Monday, December 31, 2007

And Winning the 2007 Yuck Category...

Upon arriving home after the honeymoon, I noticed, or rather could not ignore, a pimple looking thing on my leg. It was surrounded by about two or three inches of inflamed red, warm, swollen skin. After a couple of Google searches, I was pretty sure it was ring worm. A couple more of these then popped up on my leg. After having mom look at it, she was pretty sure it was a staph infection. That evening during yoga, I noticed three more coming out on my inner elbow. I said Namaste and got myself to Urgent Care. The doctor looked at it, said it didn't look good and sent me home with two different antibiotics to take for 10 days.

Twelve days later and I thought everything was fine, until last Thursday morning when after my shower, I noticed, uh, oh another spot. I went to my regular doctor on Friday who seemed a little more concerned about the whole thing. He took a culture, took some blood and sent me home with yet another oral antibiotic and some antibiotic ointment. Today, the call came that this seemingly innocent little spot is actually MRSA. As far as I can tell, in spite of the dire stories in the media about this superbug, if you are a healthy adult then it's not that big of a deal. It's just scary to know I have a bacteria which can't be treated by most antibiotics. Luckily, my second Doctor was erring on the side of caution and prescribed me those drugs which do work for this. In a couple of years, however, these drugs might also lose their potency which will be really really scary, as MRSA in it's worse forms can be life-threatening.

In the meantime, I'm getting lots of rest (I've been super tired and feverish this whole month of December, but I have chalked that up to the holidays) and trying to eat right. Everything is getting washed on the sanitize cycle of the washing machine and my hands are getting washed every time I see a sink.

And happy new year to me...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A New Card

The other day while (finally) cleaning and organizing the guest bedroom, I found a ribbon keepsake board. It's one of those boards with ribbon crossed in a diamond pattern for sticking pictures and mementos in. I had pictures from college and the years immediately following. Pictures showing lots of smiling faces and trips I had taken. I also had some tickets to sporting and other events stuck in with the pictures. And among all the memories was a card that made me pause.

A few years back, my Mom included in my stocking a little deck of cards entitled Gifts of the Goddess. The cards are meant for meditation cues or just as empowering thoughts and affirmations. It was one of these cards that was stuck in my memory board. The card read "I have everything I need to get what I want." Looking back, this was an important card for me to single out for the those years. The early twenties were a time of figuring out what I did want and then finding ways to make those things happen. It was comforting to know that whatever it was that I wanted, I had the tools to get them. Also, as a twenty-something girl it was good to know that I was allowed to want more than what I had. I could want and would be able to find a solid relationship. I could want and would be able to find a job that didn't leave me exhausted and my bank account empty. I could want and would be able to hold on to friends who are positive influences on my life.

So, now that I am a whole lot closer to having those things I want in my life, I think I need to pick out a new card to take me into the next years of my life. The next card going up is "I believe in myself, now, always, and in all ways."

Yeah, the thirties are going to be good.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Another Christmas Gone

The tinsel is put away, the figgie pudding never quite got made, the bows and brightly colored wrapping paper are out on the curb with the trash and another Christmas has been here and gone. I love Christmas - the glad tidings, the general goodwill and the opportunity to not think twice about eating cookies for breakfast. I also love the family traditions. Going to church and hearing the same readings just about every year. The squid stew (yes, the squid stew - it's a tradition at our house). Playing games until late into the early morning and then getting up a few hours later to play more games. This was the second year Chris spent with my family for Christmas. I think he enjoys it, although he did refer to it as a 36 hour holiday marathon. And, yes, by 8 p.m. on Christmas evening I was ready to agree. I just couldn't muster one more game of poker, one more story of Christmases past or one more cookie made with lots of actual butter. I was Christmased out. But the sad thing is here on December 26, I miss Christmas already. However, I was reminded that Christmas day is really just the beginning - we have Holy Family Day, Epiphany and my birthday, aka New Year's Day! So, let the good times roll - but please let me take a nap first.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cheer

If I knew where they were and could feel the cockles of my heart, I do believe they would be emitting a nice golden glow. For I have here, on this week before Christmas felt the beginning of Christmas cheer.

It all began, with embers of flame, or maybe it was the heat from the oven as I baked three different batches of cookies on Sunday. Baking is truly enjoyable with all my fun new baking toys, uh tools. The KitchenAid mixer mixes with ease and the silicone mats make for perfect cookie bottoms each tray. The cookies are now beautifully bagged waiting to be delivered to the neighbors' homes.

The cheer grew last night when I met friends for a holiday toast and shopping. It might have been the red apple martinis which made my cheeks rosy, but I prefer to think it was the warmth of friendship and the rush of buying gifts for others.

And today, sipping my $4 non-fat gingerbread latte and listening to this classic Christmas carol, I felt my Grinch-like heart grow three sizes. Also feeling like I was trapped in that insurance commercial where good deeds go full circle, I was so impressed by the clerks at Kroger that I waited online to refer them for a red rose. Unfortunately, they stopped the red rose program two years ago. I, instead, donated some money to the Salvation Army.

What makes you feel in the holiday spirit?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Library

I have recently rediscovered the library. In an ongoing effort to save money and not bring any additional items into this already packed to the rafters house, the library has been a good friend. Actually, the library has always been a good friend and I should have expected it to be there when I need it. I have fond memories of story time and Amelia Badelia at the Bexley library. I always knew important things happened there because when you entered the grand marble foyer, there was a general hush. In my pre-teen years, I must have read just about every book in the Dublin's young adult section. Unfortunately, the library and I lost touch in my twenties. We just weren't connecting. I still read, but I was either buying books or borrowing from friends.

In addition to the books being free and me getting to return them, what I like about the library is that I read things I wouldn't otherwise. I recently picked up Survival of the Sickest by Dr. Sharon Moalem. This book is fascinating! It explains why some disease might have stuck itself in our genetic code as coping mechanisms for past events such as plagues or radical temperature changes. Basically, it examines disease through an evolutionary view. It is a really interesting read and something that makes you go, huh, I never thought about that.

So thanks, CML!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Running into 30

My birthday happens to be the first day of the year. When I was small, I used to think the parade on television and the party my parents threw each year was all for me. I found it a little suspicious that we only had birthday cake during the halftime of the Rose Bowl, but otherwise the set-up was great. Even now that I realize football was maybe a big part of the reason for my party, there is still a sense of everyone is partying with me.

This upcoming birthday is a big one for me. I'll be leaving my twenties and joining the thirty-something ranks. While some of my friends have met this milestone with regret and depression, I am choosing to think of it as a celebration. I have great things to look forward to ahead and I'm excited to use my life experience to make better decisions and lead a well-rounded life. The lyrics of that Tim McGraw song keep running through my head - I really do hope to do it better in the next 30 years.

To start out my next decade, I've decided to not meet in with a hangover from New Year's Eve. Instead, I'll be participating in this 5k. Chris has to go also (he married me and my crazy ideas). No one else has agreed on account of the aforementioned hangover and oh yeah, the cold. However, I think this will be a great way to greet 30 head on and I am looking forward to the challenge.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice Cream in Winter

Is it me or does ice cream hold more of an allure when it is outside? I love curling up on the couch with a bowl of the creamy cold stuff under a blanket. Popsicles are great for warm summer days, but I mainly reserve my ice cream for cold winter nights. I also like the special flavors that come out this time year - pumpkin pie, ginger bread, peppermint stick. Today at the store I picked up a pint of a new limited edition flavor from Haagen-Dazs: Caramelized Pear & Toasted Pecan. Goodness is this good stuff - smooth and creamy with an assertive pear flavor which tastes real and not sweet. If you click over to the web site, you'll see this was a winner in the flavor search contest. Much more imaginative than I would have been.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Unhealthy in Columbus

Paging through my latest issue of Self, I was saddened to read that Columbus is one of the top five unhealthy cities in the United States for women to live. San Francisco ranked as the healthiest and Gary, Indiana ranked as the most unhealthy. Unfortunately, my hometown is a lot closer to the hell hole that is Gary rather than the west coast bay area ideal.

The ranking system for the cities took into account such things as access to ob / gyn health care, the environment, average time spent being active, number and range of food options, crime rates, levels of depression, number of STDs and smoking rates. So the data collected seems to be pretty thorough. In fact, what they did was come up with 52 factors in a woman's life which would have the largest impact on health, collected census and other data on that criteria and then weighted each to come up with a formula.

An online bonus, lists the positives and negatives of each city. Columbus ranked positive for the low numbers of automobile deaths and allergies. It ranked poorly on the number of rapes and obesity levels. The rape reporting number has been something of a local hubbub. It seems that with the OSU campus here, rape is reported differently than in other cities. This is probably why Columbus sank 10 spots from last year's report to fall into the top five unhealthy cities this year.

Not being able to argue (too much) with the data, I'm left to look around the city and wonder what else makes us unhealthy. I know a great number of women and I would say most of them are pretty healthy. Part of this is the people I know, others like me who are well educated and have at least some disposable income for things such as gym memberships and organic food. However, my friends, co-workers and I seem to be in the minority. Columbus is in the top 10 of highest obesity rates.

I mistakenly thought we had kicked that whole fattest city problem. The Mayor renamed Broad Street to be Commit to be Fit Blvd. and then the problem was solved, right? Evidently not.

Being pretty riled up about this, I created another blog to publicize healthy living in Columbus. Check it out here. There are a lot of good things happening in Columbus, health and otherwise, and I don't like my hometown keeping company with Gary, Indiana.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Usually whenever it snows, I like to pretend I'm snowed in. Sorry, can't get to work, it's just too bad out there. Yes, I know it is only about two inches, but I drive a VW Beetle and we don't do the snow drive. Today, after looking out the window immediately upon getting out of bed, a sudden intake of breath awoke my sleeping husband(!). I couldn't believe the snow crazy Jym said we could get was actually there. However, no snowed in days for me as it was my first day back at the office and I knew from a peek at my work e-mail that no fewer than 180 e-mails were awaiting me. Instead I dragged my butt to the shower, where I mournfully looked at my beautifully tanned skin. What's the use of an after-vacation glow if it is going to be covered by a snowsuit? After fighting with my hair (slowly coming around to the monstrous layers) and finding some clothes to wear, off I went back into reality. Just my VW and me on the snowy city streets.

Upon returning home this evening, I decided to foster a different relationship with snow. So I sent Chris to the store for beef stew makings and red wine while I braved the elements for a walk. I'm trying to get back into walking each day, I really enjoy it when I do. I feel better and I look better, but sadly my walks are one of the first things I skip when I get busy. But tonight, walk I did. Bundled up, holding my abs in tight to keep from slipping, and gazing at the neighbors' houses who are more on the ball than we are with holiday decorations actually made for an enjoyable stroll.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bye Bye Wedding Hair

Bells should have gone off. Sirens should have wailed. And I should have said maybe not when the platinum blond stylist suggested long layers and nice framing around the face. It's not like I haven't been in that chair before buying into the myth that layers are universally flattering and easy to maintain. But I didn't protest loud enough and I watched with growing panic as she hacked into my hair. She knew I was upset and said to come back if I still didn't like it in a week. I ran my fingers through it and thought there's not much else she can do. I tried to avoid looking at the floor where my much sought after long hair was now residing. The shortest of the "long layers" is a good 6 inches from where the hair ends. I'm not the kind of girl who can work magic with a blow dryer and round brush and I'm afraid the layers will look very choppy and rather shelf like. I cried all the way home and I'm still bawling. I know it's just hair, but I had really come to like it and I want it back. I only went in to get the ends cleaned up - 2 inches off the bottom max and maybe something fun with the bangs. I'm not sure how I ended up with this layered fucking mess on my head. And I can't stop crying.

The Honeymoon is Over

Well, we did finally get home last night. As we were pulling up to the house at midnight, I was quite happy that I decided to take today off work. There is nothing quite like coming home to a house exactly the way you left it - that is totally disorganized and chaotic. Somehow I thought Prada would have cleaned the place up while we were gone. Instead she set to some serious grooming and has managed to give herself a large bald spot on her back above the tail. The feline acne is only marginally better and her collagen lip is back as well. I'm still hoping all these symptoms are stress related, but she has a date with the vet on Saturday just in case.

It's taking some getting used to to not be on the island. The resort we stayed at, was very nice and each hour the beach attendants would walk around with cooling devices. First would be the sprayer. This was eucalyptus scented water in what looked like a power washer. On a low setting he would spray you with the delicious water. Next, would come the platter of wash clothes. Each would be stacked on a tray. These were cooled to 36 degrees and again scented with a nice blend of eucalyptus. After the wash clothes, came platters of frozen squares of fruit. Clearly with the wintery weather we have here now, cooling devices are not needed, but it was still nice.

Chris and I learned an important marriage lesson (one of many, I'm sure) - we don't really have the same beach vacation personalities. If we were to take a Cosmo quiz on the subject, I would be something like the Literary Lizard as I find there is little better in this world than to be reading in the sun. Chris would be the Party Pirate as he needs a little more action. Luckily for us, our resort also offered a wide variety of complimentary water sports - wind surfs, kayaks and catamarans. I was able to read, while he would drift so far on the wind surfer that the rescue boat has to drag him back to shore. A great time was had by all!

Monday, December 3, 2007


This morning we got a couple's massage to cap off a great honeymoon. We figured the massage in the beautiful and peaceful spa setting would seal in that relaxed vacation feeling. It lasted until the screaming babies on the plane from Providencialias to Atlanta really let loose. It is now completely gone as our flight is delayed for two hours and I have the sneaking suspicion the captain who is supposedly on his way from New York is not going to make it. At this point in the trip, I just want to be home. So to cheer myself up, I'll share some honeymoon pics with you all.

Turks and Caicos - we were on Providencialas - was simply stunning. The setting was very beautiful, relaxing and romantic. I would highly recommend it to anyone just looking for relaxation and good quality time together. If you are looking for a crazy nightlife, or really any nightlife, you might want to skip this island, but we loved it. It was a perfect honeymoon destination. However, the photos aren't so much wanting to upload right now. This Boingo connection sucks. I'll update when I finally get home.