Monday, December 29, 2008

Drawings 5 and 6

Above is the Christmas present I drew for my daughter A.C. Her cats are her life!

I have killed two birds with one stone here, or rather four birds with two stones, because below is the portrait of my step-granddaughter that I did for her mom. These drawings also count toward my goal 65 (Make Christmas presents for everybody in the family). The jpg of the portrait came out rather rough. The actual rendering is much softer and more subtle. It was so subtle we had to use color "enhancing" options to get it to show up at all, which is what makes it look more cartoonish than it actually is.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
. The flying cloud, the frosty light:
. The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
. Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
. The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
. For those that here we see no more;
. Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
. And ancient forms of party strife;
. Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
. The faithless coldness of the times;
. Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
. The civic slander and the spite;
. Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
. Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
. Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
. The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
. Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Monday, December 22, 2008

Angels and Unicorns!!!

Goal 7 - Visit the Cloisters

I had the best of reasons for fulfilling my Cloisters goal: my daughter was in a highly acclaimed performance of the The Play of Daniel there this weekend. She was an angel! This is a picture of her that appeared in The New York Times today! This is a picture taken by a production member after I realized that I had dumbly put up a copyrighted picture. At least I realized it without being hauled off to jail first. You can see the really spectacular picture in the review link, below. (There was also another little one in the Times last Friday.) She had a small solo part toward the end where she foretells the birth of Jesus, but she was also in a lot of other singing and carrying on. The angel part was so great. She was pretty much front and center for the rest of the performance. (And in case you're wondering, those vaguely Oscar the Grouch figures are lions. They were the surprise hit of the show.) The review was a rave!

I also got the chance to walk around a little bit, though I had to get to a concert of my own later in the afternoon. I managed to snap a few pictures:

I knew the unicorn tapestries were there, so I made a beeline for that room. It's so dim in there because light is bad for the tapestries--but I snapped a blurry Treo picture just for proof.

I have to go back though, because I meant to go for a longer time and with ScottieDog. It is so beautiful! I'll bet in the spring it's like heaven, and we could walk around in the park. Agenda for a whole day, I expect.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Someone Understands!!!!

Get a load of this article:

So you think you can get along without your pinkie

Well, at least someone ELSE who understands. I've had at least a couple of sympathetic commenters/commiserators. (commiseraters? That doesn't look right.)

Though I have to say, the lady of the article really had it easy. I, unfortunately, had a comminuted fracture and TWO surgeries, and the metal in my finger is driving me crazy. The doctor said it may eventually be a good idea to take it out, though I'm not reacting to it as badly as I was before. It's just so uncomfortable. I can't stand anything touching my hand there. Which makes drawing quite a bit uncomfortable. So I have to wear a bandage all the time unless I want to risk accidentally brushing up against something.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I 'tooned a 'toon today, oh boy.

A Great Way to Spend December

I have been SO good this week, except for one day when I went way over my wine limit. As my yoga DVD says, tell yourself one healthful thing to keep in mind for the day. I keep telling myself "Enjoy the discipline!" And I think I am, actually.

My weight today was 143.6, down two pounds from last week. Of course WW goes "tsk,tsk" because they think that's too much to lose in a week. Screw them. I'm eating all my points per day, most days, and going over into my flex points. I used 22 flex points last week. And it is, after all, December, so the shrinking is bound to ease up a little.

I'm feeling pretty good about my food. THE KEY IS to keep that afternoon snack going. Got to have my piece of fruit. If I don't, when I get home I tend to fall upon whatever is most handy and devour it. The cats are starting to keep out of sight when I come in the door.

One other thing: I'm eating no "diet" food. I use regular salad dressing, and regular butter. And of course olive oil, all in moderate quantities.

I've been getting fairly good grades except for that one day (see above) when I got a D+. The hardest thing is to make sure I do enough hand therapy per day. Yesterday I went to the actual hand therapist so I got a good workout. And my hand is so much better! I saw the doctor this morning and she was very impressed!

Exercising is going great! If I don't get to the treadmill or a long walk, I can always fall back on my yoga DVD, which I'm starting to love! I ordered another one this week, and also an aerobic DVD from The Firm. We'll see how that works out.

I'm telling you, this is a great way to spend December. Much better than feeling all apprehensive about how much weight I'm going to put on over the holidays, and looking forward to a January of restraint. I recommend getting a jump on your New Year's fitness resolutions.

P.S. I'm also really excited about a couple of Christmas presents I'm making. More about that later, because I don't want the recipients reading about it in my blog.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Remember back when I was trying to get filing done, so I took big stacks of it to work? I decided to take all my tortuous hand therapy equipment to work with me and get some done there. I call that thinking outside the box! And hey!--my hand is really starting to improve!

The apparatus in the picture is my hated neuromuscular stimulator. You hook those electrodes up over the correct tendon and put on the splint, and when it gets going it gives you some low-level but nasty sustained shocks and makes you bend your finger. Actually both the little finger and the fourth finger bend, because they share a tendon. And you have to work really hard to try to bend it a little further. It makes my neck and shoulders really tired because I forget to relax everything else. But I can really tell the improvement!

Next time I'll post a picture of my putty! That'll be interesting, because it's green.

Anyway, my December of Discipline is moving right along. I've discovered that weekends and leisure time in general are the enemies of discipline. I get a lot more done when I've got a lot to do, if that makes any sense. Over the weekend I made a B- and a D+ (ack), but yesterday I got back on track with a good solid A! And I'm still 143.8 lbs.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

So far... good. I'm down from 147.4 to 143.8. Mostly bloat, no doubt.

Thursday I got a B and yesterday I got an A-. Averaging 1.5 glasses of chardonnay a day--not too bad for me. It's a strange thing about being on WW--I've noticed it before--that I don't really like drinking wine that much.

Hand therapy is not going so terribly well--I'm soaking and exercising but I haven't been able to hook up to the neuromuscular stimulator machine. I keep putting it off, it's so annoying. Tonight for sure.

Exercise is going okay. I wish I could do 2 points a day, but I've been too busy. Maybe today...

The thing with yesterday is, I was going to do my old VHS beginner workout, but I put it in the old TV and it promptly got ATE. Hm. So I got online to see if I could get one on DVD, and used up most of my exercise time trying to find something comparable. Does anybody have any favorites? For someone really kinda out of shape??

I also spent way too much time trying to figure out my new iPod, but no doubt all the studying will pay off in the end. I don't know why I can't get it to understand that I don't want it to copy every single dingle thing on my computer iTunes. So irritating. (I have a lot of "work" stuff on there.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December of Discipline, Gol-durnit!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

I had two Thanksgivings, one here at home on Wednesday night and another with my extended family in Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. This is NOT such a good idea if you're trying to lose weight. I gained five pounds. :-P

It's a shame Thanksgiving and Christmas come so close together (not to mention Halloween, though I'm not too big on sweets) because it puts the people trying to pursue fitness at a double-whammy disadvantage. No wonder New Year's diet resolutions are so popular. SO, I decided that on all the days this month that I'm not partying, I'm going to be observing as much discipline as I can. It would be great if I could start the New Year a little better off instead of worse off!

I started WeightWatchers flex program again, because I feel good on it, and I won't drink so much, and it encourages me to exercise (so I get to eat more).

I'm hoping to reach Goal 47 (drink <2 glasses of wine a day for one week) and Goal 96 (practice voice 5 times in one week), and work on 45 (lose weight), 56 (exercise 3 times a week), 57 (hand therapy), and 65 (make Christmas presents).

My Rules: I'm going to grade myself each day on how well I do. I will have to 1) stick to diet, 2) not drink too much, 3) exercise, and 4) hand therapy -- all four in order to get an A for the day. And obviously continue to whack away at what other goals I can manage.

We'll see, I guess, whether I've got the right stuff...