Friday, March 27, 2009

It's ON, Baby!

Email from my aunt today:
"The weekend of the eighteenth should work. Can't wait to see you!"

Wahoo!! Escape is gonna happen, and even SOONER than I thought. That's really the best news I received all week.

I just have to make it till then.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Weekend

My weekend can be split into two very different days. Saturday I got up at five a.m., blearily got dressed for work and worked an 8 hour shift putting away freight after unloading it from the truck. It's exhausting work, but I thought I'd be able to go home and crash when it was over. I was wrong. Bear met me at work when it was time to go and said, "It's Teacher Appreciation weekend at Borders. I'm buying you $40 worth of stuff because you deserve it. Let's go." We got in the car and drove to Bangor. We spent about two hours in the big city (I bought three books) and then came home. Bear's best friend Snake arrived shortly after that to hang out. I was tired, but Bear had asked that I make him chocolate covered strawberries, and since I didn't know what Sunday would bring, I did it then. By nine p.m., I was falling asleep sitting up on the couch. I couldn't stop yawning or keep my eyes open. Bear and Snake were playing video games, but I had to go to bed. I gave them my apologies and went upstairs.

I slept eleven straight hours.

I woke up Sunday at about quarter past eight to sunshine streaming in my window. Bear had already risen for the day but was being quiet so I could sleep. I got out of bed and wandered downstairs. He'd made me coffee! Once I'd had some I was quite a bit perked up so I made pancakes and bacon (Sunday is pancakes day in my house). We had a leisurely breakfast, did a few minor chores, and relaxed. Bear watched t.v. while I spun on my spindle. We had a get-your-own lunch (I had salad) and then we went to bed for an hour or so in the middle of the afternoon (insert dirty thoughts here). We got back up, had an excellent dinner of chicken cordon bleu sandwiches and then together we made chocolate cake with homemade peanut butter frosting. It was delicious! Bear helped with everything, including mixing the cake batter.

Sunday was so nice and so relaxing I was able to totally recharge my batteries. I will need it, because my work schedule is going to be beyond hectic this week. I am still waiting to hear back from my aunt about my getaway (the weekend of the 24th won't work out, so I'm aiming for the weekend of the 18th), but I know that as long as I have Bear and Sundays like this last one, I'll be okay.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Escape Plan


Running away.

Call it what you will.

I need to go.

I was driving to work this morning like any other morning when out of nowhere, I burst into tears. Suddenly, it was too much that I was going to work, that I was going to leave work at the end of the day and go immediately to my other job. That I will have to do the same thing tomorrow, and will have to be at work at 6 am on Saturday. This never-ending merry-go-round of jobs, chores, and obligations was suddenly too much, and I broke down. It doesn't happen to me often, but once I get to this point - this feeling that my life is an avalanche about to destroy me - I need to get away. Completely. To stop living my life as it is and do something totally different, even if it is just for a few days.

I hate getting to this point. I hate feeling like I am letting others down by taking care of myself. But seeing as how I'm in tears just writing this (while in study hall, no less), it's something I have to do.

The actual running away part is easy.* I know exactly where I'm going to go. The one place in this entire world where my soul is at peace. The place where I am calm, happy, in tune with nature and the world. It is Tide Mill Organic Farm - my aunt and uncle's farm in Washington County, Maine. There I will wake each morning to the sound of the ocean's tides. I will hear cows mooing and eagles' cries. I will hear the distant barking of seals and the honking of returning Canadian Geese. All around me I will feel the earth growing, and I will know that I am part of something larger. I will walk through fresh green hay fields and watch swallows build their nests in the barn. I will work the land alongside my cousins, helping wherever another pair of hands are of use. I will feel the warm sun on my face and will be renewed.

I will be home.

* Easy, yes, but soon, no. Due to my hectic schedule, I will have to postpone my trip until April 24-26. That's about five weeks from now. I will make it. I have no other choice.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Catch -22

It isn't often that my husband says something that wounds me. He tries so hard to make me happy that even when things don't go his way, he rarely says anything. It's one of the things that makes him the wonderful man that he is; it's also one of the reasons why when he does say something, it hurts.

Let me set the scene for you. We'd been hanging out on the couch, watching t.v. in our typical Sunday fashion when I decided that the light was just right to go upstairs and read in bed. Bear wasn't happy with that (he likes to spend as much of our time off together as possible), but I ran up the stairs anyway, book in hand. This new book was terrific and I couldn't put it down.

After about half an hour, Bear came up the stairs and asked if we could go for a walk. I was right in the middle of my book, and replied, "I thought you said you wanted to go later in the afternoon?"
"Yes, hon, I did. It IS afternoon! I just want to go DO something. I'm so tired of doing nothing and staying home all the time. I realize you're tired and that you want to rest. You deserve your rest. But I just want to get out once in a while."
"So go do something, then. You don't need me to go!" I was mildly offended that he was complaining about spending time with me at home. I get ONE day off a week (if I'm lucky) and here was my husband, being all ungrateful.
"No, Hon. I want to do things with you," he said. "We need to join an outing club or some organization - something."
"You know, I really can't put anything more on my plate right now." The thought of having yet another demand on my time nearly exhausted me.
"That didn't stop you from joining knit group, did it?" he said. Ouch.
"You're right. I did. And how often do I get to go? I haven't been in a month! I never get to go because I'm either working or too tired. I'm sorry that spending time at home with me isn't good for you, but I'm TIRED. I work TWO JOBS and I don' t want to go anywhere on my ONE day off!" By now I was mad. Really mad. How dare he?
At that point Bear, sensing that I wasn't interested in continuing the conversation, apologized for interrupting me, and left.
I laid there in my indignation for a while, trying to read. But my mind kept going back to our conversation. As I calmed down, I tried to look at it through his perspective. Was he right? Did we really never do anything together? I thought back over the last several trips we made: groceries, errands in town, groceries + dinner with his sister, doctor's appointment, groceries... the list continued. We really never did go out and *do* anything - at least not anything fun. Shit. Now I felt bad. I mean, the truth is that I really am tired. All the time. And when I am home, I don't want to go anywhere. I want to stay in and relax. A trip to Bangor takes hours and tires me out, depleting the batteries I'm trying to recharge. I don't see any way around this. But even though I'm tired, Bear shouldn't be treated as though he is, too. I should be willing to meet him halfway, and do at least one thing of his choosing. He stays in this house we both hate so he can be with me. He does it largely without complaint and without resentment. The least I can do is attempt something that makes him happy.
So here it is - Bear, as of this week you are in charge of planning something fun for us to do each week. It is totally up to you - you name the time and place and I will be there ready to go. No complaints, no procrastination ... just enthusiasm and love. I love you and want you to be happy - as happy as you've made me. I love you Bear - let's go do something together.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Last year I lost quite a bit of weight (almost 30 pounds, for those of you who want to know). I did it by strict dieting and a whole heap of exercise. I have a recumbent bike that I rode every day for almost four months, and I took up running as well.
The bike I hated. It was hard. It made me sweaty. It made my butt hurt. And my competitive nature never let me just take it easy - I always had to go further, burn more calories, spend more time at a higher level. When I started on New Year's Day, I went just twenty minutes at level 3, for about a 300 calorie burn. When I ended I was doing no less than 500 calories and for no less than twenty minutes. Some days I got to 500 before the twenty minutes was up and had to keep going, and some days it took me almost half an hour to get there. By the end of the third month I was in tears just at the thought of getting on that damn bike. I hated it. I did eventually stop riding it after crying to my husband that I didn't want to do it any more (I had asked him to make sure that I rode it each day). Having burned myself out on it, I have only ridden it a handful of times since.
Last spring and summer I started running. I got a copy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running" and faithfully followed all of the directions and tips. I stretched. I timed myself. I got a pedometer. And after a while, I started to enjoy it. I liked being able to be outside and running. I liked that I could get further each day without slowing to a walk. I liked that people noticed me and commented on my running when they saw me in town. I loved the way I felt after a run. Hot and sweaty, yes, but also happy. Accomplished. I even competed in a 5k race last summer. I came in almost dead last, but I did it.

But the cold season in Maine strikes hard and fast, and I was forced to give up running until the roads were safe again. Ice and snow and many hours of darkness combine to make even walking outside a risky endeavor. So I've done nothing all winter to keep myself in shape. and it shows. I'm up ten pounds. I don't feel or look as good as I did. I'm frustrated and antsy. I want to get back out and run again!

But in order to be ready for running season, I would have to get back on the bike. The bike I hate. The Bike of Extreme Pain and Suffering. The Bike of Doom. I would have to make a practice out of it, too - not just pedaling slowly once a week or less and hope that it makes a difference. Because if last year taught me anything, it was that getting and staying in shape is hard work.

So Sunday I got on the bike. I pedaled for 23 minutes at level 4, went 6.06 miles and burned 436 calories.

And you know what? It wasn't so bad.

I made sure to stretch before and after, and read a book so that I wouldn't stare at the display. I got a little sweaty, but not enough to be uncomfortable. All in all, it was not terrible. I am apparently in better shape now than I was last year at this time. So maybe while I've been avoiding the bike, my body has been conserving my strength so that when I need it this spring, it will be ready. Then again, maybe it just wanted to show me that the whining I do about the bike is really just that - whining.

So this week marks the start of my return to training. My goal is to be back to 500 calories in under 20 minutes by the end of March, which I think is totally doable. Once I can get back out onto the roads to run, I'll let you know where I am with that, too. I'm hoping to get back out there by April 1 (weather permitting). But for now, it's back to the bike for me - and this time, I'm not giving up.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I don't think I have mentioned it here, but a few weeks ago my manager at job #2 notified me that she was recommending me for a shift supervisor position. I was thrilled! No more plain old cashiering for me - nope! This promotion would mean that I could get my own change, that I could approve things that needed manager approval, that I could open the safes and front doors (I'd even have a code to the alarm!!). I would be on the floor each shift instead of behind the counter.
Over the past two weeks, I have been in training for the new position. I know now how to do the Daily Business Report, how to operate the safes, do money orders and a host of other things. The only thing that has been missing has been my "numbers": a six digit code that grants me access to the finer workings of the company. My training really can't be completed without it, and I've been eager to begin this final phase.

I got a voicemail today from my manager - I HAVE NUMBERS! The district manager stopped by and gave me that final piece. Now I am officially in the final stages of my training. Wahoo!

No word yet on a raise.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

American Logger

Last December I wrote a post describing the road I drive in to work each day. It's a beautiful road in Northern Maine, and over the three years I've been commuting on it, it has begun to feel like my road. I feel very proprietary about it and get angry when people are on it who don't belong there.

I was delighted last Friday, though, when I turned on the Discovery Channel and saw the premier episode of American Logger. The show takes place in Millinocket - a town I drive through each day! It focuses on the Pelletier Logging Company that works in the North Maine Woods. They primarily work on the Golden Road, a privately owned road that traverses most of North West Maine, but even in that first episode they showed truckers on my road. It was awesome to see my road on National television! I am so proud. The show wasn't as accurate as I'd like (the 200,000 lb carrying trucks are only legally allowed on the Golden Road, not my road. Not everyone speaks with that French-Canadian accent that the Pelletiers do. Bonecrusher's comments? Pretty much EXACTLY how people talk around here), but most of it was pretty good. Discovery bought ten episodes with the option for more. Please check out the show - it's on Friday nights at ten p.m. I love my state and I love my road ... won't you fall in love with it, too?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Slow steady plod to solvency

Two weeks into my very tight budget and I'm learning just how much money I waste on things. Funny how I never notice how much I spend until I can't spend anything. On Sunday I spent $22 on sugar, hand lotion, a stuffed sheep for a package I'm mailing out and thumbtacks. All stuff I needed, and it came to 1/4 of $100! Why are things so expensive? I'm trying really hard to curtail my excessive spending. No, honest! Every single day, though, is a struggle. And I don't always win.
Like today. My friend Lori is selling off a lot of her fiber and yarn, and was selling some black merino (wool) for $8. It's enough to spin into the shawl I've been wanting to knit for some time now. How could I not? And since my husband reads my blog, now he knows. Sorry Honey, I couldn't resist. It just kind of happened. I'm really sorry I disappointed you. I'm not sorry I bought it, but... well, you know what I mean.

In other news, we had another snowstorm yesterday that caused school to be canceled. I spent the first few hours reading, then I knit some, then spun some as well. All in all, it was a great day. Look what I made:

A baby bootie for my friend Amanda's baby! You'll remember her as the poor woman who discovered she was pregnant after taking colitis and fibromyalgia meds? She's having a girl this May. All it needs are buttons and a mate.