4 Stars Out of 5

I hate working out, y’all.  Not a fan of sweat.  But I’ve been doing it.

Back in the fall, I registered to attend the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention which is happening July 16.  I’ll tell you more about that later.   Right now, my point is that I realized that by July, I wanted to look more like a svelte, sexy romance writer, and less like Jabba the Hutt.

To that end, in January I started being careful about carbs, eating lots of salad and veggies, and walking away from bread and pasta.  And I’ve lost over 20 lbs so far.

Most days, Coach Kozak from HasFit on YouTube kicks my ass, but today I wanted to do something different.  A little investigation led me to a bunch of virtual treadmill videos.  They make it seem like you’re running someplace magical rather than in your living room.  And yes, I could just run outside in the neighborhood.  But it’s summer, y’all, and it’s HOT.

So today I took a run along the beach in Queensland, Australia.  It was beautiful, and I nearly forgot I was running.  The half hour passed quickly.  I would give the video 4 out of 5 stars.

Why did I dock it a star?  We passed a bar TWICE and the fucker refused to stop.

Saturday Night Serenade–Full Tilt Reno

Our big renovation started on Wednesday.  Over five years ago, Mr. R. and I bought a small foreclosed home in an equestrian community where every lot is at least an acre and a quarter in size.  The home needed work, and we did the bare minimum so we could move in.

Now, it’s time to make the place what we want it to be.  We’re completely redoing the kitchen, both bathrooms, and adding wood flooring.  The project includes some minor structural changes as well.

All of that put me in the mood for ‘house’ songs.  And because I couldn’t decide on just one, tonight’s serenade is a three-fer.  I love this version of Who Says You Can’t Go Home, and the video features home construction, so it’s perfect for the occasion.

But I couldn’t resist Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.  Because when it’s finished, our house will be a very, very, very fine house, LOL!  We’ll post ‘After’ photos, I promise.

And what post about our house would be complete without this 80s blast, Our House by Madness?

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the carnage.  I don’t even mind the mess, noise, and inconvenience–this is going to be awesome!

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Three Weeks Until Christmas!

I love Christmas!  I love the lights and the television specials and the decorations and the music.  I love picking out the exact perfect gifts for friends and loved ones, Secret Santa at work, the Angel Tree at the mall.

When you love something so much, there’s the danger of being disappointed by unrealistic expectations.  You envision the perfect holiday, like a Martha Stewart Christmas special, and what you get is more like the family in the Dropkick Murpys’ The Season’s Upon Us video.

But in spite of all the external trappings, Christmas is about love, about family and close friends, the kith and kin who know you better than anyone else does.  It’s a great opportunity to express our appreciation for each other, to make right things that might have gone awry over the past year, and to extend grace and forgiveness.  It might not be perfect, but it’s genuine.

And guess what?  It’s probably not all that perfect at Martha’s house, either.

So I’m ushering in the Christmas season with my favorite jig-punk band as they put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional in their hysterical ode to a family holiday.  May you laugh, and, fingers crossed, may you not recognize too many of the characters.

Happy Saturday night!

I Have Writ…A Pome

sweatpants

Ode To Sweatpants

Oh, sweatpants, my sweatpants, you’re a favorite fall friend.
On cool days you’ve got me all covered, in the end.

You’re soft and you’re flexible; you never judge.
Even after I indulge so much I can’t budge.

So this holiday week, I’ll keep you in mind.
I’d never go off and leave you behind.

This Thursday you’ll find me a grateful lass,
I’m ever so happy that you fit my…lifestyle.

–An original poem by Pandora Spocks

Adventures In Home Reno–Episode 1: The Accidental Project

Not long ago, I mentioned that Mr. R. and I are embarking on a brand new adventure, home renovation on our 1986 quasi-Mediterranean house.  We bought it as a foreclosure five and a half years ago and have been blessed to see it rise in value.  Recently, we refinanced with plans to use the money to do serious updates on some sad, mid-eighties builder-grade fixtures, namely, the kitchen and both bathrooms.  We’re also replacing the cheap carpet we put in when we first moved in, opting for wood flooring in the living areas of the house.

We had not planned on replacing the carpet in the bedrooms.  Until…

Remember Hurricane Matthew?  Here in south Florida, we seemed to be in the very cross-hairs of the storm so, like all our neighbors, we launched into storm-prep mode.  We put up shutters, stocked up on non-perishables and drinking water, and made sure we had batteries for the flashlights.

Where we live, we have our own well rather than city water.  The well pump runs on electricity, which the television weather people all assured us would go out in the storm.  Having been through previous hurricanes and gone without electricity for two weeks at a time, we took this warning seriously.

And so it was that we decided to fill the bathtubs, saving water for flushing toilets for the duration of any power outage we might experience.  Mr. R. was in charge of that part of the operation, first filling ‘his’ tub in the second bathroom.  Once that was finished, he started the water in ‘my’ tub, the master bath.  He started the water.

Sometime later, I entered the bedroom and felt a splash as I walked in.  The bathroom is on the opposite side of the room from the door–the overflowing tub had completely flooded the bedroom.

We spent the next several hours using the steam cleaner to suck up as much water as we could.  When the storm had passed, and the power never even so much as blinked, we trotted out to our good friends at Lowe’s and picked up a dehumidifier, which sucked up a lot more water.

But with the padding completely soaked, we’re opting to replace the whole shebang to avoid mold and mildew issues.

Take a trip with us to Lowe’s as we shop for carpet.

As far as reno proper, we met with Bob the Bathroom Guy and Ray the Kitchen Guy last week and signed contracts.  We’re slated to start right after the New Year.  But before that, we’ll have new carpet in the bedroom.  Yay!

Stay tuned…