Monday, November 30, 2009

decluttering is spreading

Oh miracles of de-cluttering project has spread! My mom, the world's greatest shopaholic and almost as great packrat, has found some inspiration in the decluttering. She has started her own decluttering project! And wonderfully, she has uncovered a number of Christmas presents that she bought last year (or maybe even earlier) and decided to wrap em up and give them this year.

"I don't have to do nearly the amount of shopping I thought I did" she told me.

Good for Mom!

As for me, I found myself back in the bathroom this week. Even though I said the bathroom is in maintenance phase, it's been looking a little...sloppy lately.

Nov 24: I have a decorative bowl in the bathroom that I had a bunch of corks in. Last year, I saw a message board made with old corks from wine bottles. I liked it and thought that I would make one. Well, I've been saving wine corks for about 15 months and I have -- four. (It takes between 30 and 40 to make the message board) I'm more of a beer girl. I will never make this corkboard. So I threw out the corks.

Nov 25: Same bowl, I had a few coupons for toiletries. They expire soon and I don't need to buy anything new for a while. Put those in the recycling.

Nov 26: I had a giant bottle of shampoo from Costco that came with a pump handle. When I finished the shampoo, I kept the pump handle for...something. Now it's being recycled.

Nov 27: I went through the things under the sink and pulled everything out of the packaging so it fit better. The packaging went in the recycling.

Nov 28: I have a bag with a bunch of beaded necklaces. Pulled out a couple I will never wear and put them in the donation bag.

Nov 29: Put a couple more magazines in the gym bag to give to the gym.

Nov 30: Dropped the donation bag in the drop box on the way to work today.

One more month left!


Don't get rid of your old cellphone. Keep a backup. Wish I had when my cell phone snapped in half this weekend. You know those free phone offers the cell phone companies have? They go right out the window if you are not at the end of your two year contract! Fortunately, I have a pack rat friend with about 4 old cell phones who was more than willing to give me an old one. Lesson learned.

Don't get rid of your MP3 player, either. If your ipod acts up, you may need something when jogging while your ipod gets serviced!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

booty buster week one


I've been participating in the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge from RuntotheFinish and I'm so impressed with what a great idea it is! It's great to have that extra incentive on days when I'm thinking "Oh, maybe I'll just skip the gym tonight". Plus, it gets me thinking about eating more veggies and rethinking my snack items for work (ie: skip the power bar, bring the orange)

Mon Nov 23: Short run, 3 miles on treadmill at 9 minute pace plus 30 minute lifting (chest and back). Did NOT make the 7 servings of fruits and veggies today. (4 points)

Tue Nov 24: Middle distance run, 6 miles. Again on the treadmill, since its dark by the time I get out of work. 30 minutes of weights (shoulders and arms). DID make the 7 servings of fruit and veggies. (8 points)

Wed Nov 25: Twelve miles on exercise bike. No lifting, but DID make the veggies! (5 points)

Thur Nov 26: The gym was open today! Did 30 minutes of weights (legs and abs) and 3 mile run outside at 9 minute pace. Totally got 7 servings of fruit and veggies today! Love Thanksgiving! (6 points)

Friday Nov 27: Twelve mile bike ride plus fruits and veggies. (4 points)

Sat Nov 28: 30 min pilates, 15 mile bike ride, fruit and veggies ( 7 points)

Sun Nov 29: Long run on the canal. 12 miles plus fruits and veggies (13 points)


Goals for next week: fruits and veggies every day. Try to get workout in every day, which will be a challenge, since I am in a class in Connecticut this weekend.

Friday, November 27, 2009

ok, now I can smile

Oh, joy! I just saw a commercial for the new episode of scrubs and my beloved JD is back!
Zack Braff, I take back all the mean things I said about you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


It's Thanksgiving and once again it's time for:

Jeepgirl's List of Non-Obvious Things I'm Thankful For:

1) Anti-lock brakes
2) Cozy Cotton t-shirts
3) making lists
4) Shift on the fly four wheel drive
5) sunny afternoons
6) text-flirting
7) riding with the top off and the music cranked
8) bananas
9) bandannas
10) Santana
11) the summer I lived in Savannah
12) rhyming
13) beach sand between my toes
14) days when there is perfect timing
15) ibuprofen
16) peanut butter
17) tea on Sunday mornings
18) new running sneakers
19) jeans that fit just right
20) swimming
21) balmy summer nights
22) kayaking
23) the sound of rain on the roof as I'm falling asleep
24) water
25) yoga
26) nights when the moon looks gigantic
27) salads
28) learning opportunities
29) Ellen De Generes
30) The chance to reach your potential

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

400th Post

Today marks my 400th post. Four hundred posts!

I was thinking...I should do an extra special, super insightful, completely brilliant post.

And then I was thinking...about what?

The truth is, there are a lot of silly little observations running around in my head, but at the moment, nothing super-brilliant.

So I figured that in honor of the 400th post, I would share with you a list of superlatives according to me:

Best Netflix Rental: Last week, I rented "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog". It written during the writer's strike in 2008 and originally distributed via internet as an actual video blog. (You can see it on YouTube or Hulu. Or if you're technically challenged like me, you can just put it on your netflix list) Not only is it brilliant, but Neil Patrick Harris -- one of the funniest people on earth -- can flip from Dr Horrible to his alter ego, Billy, seamlessly and without missing a note. I highly recommend it.

Best Book I Recently Read: Loose Girl, A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen. (Calm down, Geek Hiker, it's not what you think!) It was beautifully written, but heartbreaking. One of the saddest books I ever read, but extremely thought provoking and definitely worth checking out.

Best Nickname: Occasionally, when appropriate, I pin a nickname on one of my patients. (I mean, I don't call somebody's grandmother "Old Bat" or anything like that. Just patients who have the right personality.) Anyway, one patient, who recently had a partial meniscectomy, was giving me shit the other day. From here on out, he will be known as "Half-Meniscus Harry"

Best Current Magazine: People. Johnny Depp as 'sexiest man alive'. I concur. In spades.

Best Current Song: Ok, I admit. I don't like a lot of current music. But I do like the New Moon Soundtrack. (yet another instance where the soundtrack is better than the actual movie)

Most Ridiculous Commercial: Tonight, I saw a WalMart commercial in which a lady says: "With WalMart prices, I can prepare Thanksgiving Dinner for 8 for less than $20!" Oh, really? Now there's one family who will be looking at two turkey pot pies this Thursday.

Happy 400th, everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unorganized chaos

Thanksgiving is this week, but it seems like the holiday season started last week! Suddenly, the whirlwind of activity had begun. I went to see the Tran Siberian Orchestra on Thursday with a friend. Then, I did a little Xmas shopping Friday and saw Santa Claus at the mall. Saturday, after a long run, I went to the movies with my friend and her teen aged daughter to see New Moon. Sunday was a Turkey Trot, the Thanksgiving festival at the waterfront, and watching the Patriots game with Dad. Fortunately for me, I have spent the last year decluttering, so everything went smoothly and easily from one organized moment to the next....Not!

I was late finishing laundry on Saturday which meant I was a little late to start my run. I had just enough time to shower and quickly dress to get to the movie theater. Except that the steam from the shower set off the smoke detector. So I started waving a towel over my head to clear the air under the smoke detector. And the towel accidentally hit a wooden sign hanging over the bathroom door that says "Imagine". The imagine sign fell off the wall and hit a big spider plant I have between the bathroom and the front entry way. Then the spider plant flipped off its stand and spilled water and potting soil all over the floor. The pot landed on my shoe basket and knocked a few shoes out. The shoes bounced down the stairs and right into my recycling pile, knocking aluminum cans down the rest of the staircase.

I couldn't have orchestrated that chain of events if I had planned it for months in advance.

Apparently, I still have too much stuff in my apartment.

So this week, I got rid of:

Nov 17: I went through the papers on the fridge and put all the expired papers in the recycling.

Nov 18: I went through the medicine drawer in the kitchen and got rid of an expired inhaler.

Nov 19: I put I book I finished into the book donation bag.

Nov 20: Changed the sheets today. I have some scented linen spray I spritz the mattress with when I change the sheets. It Very alcohol-y. Not very scent-y. So it got tossed.

Nov 21: Returned a library book.

Nov 22: I had a pair of sunglasses that got cracked. I figured, "I can fix this." So I did. With a dab of glue. But then the lens popped out. And I thought: "I can fix this." SO I did. And then the earpiece fell off. And I thought: "I could take an eyeglass kit and fix the hinge." But today, I just threw them away. Because, really, I can just buy another pair.

Nov 23: Finished another book and put it aside to give to a friend. an I accident proof my life?

Friday, November 20, 2009

a crazy weird ass dream

I have always been a person who has had vivid dreams. I dream in color. I dream in plots and subplots. I swear, sometimes I have foreshadowing in my dreams.

Several years ago, I got some books on dream interpretation as gifts. I took to the books with reckless abandon, starting a dream journal, looking them up, and trying to make some kind of sense of my bizarre nocturnal shows.

I came to the conclusion that dream interpretation is complete bunk. One of the books was a little too...Freudian. (I'm pretty damn sure that if I watch Harry Potter and then I have a dream that I am on the Hogwart's Express going through a tunnel, I'm simply recapping the movie.) The other book was just plain strange. Why would that horrible naked dream that everybody has mean that I'm trying to hide something? OR a dream about running in mud mean I have low self esteem? Or a dream about a horse lead back to sex?

I came to the conclusion that dreams are just dreams. Rarely do I wonder about them anymore.

But this week, I had a dream that made me start wondering again.

I dreamed that I got a pet hamster. Or gerbil. Is there a difference between a hamster and a gerbil? Does it really matter? Anyway, he was little and furry and fuzzy and cute. And he had a prehensile tail. Which I'm pretty sure hamsters and gerbils don't have. (That would be an opossum, right?) But he did. He was special that way.

I named him Buddy.

I got Buddy a plastic cage with colored tunnels that he could climb through. I got him a wheel so he could run inside the cage and a ball so he could run outside the cage. I filled the bottom with wood chips and shredded paper. I gave him an empty toiler paper roll so he could hide. And I threw in ripped up pages of the arts and entertainment section in case he wanted to bone up on movie news. And pages from the food section in case he wanted to do some experimenting in the kitchen while I was out.

I was so happy with my gerbil/hamster/opossum thingie! I watched him burrow down in the wood chips a lot. We played some ripping games of hamster ball. It was great fun.

Then one day, I came home from work to find that Buddy had escaped from his cage.

"Crap." I thought. I needed to find him and quick! Hamster/gerbil/opossum thingies always make a dash for the heating ducts. They climb in and die. And when the heat comes on, the whole apartment smells like dead rodent. I could not let this happen to my little Buddy!

I tore the apartment apart searching. Finally, I found Buddy behind the dresser. He had turned into a white albino mouse by this point. How I was sure that this was, in fact, Buddy and not some other random rodent --who knows? But it was a dream, so I just went with it.

I pulled albino Buddy out from behind the dresser by his (still) prehensile tail to put him back into his cage. Buddy ran up my arm, across my neck, down my shirt, and then down my leg to my foot. Buddy then proceeded to scratch and bite the hell out of my leg repeatedly.

"Get it off! Get it off!" I screamed to my friend Shan, who had mysteriously appeared next to me. Even though she lives in Texas. And clearly would not be able to hear me if I screamed for help, much less transport herself into my rodent infested apartment to help me. But it was a dream, so I went with it.

We got Buddy back in his cage. Shortly thereafter, I gave Buddy away for obvious reasons. (Possibly to a friend with a snake) Just kidding. I still loved Buddy even though he viciously attacked my leg and wanted to kill me.

He almost did, too.

Because my foot became really painful and swollen. I was on antibiotics and prednisone and rabies shots. I had IV antibiotics. I soaked my foot in Epsom salts and...bleach. All to no avail.


It was a horrible dream! I wonder what the dream interpretation books would say about that?

I'm not sure. But I am sure that my real life pet? Is a cat.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

fun new gadget and holiday challenge

I just found the niftiest new gadget, courtesy of Now I feel more inspired! I found this little ditty over at runtothefinish, who is also sponsoring a holiday booty buster challenge. I could definitely use some inspiration busting my booty, so I joined right up.

You should, too! Especially if the holidays tend to be way too tempting for you. (I know they are for me)

Monday, November 16, 2009

declutter update

This week, I moved into the living room area for decluttering. I started in the magazine basket and that turned into a giant project. See, the magazine basket has become a bit of a catch all area. So in the past, there was no problem getting 7 items right out of the top without digging all the way to the bottom. This week, I went digging!

Nov 10: Started with the catalogs. I pulled out ALL the catalogs and put the expired catalogs in the recycling. Then, I took all the catalogs that I'm ordering Xmas gifts from and placed the orders. So I could put those in the recycling too.

Nov 11: Pulled out any magazine that I was done with and put them aside to give to the gym.

Nov 12: Then, I went through the magazines I kept and ripped out any articles I wanted to read. Put THOSE aside to give to the gym.

Nov 13: Ok, now I was left with a giant pile of pages from magazines. Some I had saved for a web address or to look up a particular person. I pulled out all those and looked everything up. (It's much easier to just keep the web address in my favorites than to keep the entire magazine page) The pages went into recycling.

Nov 14: Then the rest of the magazine pages: they were either filed in specific file folders for different subjects or read and tossed.

Nov 15: They are collecting food at the gym for a food pantry for Thanksgiving. Went through the cabinets today and pulled out a bunch of canned food to donate.

Nov 16: Went through the other two baskets under the coffee table today (thank goodness they didn't take as long as the magazine basket!) Pulled out any unneeded papers and put them in the recycling.

Back to the kitchen next week!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

back with a scarf story it wasn't a hangover. I called out on Thursday and spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday pretty much horizontal. Vertical was just too much of a challenge for me. But I'm back in full force...well, almost full force. (I tried out my spankin new sneakies today for a 10 mile run and ended up doing a 5 mile run. Ten today was like vertical on Friday)


I've had the following post bouncing around my brain for about a week and it's either write it down or have my head explode. I don't want to call out again next week, so -


Last week, while clearing out the storage area, I came across a handmade scarf. It's really nicely made, all warm and snuggly, something that you'd get from a grandmother or a nice older neighbor who babysat for you when you were little. I got it from a patient's wife.

A few years ago, I was working in a nursing home. One of the patients was always in his room; always in bed, in fact. His wife came in every day and sat next to his bed, reading to him, playing music, and knitting.

One day, she approached me and asked me if there was anything I could do to make her husband more comfortable. I didn't really know. But I went in to see him.

He hadn't been out of bed in almost a year. His knee was contracted so that his heel was almost touching his buttocks. He spent every moment he was awake moaning in pain. I set about seeing if we could make this poor guy more comfortable.

I started out just stretching his leg and then splinting his leg a little bit at a time until we got it out to about 90 degrees. Then I got a wheelchair to get him out of bed.

It took quite a while until he could actually tolerate sitting upright in a chair for any legnth of time. But we eventually got him up to 2 hours per day. Two hours isn't a tremendous amount of time, but it was enough him for his wife to take him outside in the fresh air or for him to listen to school children who came in to perform for the nursing home residents.

We even talked about getting the speech therapist involved to see if he could eat while he was sitting up. (he was getting all of his nutrition by G-tube)

I would love to say that he had a dramatic turnaround like Robert DeNiro in Awakenings. That he woke up and had long conversations with his wife and we got him walking through the garden and then he went home. I can't say that though. That's not what happened.

What happened is that he got sick and ended up back in bed. He stopped tolerating the wheelchair for more than 15 minutes at a time. He eventually got over his illness and we started the whole process over again.

As much as we all want to change the world in one giant, fell swoop, sometimes all we can do is make one very small change and hope that makes a difference to somebody.

I guess it did to his wife. She presented me with a nice homemade scarf to say thanks.

I have held on to the scarf for years, from one residence to another, and all the way across the country. I held on to the scarf because it reminds me of the small difference we can make. It also reminds me of how love can persist no matter what the circumstances. She was in there every day, all day, by her husbands side. She looked out for him and did whatever she could to make him more comfortable and knitted scarves.

Here's the thing, though: I will never wear that scarf. It's nice, it's warm, it's handmade. But it's just not something I'll wear.

And now, it's time to pass that scarf along to somebody who will use it. Passing the scarf along will not make me forget where it came from or what it reminds me of. And in addition, I've now passed along the story as well.

Go do your own little thing to make the world a better place. And don't doubt the power of love. It can thrive in the most difficult of circumstances.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

still hung over

Here's a question....Is it possible to STILL be hung over 4 days later? What the hell did I do to myself last Saturday?

And what the heck do they put in wine to make it so much more deadly than beer?

Argh! I even had to skip the gym today and blow the whole "work out 30 times in 30 days" goal for fear of dropping dead in front of the cute yoga guy.

Oh, I'm going to bed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

back to the stoarage area

It's funny...I had been dreading that storage area until I finally got down there and really CLEANED it. Now, decluttering there is easy, because I know where everything is. (or maybe it's the rubberized floor mat so my feet don't have to go on the cement) Whatever, the case, decluttering in the storage area was super easy this week:

November 3: Gave a sweatshirt that is too big for me to K

November 4: Fleece vest that I no longer wear in the donation bag

November 5: Fleece pullover that I no longer wear in the donation bag

November 6: Two-for today (since I was away on Sat)
Scarf to the donation bag (scarf with a story....stay tuned)
Hat to the donation bag.

November 8: Wallet that I no longer use in the Goodwill bag

November 9: Laundry day...two pair of socks that I just don't like in the donation bag.

That donation bag is filling up! Next up...the living room area.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

what I learned this weekend

Once again, I am getting my inspiration from Brazen with:

Things I learned this weekend:

1) Starting to drink at 10:00 am with the plan of keeping the buzz going all day is just a bad idea.

2) I'm just too old for that.

3) I couldn't even do that when I was 22.

4) It's entirely possible to say somebody's name too much. Isabella and I rode the train from NYC back to her apartment after the aforementioned day of debauchery in the city. Between New York and East Orange, the woman in front of us on the train said "George" approximately 1100 times. ("George, listen to me, George. George, I am not saying that you don't work. But, George, your job just isn't as taxing as most other people's, George. Tell me, George, have you ever had to get down on your hands and knees and scrub the floor, George? ....Well, of course, George, I know that most computer programmers don't scrub the floor, George, but, George, I am just trying to probe a point. Ok, George?"

5) And speaking of names, some names are just wrong for parents to pin on their children. One of my friends was relaying the story of his grandfather, Heiman. Spelled almost like the much sought after football trophy, but pronounced like the sacred membrane. What were his parents thinking?

6) I know murder is a sin and there is no justification for taking another person's life, but in some instances, it's completely understandable. (See #4 and #5) I'm just saying that I would voluntarily testify on George or Heiman's behalf.

7) When it comes to buying Xmas presents, quirky is fun! (Maybe not for the recipient, but certainly for the buyer!)

8) Connecticut gets longer every time I drive through it.

9) Don't bank your plans on the weather forecast.

10) Lucky Charms are STILL magically delicious!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

i hate the yankees


There is nothing worse than staying up 'till midnight only to see the Yankees win the world series.

I'm going to New York this weekend to visit a friend. She's never gonna let me hear the end of it.

Maybe I should conveniently get sick?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

water is magic

Remember when you were little and you got those little capsule shaped things that you put in water and the next day, like magic, they had turned into big dinosaurs or mermaids or planes? Remember thinking that water must be magic?

Well, the past few days have me back in that frame of mind. I'm absolutely sure that water is magic.

All the things I have been trying to overcome -- the fatigue, the headaches, the sinus-y feelings, the muscle cramping in the middle of the night, the inability to lose weight -- they all have been magically cured since I came up with a viable and easy way of drinking more water. (that last sentence makes me sound like I was on the verge of death. I wasn't. I just like to bitch and moan sometimes)

Anyway, I figured that I drink one cup of water between each patient that I see during the day. It makes for a good way to keep track of the amount I have consumed as well as a system to keep drinking. It seems to be working pretty well.

I've also learned that in the afternoon when I was near crazy, needing a snack to get me through the rest of the day, I was actually NOT hungry, I was thirsty. So I've been a lot less hungry and a lot more clear headed at work.

No doubt about it. Water is MAGIC!

Monday, November 2, 2009

decluttering the office

Today started out as a beautiful fall day and eventually gave over to rain. It was weirdly nice to watch the weather turn outside the window. The light changes were fascinating. I guess you're wondering how I could have been working while I was paying so much attention to what was going on outside....I'll tell ya, I'm an amazing multi-tasker!

And I'm also an amazing de-clutterer!

Last week, I was back in the office area.

October 27: In the desk drawer, I found a pen-again. It's a uniquely shaped pen that you hold differently. It was designed to be more comfortable, I guess. People with Parkinson's disease, for some reason, tend to have an easier time writing with a pen-again than a regular pen. So I took the pen into work and donated it to the Parkinson's group.

October 28: I had a stack of business cards in the desk of people I clearly needed to contact someday. Of course, I have no idea who any of the people on the business cards are anymore. So the cards went into the recycling.

October 29: I went through the three drawers in the file cabinet.
October 30: Any paperwork I no longer needed went into recycling or a shredding pile.
October 31: I also compiled a project pile. Go figure.

November 1: Hanging on the bookshelf was a name badge holder that I have had since I was a student on internship. A head injured patient made it for me. I have been carrying that thing around with me ever since. I could never throw it away, because somebody made it for me. The thing is, it's really trashed. It's completely falling apart. So I took a picture of it, to preserve the memory, and threw the actual name badge holder away. I'll make a scrapbook page of the picture or something. (great. Another project)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November's Goals

Ahhh, November. (what a strange thing to say)

October, with its brief hiatus from goals, was, in a word, perfect. I really needed a month to NOT be fixated on a million things to accomplish. Thanks to Apartment 513 and the "30 days of awesome" idea to make me realize that. I know I didn't POST 30 awesome things in October, you'll just have to take my word for it that I did 30 awesome things.

And it's funny. By the end of October, I started to miss my goals. I feel ready to tackle a whole new set, head on. (I read somewhere once that only 5% of the population regularly sets and reviews goals for themselves. How do they get through life? I'd be hopelessly lost. Don't even get me started on LISTS!)

So, with new found fervor, I have compiled the list of November's Goals:

1) Workout 30 times in 30 days: adding in the increasing mileage for February's marathon and overall strengthening for next year's tri season, it'll be a good month

2) Up the water intake: throughout the end of September and October, I've felt -- worn out. Tired. Hungry. And cold. All the time. And though the hypochondriac in me has been yelling "Hypothyroidism", the more calm, cool, collected part of me said "Well, let's look at what's been going on in your life." And the big, glaring, flashing sign was that my diet coke addiction was getting out of control while my water intake was slacking. Could all these symptoms be from simple dehydration? One week of increased water consumption says yes. I need to keep it up through November.

3) Go down to New York to celebrate Isabella's birthday!

4) Make a kick-ass side dish for Thanksgiving that will blow the family away. (even though I am clueless in the kitchen)

5) I gained 2 pounds in October with the Halloween candy consumption (and the Halloween party alcohol consumption) For an excellent and completely non-crazy reason, I got 61/2 weeks to lose 10#. Starting......NOW!

6) Buy new running shoes

7) Turn in my stuff for the advanced position application I am going for at work.

8) Read 3 books from the bookshelf...and don't buy any more this month! (oh, so hard)

9) Get all the reservations for my December trip finalized.

10) Oh, yeah, that decluttering thing. Jeez! Seems like I've been doing that for a year!