He likes the snow and I have a waterproof coat so a short walk should be fine. Tomorrow I think we'll have to put his coat on just to let him out to pee!

In other news, the girls slept without their swaddles last night! Woohoo! It was a long process but I'm glad we've finally kicked the swaddle to the curb.

Shannon, it is perfectly reasonable for you to not allow people to bring guns into your house, especially since you have a small child around. Your property rights trump the right to bear arms. I personally wouldn't allow guns in my house either. They scare the crap out of me. My parents had a gun when I was a kid, but the fact that I didn't even know they had it until I was grown and out of the house says something about how well they kept it locked up and how infrequently it was used. I think they bought it during the Night Stalker ( scare in the 80's. DH's direct family hasn't had guns but there are hunters in his extended family.

01-05-2014, 12:39 PM
Watching the snow coming down. We were supposed to get about an inch last night and it was closer to 3". According to the forecast, it's also supposed to stop for a few hours (it hasn't). 3-5" more today, and another couple inches later tonight, when the wind picks up and the temps dive. I suspect DS won't be going to school tomorrow. I probably should also have made the trip to work over the weekend to snag the laptop.

Shannon, I support you completely on firmly stating your household gun rules. Your home is your castle. Period. No one should be uncomfortable or feel unsafe in their home. My views on firearms are quite the opposite; I own some and am licensed to carry but I've been told I'm a nut by both sides because I favor truly draconian proof of competency, safe storage, thorough background checks, and seizure as soon as a prescription for any brain-altering drugs is filled. That last one has made me a pariah among the inlaws, oh well. But I live out in BF Nowhere, and my township doesn't even have its own police service.

Saw The Hobbit the other night, and found myself disappointed - the movie was so skewed toward pandering to the 3D technology that some of the fine elements of the story were lost. I think I'll go back and read the book again and let my own imagination loose.

01-05-2014, 12:55 PM
Watching the freezing rain fall, sadly contemplating how this will cost me a charge on my credit card, as it made me cancel an appointment for a facial at a day spa in the northern reaches of this county without giving 24 hours' notice. I tried, but the receptionist insisted, "The freezing rain isn't supposed to fall until tomorrow." Like it's a train that arrives strictly on schedule. Well, honey, it's falling right now, as News 12 and the National Weather Service website could both attest, as both have issued advisories. And I was slipping a little walking home from the gym, which is what made me try to cancel.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a nice outing, with a facial and after that, a movie: "Nebraska," a black & white fi;m that stars the veteran Bruce Dern who's likely up for a best actor award, and which appealed to me greatly when I read reviews. Not happening, apparently.

Looks like I am staying home. May as well do a little advance cooking for the week and sadly, keep listening & watching an hour-long video of a conference presentation that I'm supposed to be writing up into a research report. (Still figuring out how I'm gonna rework their "show of hands" moments into a narrative text.)

01-05-2014, 03:45 PM
Not sure of the snow totals so far but it sure looks like about a foot out there. Probably more like 8-10 inches though, and it's still coming down heavily. We had at least 2-4 inches left over from a previous snow down to begin with though. I am so glad that I went to the grocery yesterday (despite the grocery being a total zoo with lines halfway across the store) and picked up my laptop so I can work from home. There's a decent chance they'll just close my office altogether due to weather though!

01-05-2014, 04:43 PM
Saw The Hobbit the other night, and found myself disappointed - the movie was so skewed toward pandering to the 3D technology that some of the fine elements of the story were lost. I think I'll go back and read the book again and let my own imagination loose.

Thank you! That's how I felt as well. Seeing Inside Llewyn Davis in an hour--will report back.

I took Chico to the vet Friday and it has been determined he is in the beginnings of kidney failure. I am to do a saline drip on him twice a day and they put him on prednisone to increase his appetite. It's working!!!!! He is eating and even asking for food.

In other news, my FIL got his first hole-in-one yesterday!

01-05-2014, 07:49 PM
I took Chico to the vet Friday and it has been determined he is in the beginnings of kidney failure. I am to do a saline drip on him twice a day and they put him on prednisone to increase his appetite. It's working!!!!! He is eating and even asking for food.

Sorry to hear that about Chico Allison. :hug: to both of you. And you know the prednisone and the saline will make Chico pee like crazy.

Dagmar :dizzy:

traveling michele
01-05-2014, 08:27 PM
Saef-- that is ridiculous. I would call back and ask to speak to a manager. They would be foolish to charge you and potentially lose a customer when the weather is frightful!

Allison-- glad Chico is responding to your nursing care :-)

01-05-2014, 08:44 PM
I forgot to add to the gun thing. I do not own a gun and have no desire to. DH and I are of the same mind. My Dad, age 93 (or is it 94 now?) sleeps with one under his pillow because he's certain someone will break in and steal his stuff. Yeah, lived in the same house for 55 years and never had a break-in. And he's confident that he could shoot the intruder (before the intruder takes the gun and shoots him) because he doesn't shake, has full eyesight and can run like the wind (none of those are true).

Inside Llewyn Davis was good. I liked it a lot better than Her. Sure it was odd in parts, but what Cohen movie isn't? My FIL said that it was like watching his brother's life on film (although he wasn't a musician). The guy had bad luck chasing him.

01-06-2014, 11:37 AM
Ah yes, the gun thing. I'm terribly conflicted.

My family originates in Pennsylvania, and all the males hunted. In the hallway, there'd be a tall glass-fronted cabinet with guns in it and a padlock on the handle. In fact, the first day of deer season was a longtime school holiday there. The boys set up trap lines when they were young, then their fathers taught them to shoot, then they joined the hunt. I still remember seeing the skull cap & antlers of my cousin's first spike buck. I've eaten venison stew at family meals, of course. I'm familiar with a gun-owning culture & what responsible gun ownership looks like. Heck, I've even shot at a row of cans on a fence two or three times before in my life, when I was in my teens.

But you may recall that one of my direct reports lives in Newtown, CT, and for hours that day she didn't know what had become of her little boy. Fortunately he attended an elementary school a few miles away, rather than the school where the massacre occurred, which was actually down the block from her home. In my weekly one-on-ones with her, I heard about the town-wide counseling, and each child who'd died and how her family was connected with them.

Hunting is fine by me. It's the way some people live. Not here near the Bronx and Manhattan, but in other areas with other cultures. But I do not understand why assault weapons need to be readily accessible to civilians. Getting a deer requires a lot of other skills in addition to aiming & shooting or being able to unload a lot of shots repeatedly -- there is lots of trudging through brush involved, and scouting beforehand, and guile, and familiarity with the ways of the animal. Anything where you have to learn something about an animal and outdoors is better than just plugging at targets. The other thing is, I have also seen in my county the damage done by an uncontrolled deer population, and it's actually bad for the entire ecosystem, like nesting birds that require underbrush, which the deer browse down to nothing.

I don't own a gun. I might be okay with someone bringing one into my home (imagining a family member stopping by on the way to hunt -- I wouldn't want him to leave it unsecured in a truck) but there would be a lot of conditions involved, including no children being present & no one touching it, absolutely no one except the owner, because it's when people are being curious & stupid & careless that bad things happen. I would want it out of my house right away afterward, as I do not have a gun cabinet or any way to secure it, and weapons like that really have got to be secure and handled respectfully at all times.

01-07-2014, 07:24 PM
When my Dad was in high school, he ran out of socks and went into his Dad's room to find some in the dresser drawer. My grandfather woke up, grabbed the loaded gun and pointed it at my Dad. I was a half second away from never having been born at that moment. Generally I support gun rights but they sure do scare me.

I gained three pounds over the holidays, and am in weight loss/diet mode now. It's not too hard, mainly because for whatever reason I just don't have the energy to make a drama of this!