Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Two For

I stopped by the Highland Park Improvement Club to attend a meeting about developing community. I left early to pick up Nessa from work. I took a couple of plants over to the new store on Henderson where the other day I'd chatted with a lady preparing a garden out front. All in all, a friendly and low stress evening. I missed the convention coverage but it sounded great.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Level 61

This weekend was my 61st birthday, or as I like to think, the weekend I reach level 61.
I celebrated by stopping by a bank and starting the process of figuring out how to refinance my home. It will be a long process but now that I have started I am going to find the process fun.
Kiara and Nessa made me a very nice dinner, first asking me what my favorite thing was and of course I said, nicely grilled steak. They did a wonderful job.
Dan stopped by and gave me a nice bottle of wine and talked for an hour.
Barre class was delightful as usual and I noticed that the weights are lighter semicolon I am still not fond of planks but I could not go the full 3 minutes without distress.
I delivered books to the VA twice - a full load on Saturday, and then since I had some on Sunday I stop by and discovered that there was room for 3 boxes on the shelves already LOL. This means I took a quick walk in the garden twice, which was very nice.
I practiced breathing and stopped by Pegasus which I always enjoy.
I pick my huckleberries and got more than a quart They don't seem very flavorful but they'll make a nice sauce or go into smoothies.
The cats were affectionate or demanding, as you wish.
I had a bit of fun with the bookselling. The coach for "Mahomet Seymour HS boys Cross County in Illinois" wrote and asked if they could get a discount on a particular book about cross country, because their program was short on funds. At first I reflexively started negotiating, trying to make a sale by giving up some profit. Then I realized "What Am I Doing?" - if they had asked for a donation I'd have given them some money but this was even better. So I dropped the price to the fees Amazon would charge me, they ordered the book and thanked me and told me how its author had inspired the team, and I feel great! Also I got to tell them that I had run cross country for St. Ed's - the price of talking with older people is that you have to hear our stories haha! And now I have a cross country team in Illinois to cheer on - so it's all good.
After barre I gave Kris her ballot which still comes to my home, and she thanked me by declining to pay her share of Y expenses. This helped me come to the realization that she will never be anything but a deadbeat and I need to accept that, severing that final minor connection. It is to the minor financial advantage of us both, but she's just taking advantage of me and it is a stressor to have dun her into paying her share. It is helpful that she styles herself in so homely a way. I miss the companionship.
I am looking forward to the refinance and more time at the Y, both of which make me happy - as well as the kindness of my dear housemates and the many birthday wishes of my Facebooks friends and family!

Monday, June 27, 2016

It's Getting To Be A Lot Less Kris Mass....

...it occurred to me on the bus into work this morning that I had seen Kris at barre and felt no impulse to greet her. She may not have seen me as I was at the other end of the room.
I am sad of course but letting go the weight is a liberation. I suppose.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

I Am A Cat Toy

Saturday was a great day. The cats woke me up and demanded I feed them or play with them. They'd been successful at getting overfed by begging both floors, so a while back we agreed that they'd be fed only downstairs. That means I have to play with them in the morning, which is not a problem, but it does make me basically a cat toy.
They have balls and things to bat around, but mostly they want me to dangle a shoelace.
The 8:15 Barre class was great, as usual. It's weird how many reps with light weights or no weights can have such results.
I shipped a case of books, and met some DAV buddies for coffee, and then sources at the little thrift store nearby. Then it was off to the VA Hospital to distribute books. My reward for that is to walk in the garden a little bit.
This weekend the ladies are hanging with their friends at Pride Week events, with the parade tomorrow and all. I'm enjoying the house and catching up on chores. It's domestic but fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sit-In Wednesday

I'm impressed that the Democrats in Congress are staging a sit-in to demand a vote on the simplest, most common-sense gun control laws.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday Thoughts Waiting For The Bus

0% Precipitation
On The Leaves
It may be that, as Ben Franklin wrote, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise".
In my experience, there must be more to the formula than that, but I don't know what.
 Well, at least I'm healthy!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Zumba Again

It's difficult to put into words just how much I enjoy dance as exercise. I have really lost interest in exercise without music; that seems merely to be work. And playing music in the background while exercising is merely distracting from the business at hand.
In contrast, exercising to the music integrates psychological and physiological functions that help me exceed my limits. In addition, the freedom to dance - rather than merely to ape the motions of the instructor - make the exercise spiritually renewing, rather than merely good for the body.
I have tried dance exercise several times. Back in East Lansing I remember some class or other that I took with Sherry, that was basically calisthenics with music. I focussed on copying the instructor exactly, and I suppose it was all well enough, but there is a qualitative difference between that and dancing. To this insight I owe the silent coaching of Tall Joan (whose real name I don't know), a Zumba student (and in other venues advanced dance instructor), whom I saw some time last year throwing in a few extra flourishes during class. Suddenly it hit me: I could too!
It's never been the same since.
Monday night I had another Zumba class, another hour of strenuous fun. Other things happened that day, I am sure, because time went by, but I have no real memory of it; my memory is of dancing.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Judgment Time

The proceeds from the Nametka judgment came in.
I had stopped by the Credit Union to make a deposit. The balance looked funny; it had too many digits. I puzzled over it for a while until I realized that it must be so big because the judgment had come in.
I laughed out loud - literally. I had not let myself really expect this to happen. Yes, I had thought about what I would do with it, but I suppose emotionally I was not expecting it to happen. I broke into laughter with happiness, and no-one was at the Credit Union to see the crazy man.
When I got home, the first thing to do was to pay off my Discover bill. Supporting three adults has been very expensive, and I had not let myself notice just how deeply I was sinking financially. Now that I, through hard work and a bit of luck, could address this, I was disappointed to find that my good fortune might extend to cleaning up the worst of the situation but would not let me prudently blow any of it on imprudence.
That's ok. I am happy and have a chance to stabilize finances now that the younger folk are able to care for themselves.
I physically took my Discover card out of my wallet. For the rest of the year, I'm running on cash. It's a primitive method, and it may mean I will forsake some opportunities, but I never again want to live on credit. It may work for others but for me that's merely good judgment.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Saturday Circuit

1. The cats wake me
2. I make a little breakfast: coffee and salmon.
3. Barre at the Fauntleroy Y. I love this class, although I'm not fond of planks and I'm not fond of crunches. After class a woman my age complimented me on my dancing. I did not know what to say but it was a very friendly gesture. She asked if I did other classes and I mentioned Zumba. She asked if I came to the Wednesday Zumba here and I said I should try it. Later I learned it's actually Tuesday, but I suppose I should try either one, just to be social. My social awareness is just off.
4. Drive Kris from the Y to the ATM and get paid for her share of the Y membership. We do not discuss taxes. I'm just going to wait for a while and see whether she comes through on the documentation. We can be civil but I must be businesslike.
5. Meet at DAV.  The Trustees are abstinent, the membership is angry. I shake my head.
6. Drop off books at the VA hospital. I chat with another guy also using a wheelchair to carry a bag of books, which he leaves at the green cart.  I sit in the Garden and relax; it's really very effective. Also I'm happy to see my name on a plaque.
7. Stop by The God Shop to drop off boxes of stuff to give away and to buy some stock. I would not have expected to make friends at a Christian Thrift Store, but it happens. They are just part of my community and I suppose I'm part of theirs.
8. Home, I garden a bit. Mostly I'm pulling up the ginger mustard invasives. It's as relaxing as they say, but I end up napping quit a lot. Soon it is dinner time, according to the cats.
9. It may be that "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise", but on the evidence, there must be more to the formula than that. At least I'm healthy!



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