formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Show of Hands, Please...

I want to know how many of you thought (or think) Pigsknuckle is the real, honest-to-gosh name of my hometown...? Come on, tell the truth!

And then? After you 'fess up?

I want you to forgive me for giggling...

Heh heh... ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

45/45 Challenge... 1 Down... 44 To Go!!

I have conquered Zumba! OK... well, not so much conquered it, as was conquered by it. But there is nothing in my 45/45 Challenge rulebook that says I have to be good at everything I try... I just have to do it, right? Right. And I did it. I took my first Zumba class this morning. I'm not going to say it was my last class (though that was my inclination), as I feel I should give it at least one more try before I write it off as an epic FAIL.

For those of you who don't know, Zumba is a new fitness craze (at least I think it's new... or I'm really behind). It blends aerobics, toning exercises, and Latin-style dance into one incredibly confusing, frustrating mess. Well, if you do it the way I do, it's messy. And pretty damned ugly. I know I've mentioned before that I have no rhythm. None. Truly. It's non-existent. My brother, who is totally deaf, dances better than I do. I wish I was kidding. I'm not. Anyway, you need rhythm to do Zumba. Well, you do if you don't want to trip over your own feet, go in the wrong direction, or look like a fool (all of which I did). Don't get me wrong, I have no problem looking like a fool (and I prove it by doing so with alarming regularity). I don't so much enjoy feeling like a fool, though. And I so did. Oh, I also found that my arms and legs are incapable of moving at the same time. My arms move. Or my legs move. They do not both move. As I say, a confusing, frustrating, ugly mess.

But the reasons behind the whole 45/45 Challenge were about getting me out of my comfort zone and trying some new things. Zumba worked on both counts... it was new and I was uncomfortable. Supremely uncomfortable. I did say I'd go back next week, though, as it's supposed to get easier with time. I'm not sure there's enough time before the world ends for me to get good at Zumba, though. We'll see.

So, #42 -- DONE! And stay tuned, as I'm planning to knock out (possibly literally) #12 on Saturday with my first ever cardio-kickboxing class! Let's hope it doesn't kick my butt the way Zumba did!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've Been a Bad, Bad Blogger...

But I have loads of reasons (and by 'reasons', I mean 'excuses') why. Part of it is that this winter is absolutely kicking my butt! I think I might have a case of that S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) thing. 'Cause winter's a season (and a half this year!), I'm affected (and afflicted, as Ryan points out regularly) and I'm reasonably sure I have a couple of as yet undiagnosed disorders. Honestly, though, I've been in true hibernation-mode... I have no energy, I'm eating everything in sight, and I'm ready for bed at 8:00 every night (which is a problem, as I have to tuck Ryan in and she doesn't go to bed 'til 9:00. I tried to change her bedtime... pffftttt. Rotten child).

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know I'm fat and sleepy, but alive. I am making plans to get moving ('planning' counts as industrious, right?) and I have forced myself to get out and do some things, even though all I want to do is lie on the couch and eat chocolate. I joined a new book club, as the men in my man-book club kept picking the most BORING books (and by 'BORING books', I mean 'books meant for people far smarter than I am') and I just couldn't stand it anymore. This club is wonderful... it's full of smart, funny, very cool women (who can all cook!). We read The Help by Kathryn Stockett for this month's get-together and it was fantastic! I highly recommend it!

Ironwoman had a great idea to do a mother/daughter book club, too. Our girls are the same age and they, as well as a few of their friends, read at the same level (around 11th grade), so we're excited about the sorts of books we can choose to read together and discuss. We're trying to sort out our first meeting for two weeks from now, as one of the local high schools is doing a dramatic production of Little Women and we thought we could read it, see it, and discuss it.

Summer plans are coming together, too. It looks like I'll be coaching the morning practices for our swim team, which I'm excited about. This will be the first year we've gotten to do morning practices and it'll free up my summer evenings for some fun stuff. Then Ironwoman and I are doing a week-long running clinic for girls (10-12 years old), based on a 'Girl Power!' theme, which I'm also very excited about. I'm also going to help her with a kid's triathlete clinic she wants to do. And... I'm organizing a week-long creative writing clinic for kids (9-11 years old), a couple of adult writing classes, and possibly some resume writing seminars, too. So summer will be busy!

So, regardless of all that industry, I'm sorry for being such a bad, bad blogger. I haven't been reading any blogs, as I have this weird thing where if I'm not writing, I don't allow myself to read either. I don't know why, really. If I did, I'd probably feel more inspired. I suppose it's a form of self-punishment (which I'm very good at). I will try to get 'round to everyone this week!

Oh, and thank you so much for all the wonderful, encouraging comments about my 45/45 Challenge!! They were all appreciated! I have started making little dents in the challenges that will run over the course of the year (like getting rid of one thing every day) and I'll be updating you periodically. And for the people who asked about my tattoo, I'm getting a small one on the inside of my right wrist (easily covered up but in a place I can see it)... it'll be a small compass, pointing to my 'true north', so that if I ever lose my way again, it's right there to remind me.

And that's all for now, my bloggy loves! I'll be 'round to see you soon!! XOXO

Sunday, February 14, 2010

45/45 Challenge... Kick Off!!

So, tomorrow is the 15th (my birthday!) and my 45/45 Challenge kicks off, my bloggy loves! I'm excited! For those of you who have just tuned in, I've decided to celebrate turning (and being) 45 by accomplishing a long list of challenges, some of which are on my 'bucket list', some of which simply need doing, and some of which I just want to see if I can do! I've updated my list since I first posted about it last month... you can read that post here, if you'd like... it explains why I want to take on this whole crazy task and where I got the idea (and by 'got', I totally mean 'stole'!).

You know I'll keep you posted as the year progresses. There are quite a few things on my list that are one-offs, but there are even more, I think, that I'll have to keep up with on a daily or monthly basis, so there should be plenty to write about (which is good, as I've had nothin' lately!).

Wish me luck!!

My 45/45 Challenge List

1. Complete the 60-mile breast cancer walk in Chicago in August
2. Complete the 60-mile breast cancer walk in DC in October
3. Raise $5,500 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Fund
4. Run the Sherry Anderson 5K in April
5. Find and run a local 10K
6. Find and run a local 10-miler
7. Run the Patrick Henry Half-Marathon in August
8. Submit 3 pieces of writing for publication
9. Learn to salsa dance
10. Finish Pillars of the Earth
11. Read World Without End
12. Take a cardio-kickboxing class
13. Take a yoga class
14. Skydive in October
15. Swim 10 miles (640 pool lengths) over the summer
16. Wash my car once a month
17. Get a tattoo
18. Hike 25 miles of the Appalachian Trail
19. Do a mother/daughter camping weekend with ‘the girls’
20. Meet 4 bloggy friends in person
21. Bake a loaf of bread from scratch
22. Walk 1,200 miles (approximately 3/day)
23. Get through levels 1 and 2 of the Rosetta Stone Spanish tutorial
24. Knit a scarf (i.e. learn to knit)
25. Be a vegetarian for one full month
26. Go whitewater rafting (with class III – IV rapids)
27. Go up in the Washington Monument
28. Go up in the Statue of Liberty
29. See Phantom of the Opera on Broadway
30. Visit Well of Mercy retreat and be still and quiet for 2 days
31. Hike the Old Rag Mountain circuit in the SNP
32. Go ice skating in the sculpture garden at the Smithsonian
33. Give away/donate/get rid of one thing per day for 365 days
34. Reach the weight I was at 21
35. Do 45,000 crunches (approximately 125/day)
36. Go completely diet soda-free for one full month
37. Do some sort of volunteer activity twice/month
38. Attend a concert
39. Organize a girls' night out for all my Pigsknuckle girlfriends
40. Have a 'formal' picture taken of myself and Ryan this year
41. Contact Pigknuckle Community College about teaching a writing class
42. Take a Zumba class
43. Cook a completely new recipe (from scratch) once a month
44. Record my 45/45 Challenge events in a scrapbook
45. Throw a party for my 46th birthday!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow... Snow... and More Snow...

Happy Saturday! Happy snowy Saturday, that is! It's been snowing in Pigsknuckle (and, indeed, across Virginia and several other states) since 6:00am yesterday. I thought I'd take a break from shoveling (which was sort of pointless, anyway, since I'm going to have to do it again later today) and show you what our neighborhood looks like right now. Luckily one of our neighbors has a plow, so he cleared the road in front of our houses, but these pictures will give you an idea of just how deep it is!

Looks comfy, no?

I won't be driving 'til Spring...

Yeah, it's deep...

Sundance and Peeto...
And the chase is on!

He's King of the Mountain!

Hope you're all warm and dry!! XOXO

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Me, Myself, and I...

Last week I was talking to an old friend I hadn’t seen in several years and we were catching each other up on what’s been going on in our lives. A little way into the conversation, she asked what I’ve come to realize is an inevitable question…

“Are you dating anyone?”

I’ve answered that question a million times in the past five years with all manner of responses. Though I’ve only dated one person seriously since my split from my ex-husband, I’ve dated quite a lot. I’ve run the gamut in terms of the sort of relationship I’ve wanted, from serious to casual, from 'just sex' to ‘friends with benefits’, from 'this could be the one' to ‘let’s just have some fun and see where it goes’. And I have had some fun and made a few good friends along the way, but more often than not, I’ve had my feelings hurt; I’ve felt rejected, frustrated, angry; I’ve been reduced to tears. Overall, my dating experiences have not been incredibly positive.

So, a little more than a year ago, I sat down and tried to sort out why none of my relationships were ‘sticking’. And I realized that the common denominator in all of them was…

Yup, you guessed it... Me.

Well, crap.

If you’ve been coming ‘round here for any length of time, you know a big portion of last year wasn’t really good for me. I spent a lot of time stuck in a rut (and by ‘rut’, I mean ‘a pit of quicksand the size of Rhode Island’). I wasn’t happy with life in general. Mostly, I wasn’t happy with myself. Not at all.

And I realized that until I could be happy with and by myself, I had no right to even think about looking for someone to share my life.

So I set about making some changes, as most of you know, and, as you know, I’m still doing it. But you know what else? I realized recently that I am happy overall, both with and by myself. And that? Is big. And? Even though I'm in a pretty good place – one which might lend itself to a healthy dating relationship – I don’t feel the need to look for one. And that? Is way cool, my peeps!

Now, don’t get me wrong… if a relationship happens to cross my path, you know, in the form of a cute, liberal-minded, creative, outdoorsy-type guy who kisses well and loves mouthy, independent kids and big, hairy dogs? Well, I’m certainly not going to turn it down (hell no, I'm not!).

But I’m not looking. And I don't know when I'll want to. It could be next week. It could be next year. I'm not feeling any pressure.

So, when my friend asked, “Are you dating anyone?”

I grinned and said, “Yup! Me! And you know what? It’s the best relationship I’ve had in a long, long time!”

And the best part? I was totally serious.