Monday, July 30, 2007

Welcome to My Pity Party....Or why I Wanna' be a Loser!

I had my interview today and I think it went well. It's frustrating...I've taught in this district for 3 years as a long-term Art Sub and still I must jump through hoops every time another position opens up. This one is a year long stint in an elementary school and I'd really love to get it.

I had a hard time deciding what to wear but finally decided on my brown slacks (the ones a bought a while back in a smaller size that made me giddy!) They actually make my butt look smaller than it is which in my mind is one great big plus! My hips were always my nemesis but I've noticed lately that my gut is catching up. I always had such a small waist. It was 24 inches before kids and 29 inches after number three. Then the years caught up with me and it slowly started expanding. Now that I'm at that golden age where my precious hormones can turn on me at in less than a moment's notice - I'm feeling the bloat. But I know this doesn't have to be. Does it? I know truthfully though where I'll be in the next few years if I don't put a curb on things.

My mom always told me how once she turned 50 life was amazing! What was she smoking?! Sorry, Mom. It's not that life isn't amazing for me - it's just not...well...amazing. My joints ache. I get out of breath when I climb a big flight of stairs. I feel fat and self-conscious when I go out in public. I know. I know! There is so much to be thankful for. I found love the second time around after first hubby died. I have great kids and a terrific grandson. I'm building an addition that almost equals a whole new house - the existing structure being gutted so that in reality it will be a new house. What more could I want?
To be thin. Or at least....thin-ner.

They say that just because you lose weight doesn't mean all your problems will go away. Life won't be necessarily better. But I'm thinking will. because right now life IS good for me. But I have achy joints that keep me from enjoying the activities I once did. Losing weight would help that. A lot. I am out of breath when I climb stairs because I'm not just lugging me up those stairs but also 50 extra pounds! And if I lost weight I wouldn't stress when I stand in front of my closet looking for something to wear. If I lost weight I could chose an item because I liked the color! Or the style! Or the way it shows off something. ANYTHING!

So in this case....losing weight will make my life better. There. That was my self-pep talk for the day.
You know that commercial where the woman says "I refuse to grow old gracefully - I intend to fight it every step of the way!" That's my new mantra. Mid-life crisis is settling in here and I'm feeling an urgent now or never attitude creeping in.

So it's NOW! I refuse to let it be never.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Trip to the Beach.....

Yesterday my youngest daughter and I took my grandson to the beach. (His mommy was working) and we decided since it was almost August and we hadn't been there yet this summer - it was time. It's funny how when you live so close to something you seem to go less.
As soon as we got there it started pouring so we had to sit in the car for 10 minutes. Waa! Not fun with a 2 1/2/ year old. When it finally subsided we ventured out and meandered through warm puddles in the parking lot. Or...Grandbaby did!

Our beach is historic. Back in the day (late 1800's) the place was called the Coney Island of Central New York. Some of the local eateries have vintage photos of the era and it was spectacular. Somewhere along the way it lost it's luster. Bit by bit, things were torn razed...rides taken down...all except the carousel (built in 1908) which remains even today. All that remained throughout my childhood and young adult life (besides the carousel) was the grand beach house which remained locked and boarded up. In fact for many years even the beachfront was locked with large gates so even the water was inaccessible. It became a stomping ground for the dregs of society.....gangs, vagrants, was sad. Although people still visited to ride the carousel or get a famous Abbott's frozen custard no one really came to picnic.
(The pic above is of the watefront at night - in it's prime.)
Then one day it started coming back to life. I think people realized we had a great beach here and it was time to take it back. The purchase of the infamous "Fast Ferry" helped things too. Although that was a bomb! Long story...but it's no longer here. But in spite of it's loss, the waterfront was revitalized. A new boardwalk was built. A bandstand was erected and the old bath house got a redoing. The whole port got a face lift and once again it's an amazing place. Not like it was in the day - some things you just can't do twice...but still...I feel lucky to live so close.

So we walked around for a while and took in the sights. Grandbaby chased geese and watched the duckies from the pier. The breeze was too brisk from the recent rainstorm to walk the shore (I forget how temps dip on the waterfront.) Then we got a frozen custard. And yep - I got one too. My one and only this summer and it was wonderful! I remember as a child how the beach was the only place that sold frozen custard until about 10 years ago when Abbott's started franchising. The line would wrap clear around the corner of Beach Avenue and you'd expect to wait close to an hour in line for the frozen delicacy. And it was always worth the wait!
After our treat we headed back home. Back to reality.

Last night hubby and I drove around town looking at siding on houses to get some ideas for ours. Then we stopped at a local eatery for a bite and I took most of my dinner home in a doggy bag. (Do they still call them doggy bags?) I mean - did anyone ever really give the leftovers to their dog? I don't know. I always finished my plates! So taking some home last night was an accomplishment!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Good Old Summertime!

I've not been so good about posting daily. Summer has that effect on me. I get kind of lazy-dazy and one day flows into another. I'm lousy without a routine.

Another reason is that I've been pouring my heart into this Power Point presentation that I have to give Monday for an interview. I do long term subbing and the next gig is for a whole year. It's in a district that I've long-termed in 3 times (total 2 years altogether) and yet they still make me jump through hoops each time. C'mon guys....either you like me or you don't!

And since Ive never actually created a Power Point presentation (I've shown 'em - that's easy....just click a mouse) it's been an ordeal. But I will say I've been having fun with all the bells and whistles and so far it's looking pretty polished.

As for the *ahem* diet....not going too well. I fluctuate between extremely healthy eating and really lousy eating. Remember I said I was an "all or nothin" gal? I've had a really lousy sore throat for almost a week now so I'm not sleeping very well. I'm up and down all night getting water to soothe it. And lack of sleep makes you crave carbs. excuse.

But I have been getting in some good exercise and lots of veggies. I can't wait to stop visiting the farmer's market and start picking my own! The garden is doing great - the beets are ready to pick as well as some types of peppers. The zucchini is blossoming and the corn is thigh high...they knee high by the 4th of July...well we missed that! The peas didn't fare too well but the garlic is ready to be harvested and the lettuce is good for picking now too. The tomatoes are still green though. I'm itching for them! I just love picking a warm ripe one right off the vine and eating it right smack there in the garden. Nothing better! The beans and cukes are starting too!

The berries on the other hand are fading fast. The blackberries are done. The birds are fighting me for the remainder of the blueberries and I think I'll let them win. My freezer's full for now.

Gosh there's nothing like summertime, is there? Last night we had a little campfire and then watched the fireflies for a while. Strange though...we didn't hear the peepers like we usually do. I don't know if that's a sign of summer waning or if it's just been so dry. It's about this time I start subconsciously counting the weeks we have left. In our parts once September comes the nights get brisk and it's a fairly quick slide into fall. Another great season - but it can never top Summer!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Close Call!

A scary thing happened on my walk today. I've never been one to be nervous when I go for my walks. I always go during daylight hours and the route I take, while it's somewhat rural - is still scattered with enough houses that one is never out of sight. I don't have the luxury of a walking partner *sigh* so I have to trek it alone.

Today as I reached the corner of my street I decided on a whim to take a left instead of my usual right. There is a hill to the left and I figured my backside could use the extra push today. Now I used to walk this route all the time so this wasn't something new. It's just that it'd been years since I went this way so I figured what the heck.

On this particular stretch of mile long road there are only 5 houses and 4 are at the corner where I started out. The rest of the road is surrounded on either side by dense woods. So there I am, strolling along and enjoying the warm sunshine on my shoulders when this white van drives by. I see the guy check me out in his side view mirror. He goes about 100 yards, slows down and pulls off the side of the road. I'm thinking "this is reason to stop along the woods...." As I get closer panic sets in. I will have to walk right along side the van to get around it. I imagine him whipping the side door open and yanking me in. No one there to see it. No one to hear me scream. Now I'm really scared but like an idiot my feet keep moving forward. Then remember that I have me cell phone. I bring it when I walk. I call my daughter and explain the situation. Perhaps if the weirdo sees me on the phone he'll drive off. Nope. He stays put. My sensible daughter says "Mom! Turn around and go back!!!" Yeah...why didn't I think of that? So I do an about face and stay on the phone with her till I reach the crest of the hill and meet up with houses again. The van never moves. (I keep glancing over my shoulder.)

Needless to say the walk was cut short today. And I will never, ever walk that route again. Sometimes I can be so naive. But really! When I was a kid we walked everywhere! Heck, I walked through the woods to get some places. We hitch-hiked too. Times were gentler then. Nobody worried about abductions. Sometimes I still think that if I believe it enough it'll still be like that.

Who knows what the intentions were of the creepy guy in the white van. Maybe he was making a phone call. Maybe he stopped to read a map. All I know is that I'd rather err on the side of caution than be his next victim!

Anyway - point of this whole story is ~ be careful when you walk! I know there are a lot of you walking out there for exercise and I'm not saying to stop. Heavens no! Keep on trucking! But bring a partner or at least a cell phone. And be wary of deserted ways.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Too Old for the Bar Scene....

Well, I didn't bury my face in the appetizers last night so that was the good thing. The other good thing was that I went home early and spared myself the inevitable temptation of going out for "breakfast" after the bars close as is customary with this particular crowd. The restaurant was nice - we sat out on the deck and the weather was perfect - just a gentle breeze with a hint of warmth until the sun went down.

At about 10:30 the "bride" announced we were going downtown to another bar. It was about then that I and a few others gracefully bowed out. Hubby was surprised to see me roll in so early. I've learned over the years that the excitement people chase in bars really doesn't exist anywhere but in the mind's eye. It's kind of the "Are we having fun yet?" dilemma. At least for me - everything that I'd ever been chasing all those years in my youth was waiting for me in my own living room watching a Law & Order re-run. It was much more rewarding to snuggle up beside him last night than to push and shove in a crowded bar.

And I'm feeling better by the way, than I was in my last post. A bunch of guys the "bride" knew tried to guess who was the oldest between my two sisters and I. I was pegged as the youngest. (I'm the oldest - my youngest sister is 11 years my junior!) It made my night *!*

The bloaty blues that I had yesterday were definitely tied in with hormones. It blindsides me every time.

On the home front - the second floor is now built! There are still no stairs so we have to traverse a wobbly ladder to get up there but it's well worth the climb! The roof trusses go up Tuesday and as soon as the doors and windows go in - the east wall gets knocked out to make it one big house. There is still SO much to do beyond the shell. Progress is slow but it's progress none the less. The pic above is me and hubby sitting in opening to the future front door. The one he's going to carry me across in about 6 months - if I can drop this weight! (...the socks and work boots....I know, I KNOW! I gotta' love him anyway!)

I'm getting lots of motivation from reading about those of you that are winning this battle of the bulge! I'm just going to keep on putting one foot in front of the other. It's gotta' lead somewhere, right?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Here I Am - the Queen of Bloat!

And I wonder why the scale isn't budging! As if Thursday night wasn't enough with the tantalizing fat-laden menu I was faced with - tonight I'm attending a bachelorette party for my cousin! We're meeting at a waterside bar & grill in a few hours to drink, eat and laugh - three things women do best - as we celebrate her final days of being single. (as it is so to speak - they have a house and a two year old - hate to tell her but she gave up single-hood long ago...) But that's another story.

From what I understand, the appetizers have already been ordered for us so I really don't have a choice in that area. I suppose I could just nibble....which sounds good in theory but when the rubber hits the road I know it'll be a wash. I'll cave. I always do. Mainly because I'm not on any kind of roll here...oh I've got rolls (!) but we're talking momentum. I've been at a standstill the past few weeks and am feeling very bloated today. So I'm in the mindset that says "Why bother!" If I'd just seen another drop on the scale - or my pants felt somewhat loose - I'd been inspired to press on. It didn't help that I've already tried on 3 outfits and gagged at myself in the mirror all 3 times!

And this is a singles joint. Waterside dining...and outdoor bar and a band. These kinds of situations leave me feeling very depressed. When I was younger (much younger) I could walk into a place like that and hold my own quite well, thank you very much. I don't turn heads anymore like I used to and that is depressing. Used to be I'd walk by a group of men and I'd get cat-calls. Now they moo. Well - they don't actually moo - at least audibly - but I'll bet they are inside! Do I sound a little paranoid? It's times like this that I look at myself and feel downright disgusted! When did I let myself go? How did it get this far? I'm 60 pounds heavier than I was when I was a "normal" weight. I've become a frump! I'm going with the attitude that I'm gonna' fail before I even walk out the door. Probably because I feel like a failure right now. Tomorrow I'll probably feel better. It comes in cycles.

Okay... gotta' go upstairs and try on a few more outfits....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Bad....

Well, pickins' were slim as far as ordering anything that was even close to being good for me. Being a nice place, the menu was limited. (Click on the menu and tell me what you would've ordered!) I ended up with the Chicken French. I know. I KNOW! Drenched in butter and fried to boot. What can I say. I caved. But when everyone ordered dessert - I passed. Well pat yourself on the back, Lora. Big deal.

Ah, but tomorrow is another day so I'll just start up where I left off.

On a lighter note - it was a really beautiful place. Our table overlooked Lake Ontario and the shoreline was shallow for many feet out so the waves were breaking with whitecaps. There was slight pink hue over a portion of the horizon that gave the darkened sky a warm feeling. Reminded me of the ocean which *sigh* I haven't been to in over 3 years..... There were also beautiful gardens and in spite of the slight rainy drizzle, we walked through them and out onto the pier. It was warm and breezy and in spite of the large guilt trip I was laying on myself for being little Miss Piggy - I truly enjoyed myself.

Maybe I need to focus more on the surroundings when I go out and less on the menu. I mean, the food was excellent - but being there was even better. Hmmmm....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Better Choices.....

I've dusted off the old journal and it's helping already. Somehow when I write it down - I think about it more. I've also been doing a little something different this time. When I've indulged in something - I record the calories. At the end of the day I can see what my splurges have cost me and hopefully make better choices next time. (Normally I don't count calories - just try to make my grains whole, eat lots of veggies and fruit and go lean on butter, oils, etc.)

I don't want to be a Calorie-Nazi. It doesn't work for me. I get too obsessed. Not to say I don't read the side panels on anything that hasn't been packaged by Nature herself. I watch for the fats (trans & saturated) and I check for high fructose corn syrup. If it's in the first 5 ingredients I think twice before I eat it. And I usually opt not to. I make sure the grains are 100% whole wheat. Not only for the health benefits...but it keeps me fuller longer.

This morning I made an omelet and split it with hubby. A couple eggs, a few onions cut up and softened in the microwave, a dollop of spinach and a small handful of feta cheese. I used cooking spray in the pan and it was great! I felt so full and satisfied all morning and well into the afternoon.

I know that my favorite diet aficionado, Dr.Oz , recommends that you keep either breakfast or lunch simple (like - eat the same thing everyday!) I just can't do that. He says that people who do that lose weight faster because there are less choices. And perhaps that's so for some. I like to experiment with new things or I get bored. And if I focus on variety - it's a pretty good bet that I'm covering my nutrient bases.

I do find that keeping the same snacks on hand helps though. My mainstay is usually a handful of almonds or some cheerios & craisins. Hubby is a chocolate freak. (Not that I don't adore the stuff...but I've learned to keep it in check.) He on the other hand always has a stash of chocolate filled oreos, ho hos or ice cream bars. For some reason - knowing they're there and in such quantity (he's a bulk shopper) makes it easier to not indulge, because I know I can have one if I want - whenever I want - so the urgency isn't there. Kind of weird, but it works for me.

Now tomorrow night we're going out to dinner at a lovely restaurant on the shores of Lake Ontario with the in-laws. (see picture at top of post) I'm really hoping I can be strong enough to make wise choices when ordering. I'm going to check out the menu on-line today and decide before I go. Eating out has always been my nemesis - my get-out-of-jail-free card that allows me to throw caution to the wind. but there have been far too many dining out occasions this summer for me to keep that attitude.

I'll letcha' know how I do!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chugging Along....

This morning as I was perusing blogs I started doing what I call "link hopping". You know, where you start out one place and start clicking here and there and forget where you started out in the first place! Actually, I've stumbled across some pretty cool blogs that way. But I've also come across some others that leave me feeling....well...glad I am where I am.

I guess I just get tired of all the "quick fix" diets out there. Not to say that I wasn't once chasing them all myself. Hey - any diet that promised me I'd lose tons of weight without lifting a finger or eating less was right up my alley. Count me in baby! But you know what? None of them worked. Because they were all focused on the quick fix and not the long term lifestyle changes necessary for true weight loss maintenance.

For instance (and I might ruffle some feathers here) the Kimkin's Diet. It promises super fast weight loss - but at what expense? Veggies are the bad guy on this diet. The caloric intake is way too low. And a significant part of the weight loss is water. The diet actually says you can lose 2-3 pounds per day! A year ago that would've gotten me very excited. But the smarter me knows better now. Because whatever I do to lose weight today - has to be something I'm willing to do tomorrow and next month and next year and, well...forever! Which means healthy choices and a more active lifestyle. That's it. Nothing else.

Of course as I'm in the losing mode - I will try to fore go some of the things that later on I may be able to eat in moderation. But for the most part, I'm trying to incorporate changes in my way of eating and moving and living that will become a permanent part of who I am. That's the only way it' s going to work. That's the neat thing about blog surfing. You read about people at all different stages. You can see by the pattern of their posts if they're serious or not. And I'm not knocking anyone here because I've been there too! But it's by reading between the lines that you see what's working and what's not. It's the ones who see this whole journey as a life-long trek that seem to be succeeding. Not the ones who are along for the ride for a while but willing to hop off and catch each new wave that promises an even quicker, easier fix.

I wish there was such a thing *sigh* I wish with all my heart that I could just will myself to be thin and have a gorgeous body with no effort at all on my part. But it just doesn't happen that way. When I decided I wanted to be a teacher I didn't just wake up one morning and march into some school and say hire me. I had to apply to colleges and get my bachelor's degree and then my master's degree. It was hard work! Lots of late night burning the midnight oil homework sessions. Lots of papers to write, books to read, internships.... It took many years. But I did it.

And so it is with this present journey. I'm making changes. Sure, some are hard to do and they are slow about becoming permanent. But they're happening all the same. And it's as I read about others on their own journeys that I glean the knowledge and wisdom I need to continue on my own. I won't be getting off at any quick-fix stops no matter how promising they may appear. I'm in for the long haul.

All aboard!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Yesterday I spent a good amount of time at the other house picking blackberries and blueberries. Each year it's always a rush to beat the birds to 'em! The blueberries are easy to pick - no brambles and thorns. But the blackberries are another story. They 're in a spot that's somewhat over grown and needs some TLC. To get to the really plump ones I have to venture in. And silly me - I traipsed over there in shorts and sandals. What was I thinking?!

Right now my legs look I climbed over a barbed wire fence! But I got a fair amount of the little black caps and we shall have jam all winter! As for the blueberries....they are just awesome this year. Fat and juicy and sweeter than I remember. I tossed a handful on my cheerios this morning with a sprinkle of cinnamon and remembered another one of the reasons I love summer!

I'll be baking some blueberry pies....and yes, I know.....lots of sugar in them. Perhaps I can try something different. Has anyone had luck with a sugar substitute in pies? It has to taste like the real deal or hubby will balk. He's nuts for my berry pies and is chomping at the bit for one.

And in case you're wondering why I'm so ga-ga over the little guys - check out this site . You'll be amazed at how good they are for you! We have 3 bushes planted and they provide enough of the little fellers to keep us supplied through the next season.

On another note, I still haven't gotten back into my journaling like I should. It's been a month and the blank pages were staring me down saying "Write something, Lora! Anything!" So the cheerios & blueberries got recorded. That's a start. I need to record what I eat! It's the only way I can be honest with myself. If no one else holds me accountable, at least my trusty little journal will.

I'm off to walk now. Perhaps I'll take some pics along my route and share the sights in tomorrow's post. In the meantime - grab yourself some blueberries and enjoy!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Building Dreams......

Well the walk went quite well! My foot didn't bother me too much at all. Of course all across the top I'm getting a nice array of pinks and blues and aquas...but I can live with that!
Last night we went over to the other house and all the walls are up on the first floor! The windows are framed in as well as the front door and the rear sliding door. We walked around inside and arranged imaginary furniture and tried to envision what it will look like when the whole east wall of the existing house is knocked out to allow access into the new great room and make the existing rooms even larger. It's so exciting! We've been planning this dream since we got married (Feb '04) and now it's actually coming to fruition. There was a time I really didn't believe it would. All the plans were in my head but until I actually saw something tangible - it just didn't seem possible.
Weight loss is like that. We have this dream of a new body and how it will be when we finally lose the weight. But I think it isn't until we see something tangible there too - that we actually begin to believe it will happen. Not so much a drop on the scale (though that's always nice) but when someone compliments us and notices the loss. Or when we fit into a new pant size. Or have to go to another buckle hole on our belt. When those things happen - the dream begins to take form and we are on a roll.
Just as I see now that yes, the new addition will exist someday - I also realize that it's still going to take time. If I got all antsy and said I want it done NOW - the builder would probably look at me like I had three eyes. There are certain things that need to be done and they will not be quick. Hubby has a cute sign in his shop (he's a mechanic) that says "I can do your job 3 ways - cheap, quick and good.....pick two. Cheap and quick won't be good. Good and quick won't be cheap."

So it is with our weight loss journey. We can't look for quick fixes and get discouraged if things aren't happening NOW! We need to be patient. Slow and steady wins the race. I'll admit it. I've been in a frump. Some days I just don't see anything happening and I want to quit. Which is what I've done so many times in the past. The difference this time is my blogging friends (see the comment on my last post.) It helps to know we're all out there in the same boat, swimming the same stream and fighting against the same current.
I'm reminded as I look at the progress on my house, that good things come to those who wait. When it's all built it will be wonderful. And it will seem as if it's always been there. But the builder will know the hard work that went into it. He's put his heart and soul into the place so far and will continue until it's done. So must we!
I've decided my new goal (besides the little black dress!) will be for hubby to be able to carry me across the threshold of our new front door. We are estimating that to be around the holidays. This way - as I see the house dream take shape - I'll be reminded of my own dream and work patiently and steadily until it happens. And I promise - I'll post a pic of that!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yesterday was a busy day - doctor's appointment, nail appointment, several trips to the "other" house to monitor construction....(we have 3 walls up! though there's only one up in the picture....the other two went up shortly after that one, and my camera battery died!)) and dinner at mom-in-laws. Even though I told her gently several times to only order me a small sub - she got me a large *sigh* But good girl that I am - I only ate half. And come dessert time - I had a skinny. skinny slice of the watermelon sherbet and one very small chocolate chip cookie.

I still feel bloated today though. I have a nasty summer cold and couldn't walk yesterday. Wednesday night I dropped a 4 foot long iron rod on my foot and thought I broke it! It hurt so friggin' bad that I actually cried for 5 minutes! Like a baby! Who cries at my age over a boo-boo?? But dang it hurt! And I was up most of the night with it throbbing. I was convinced in the morning that I needed x-rays but decided to wait it out since the day was full already. Isn't that just like us women? Always putting ourselves at the end of the to-do list. Anyway - by evening it felt better. It still smarts if I touch the top of it - but I can walk okay now and the bruising is minimal.

Never the less - I didn't dare walk on it yesterday. So today I'll test it out.

Today I got a dose of inspiration by visiting Carmen over at The Elff Diet. She posted a pic of herself and she looks great! It's those "after" pictures that get my juices flowing and tell me -"You can do it!" I've got a wedding coming up in August and that little black dress I've been keeping for inspiration has me feeling intimidated. It's not going to fit me in 4 weeks which truly stinks!

Some days it's so easy to slip into the "well....I'm fat and this is how it's meant to be and this is how it's gonna' be and there's nothing I can do about it anyway so I may as well have a donut...." mentality. Can't do that! That's why the pic of Carmen got me back in the proper mindset. She could've given up but she didn't. And look where it got her! Where I wanna' be! Not ashamed to don a swimsuit or pose for a picture or bump into an old friend from skinnier days. And that's where I'm going. Yep! No matter how long - how far - how many roadblocks or U-turns - I'm going there!

Right now I've got to get off this darn computer (been at it for 2 hours writing a paper) and get my duff walking!

Hey...f you feel a little less than motivated today - check out Carmen's blog and be sure to go back in the archives to see her before pic. I guarantee you'll be inspired to press on!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On Salads and Blueprints....

Well it's raining, raining, raining and I can't walk yet today. We're talking buckets! Which is a good thing because the ground is so crispy and brown that it hurts to walk barefoot on it. Still....couldn't it just rain at night and leave the day alone?

Last night I met a few female relatives at a tavern in the city and we had dinner. It was too hot to eat out on the sidewalk cafe so we opted for indoors (which wasn't much cooler since there was such a strain on the AC) it was 97 degrees as I was getting ready to go! I was a good girl. Sort of. I ordered a salad. It sounded healthy until it arrived. It was called a fajita salad and I didn't realize it came in a taco shell (which of course I ate...starving kids in China and all). And there was sour cream dumped on it which also wasn't listed on the menu. Probably way too many calories and fat - but I'm still proud I got the salad and not the wings and potato skins that the others ordered. The 2 beers weren't so good though. But it was SO hot! I ordered Michelob Ultra lite - no carbs. Hey...I tried.

The place is famous for its wings. At least I did not succumb to that temptation.

Then today I met my old college roommate for lunch. The one who has lost 35 pounds so far. I waited till she ordered and then told the waitress I'd have what she's having! It was a grilled chicken salad with light vinaigrette dressing. It tasted good and considering the place we met at was a hamburger stand - I was proud. No fries or burger which is my mainstay at a place like that.

Of course then I came home and ate 4 Oreo cookies before I even had time to realize what I'd just done. Old habits die hard.

But I still feel more in control. And the interesting thing was - I really wanted to eat salad both days. It wasn't a struggle. There was a time I'd never ever order just a salad. I guess my body is starting to like the rabbit food I've been feeding it and wants more!

Tomorrow we go to mom-in-law's to celebrate a wedding anniversary. (Hubby's family is weird that way - they celebrate every anniversary like a birthday.) I couldn't tell you the date of any of my siblings anniversaries!

Anyway - they've ordered subs for everyone. I told her no oil or mayo for me - and NOT a large pl-ease! Now if I can pass on the chips I may be okay. Summer, as I've said so many times before brings so many challenges to throw us off.

After I finish this post I have to revamp some of the blue print plans for the new addition. The architect made the upstairs bathroom too small and we need to reconfigure to make it larger. Which means making one of the three bedrooms upstairs smaller. It'll only be a guest room so I'm not too concerned. I need my space in the bathroom! I grew up with 4 women and 2 men and one bathroom my whole life! And I raised three daughters with a single full bath. (The downstairs powder room was all but a closet!) Of course it'll just be me and hubby now. And we already will have a full bath downstairs - but upstairs - I want space! I think I've watched too many home improvement shows!

I've included a pic of the blue print - anyone have some suggestions? (The multi-purpose room will actually be two bedrooms...we just haven't ecided how to divide them yet.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's Time To Hit The Road!

Today I start walking again. I've put it off long enough. Sure, I walked at the lake. It's easy to do there because it's like taking a hike - the road around the lake is primitive - very narrow - dirt and gravel - and hugs the woods on one side. Our lake is small and can be walked around in about a half hour. When you get to the south end, the road stops and turns into a path that takes you through a thick woods and down a steep hill. At the base of a hill you exit the woods and enter an old abandoned Camp Fire Kids Camp. A short jaunt through the camp takes you back to the original road that eventually hooks up where you started.

My walking route at home isn't near as adventurous or interesting. I live in a rural area so I do pass a farm when I walk. If the timing is right, the cows are out and when they see me coming the ones nearest the fence walk over and begin walking along with me for a few yards.

But once I get past the farm it's pretty blah. There are a number of big fields that are farmed and houses scattered on either side of the street. But no lake hugging one side, no smell of hemlocks and pines, no hint of campfires in the air. And I have to turn around and retrace my steps to come back. Bo-o-ring....

When first hubby was alive, we walked all the time but took the longer route which went 4 miles and made a complete circle. It didn't seem that long because we were talking to each other the whole time and the scenery was constantly changing. I know in theory I could take this longer route alone but it would be pretty boring all by myself and truthfully - I wouldn't have the motivation to do it solo. It's enough to try to muster the drive to do my 2 mile trek alone. Present hubby doesn't like to walk. He's on his feet all day fixing machines and gets enough of a work out lifting and hauling. He'll walk at the lake If I nag him enough but not at home. First hubby was a teacher so come summertime - he was off too and enjoyed the walks.

Yesterday it hit 97 degrees and I couldn't bring myself to do it. I hate to sweat! Today looks like it'll be another scorcher but if I let the heat hinder me I'll get nowhere.

So now that I've stacked up my excuses I guess it's time to make a commitment and just do it. It's seems like lately every magazine I pick up has an article about how important it is to walk for at least 30 minutes daily. They tell you to carve out a time slot and schedule your walk so you won't put it off. Makes sense because that's exactly what I do. I put it off all day and then it's too late. You know, the old "tomorrow" syndrome (which is a dangerous slope to slip down...)

So my new plan is to walk when I get up. Before I shower...before the sun gets too high in the sky...before I can think up a gajillion reasons not to walk. And I guess there's no better time to start than right now.... Besides - I think the cows have missed me :-)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Home Again.....

Well I'm back! I wish I could say my 9 days at the lake were wonderfully relaxing and stress free...but Mr. ImAnAss was in rare form and truly put a damper on the week. But aside from that - spending time with my family was oh so nice! It often seems that time stands still at the can come back after several decades and not much would have changed. Oh, maybe an addition here or there to a cottage or a new deck, but the dirt road traversing around the lake would still be too dusty and too skinny for two cars to pass each other without one pulling over, the hemlock trees would still grace the shoreline giving the place an Adirondack feel, and the laid back aura of yester-year would still be hovering in the air.

I think cottages are like that. Perhaps because they hold the fondest of memories of happy times with family and friends. You can almost feel them rush to surround you as you unlock the door for the first time each season. When I'm there, my mind always drifts back to past summers...when the girls were young and no one had jobs or families to rush home to. We could spend endless stretches there - and leave all the cares of the world where they belonged - which was anywhere but the lake!

So I guess I spent this past week in a somewhat melancholy state - watching my grown daughters interact with their husbands - and seeing my grandson delight in roasting his first marshmallow, or squeal as he sat perched on the side of the sailboat as it skimmed across the lake. He's the next generation of lake kids and he's building memories that will serve him a life time and come rushing back to surround him as he opens the cottage up each season...long after I'm gone....

On the other side of this long winded coin - I didn't think too much about what I ate this week. Some of it was pretty fattening...but I didn't eat all that much either. And I actually lost a pound. Go figure! I'm not complaining!

But I do know that I have to buckle down now that summer's here and get on a walking regime every single day! I'm not near as far as I'd hoped to be at this point.

As for Mr. ImAnAss....I have to tell you. We finally nailed the jerk. This time when we arrived he has put big rocks (I'm talking too big to lift without struggle) in front of the stairs leading down to our place. So I went down to the lake front where I have "so graciously" let him grow his lillies for the past 8 years(on OUR property) and ripped them out. Then I put a twine fence across the area with a no trespassing sign. I mulched the area and put 2 large conch shells on the much. It looked pretty nice. He didn't think so. He came huffing and puffing down with his shovel and ripped the fence down, threw my shells in the lake and shoveled my mulch in after the shells. Not to worry. I got it all on video. Up until now the b------d has done everything on the sly. We knew he did it but never had proof. Now we do. A DEC officer is coming by to get the tape next weekend and is turning it over to the District Attorney. It was an interesting scene. Gave the lake something to talk about the rest of the week. I haven't met anyone yet on the lake that has a kind word for the doofus or his wife. Even his Aunt & Uncle who live on the lake don't speak to him. Do I sound consumed by all of this? I guess I am and I'm not too proud of that. In any event....I'll keep you posted.

Okay - now I need to go and catch up on all my favorite bloggers. This could take a while!