CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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New Year, 2006 -- Time is Flying!

So where did the first week (plus) of the new year go?! I can't believe today is January 10.

It's around 7:30 a.m. here and I actually got up late today. Marilyn mistressmarilyn is making her 'movie pitch' this morning for the Association board, among many other agenda items she is personally responsible for. Fortunately Marilyn is an excellent public speaker who feels no qualms about facing a large room full of people. I'm sure she'll do her usual great job. (I'm very excited to hear how it goes!)

As for me, I have several resolutions for this year that I've been putting into effect, so I suppose that accounts for some of where the time has gone.

First, I've resolved to be more social this year. I have such a large circle of friends, but I don't always interact with them as often as I might like.

I was talking to my friend Sandy about making a Book Club we could use as an excuse to get together for lunch once a month. We've got this group we'd love to pull together, based on several of my friends who have to date never met. Knowing how much fun each of these women are individually, I'm always telling them how they'd love knowing one another. (smile)

Sandy is a fascinatingly liberal woman who has lesbian friends. She's married with two sons and has done a lot to help her previously conservative, Hispanic husband Hector see the light about her 'live and let live' life philosophy. (I love thinking of her at the Eminem concert with her oldest son, who she encourages to practice rapping!) Like me, she is extremely out-going and warm to everyone. We hit it off from the first phone call. She helps with her husband's business out of her home, doing the accounts, payroll and billing. (All the computerized things.)

Sandy and her husband are so caring for others that they've actually allowed homeless people to sleep on their sofa on occasion! Yet they're strict with the boys, making sure they behave and have a work ethic.

I so want Sandy to meet Denise, who is the wife of my computer tech, Donn. Sandy, too, assists with her husband's business, though she works at his shop here in one of the small local communities. I met Donn and Denise years ago when their business was just up the street from me, and I've been going to them ever since. In fact, seeing as I know so many people, I've managed to help increase their business via word of mouth. (I can't even begin to list how many others I've sent Donn's way in the past decade.)

Denise, too, is a warm and nurturing person, who loves to talk as much as both Sandy and me. I can't imagine what the three of us would be like together in a room! (grin) She always seems to have at least one of her children (plus grandchildren) living in the house with her and Donn.

I first met Brenda at a yard sale I was holding with a large circle of neighbors. At the time her husband Paul was severely obese -- and others seemed reluctant to engage him in conversation. Having seen this many times in my life, I immediately went up to him and started talking. Such a nice man! He was interested in my large cache of computer software, and I advised him as to what would actually be worth his time to try. Brenda is another very outgoing person, so she and I were soon chattering away. (smile)

Later I went to their home several times to help Paul with his computer. (I've done so much pro bono computer work over the years that I couldn't even start listing it all.) Even though they live close by, we simply don't seem to see each other very often. Brenda always looks for me at one of the large, nationally famous annual rummage sales that takes place in autumn, but the last two years I've missed it. (It falls in November, and this year I was wrapped up with NaNo.)

I finally got their new address and phone number when they came by the neighborhood for another sale, so I've been planning to call them for literally weeks now.

My friend June loves to read and is always in the middle of a book. I've been telling her for a couple months now that I wanted to start our own, informal book club. June's an amazingly interesting woman who seems to have done so many different things in her life. She used to ride motorcycles with a close friend years back and has shown me pictures of her bike, which is quite amazing! (She's one of the best drivers I've ever ridden with, by the way -- far superior to her husband, Jim.)

She used to run her own ranch and lived and worked in California years back. I laugh that she once operated an elevator in a fancy department store, as I worked in a similar store that had one elevator which included an operator. For those who were never exposed to this practice, it used to be quite common in upper end department stores. The really upper crust women would apparently never expect to know where anything they wanted might be located -- or to push the button for the floor they were going to!

I'm hopeful to also include my older sister, Sue, in our casual club. She loves to read as much as I do, and seems to almost devour books!

It reminds me that toward the end of her life I was hard-pressed to keep my mother in enough books. I recall riding the bus to her nursing home wearing a backpack that was full of paperbacks on several occasions. Mom's sight was so bad that even with her glasses she'd often have to use a magnifying glass to read, but it didn't keep her from reading several books in a week, easily.

Sue loves to read, as well. And during her years as a highly paid union representative, she traveled constantly all over the country. So she was always reading on the plane and in airports. And in her hotel rooms, too, as she used to have a terrible time ever sleeping.

Of all these people, I'm the one who reads the most, though. Since childhood I've always been in the middle of five or more books at the same time. I used to race through these, but now I try to stretch books out more and truly savor them.

With the recent Discovery Channel special about finding King Tut's tomb, I've wanted to go back and reread the book about the same. It was a fascinating read, but I can't recall how many years ago I read it.

Aside from the small group of women mentioned above, there are so many others I'd like to see more frequently. Marilyn and I visited one of our friends last week for a late Christmas, to see her tree before she took it down. She always puts up a huge live tree in her home, around ten feet tall. She covers it with red lights. (You'd think they'd been put on professionally if you saw it.) Then she has gorgeous, huge ornaments that she's gathered over years, all in red. This year we noted some of the ornaments were genuninely the size of basketballs! (I've always said they were 'like basketballs,' but I didn't realize it was true!) The newest additions included large and lovely red butterflies.

She always has a second tree downstairs that's covered with other ornaments of varying sizes and colors. These include her ornaments purchased on her many trips to different places across the country and around the world.

I've actually been hosting people here in the house again! It's really fun for me to fix lunch and have company over. One day I had friends for lunch at 1:00 and then stayed visiting until past 5:00! So nice. I plan to do more of that this year...

I've also started my health and fitness program, geared toward losing some weight and getting in better shape. I can't see myself in training for a half-marathon like Marilyn, but I used to love to run. And I do like taking part in organized walks. (I only did one in 2005.) I've got a borderline issue with cholesterol that I've been addressing for several months. My previous doctor wanted to treat it with medication, but my current doctor and I see eye to eye on this one! We're trying to treat it with diet and exercise, instead. (I'm not a big fan of taking pills as a solution for health problems, personally.)

Then there's my on-going dental issues. (grin)

The bad news is that I need to get one of my wisdom teeth crowned. I've known it was coming for several years, but my dentist tried several methods to avoid the expense and discomfort involved. My most recent visit was to care for an upper front tooth that had a cavity behind it.

That was one of the most painful visits I've had in some time. The shot took quite some time to administer, though Mary (my dentist) does give shots better than any dentist I've ever been to. It didn't hurt terribly when she gave it, but when the numbness wore off it was a bitch. (smile) And for some reason the vibrations from drilling were awful! So bad I couldn't even hear what she was saying to me.

I'm the one who pushed to do the crown now, once the appointment was finished. I don't want to risk cracking that tooth! Mary was in a agreement, reminding me of how much time and effort we'd both put into my mouth over the past six years that she's been my dentist. Plus the money I've spent on dental costs.

The good news is that Mary knows I don't have dental insurance. Plus she's very grateful for all the people I've sent her way. (I'm always telling one of my friends about her and the fine work she does.) So she gives me her very lowest rates. In this case it ends up a full $200 less than the average cost of a crown.

In fact, I'd been given a quote on the cavity I had done that ended up being $20 cheaper when she did it. As dental work isn't cheap, that was welcome news! (grin)

I can't begin to count how many people I've brought to Mary the last several years. She lost a lot of business when the local bridge was closed for upgrading, so she's been very thankful. While that's nice, I was glad to encourage friends to go to her. She's friendly and warm and very careful to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Besides, she does good work! I've heard so many people speak of how she fixed a bad dental job done by someone else...

Next, it looks like I'll be putting in more hours at the Association this year. The staff is bare bones now, so they could use the help. I don't see why I can't do this and still manage to do the script with no problem. I'm free (as a volunteer), so they can't beat the price! (And considering the staff cuts and financial woes, they need that right now.) I can commute with Marilyn, so that works out fine.

We'll see how it goes in the next week or so, I suppose.

Finally, I'm on a mission to get this house more organized.

We had the living room just lovely for Christmas, I must admit. (I should take some pictures and post them!) I'd like to get all the other rooms equally tidied and nice. It's not generally about the house being dirty. It's more about having places to put all our stuff away!

Yes, we have too much in the way of material things. There are DVDs, CDs, books, video tapes and office supplies all over this house. To say nothing of posters, clothing, exercise equipment and on and on. I'm known for my organizational skills, so there's really no excuse for it. (Mainly I need to get rid of some of this stuff!)

I finally took down Christmas in the family room. I've got one more Christmas to do before I can take it down in the living room and kitchen. (My cousin was so disappointed she wouldn't get to see our tree that we decided we could put up with it until she was able to get out to the house. Thank heaven the tree is artificial, or that wouldn't have been an option!)

The neighbors were very generous with goodies this year. I shared those around with others to keep us from being tempted. We're both eating healthy right now. My personal diet was improved by being sick yet again. (sigh) I'm struggling with this cycle of constant colds and flu that seem to hit me now in the fall and hang on during the winter. Regardless, they don't keep me from being busy and being happy! And I'm not about to sneeze at the recent weight loss, which is a good thing. (grin) Yes, pun intended! I'd love to be back on allergy meds the way I used to be. I think my allergies are what cause me to be vulnerable to the other illnesses, but my insurance no longer covers the expensive meds. Damn. And we live in a state where it's impossible to get most medication for colds over the counter! Ridiculous.

Did I mention that I'd like to finish my NaNo novel sometime soon? Or is that foolish of me to even consider before the Season ends (and summer begins)? Anyway, it is on my list!

Tags: 2006, cleaning, friends, health, new-year, novel, resolutions, socializing, work

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