Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Invoking the 'M' word at work?

This is the front of our beautiful, custom-designed-for-us building on campus:

Now gaze ye upon the old electric utility building downtown, our possible (more like probable) future home (photo slices cribbed from Google Maps):

It's not final yet, but the rumor mill puts us moving there sometime in the spring. Joy.

Why? Because some campus High Poobah wants our nice building for another department.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Home (and health) improvements

We decided to sell both exercise bikes and put the money toward a good treadmill; luckily, too, a great deal cropped up at Play It Again Sports on a PaceMaster Pro Plus, so we nabbed it. We both use it every day. It's got four programs--cardio, interval, fat burn, and endurance--but we're so completely out of shape, we can't manage to keep up with them for more than two minutes, so we're just setting our own speed & time for now. I'm very pleased with it. It's quiet; it inclines electronically, so you don't have to hop off and reset it in the middle of your workout; and it's got spots for your water cup and the all-important TV remote. Very handy.

I've lost four pounds that I'm pretty sure was water, but, hey, it's a step in the right direction.  :)  We are trying to be more sensible about meals, though, and cutting down on chockies.

In the home improvement arena, we recently had the screeching old garage doors replaced with insulated ones that work consistently--what a concept!--and are so much quieter than the old doors, it's unbelievable. The difference in temperature inside the garage and outside is quite remarkable in this cold season; that insulation should be a great help in the summer, too, which is when we really need it.

We finalized the order for our next improvement at Home Depot today: new windows all around. The old aluminum windows leak like sieves and have these stupid, screwed-on storm windows you have to completely remove if you ever want to clean the glass outside. Since nobody does that, the windows are just about opaque by now, especially with gaps allowing in loads of West Texas dirt. They're in bad shape all around, with screens missing or torn, single glazing, and one or two that won't stay open without a prop anymore, so they need to be replaced somethin' fierce. The new windows should arrive at good ol' Home Depot (our home away from home) in three or four weeks, then our favorite installers will put 'em in for us. Sister A. says we will then have replaced every aperture in the house except the roof vents!  :D

At some point this year, we'll have the fence replaced, too, but the concrete block idea we had originally will probably have to give way to a cheaper wood structure, since we dropped a bunch of money on windows. That'll work for several years, and then we'll redo it right.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Please do not feed the fat lady

I scared myself the other night--got on the bathroom scale for the first time in months and the dial landed on a number with two big fat zeros in it! (And the first number ain't a one!) Never in my life have I been this enormous--it's completely ridiculous. Granted, it was at the end of the day and I had just eaten supper, but my supper wasn't that big. The next morning, I weighed again and dodged the Big Fat Zeros by about five pounds, but that's not much better. Time to get off my Big Fat Zeros and fix this mess I've made of myself.

I bought a recumbent exercise bike a few years ago, but quit using it after a while because it was hard on my tailbone. So why did I move the bloody thing when we bought the new house? Well, I hoped I'd get back to it. Never did, of course. Anyway, now I'm going to sell it and get a treadmill instead. There's no earthly reason I can't walk for 30 minutes every evening while watching TV.

Sister A. still has the upright exercycle I passed onto her (before the recumbent--I've tried a lot of different things), and we're both sick of ourselves, so hopefully we've reached our limit of tolerance for our own girth and will get active again.

We'll also have to knock off the Hershey's we've been getting into waaay too often. That's a lot harder than walking or cycling regularly!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year and Gotcha Day!

Happy New Year, everybody! And happy official birthday(s) to our two kitties, Minnie and Sammi. Minnie is about 6 years old now and Sammi is about 7. And they're both crabby, but we love 'em anyway.  :)


Minnie at age 6, limned by sunlight


Sammi at age 7, playing with her yellow ball

We're having a very cold, lazy New Year's Day here. Both cats are grumpy because they can't go outside. We'll probably relent after the temperature goes up a couple of degrees, but they won't like it--the wind chill is below freezing! There's not a drop of moisture in the air, though, so no snow or ice this year.