Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last day...

...and that's a wrap!

There will be a post tomorrow, though...

Monday, May 30, 2011

The countdown is on...

Today is the next to last day of the Blogathon.  I think I'm gonna make it!

Writing every day has meant a lot to me.  I hope I can keep it up once the calendar rolls over to June.

Just so this isn't a total filler post:

InfidelI just finished Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  An amazing memior of an amazing person.  It gave me a lot to think about.

Grand total: 18

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The 80-20 rule

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, basically means that 80% of results come from 20% of causes.

From a business standpoint, that means that 80% of your profits come from 20% of your clients.  Or that 80% of revenues are a result of 20% of your marketing.

This applies to other areas of your life.  How about, 80% of your headaches in life come from 20% of your problems?

For a writer, 80% of your good writing comes from 20% of your writing efforts.

So it makes sense, from a business standpoint, to keep your 20% of high-revenue clients and work on attracting more just like them.  Or figuring out what 20% of your marketing is working, and eliminate the rest.

And find a way to mitigate the 20% of your problems that are causing the majority of your headaches.

But for writers - whatever you do, keep writing!

Pretty powerful stuff here...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another book

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)With summer about to officially kick off this weekend, I just finished The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.  I only marginally enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and had my doubts about this one at first. But I warmed up to it and by the midway point, could barely put it down.  Now I need to get to the library before it closes for the holiday and pick up the last of the Millennium series, The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet's Nest.

For those keeping count, that makes 17 for the year.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Filler post

Day 26 of continuous blogging, and I'm definitely ready for this to be over. 

Not that it's been bad or anything.  It's actually been a lot of fun.

But there has been a little stress involved.  Like the night that I realized, as I was shutting down my computer for the night before I went to bed, that I hadn't blogged yet.  And I didn't have anything to blog about.

Yeah, I'm not going to miss that. 

But I like being on something of a schedule.  I'm hoping to actually plan ahead and come up with meaningful things to write in the future.  Or not-so-meaningful things to write.  Whatever...

I like how I've realized that not every blog post needs to be a masterpiece.  A brief post is better than no post.

And writing practice is always good...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More shameless self-promotion

Are you gluten free yet? 


Why not??? It's all the rage...

Hop on over to Li Loves David for a review of Garden of Eatin' Blue Corn Tortilla chips.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An end to worry

Or at least, a way to diminish it.

Another article that spoke to me:  Are You a Worrier?

I am.  But I'm working on it.  Like so many other things...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Out, out, damn thoughts!

Over the weekend I endured a cold, or, as I like to call it, an adventure in mucus. It’s much better now, but I still have a lingering cough. One that makes my throat feel like I swallowed sandpaper. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to be settling down into my chest. For that, I am very thankful.

Today, since I’ve been out of commission since Thursday, I was supposed to get a lot done. And I started off the day with every intention of that occurring.

Then…something happened.

I’m actually not entirely sure what it was. Maybe it’s just lingering fatigue from the cold. Maybe it’s allergies. Maybe a change in the weather. Maybe it’s just me.

But whatever it was, I haven’t been able to be productive all day.

I don’t have any motivation, or any energy. I don’t have any oomph.

That’s a technical term, right? Oomph.

So, anyhow, here’s to another wasted day.

But I’m trying to be too down about it. Because I read an article today about banishing negative thoughts.

It’s an interesting concept. After all, negativity seems to be one of the very things that makes us who we are. “To kvetch is human…” Or something like that.

Anyhow, it seems to go against most of what I’ve read about emotional health. I’m pretty sure most experts say it’s okay to have negative thoughts, to experience anger and blame others, and that it’s important to acknowledge these feelings when they occur. They are normal.

But what if they aren’t necessary? What if you can live a happier, more productive life by not allowing these feelings in the first place?

I’m not sure how I feel about the concept of not dwelling on negativity (something I am quite skilled at). However, I do agree with the article that life is too short to waste time on unconstructive thinking. So I’m going to give this a try. Even if it doesn’t become wholly ingrained in my behavior, it can’t hurt to learn how to let go of my negative thoughts. Or at least some of them.

So I guess today wasn’t wasted. I learned a new mental coping mechanism, and I completed another blog post for the month of May. Here’s to my success!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I took some time to relax, nurse my cold, and read this weekend.

Best Friends Forever: A NovelBest Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner.  Love her writing, but didn't love this book.  She has many more wonderful novels to choose from, though.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Recycled PS6 plastic pendants

I was surfing the Inner-Webs when I stumbled upon this:

How to Make an Imitation Painted Glass Pendant from Food Packaging: 7 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow

Recycled Shrinky Dinks!  How cool is that?

For the purists:  Shrinky Dinks

Remember these things?  They were so cool!  I'd really like to try making something out of recycled PS6 plastic, only I try to never buy anything that comes in that stuff.  Hmm, maybe I can get some from someone else...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Where did the time go?

Today I’m fighting off a cold.

Not a raging, wet, drag you down and beat you up cold. More of a piddly, wimpy, just enough to make you uncomfortable cold.

It’s just enough of a cold to either put me in slow motion, or the day in high gear. I’m not sure how it happened, but it’s already late afternoon, and I haven’t gotten anything done!

Okay, not entirely true. I made a quick grocery run, met with a contractor about some work we’re having done on the house, and took a nap (I needed it).

But seriously? It’s 4:30. There’s no way those things took up almost 8 hours. My naps aren’t that long…

However it transpired, the majority of the day is gone. So happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oh happy day...

I need to cheer up.

I’m in a bad mood right now. I have food intolerances, and I thought I had all the substances that make me ill pretty well nailed down. But for the last year or so, I’ve been on a downward slide as far as health. It’s been a slow descent, to be sure, but it’s there. And it’s time to do something about it.

So I’m on an elimination diet.

If you are at all familiar with allergies/intolerances, you probably have heard of this, and may have even done it. An elimination diet is simply where you eliminate foods that may be causing you problems.

I’m not going to get deeply into the mechanics of the diet here. You can Google it if you want the nitty gritty details. There are a few ways you can go about this, and I’m doing what I like to think of as a “rice fast.” Basically I’m eating rice, and not much else, for several days. Then I slowly get to add one food back into my diet every day or two, until I can pinpoint whatever has been bothering me.

I’ve done this before and it sucks. The first week or so is especially awful. Even though I feel better rather quickly, the rice fast leaves me hungry. All. The. Time.

And when I’m hungry, I’m crabby.

You may not have picked this up, but I love food. A lot. So not having any food variety in my life, not being able to cook for a few weeks, just kills me.

Writing hasn’t been helping much, because I normally do a lot of noshing while I write. I know, bad habit. And you should see my keyboard…

So to get through this, I’m trying to think up ways to distract myself from thinking about food. Little emotional pick-me-ups. Here are my top ten, in no particular order:

1. Go for a walk or run (a favorite).

2. Take a nap (another favorite).

3. Write something (trying to break the association with food).

4. Read.

5. Watch something funny on TV.

6. Cuddle a cat.

7. Meditate (I really should do this more).

8. Surf the web (staying away from food blogs, natch).

9. Knit something.

10. Did I mention naps?

Okay, it’s obvious I missed a whole bunch of good distractions. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A possible celiac vaccine

What would you do if you’d been told that for the rest of your life, you can’t eat something that you love. Something that everyone around you is always eating. Something that is everywhere. Like, oh…bread. Or pasta. And it’s not just that you can’t have it, but that it will make you very sick, and could possibly kill you.

And after you’ve gone without this thing, this bread thing, for several years, you were told that maybe you could have this bread thing again. But for that to happen, you would have to put up with months - maybe years - of shots. And it might not even work. And even if it did work, there might be side effects. Some of which might not be discovered for many years to come.

What would you do?

Someday in the foreseeable future, I may be facing this situation.

I have celiac disease. I have to stay away from gluten, which is the protein in wheat, barley and rye, or I’ll be very sick. So not only do I have to stay away from breads, pastas, etc., but I have to stay away from things that have gluten added to them (like many processed foods). And then there’s cross contamination, where a microscopic amount of gluten can get into something that should be gluten free. The possibilities for getting sick are virtually endless.

At the moment, the only treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong gluten-free diet.

But that may be changing. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian vaccine for celiac disease is showing promise in early trials. Here’s a link to the story. Initial reports are that it is working as expected, and that it is safe. Of course, it’s still early, and the finished product is YEARS away from production.

So I’m not stressing about this just yet.

But this vaccine may eventually become available.

So hypothetically, if that happens, it will be time for a decision. Someday.

By then hopefully there will be a lot more information about how this vaccine works, and what the possible side effects are. And then there’s going to be a waiting period, while I let other people try this drug out. Because I think any drug approved by the FDA is like any software released by Microsoft. You never, ever want to buy the first release. Always let the early adopters test it for any lingering bugs. Wait until a service pack or two get released. Think Windows 98. Or Vioxx.

Yeah, right now, I’m good with being gluten free. You know something? It’s not bad. I definitely feel better than I have, like, ever in my life. And once you learn what to eat and what to avoid, it’s not even that hard. Okay, eating out in a restaurant can be a pain. But even that has gotten better. And the availability of gluten-free foods is just amazing. There are very few things that can’t be replicated in a gluten-free version.

So for now, keep the needles away. Ask me again when the vaccine has been out for several years. I promise I’ll take another look at it then…

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nothing much, you?

Another slow news day here at Simply Nooner.

I did find an interesting article about a tennis player who, after discovering he had a gluten allergy, went gluten free and is having the best year of his career.  I posted about it on Li Loves David, if you are interested.

Otherwise, this is just kind of filler to meet my required post for the day.  I know, not very exciting.

But sometimes, that's all I've got.

One nice thing about the exercise of posting on my blog every day:  I have learned that I really enjoy doing this.  Maybe I don't want to have to come up with an article a day...although, with a little planning, it's possible...but I am definitely capable of posting more often than I have been.

So that's a good thing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What's my motivation?

Today’s post is about finding motivation.

Specifically: What do you do to make yourself do something you don’t want to do?


Okay, I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m looking for a way to stop procrastinating. I have all these projects that are in various stages of being partially done, sitting on the metaphorical back burner, just waiting to be finished.

By the way, on my real-life stove, the back burners work better than the front ones. For realsies…

So I’m looking for a way to motivate myself to get some of these things done.

Just for clarification, a lot of these tasks are not being put off because I dread them. A few are, like cleaning the litter boxes. I have three cats and, well, yuck! But on the other hand, if I put that one off too long, life becomes unbearable. And I can sometimes con, er, I mean, ask my husband to do that one.

No, the things I’m talking about are ones that I actually kind of want to do, but just keep putting off. Like finishing my website and writing more spec pieces, both of which would be a good start toward drumming up some business for my fledgling writing career.

Not only do I want the business, I also want to get these things going so I can feel legitimate as a writer. You know, if I’m getting paid to do it, it must be official.

With the website and the spec pieces, my writing career is free to take off.

But what if it doesn’t?

I think that’s what is really scaring the bejeezus out of me. And hence the procrastination.

Oh, my.  What to do, what to do?

One thing I’ve already started to do is use the 15 minute timer trick. It works sometimes. And sometimes my left brain say, “Ha! I know what you’re doing! Nice try, but I’m not falling for it. I need a nap/snack/distraction.”

I can’t reward myself with food, because, well, I have a history of weight problems and that’s just not a good idea. Trust me.

How about running? I don’t think that would work because A) I’m injury-prone and can only run 3 times a week or I risk straining something and then won’t be able to run at all; and B) I’m going to go on my scheduled runs regardless of what I do or don’t get done, because I’m a total running addict.

One idea I had is to try using books as an incentive. If I get X amount of stuff done, I get to curl up with a book for an hour. That might actually work. I’ve been watching way too much television in the evening, anyhow. It would be good for me to get back on a reading kick.

Another thing I think will help is my productivity chart, which I wrote about in Time to Focus. I like to look back and see results (or not) of my actions, and the chart will be able to tell me where I need to spend more time. Plus, the idea of not getting a checkmark for the day will usually be enough to spur me into action.

Any other ideas out there on how to motivate myself and quit procrastinating? I’d love to hear them!

By the way, I used my 15 minute timer in writing this article. I wasn’t done yet the first time the time went off, and I didn’t feel like stopping, so I ended up writing for 25 minutes. I definitely need to keep using that timer.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Random musings

The hubby and I had a great run yesterday.  Not just a good run, but a great run.  One of those runs that when you're done, you want to turn around and do it again. 

Why does that happen?  Why is it that sometimes, something you do just feels so right...and other times, not so much?

I mean, I know the mechanics of it.  For our Saturday run, we got up early before the heat, but not so early that it was still dark out.  There was coffee (a little bit), water, and some food (not too much).  We did a distance that was longer than what we normally run, but not outside of our abilities.  And we kept the pace easy, so we could talk comfortably throughout.

In other words, we did everything right.  And it paid off.  We finished the run fresh, and recovered quickly.

But sometimes it doesn't work that way.  I've had several long runs where I thought everything was done correctly, and yet I was a mess at the end. 

So what's the difference?

Is it fate?  Karma? The alignment of the Universe?  Or just plain bad luck?

Often you can pinpoint the problem.  I stayed up too late the night before, didn't hydrate properly that morning, started out too fast, or didn't fuel properly throughout the run.

But sometimes, you just have a bad run, for no apparent reason.  It happens.

Same thing with life.  Sometimes it just doesn't go right.

Luck may favor the prepared, but every so often, shit happens. 

So what to do when things go wrong?

Analyze the situation.  Break it down.  What did you do that could have been different, could have been better?  Sometimes it helps to have an outside opinion.  Find the problem, and write it down, so you'll remember next time. 

What if you can't find anything?  What if it really is just random bad luck?

Accept it and move on.  Hey, things happen, remember?  Sometimes you'll have a bad run.  But that doesn't define you.  And if you keep at it, keep doing your best, and keep working out little problems before they become big ones, the majority of your runs will be good ones. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mea culpa

I officially take back everything bad I said about Blogger in the last few days.  They have performed admirably in reestablishing service and restoring all deleted posts, at least on my blogs.

Sorry, Blogger!

Friday, May 13, 2011

...a blessing and a curse...

Isn’t the Inter-Web cool?

My hubby and I were commenting on that the other day. Actually, we comment on that nearly every day.

You see, we are old enough to have been adults (barely!) before the inter-webs were around. We even remember the days before email. (Gasp!)

Not post-its, though. We’re not that old....

Anyhow, we are blessed to be old enough to know what “the good old days” of pre-technology were like, and young enough to be able to learn the new things coming out and enjoy them.

Not that I don’t have my luddite moments. Just ask me how long it took to decide to get an MP3 player.

But for the most part, this technology thing is pretty neat.

Which makes it all the more inconvenient when something does go wrong.

Yesterday an online service that I use all the time went down. Did I mention I use it all the time?

Oh, ye gods, you would have thought someone tried to take away my chocolate. Yes, it was that bad.

Up until that point, my mood had been really good. I had gotten a lot done during the day, and was feeling pretty productive. And I was productive still, even after I realized I couldn’t perform this one little online task.

And you know what? It pretty much ruined my whole day. How crazy is that?

One little task only got partially done. Nothing bad came out of it – no one was hurt, no one lost their job, no property was damaged or animals harmed.

No, only one little thing that I had intended to cross off my list didn’t get done.

There’s definitely a lesson in this for me. I need to relax and remember that not everything on my “to do” list is of equal importance. Or even needs to be done at all, as the case may be.

So it’s time for some deep breathing, and a reprioritization of my list. From now on, only things that ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, HAVE TO BE DONE are going to make it onto my “to do” list.

Everything else goes onto the “when I get around to it” list.

And life will be much smoother. I can feel it already.

By the way, now everything is back up and running again. Well, mostly. And in spite of the bumps, I’m back to marveling at technology and how wonderful it is.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lessons in Organization

Hard to believe, but this whole organization thing is starting to click for me this week.

First, I started my productivity chart yesterday. (Which I already wrote about and posted on Wednesday, but Blogger ate it.) This will keep me on track to make sure I’m being productive in each of four categories, every day. Yesterday I scored a 75%, managing to do something in three of the four categories. (Poor ol’ marketing got neglected.)

Not bad for the first day.

But today, I scored 100%. I actually got a lot done on my website. Also, I implemented a trick that enabled me to do a lot more writing today than I have in recent memory.

Do you ever use a timer for your important tasks? I had tried this before, without much success. But today it worked great.

Basically, what you do is decide how long you’re going to do something, like write, clean the bathroom, read, or whatever. Generally it’s a short amount of time, like 5, 10, 20 minutes or so. Then you set a timer and start the task. When the timer goes off, you’re done. You then either take a break or move on to the next item on your list – whatever you decided in advance.

Simple, I know. I actually already do this with running, and love it. It allows me to run without thinking about it, because I know my timer will tell me when it’s time to take a walk break. I end up enjoying the run a lot more and not getting as tired in between breaks.

So anyhow, I don’t know why, but this whole timer thing for other tasks never really caught on with me before today. Maybe because I would try to work too long on something. I wasn’t breaking the task down into small enough chunks.

Well, today I got it right. I set a timer for 15 minutes, and wrote continuously for that amount of time. Then I got up and took a break, walked around a bit, got a drink of water. Then back to writing. I was working on another spec piece that I want my instructor to review. The last one took me 3 days to write (it was my first one in a particular format). Today I got a rough draft done in an hour. I still need to do quite a lot of editing, but the structure is there. With a few more 15 minute cycles, I should have it ready to go.

Hmm, maybe there’s something to being organized, after all…

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time to focus

I need to get organized. 

Lately I've been floating through life like a leaf on the wind.  Is the breeze blowing this way today?  Okay, that's where I'm going.  Oh, wait, change in direction.  Fine, let's go there, no problem...

Not to say this hasn't been fun.  Up until January of this year, my life was strictly regimented and I had little say as to what went on.  No, I admit it, I've enjoyed being aimless.  Reveled in it, even.

But it's time for a rudder.  This leaf needs some direction.

I read an article today, How To Eliminate That Overwhelmed Feeling, and it really spoke to me.  I have been feeling a little (or a lot, depending on the day) overwhelmed with the idea of becoming a freelance writer.  At times I have even felt panic, which hasn't helped me be any more productive.

But one thing I've learned over the years is that almost any task that seems insurmountable can be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

So that's what I'm doing.  Following the example in the article, I'm going to start with a chart with four columns:  reading/learning, writing, improving, and marketing.  Each day I'm going to accomplish something in each of those areas, and mark it off on the chart. 

See?  Manageable chunks.

Let's see, how am I doing today? 

Reading/learning - check.  I read over part of a writing course I'm taking. 

Writing - check.  Two blog posts so far today, and I plan to work on another spec piece later. 

Improving - check.  I sought a critique from an instructor on a piece I'd written, I edited it based on the suggestions, and I resubmitted for another critique.  I also read several samples written by other people. 

Marketing - well, I can't really give myself a check for this one yet.  I'm still working on my freelance website, but really have been spinning my wheels.  I'm going to sit down this evening, look at a few examples I've collected, and do some brainstorming for mine.  So maybe I'll be able to check that one off by the end of the day.

Not too bad, considering I just decided to start doing this.  Hopefully these manageable chunks of productivity will start propelling me forward, and will amount to meaningful progress.


So I posted on Wednesday, May 11.

Then sometime on Thursday, Blogger at the post.

And I have no backup.

So sad!  It was a nice one, too.

Here is my substitution post.  Maybe the other one will come back.  Probably not.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gluten-Free Donuts

I wrote about gluten-free donuts today over on Li Loves David.  Here's a little something to tempt you to go on over and check it out:

Gluten-Free blueberry donuts.  Enjoy!

In other news, I have one spec piece done, several more to go.  Hey, it's a start...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Random much?

So it's day 9 of the Blogathon, and I've got nothing.

I've been trying all day to think of something to write about, but nothing is coming.

I hate that...

Before I forget, there is something I wanted to share.  I read an article this morning about how writing is the least important thing to do when trying to make a living writing.  I know, I know, but read it, and you'll see.  Here's a link


How are you?

Good, good. 

I'm doing okay, thanks.

So, um, anyhow....

Gotta go! 

See you tomorrow.  Be sure to check out Li Loves David in the next couple of days, too.  There may be donuts...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Found: One Inner Child

Remember when you were a little kid, and you were invincible? You could do anything, dream anything, be anything. There was an entire world of possibilities open before you.

What happened to that child?

Mine disappeared long ago. Years of interactions with various well meaning (or otherwise) adults drove that child away. I grew up surrounded by people who were too “sensible” to have dreams, and they wanted me be that way, too. Any time a dream, idea, or fantasy surfaced, they would pounce on it, determined to kill it before it took hold. It was for my own good, they said.

What’s truly unfortunate is that every time someone told me I couldn’t do something because I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or talented enough, I believed them. I believed them as a child and then as a young adult. And finally I went out on my own in the world, believing that I just shouldn’t even try. What was the use?

Now I’m a well-practiced adult, and I’m having to teach myself about dreams again. I’m telling you, it’s kind of tough. All those years of programming have taken their toll. But I’m working on it.

I’m starting to believe in myself again. I’m embracing the possibilities. And I’m going to be successful, in these and so many other things:

I am a writer. I’m a good writer. Soon I will be a well-paid writer.

I will run a marathon, and I will not die trying. In fact, I’m going to enjoy it!

I am a happy person. (Okay, I’m becoming a happy person…it can’t all happen overnight.)

This can work. Really. Don’t let the negative scripts from your past direct your future.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lazy day

This is going to be a fluff post.  Pure filler.  Just to meet my quota for the day.

As Jillian Michaels would say, I'm phoning it in today.

Btw, ever done her 30 Day Shred workout?  Awesome!

Back to the regularly scheduled post...

I'm just not feeling it today.  Had a nice run this morning, got back home, and got lazy.  So I'm taking the rest of the day off.  And I'm okay with that.

After all, the Blogathon didn't say anything about 31 meaningful posts during May...

Friday, May 6, 2011

On my way to forming a habit

So I've made it to day 6 of the Blogathon, and I've managed to post every day.  My intent in doing this was to get back in the habit of writing every day, whether blog related or not. 

I read someplace that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so I'm about 1/3 of the way there.  Yay, me!

There's updated information over at Li Loves David, if you are interested in gluten-free goodness.

Otherwise, I'm about ready to finalize a piece of spec writing that I'm planning to submit to a potential client, in the hopes of getting them to pay me to write more. 

In case you're not familiar with the term (and I wasn't until a couple of months ago), writing "on spec" means you write a sample for someone, to demonstrate what you can do.  Beginning writers often do a lot of this, as a way to get their names and abilities out there.  The theory is that the potential client will either (A) like it so much they will hire you on the spot, or (B) like it, decide it's not what they are looking for, but keep you in mind the next time they need a copywriter, which hopefully will be soon.

I'm hoping for (A).  We'll see.

I also have two sticks of butter softening on the kitchen counter right now.  They will soon become some gluten-free shortbread.  I don't think I've ever posted that recipe on Li Loves David, so if you're interested, you may want to watch that space soon.

Here's to the weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I never thought I'd say this...

I am going to run a marathon.

No, really.  Stop laughing.  I am going to run a marathon.

I'm not sure exactly when it's going to be.  There are two that I'm eyeing right now - one in November, and one in January.  I can't decide if I want to run my first full in November, or just run the half as a tune up race and save my first full for January. 

Both plans have their appeal.  November would mean that I would get to say I ran my first marathon in 2011, instead of 2012.  You know, a whole year earlier, lol!  But if I wait until January, I could run my first full on the anniversary of and on the same course that I ran my first half.  Plus, I could still say I ran my first marathon within 2 years of starting running at all.

Oh, the decisions - oh, the drama!  It's enough to give me the vapors...

Really, it's going to come down to how well my training goes this summer.  I'm following the Galloway method, and even bought a copy of his book, Marathon: You Can Do It! Inspirational, no?  Anyhow, I'm going to follow his plan to the letter, instead of trying to hybridize it with my own plan.  Not like I did last year for my half.  And this year, I'm not going to get injured ONE MONTH before my damn race (unlike last year). 

Did you know it can take MONTHS to fully get over a simple hip flexor strain?  Yeah, me neither.

So anyhow, right now, I have running on the brain.  Because, much like getting over an injury, it takes months to train for a marathon. 

Did I mention I'm going to run a marathon?

I'll shut up now...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An open letter to all grocery clerks and baggers

Dear grocery clerks and baggers,

I appreciate what you do.  Really, I do.  Because you are there, doing your job, I am able to get in and out of your grocery store in a timely manner.  Sometimes even in a speedy manner, though usually not.  However, I'm not complaining about that. 

What I am complaining about is your lack of consideration when bagging my groceries.  No, you don't put the potato chips under the potatoes (usually).  And even if that happens, I can deal with it.

No, what I object to is your unnatural fixation on your store's plastic bags. 

You see, I bring my own bags into your store, with the intent of using them to haul my goodies home.  I like using them.  They are easier to carry, hold more, and are reusable, unlike your store's plastic bags.  I keep a pile of canvas bags on the passenger seat of my car, just waiting to carry a gallon of milk, a bag of spinach, or a dozen eggs.

And yes, I use them for meat products, too.

Now, you may have been taught in Grocery Bagging School that meat products must always go into a plastic bag.  You may have even been reprimanded in the past for not properly double bagging a package of hamburger.

If so, I am sorry.  And if you let me know which manager yelled at you, I will happily go yell at them in your defense.

But in spite of all your training, call me crazy, but I don't think it's likely you are going to get into trouble for not putting my package of pork chops in a plastic bag before placing them into my canvas bag.  (If I'm wrong and you do, see my above offer to yell at your manager.)

And I definitely don't think anything bad is going to happen to you if I ask you to put my package of pork chops directly into my canvas bag, instead of into a plastic bag.

And I especially do not appreciate it if you ARGUE with me, after I have asked you (nicely, I might add) to please not put my pork chops in a plastic bag before putting them in my canvas bag.

No, I do not care what you think may happen.  I am not here for your opinion.  I am here to buy groceries.  Nothing more. 

For the record, the only time I've ever had a package of meat "leak" between me leaving the store and arriving home, it was in a plastic bag.  Wouldn't you know it, your store's landfill-clogging bags have holes in the bottom! And the damn juice got all over my car, anyway.  So let me worry about washing my canvas bag in the unlikely event that something organic escapes the hermetically sealed plastic already encasing the meat in question.

To sum up: I respect your desire to place my pork chops, steaks, chicken legs, or any other meat products in a plastic bag.  But I am asking you not to (nicely, I might add).  I expect you in return to respect my wishes and humor me by putting what I am buying directly into my canvas bag.

And if you argue with me one more time about this, I may have to hurt you.  You have been warned.


An Environmentally-Aware Customer

Selfish plug

There will be another post here later today, but in the meantime check out the lastest info on the FDA's complete inability to get their act together.  Okay, that's not exactly news.  But this time it affects me personally, and I'm pissed.

Li Loves David - Three things you should NEVER believe...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I really have been reading...

Just a quick update on my reading list.  I haven't posted these for a while, and wanted to catch up.

Saffron, Garlic & OlivesSaffron, Garlic & Olives by Loukie Werle.  Yes, I read cookbooks...

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st CenturyYour Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez with Monique Tilford.  The latest edition, updated for the 21st century.  I actually have the original from the 90's, but wanted to see the new information.

The War of the Worlds
 The War of the Worldsby H.G. Wells. 

The Invisible ManThe Invisible Man by H. G. Wells.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and IndonesiaEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Much better than the movie.

My Life in FranceMy Life in France by Julia Child.  A must read if you are a fan of Julia Child or enjoyed the movie Julie and Julia.

The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich

Tea Time for the Traditionally Built: A No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel (10)Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith.  Also watched the HBO series based on the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of novels.  Simply awesome!

So that's 9 more books for a grand total of 15 for the year.  A quick look at the calendar tells me I'm about 3 behind for the year.  But with four books on the coffee table right now, waiting to be read, I'm comfortable with my pace.  Don't want to burn out too early in the year.  :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gluten-Free Options

Today's blog post is going to redirect you to my other blog, Li Loves David.  Over there I reviewed an Organic Bistro entree.  Rather than copying and pasting that post here, just head on over to read about it.

I know, I'm interpreting the rules of the Blogathon to suit my own purpose.  I believe the intent is to write every day in one blog.  Well, I already wrote today in another blog.  I think it counts.  Don't you?

And surely this little blurb counts...

Okay.  Enough procrastinating now.  I really need to get to work on my website for my freelancing business, which I am hoping to launch by the end of the week.  So see you tomorrow!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day

Day one of the WordCount Blogathon. So far, so good.

You may have noticed that Simply Nooner has changed a little bit. I was trying to focus on my efforts to maintain a simple, ecologically sound existence in today’s world. But I realized that to protect the earth, mostly I don’t do stuff.

I don’t buy foods with artificial ingredients. I don’t buy things with excessive packaging. I don’t buy a lot period, and much of what I do buy is used. I don’t over-water my lawn. And so on (you get the picture). Which may be helpful to the world, but isn’t that interesting to write about.

So starting today, Simply Nooner is going to be more about things that I really want to share.  Most of this will be on the topics of writing, running, and living gluten free. Plus anything else I feel like writing about. This month will have a lot about writing in particular, since I’m getting ready to launch my freelance writing career. (Wow, I said it out loud. Scary!) There should be at least a few posts about websites, writing on spec, and how the hell does this whole freelance thing work, anyhow?

Welcome to the new (and improved) Simply Nooner. I hope you enjoy it - I know I will!