Nothing burns like the cold

photos-show-what-its-like-to-trek-nearly-500-miles-to-the-north-pole.jpgSo I’m headed to my friend’s house to learn how to do Facebook and Twitter because I have this new project that requires it, but I’m not very smart. When she comes to the door, Fallula, let’s call her, greets me in Uggs, sweats and a fleece and I think, but don’t say, “Good for you, girl. Good for you for embracing the I-work-from-home outfit.”

So she is schooling me on the ins and outs of Tweet comments when I notice a space heater by her desk. It’s then she tells me that, since she’s been working from home, their heating bill has increased by a whopping $150 per month. As a result, she and her husband, as an experiment, are trying to keep the house at 67 degrees during the day and increase it to 69 degrees at night. Hence, the Uggs.

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Self-delusion and fancy chocolate in bed

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So I was sitting in bed on Sunday reading David Sedaris and eating a chocolate bar, which automatically made it about the best Sunday one can possibly have. As I giggled over Sedaris trying to figure out how to retrieve a lozenge he had accidently sneezed onto a sleeping woman’s lap, I would break off a piece of the bar, savor and swallow.

The bar was the artisanal type that comes in a cardboard box.

I just started a new paragraph here so I could give you a chance to absorb that last sentence and get your envy in check. Because, yeah, I said cardboard box, which we all know is what separates the men from the boys in the chocolate bar world.

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Dissecting the sounds of serenity

91-w5o3d1hL._SY355_Right now, I’m listening to a song called “Cry of the Earth” on a CD entitled “Living in Harmony.”

It is playing, of course, on Pandora’s Yoga station, which I listen to nearly every time I write, which (and I know you’re not supposed to have two whiches in a sentence, but two witches is fine) has given me a lot of time to contemplate what makes a good and solid Yoga tune.

First off, water. Nearly essential in the Yoga music world. Water lapping and waves crashing (but not too aggressively) are commonly employed, as is falling rain. Occasionally, very occasionally, you’ll get thunder, but not that often because thunder can imply doom. Generally, the rain used sounds like it is falling on some very happy, quenched greenery. Like wet (but not soggy) ferns or perhaps a good rhododendron, though rodo leaves can sound slappy if you’re not careful.

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In need of a sound clip

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Note: The nails

I sat at the kitchen island with two fingers on my pulse. My husband William rubbed his biceps and kept stretching his back, so, every few minutes, it became parenthetical. The clippers were on the counter, open, unladylike, abandoned. I looked at them and nearly audibly felt my pulse quicken. I took a long sip of water and exhaled slowly, like they show you how to do in yoga so your breathing is liable to get whistly through your nose.

But it was done. Over.

The dog sat in his bed unabashedly licking his penis, in every way unfazed.

William got up and performed downward-facing dog pose.

My nose skirled like a bagpipe.

And so this is how it goes when little Mr. Fitz needs his nails clipped.

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Stepping into a new, fresh year

Solar Halo (January 30, 2011)I am writing in bed to accommodate the snoozing puppy in my lap. Outside, the air is crisp and bracing, exactly the kind of Kentucky weather I long for — though I wouldn’t mind a little snow. The house is on its way to being cleaner than it has been in months. The decorations are down.

Though it doesn’t have the sexiest reputation, there is something exceptionally peaceful and hopeful about the month of January. I never look forward to it, but when I am in the midst of this time of year, I am reminded of how grounding it is. Simply, it is so refreshing to get to turn the page on a new year. You get to leave your failures and sadness behind and simply look forward to what’s to come.

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The greatest gift of all

IMG_6668Just right now, and right out of the blue, my neighbor Pam dropped off a Christmas gift on my front step. When I opened the festive bag, I discovered an adorable stuffed turtle and a beautiful little book entitled, “Really Important Stuff My Dog has Taught Me.”

Thrilled and touched, I flipped through it briefly before deciding that I would read it together with William tonight. But it’s got me thinking about how much I have learned from Fitz in the past year and how much he’s changed our lives. And so, for this last column of the year (I’ll miss next week because I’ll be in Canada with my family), I will write once again about my beautiful baby-dog, Fitzgerald.

Right now, he is curled up beside me, occasionally putting his chin on my laptop for extra warmth. We are on the bed in the basement bedroom, where I have been frequently working over the past 11 months. If you don’t find us here, we are on the bed in the master bedroom.

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Shoppers rush home with their treasures

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I’m not exactly sure how it happened. It wasn’t planned, I know that certain. I also know that I don’t know if I’ll know how to do it again. But somehow, some way, my Christmas shopping is done.

And, I’m not going to lie, it feels pretty bloody fantastic.

However, for the past 10 days (yep, I’ve been done for 10 days), I’ve had to keep this fact kind of under wraps. Oh, and speaking of that, my wrapping is done too.

Hate me? Of course, you do. As you trudge down aisles and despair over whether it’s a cop-out to get your dad socks again, you hate me. It’s OK, I get it. Why do you think I’ve been keeping it a secret?

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Christmas tree, oh, god, Christmas tree

20badc8b41dd03187ff05e58dac97478I was keenly aware while decorating for Christmas this year that Gabrielle, a soon-to-be college girl, won’t be here to help me in 2018. As such, I wanted us to really go out with a bang before our traditions dramatically change. That meant we had to get the biggest Christmas tree we’ve not only ever had, but seen.

Since Gabrielle was little, we have always had a live tree, which generally means picking up William’s dad’s pickup, heading to Lowe’s, choosing our specimen and returning home to wrestle it inside. But this year, we discovered that Owen’s Greenhouse delivers your Christmas tree for the fair price of 15 bones. And rather than go to the shop, they are happy to send you pictures of what trees would best suit your needs.

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Eating cake — and everything else

1371597326789So So here is the situation. It’s 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday. At 7 p.m. this Friday, I will be at a fancy-dancy event at which I will be wearing a gown. A gown that will look considerably better if I am considerably less weighty than I am now.

I realized this, of course, at approximately 7:42 a.m. two weeks ago. And, at that hour, I got to work being pretty well behaved in the eating and fitness departments. I hopped on the elliptical nearly every afternoon. I ate weird snacks like yogurt-covered raisins and pumpkin seeds and mini-oranges. And I lost a little bit of weight. Not enough, mind you, but enough to be on track to reach my goal weight in time for the fancy-dancy event this Friday.

I knew, of course, that Thanksgiving was coming. And I knew that Thanksgiving involves both food and eating. However, I told myself that being goal-weight ready in time for this event was akin to being well prepared for an exam. You don’t want to procrastinate until the last minute and realize you have so much studying to do, you can’t possibly ace the test. That’s a terrible feeling. And so would this be if I didn’t stick to my guns and continue to eat beef jerky instead of Triscuits and cheese melted for 11 seconds in the microwave so it gets all gooey and perfect.

So I was armed going into Thanksgiving last Thursday. I was strong and pumped.

Then my sister-in-law Teresa arrived at our house with a chocolate cheesecake.

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Friends, lend me your ears

4090de3a2b4312dbeeb853df11315f2f82bb73979a40dd2cf0b528238ebfd4bf4c01c18395ed0527f356000c39308a97fcc1ecedf7f1111fe1b4413439291187If you are traveling this Thanksgiving, boy, do I have the perfect early Christmas gift for you. Even if you aren’t traveling, but are just going across town, this is still a gift, though one that will take longer to enjoy — unless you need an excuse to keep sitting in your car instead of facing your in-laws (wait, this might be a bigger gift than I realized …).

Anyway, trust me when I tell you, this is a great thing that all (adults) can enjoy.

Ready?

Two words.

Dirty. John.

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