My daughter noted in her blog post today that it was 2 months, 2 weeks and 2 days until her wedding. When I read that it made me think - gee, it's probably been 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days since my last blog post.....better get with the program....
I admit it, I've just been plain lazy. It is a recurring theme in my techno-life. I get on a roll and accomplish all this stuff, and then I have what seems to be a forced-induced relapse and recede back to lazy-land for awhile. Ah well, whatever.
Even though it's been a few months - I have to say here that I had an absolutely fabulous time in Israel. From start to finish, it was downright perfect! The only thing that could have made it better would be that I could have stayed for longer. But other than that - spending time with Sam and Ari, meeting and falling head over heels in love with their dog Jack - was the best part of my trip, even though we spent 3 fantastic days and nights in Cairo (who knew that just a few weeks later Cairo - and Egypt, would be changed forever).
Highlights of my trip:
(1) witnessing a very heated exchange at the meat counter in the local market between the butchers and a customer who was beyond annoyed at the length of time to wait for service and who was convinced that the butchers were unfairly serving people who were behind her in line, first. I was incredibly bemused by the whole thing, because, it was all in Hebrew and I understood very few words, but the meaning was quite clear!!!
(2) taking Jack for daily walks around the neighborhood, while Sam and Ari were at work.
(3) seeing the pyramids in Cairo - staying at the divine Sofitel Hotel on the River Nile - seeing King Tut's gold mask at the Egyptian Museum
(4) hanging out with Sam and Ari - I miss Sam so much and it was such a gift to be able to spend some good quality time with her - just doing mundane things - cooking, grocery shopping, watching our fav shows online, going for walks with Jack, etc. Getting to know Ari better, and meeting his family - one thing I really enjoy is talking with Ari about all things Israel and the Middle East - I appreciate hearing points of view from a native. Of course, Sam has taught me a lot, so between the two of them, I've gained a deeper understanding of the history and politics of the region.
Okay, on to the holidays - returning home from Israel on the 13th left little time for Christmas preparation - thankfully, my folks decided to come spend the holiday with me in Roseville, rather than me go to Carmel. That was a huge timesaver for me - it allowed me to spend more time with them instead of 2 days on the road - and I got to cook for them in my own kitchen! Everyone was tired, so we stayed in and spent the time quietly. My mom, especially, was totally exhausted from her recent work commitments, so it was nice to see her be able to relax, far from the phones and kit boxes needing replenishment - at my house, there was nothing for her to do other than eat, sleep, watch some movies, read magazines and enjoy a few bottles of good wine with me! I think she really appreciated the time away.
Work has been pretty steadily busy - always something on my desk that needs immediate attention - and with 5 employees to manage - I always seem to be one step away from disaster - or being behind!! But I seem to have finally found my groove, in a word, and the days just fly by for the most part.
I've been maintaining a very diligent exercise schedule since September - actually - I've been walking 10-15 miles a week pretty regularly for about 9 months now - but in September I added extra cardio and strength training work - for the first month I did a program for 30 days in a row - lost 6 pounds and firmed up quite a bit - and now I maintain that work 3-4 days per week. I've lost a few more pounds which brings me within about 8 pounds of my goal weight. I'm keeping to a mostly vegan diet - so I'm not sure what more I can do in terms of improving my overall health from the eating perspective.
3 weeks ago I moved - again!!! As part of my overall life-downsizing goals, I reduced my monthly housing rent by a whopping $500 per month - yay me! But in so doing, I also reduced my home size from 1800 square feet to 900, 4 beds/2 baths to 2 beds/1 bath, 2-car garage to no garage. I do have a basement, but access is a tad challenging. I moved from cookie-cutter housing development neighborhood to Old Town Roseville, and my new home is one of those 80+ year old bungalow type homes, with a nice covered front porch and a 2 block walk to town. I hear the trains day and night, and the hustle bustle of traffic, but I really love it! I think the move was a wise one, in all ways. I finally got the rest of my stuff put away this weekend, so now the house is "guest-worthy." It's a tight fit in the bedrooms, with narrow walk-around challenges, and I'm not big on having Summer's litter box on the floor next to my toilet in my one bathroom, but hey, it is what it is.
Molly continues to defy all odds and is doing well at her doggy day care, as well as at home. She had some gastric issues last month, but she rallied and has returned to her daily schedule. She seems to enjoy the new house - especially hanging out on the front porch or lawn on the weekends and watching the people go by. Summer is very interested in the new house - she meows at the front door screen to have me let her out onto the porch - and she really enjoys sitting on my bed during the mornings looking out my window at the world. The older she gets the more "normal" cat she acts - she's so much more loving and calm than ever before. Such a funny bunny.
Well, that's it - I'm caught up. This week I've got to do my wedding job - mail the invitations out. Sam wants them in the mail 8 weeks before the wedding - so I've still got some time, but if you know Sam, you know that she's asking me nearly every day - "so Mom, how's those invitations coming" Ha ha!!! A chip off the old block.
Here's a few pics from my trip to Israel - I did post a bunch on my kodak gallery site - but here's a couple of my favs. The last one is a pic of my new house.