Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween!
Right now I'm getting ready to pick grandbaby up from daycare. His mommy will meet us here and then we'll dress him up in his little cowboy costume! He's just shy of three doesn't remember much about the whole deal from last year. I'm fairly sure though ~ that after that first house dumps some loot in his bag he'll catch on real fast.
We've been telling him all week that he's going to get candy tonight but he's just gives us this blank stare. We've finally realized he really doesn't know what candy is! Not that his mom is super health conscious...he DOES know what cookies are - but we've just never really given him any candy. (Guess we were too busy eating it all ourselves....)

I hope everyone stays safe tonight and that whatever you're doing - you're having fun doing it! Just keep your faces out of the snickers bars and cider toddys!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Managing Halloween....

Tomorrow is Halloween and I feel pretty good. I haven't bought any candy to hand out yet. Aside from the fact that I'm a total procrastinator ~ I wait until the last minute because in the past I would inevitably eat all the stash by the time Halloween actually rolled around and then have to go out and buy more anyway!

My other tactic is to buy something I really don't care for.

Gone are the days I had three little ones that would come home with pillowcases stuffed full of all kids of tantalizing treats. I'm ashamed to admit how many times I would sneak up and raid their stash. They started catching on and began hiding it. But I always managed to sniff it out. At least THAT temptation is gone!

Can anyone relate here?

We live in a somewhat rural area so we have always just left a bowl of candy out on the front porch and taken the kids to my sister's neighborhood where there are sidewalks and plenty of houses. Now that the kids are grown we go to my brother's and have a campfire in the front yard where my only will power is needed to deflect the pizza and wings. But I'm feeling in control so I don't think it will be a problem. I'll limit myself to 2 pieces of pizza and 2 wings. That'll be my dinner so it'll be okay. I've been bringing my water with me everywhere too and that has been a real help. I have a case stashed in my car and drink it all the time.

Grandbaby is going to join us (he's almost 3) so that should be a treat! This is the first year he'll really be aware of what's going on. I really enjoy Halloween! It brings out the kid in all of us!

Oh...and by the way ~ I still HATE my haircut! What WAS I thinking????

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The True Measure of Success...

Okay - great day today! My efforts have finally caught up with me and I weighed in at 188.4! WOO HOO! But I'm not going to concentrate on that too much because the numbers on the scale are only part of the story. They change like the wind - depending on so many things. As long as they're consistently going down...I'm going to be happy. It's the way my clothes fit that really means anything.

And speaking of the scale ~ has anyone seen that show "I Want to Look Like a High School Cheerleader Again" ? It caught my eye because...well...I used to be a cheerleader in high school, and yes, I want to look like that again. But the show is really ticking me off!

Each week they work the girls mercilessly and then tempt them with all kinds of fattening foods. It's inspiring to see the women work so hard but that's about as far as it goes. Every week there is a weigh in and the one who has lost the least weight percentage based on their previous weigh in gets kicked off the "squad" and has to go home. What's so frustrating is that these gals are truly trying and for the sake of a lousy number on the scale they get penalized! Why can't they keep them all on the show the entire time and see who does the best, instead of dashing them right smack in the middle of their efforts!

This past week almost everyone lost 4 pounds. Except one gal. She gained a pound. She was crushed! She worked so hard and was penalized for a lousy weight gain that was probably water retention or even muscle gain! It's just not fair to use the scale as a measure of success or failure because it doesn't tell the whole story! She was NOT a failure - but was made to feel like one.

And don't we do that to ourselves? I'm telling you right now - get a pair of slacks that are way too small (from your "skinny" clothes section that we all have hiding in our closets) and try them on each week. That is the true measure of your success. Screw the scale. Sure it's a motivating factor - but it doesn't have the final word!

When my cousin (who has always been in great shape and is an avid exerciser) stopped going to the gym for 6 months....she actually LOST 12 pounds! But it was all muscle! Her pants got tighter as she replaced the muscle with fat. And yet...she was losing weight. we keep striving to reach that goal - let's keep that scale in perspective. If you've worked hard all week and stayed on track but the scale doesn't show it - who cares! Keep the tape measure handy. That doesn't lie!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A little "less of me" this morning....

Yesterday I did something I regret today. I got a short haircut. My hair was shoulder length up until then. My sister (a hairdresser) always did my hair but 6 months ago she "retired" and hung up her scissors. Anyway - I tried this new salon and brought in a picture of what I wanted. I had decided to go pretty short this time. Not sure was just a whim I guess. Apparently the stylist wasn't too good at copying a picture.

Tonight is my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary gala and I'm feeling self-conscious about showing up in my new "do". I feel like a peacock - you know - small head and large bottom! I'm not sure what I was thinking. I think maybe I wasn't. I know I just wanted a change and I felt like my longer hair (shoulder length) was bringing my face down and emphasizing my age. Hubby loves the new cut. He says I look younger. I just feel so...naked.

I guess I'll get used to it. And it's only hair after all. It'll grow back. And who knows. Maybe I'll get used to it and decide I like it after all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dessert Anyone?

In spite of a real indulgence last night ~ I'm doing okay. I ate very light yesterday knowing I'd be going to The Cheesecake Factory with my sisters , aunts & cousins last night. We try to get together every month or so over dinner.

So I'm looking at the menu and thinking about what to order. I could've done a salad but I was so good all day that I didn't want to. Now I'm not a dessert person when I go out to eat. I mean, I NEVER order it. (I've usually stuffed my face so full already that I couldn't eat more if I wanted to.) But last night I figured...hey, I'm here and this is basically a dessert place so what the heck. Besides...I was skipping dinner so it seemed a wash.

I ordered the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. I remember now another reason I never order desserts. They're just too darn rich for me. I ate half of it and stopped. I never even got to the big dollop of chocolate on top. I boxed it up and brought it home for hubby. (Who was much appreciative!)

So this morning I go online to assess the damages. 910 calories and 64 grams of fat! Yikes! But then again...I only ate half. And I DID skip dinner.

And know what else? I'm down another pound! Which brings me to 190.3 pounds. I'm almost to the 180's! Yoohoo!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Facing Reality...

It's Monday morning and I feel in control today! In fact...I've felt in control for the past few days. And darn if it doesn't feel good!

I'm concentrating on the little changes and it really does help! Like the smaller plate idea ~ and the eating slower deal ~ and the more water thing. Those things really do make a difference!

I came across this site this morning also - mentioned on another blog, that definitely merits sharing. I certainly know that I have been guilty of blaming every circumstance in my life at times for my being fat. But it really isn't any one's fault but my own. I got myself into this shape. It's up to me to get myself out of it - and into the shape I was meant to be. Yep. None of us were born to be fat. We may have been born to be blond or brunette or short or tall. But NOT fat! Some things we can't control. But what we put into our mouths and how much we move...well, that we can!

So read this article. It's in your face - but it's all true! And I I know, that the turning point for most of us is when we finally decide to be accountable and face the fact that no one is gonna' do this for us.

So let's win this fight and kick some butt!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Taking Back the Kitchen!

Hubby has been letting me cook lately. It's not that I'm a bad cook or anything. It's just that he loves to cook - it's kind of like a hobby for him ~ and being a bachelor for the past 20 years he's gotten into a groove about what he likes and how he likes it done.

It's been a challenge...meshing two lives together that have had many years to cement themselves in their ways. Late hubby was a meat & potatoes man. He didn't give a hoot about presentation and wouldn't have been caught dead watching Emril. As long as we had salt and pepper in the spice cabinet he figured we were well stocked. Present hubby has a whole cache of spices - some I've never even heard of. He even makes his own blend of seasoning that people ask for.

Sooo...he's been doing the cooking and I've been doing the eating. Until recently. With all the busyness of building the addition to the house - he's been coming home dog-tired and more than willing to eat whatever I serve him. And he's been pleasantly surprised. I can cook.

Where the two of us diverge in our culinary thinking is that I prefer to follow a recipe and he prefers to follow his instincts (which are pretty darn good) but he's slowing learning not to be so anti-recipe. When he first met me he was appalled at the number of cookbooks I own. He bragged that he'd never used one.

Now when he sees me with one propped open he doesn't cringe. Because I've made some pretty tasty things! The neatest part is that when he's not looking I've been able to substitute some ingredients to make things healthier and less toxic to the waistline. Not that I can always fool him. He does have pretty keen sense of taste. But sometimes I can!

He also knows how hard I've been struggling to take off this weight and he's behind me 100%.

Which brings me to last night's meal. I grilled some salmon on a cedar plank and it was so tasty! I topped it with some whole grain Dijon mustard and a sprinkling of brown sugar. Yeah I know. Some people are very anti-sugar. But my feeling is - all is fine in moderation. When God led the Israelites out of Egypt He told them He'd give them a land flowing with milk and honey. So....I'm thinking some brown sugar once in a while isn't such a bad thing!

We also had Brussels sprouts sauteed with some onion and slivered almonds (and a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice) and some couscous flavored with olive oil and garlic. It was a good meal. And he ate it up and had seconds. It might not have been the lowest-cal fare I could dish up - but it was made with healthy ingredients and I ate a normal portion and was satisfied.

If I can slowly take back my kitchen I may have a shot here! So far it's working. And I'm down a pound today!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dinner For Two....

Last night we had our first "real" meal in the new house. We ate sandwiches a couple times before while standing amidst the saw dust and lumber - but that doesn't count.

I've been trying to visualize what it will be like when we set up our kitchen table in front of the new double window we just installed in the old bedroom that will soon be a kitchen. Sooo...I brought a crock pot full of venison stew, some fresh biscuits, a bottle of wine and a few other props. I found a dusty old card table in the old cellar and threw a tablecloth over it, and brought up two folding chairs. I picked a few flowers that haven't succumbed to fall yet and stuck them in a little crystal vase I had in my bag of props. I brought dishes from home, set the table, lit a candle and called hubby in from his shop.

When I told him we'd be eating "in" tonight he said. "Oh really? And where do you think we're going to sit?" To which I did my best Vanna White arm swoop and said "Why right here , honey!" He was surprised and pleased - and being the practical guy hubby is - this pleased me as well.

It was really kind of romantic. And I know that years from now, as we sit at the kitchen table, reading the paper, sipping our coffee and not really noticing the other is there ~ that every now and then the memory of last night will creep in and we'll both smile...

The meal was good too! And healthy (except for the biscuits) but I couldn't resist. The veggies were from our garden and the venison (well...that was from our yard as well...but we won't go there.)

Anyhoo - tonight I'm taking grand baby over while his mommy works a night shift. The weather has been unseasonably warm again - 70 yesterday! - and we're going to make a campfire and cook out on the grill. I just can't let a warm fall night pass without squeezing every bit of summer out of it that I can. This has been the year of the longest summer and I am loving it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sniffling Still....

I'm still fighting this nasty cold. I just can't shake the cough. Only good thing is I can't really taste food so I'm eating more for sustenance than pleasure. Of course my body could sustain itself just fine for several weeks probably on it's own....

Mornings are easy for me. I could skip breakfast easily and not miss it. But we're always told it's THE most important meal of the day - so I force myself. I have a sweet tooth in the AM so I'd never have to force-feed myself a donut or a muffin or a handful of chocolate chip cookies....but I DO have to make myself eat a bowl of whole grain cereal or a slice of whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter.

My real downfall is lunch. Whether I eat breakfast or not....I'm always ravenous for lunch. Emotionally as well as physically. Wonder why that is.... And dinner time - whoa! That's been ALL messed up ever since I married hubby 3 1/2 years ago. He works late and we don't eat until about 9 pm. That in itself is a recipe for disaster. Because at 5ish I start raiding the fridge to "hold myself over" and end up eating a meal's worth of food (vowing I'll NOT eat with hubby when he gets home) but being the Emril he is (he LOVES to cook) I simply can't resist when he starts cooking. I've gained 25 pounds since we got married! 25 freaking pounds!

When we moved to the new house (where his business is situated) I have told him that I will be making dinner at 6 each night. I will call him in to join me or wrap it up for him to re-heat when he's done working. What I'm truly hoping is that he'll start work earlier (he's self-employed so he gets rolling around 11:00 AM) and be done by 6:00. Needless to say I can't WAIT until we move into that new house!

Speaking of which - all of the windows are finally in! All 20 of them! The contractor for the new part put the first bunch in but we did the last 8 in the old part ourselves. What a challenge! One was a bay that we had to build an angled roof for. Thankfully hubby knows what he's doing. We've started to design a kitchen plan so that's exciting. It's been getting cold in there though now that the weather has turned so we're trying to hustle. Our anticipated move in date by Christmas just ain't gonna' happen though.

You'd think all this moving and lifting and pounding would be making me stronger and burning some calories. Maybe I'm getting a little stronger...Hard to tell. Everything hurts.

I've got a Golden Anniversary party to attend on the 27th of this month and I'm trying to shed 5 pounds between now and then. A mini goal of sorts. The dress I want to wear is snug. It fits - but it's SNUG!

Have I mentioned that I hate my butt? Just thought I'd leave you with that....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

By Jove I think I've got it! case you're wondering...I DID go out and take that walk. And it felt goood! I knew it would once I got out there. Always does.

This morning I skipped church. I've got a nasty cold and feel like crapola. No sense spreading the germs. So I grabbed a cup of Joe and started perusing blogs. Ya' never know what you're going to find. I love this connection with all these people that I don't "know" although in a way...I guess I do!

The other day I came across an interesting website via a few clicks called Spark People. It's not a blog persay but an online support site for dieters. At first I was hesitant to sign up. But I did. All it really obligated me to was to receive daily e-mails tips. For a while there I thought I was going to bombarded with a mailbox full of annoying reminders (like when I signed up for Flylady (a website launched to help women get organized)...good premise...great motivational tips...but c'mon - 10 e-mails a day!)

Anyway - I started actually reading these articles I was receiving and there's some really good stuff in there. This morning there was one about little changes adding up. For some reason today -it finally clicked. I've always been one to scoff about the little things and tell myself - big deal! But I started thinking. Okay...if I substitute my beloved butter for the Benecal I bought (but didn't use because every time I needed butter I said what the heck - it won't really make a difference) I'd be cutting 50 calories each time I substituted. Doesn't seem like much. But 50 calories x 7 days is 350 calories. And in 1o weeks that's a pound. And in one year - that's 5 pounds. Okay. Still doesn't seem like much. But if I do the substitution thing with other things in my daily eating the pounds can really add up. And that's without making any other changes!

So I'm going to focus on the little things right now. The itty bitty "these won't hurt me" changes. And then throw in a couple of bigger challenges when the little ones have become ingrained.

You seems like it's the same old thing with all of us skinny wanna be's. We know what we have to do. Heck - we could write our own book about how to lose. But for some reason it doesn't click for us personally. When push comes to shove we are to quick to throw in the towel and tell ourselves that making that substitution really won't make a difference. But it does!

I've substituted the mayo for lo-cal fat free. I've substituted the butter for Benecal. I'm skipping the pepperoni on my pizza. Lo-cal salad dressings instead of the calories laden fat ones. Has anyone else come up with some painless substitutions? Do share please!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Green Tea..Walks...and Big Macs....

It's 8 am and cold outside. Only 40 degrees Brrr! What happened to summer? It was here two days ago! So I'm telling myself right now as I sip a really good cup of Joe - to get my sneakers on and go out side and walk. Except nothing's happening.

I am procrastination at it's finest.

I just know I'd feel great if I went out into the brisk air and took a walk. Why is it so easy at the lake? At the lake - a day isn't complete with at least one walk around it. Here...well there just isn't that much to see besides the cows at the corner. I keep telling myself that when we're living at the new house (it's a mile from the canal) I'll probably walk more (or bike - I LOVE biking the canal) but it's something one must do with a buddy. It's not a place to walk alone unfortunately. And hubby is NOT a walker. Late hubby was. We walked all the time.

Okay. I AM going to walk when I finish this post.

On a side note. Yesterday I bought this awesome green tea. I've tried drinking green tea before. It's got lots of good anti-oxidants in it and is supposed to be good for weight loss. But it always tastes kind of bitter. And sweetening it up isn't an option for obvious reasons not to mention I don't put sweetener in anything caffeinated. It's yucky.

So this green tea caught my eye because it said it was flavored with orange rind and sweet spice. And I have to tell you - it was awesome! I really enjoyed it. So now I think I've found a way to get green tea into my diet. And maybe carve out a little down time to de-stress while I'm at it.

I've also stashed a container of almonds in my car. If I pop a few into my mouth when the hungries hit it helps keep my car from turning into nasty places that serve fat-laden fries and burgers.

Other than that - things are stagnant. I ate good yesterday until the evening. Hubby & I were at the new house trying to decide how to lay out the new kitchen....laying 2x4's on the floor to visualize things and all of a sudden we realized it was 11:00! We hadn't eaten and neither of us was up to driving home and making something to eat so we decided to order out. Of course every place we called was closed and we were getting desperate. Then hubby said, "Well, we'll pass Mickey D's on the way home."

"NO! I'm not eating there!"

"Well, we really don't have a choice." Looking back we had plenty of choices....

And of course I relented, And because they didn't have my Southwest Salad (and all the others are gross) I ordered a Big Mac. I know. I know! What was I thinking? I guess I wasn't. So at 11:15 PM I downed this super fattening meal and then went to bed. So yes. I NEED to walk this morning. (Like walking will burn a Big Mac off....) But at least it's something.

All right. I'm off. It's now or never and the cows are waiting to see me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oh No!

YIKES! I just found out that McDonald's is no longer selling their Southwest Chicken Salad! That's the only truly healthy thing that Ronald had going for him and now it's gone! I absolutely loved those salads.

If anyone has the gumption to write them click here. Perhaps they'll reconsider!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Reflections of Time....

I had such a pleasant time at the lake that I decided to stay an extra day. Ah...the luxury of being unemployed.

The weather was spectacular and the leaves were almost at peak as I'd expected. I grabbed a copy of "At Home in Mitford" that's been bouncing around the cottage for years now begging me to read it and settled in on the rocking porch chair out on the lawn under the two big hemlocks and just totally relaxed as soon as I got there. A few boats were puttering round lazily trying to find some good fishing spots. Other than that - for a Columbus Day weekend it was much quieter than normal.

I stopped on the way down at a local grocer and picked up a few supplies as I wasn't real sure what we had down there to eat since we haven't been much this summer. I'd like to say I bought fresh veggies and fruits and lots of other nutritious things but something came over me in the market. All of a sudden it was just me and nobody else to think about as far as my meals were concerned. Not such a good thing. I tossed a frozen pizza in the cart (although I did opt for the veggie topped one) and a pre-made chicken sandwich for lunch the next day. I couldn't resist getting some kettle-cooked chips (the low fat version...but still...not such a great choice.) And then as I walked past the deli corner I saw the cutest little freshly- made quiche. It was about the size of a frozen pot pie and I walked by it several times before it somehow found its way into my cart. By the time I made it to checkout counter a pint of ice cream called "Everything But the Kitchen Sink" was along for the ride too.

As it turned out I stayed the extra day so the quiche was breakfast both mornings and the chicken sandwich lasted through 2 lunches too. The bag of chips fared well. I only ate some with lunch the first day. The pizza on the other hand got eaten up entirely. *heavy sigh here*

I watched some old family videos that had belonged to my folks and I inherited when they passed away. One was from Thanksgiving 1986. As I watched it I was amazed that my mom was younger in the video (by one year) than I am now! And she was thinner than I am now too! (amazingly I'd always described her as overweight.) It's all relative I guess. It was hard to tell what I looked like as I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my youngest who was a 10-pounder at birth. Still - everything on me looked thin except my belly. I never gained much with any pregnancy. But I sure did somehow between then and now! I'm actually 35 pounds heavier now than I was at full term with my last child!

In spite of the weight observations though...I was taken with a keen sense of sadness as I watched a snippet of "yesterday" on the tape. My dad had insisted that he mount the camera on a tripod and record the entire meal! We all thought that was silly and after all - who would want to watch a boring tape of an entire Thanksgiving dinner! Me. Thank you very much...21 years later.

I've often wished that I could transport myself back in time and relive just one day in my life. I've never quite decided which day I'd pick. A special Christmas...or just an ordinary one. But popping in the video Sunday night allowed me to do just that...albeit only as an observer. It was strange - capturing the whole meal as dad did - every little comment was recorded. Every glance...every movement. And I watched so keenly as what I had taken for granted so many years ago - played before my eyes. I noticed when late hubby kissed me on the cheek I pulled away. Why, I wonder? Was I angry about something? What I'd give now to have him plant a peck on my cheek. Why, now I'd turn around and throw my arms tightly around his neck! I watched as the kids played and laughed and saw the delight in my parents' eyes as they interacted with them. They've both been gone for 10 years now. I wonder if my daughters will remember how much they were loved and adored by them. I noticed how special mom made everything that day. The fancy table settings...the decorations...the candles....the food.... Had I noticed it all then? Or just taken it for granted?

Of course I cried. A lot. Six family members in that tape are no longer with us. Four couples from the extended family have divorced. Even the home that was the backdrop for that day is now inhabited by strangers. Do they know....can they feel the love that echos in those walls?

Before I went to bed that night I picked up the three journals that sit on one of the end tables and began re-reading them. I've kept a record of almost all of our visits to the lake and those memories now fill three separate books. Re-reading took me down yet another melancholy path through the years. I "watched" the kids grow up on those pages. I "saw" the cottage evolve to what it is now. Noted how I swam less each year. hmmm....

One entry that froze me was the one where late hubby and I had just returned from a walk around the lake. On that walk he had told me that his cancer had returned. We both knew what that meant. On the yellowed page of that first journal are the words "Pat & I took a walk around the lake tonight. When we got back...nothing looked the same." I never thought I'd be able to go on when I penned those words. The future was so scary and uncertain. But I did go on and while life is so very much different than is was then - it's still good.

I have a quest now to slow down and appreciate the "ordinary" times a little more now. Because it's all those "ordinary" days that fill in the spaces between the big ones. We always remember the big ones. But we forget those others. Those are the ones where life happens.

It was good to be at the lake alone with my thoughts these past few days. But it's good to be home too!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

To the Lake!

I'm off to the lake to relax, read, bask in the sun and do a little walking too. All by myself.....and I'm actually looking forward to it. The hour and a half drive down will be breathtaking with the fall leaves in all their splendor!

Can't wait!

Will check in tomorrow upon my return.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Harvest Time!

This afternoon I bagged up some tomatoes from the garden for freezing. I used to can them but discovered that freezing works just as well and is a whole lot easier! Just slice them up and toss 'em in a freezer bag.

Our garden right now is overflowing with a bounty of veggies in spite of the drought we've had here all summer. I've been able to can some dilly beans, beets and jalapeno pepper rings and freeze a ton of green beans. The freezer is chock full of blueberries too.

We managed to eat all of the corn as soon as it was ready, as well as the different varieties of lettuce, swiss chard and carrots as they came. We're by no means done putting up our stock for the winter but we've got a good start.

Okay - the point of all this? I'm really bent on including more veggies in my diet! The past 8 years I've been too busy to can and freeze. When late hubby and I bought the cottage we stopped planting a garden. He was diagnosed with cancer 2 months after we closed on the place and life as we knew it just kind of stopped. Fast forward to my "new" life and present hubby insisted that we plant a garden. This year was the biggest one yet (with all of our building projects I told him he was insane - but he persisted and now I'm glad he did.) There's something about eating things you've grown that makes them taste...I don't know...better I guess. And if they taste better (even if only in my mind) then I'll eat more. At least that's the plan.

And something else has been happening here too. Since I've found my way back into the kitchen....I feel like me again. I'd kind of lost myself when first hubby got sick. I was attending school full time - raising three teenagers - and caring for a sick spouse. It was draining. And I just kind of existed. Especially after he died. The girls had busy, crazy schedules (as teens do) and we stopped having a set meal time. It became every man (woman) for herself. Which meant crummy food choices all the way around.

Enter hubby number two a few years later and the guy is a cook. I found myself kind of nudged out of my own kitchen. But these past few weeks - have been glorious! I'll admit...I was a little reluctant to begin when I started dragging out ll the canning supplies but once I got into the groove again it was fantastic! I don't know about you - but I really get a kick out of seeing rows of jars of canned veggies cooling on my counter. And opening the big freezer downstairs and finding stacks of frozen veggies, neatly arranged on the shelves makes me giddy!

I'm starting on applesauce next week. Can't wait!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Before and After....So Far

Just wanted to post some pics of the progress we're making on the house these days. The wall is knocked out between the new & the old. The doors and windows are in on the new part. We still need to install the new windows on the old part - though hubby got the bay window in finally so the hardest part is over. We're thinking it's going to take a longer than we first "guestimated" so maybe we won't be celebrating Christmas there after all. But hey - ya' never know!
The second pic only shows the new part that was tacked on to the existing house (seen in first pic). The existing house is hidden in the shadows of the second pic.

If anything I'm certainly developing some arm muscles during this project. Lifting, tugging, pulling and stretching....I'm feeling it, that's for sure! I have a bad case of tendonitis in my left elbow that started earlier this summer when I was mulching the gardens. I've pretty much tried to ignore it but this house building has aggravated it a lot.

Last night we picked some jalapeno peppers from the garden and stuffed them with sausage. We covered each with a small wedge of bacon and grilled them. I'm thinking they probably weren't the best choice in the world - but hubby wanted some and I didn't eat very many. It was our dinner - nothing else - so I guess it wasn't too bad. It's just been soooo incredibly nice weather wise and we couldn't resist having a campfire and grilling a late night dinner.

I may trek to to the lake solo Sunday to check things out - cut the grass - see if we've caught any more mice - see what Mr. Imanass has done while we've been away. Maybe if I find some dead mice I'll stuff them in his maibox. Just kidding!
It was supposed to be a long weekend - just the two of us. But being the workaholic hubby is - once again he has decided that he can't take the time off to go. So...I'm going by my lonesome :-(
Crappo! This has been the warmest summer in eons and it's going to be in the 80's this weekend (I can remember Columbus Day Weekends when it snowed!) and we haven't enjoyed the cottage but a few times all season. (Can you detect a bit of bitterness here?)

Anyhoo - I've gotta' get over to the other house and help hubby with the windows. Hope the motivation factor is moving and grooving for everyone!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Making Concessions....

Last night I went with my friend (the one who's been losing so well at Weight Watchers - and has finally made her goal weight and is two weeks away from Lifetime membership!) to visit another friend who just had back surgery. We brought her a pizza (that's what she said she's been craving). My WW pal ordered it with olives and mushrooms. She asked if I minded if we skip the pepperoni. No...I lied. But you know what? When we sat down to eat it - I didn't even notice!

Sometimes I think we are so used to eating the same things the same way that we don't even realize that we wouldn't miss them if they weren't there. I have never even entertained the thought of pizza without pepperoni. But I will now. And now I'm looking for ways to cut out other "non-essentials" to help me shed the weight. Like I did with diet pop (soda to you guys in other parts). I have been drinking it so long that now I prefer it. I can't even drink a regular pop anymore - ewww! Fat-free salad dressings are another. I don't mind them over the regular. (But not the spritzer type - that is just plain awful.)

My WW pal has made a lot of modifications in the way she prepares her food. She substitutes a lot of things that when all is said and done - she never misses. That way she says, she can still eat "normal" food - but with less fat & calories.

Often we think of dieting as eliminating certain foods. But it's really just about modifying them. Using Splenda instead of sugar, lo-fat cheeses, baked chips, yogurt instead of sour cream. We often THINK these substitutions will taste bad but when all is said and done - they really don't! Like the pizza sans pepperoni. It really still tasted great!

Sometimes I balk at having to pay a little more for something that has a "little less" but then when I stop to think about it - isn't it worth it? I'll pay a little more for a nice pair of shoes or a cute purse. I'll pay a little more for my skin creams and cosmetics. So why not my food? Doesn't what I put IN my body count for just as much as what I wear outside my body?

I can be so silly at times. Like when I picked up a loaf of lo-cal bread and put it back because it was 75 cents more than the regular stuff. Then turned around a bought a $5 bottle of shampoo because I liked the way it made my hair feel compared to the $1.99 bottle next to it. Gheesh! Where are my priorities??

I'm not saying I want to live on diet foods my whole life. Nope. But if I can learn to make some substitutions and alterations in the way I eat & cook - then I'm in! I CAN do that for the rest of my life.

Now if anyone can turn me on to a good alternative for butter....I'd be forever grateful!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Wow! Since I've been "gone" I've noticed that a lot of us are on the same page these in lacking the motivation that once fueled us when we first started out on this journey to "less of us". All I can say is - DON'T GIVE UP! The same reasons we all decided it was time to shed the lard are still there. If we give up now the strides we've made will slowly disappear as the weight creeps back on. And then some. Right? We all know that! We always gain a little more than we lost...

And in a few months - after we've eaten ourselves silly and dragged out all the "fat" clothes again (that this time will be even more snug than before) we'll start hating ourselves for ever giving up in the first place.

And contrary to what the little guy on your shoulder is telling you - we were NOT meant to be fat. We've just learned bad habits along the way that (or never really learned any good ones to begin with) that have put us where we are today.

Hubby's a mechanic and I've learned a lot about how machines run watching him in his shop as he putters. Our bodies are machines too! (I'm leading up to an analogy here.....) If a car sits for months at a time and the engine doesn't get turned over - it won't run very well - if at all. The battery will be weak or dead. Things start to corrode. Animals start nesting under the hood. It's not a good thing. And even if a car gets driven daily - if it doesn't get highway mileage - you know, really letting the engine hum and do it's thing - it will still suffer. (can we say exercise...?) And then there's the whole fuel thing. Give an engine bad gas and you ain't getting anywhere. Give it what it needs and it'll purr like a kitten and never let you down!

God designed our bodies to run smoothly and efficiently if we give them the right fuel and use them to their full capacity! If we do that - we won't be fat! Sure...some will still have bigger hips than others....some will have wider waists....thicker ankles...but that's our SHAPE! We're all different makes and models - but we can still look good!

I'm not giving up (though some days I desperately want to and I show it by eating every item that isn't nailed down) but the thing is - if we get back on track we don't need to return from "whence we came."

I'm not perfect. I need encouragement and pep talks and downright smacks in the head sometimes from you guys. Today it's my turn to return the "favor".

Hang in there guys! Don't get disillusioned by the journey ahead. Just take one day at a time. That's all God gives us the strength for anyway. And a lot of strong days makes a lot less of us!

Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm Back!

Oh life is good! I'm sitting here sipping my morning coffee in front of my own computer in my own house! It's back...where it belongs! I've missed being able to read all my favorite blogs. I've missed being able to look up a recipe on line. I've missed staying in touch with friends and family far away through e-mail. How did the pioneers cope without phones and PC's?

I have gotten a bit of motivation back....I feel like the pendulum is ready to swing the other way again. Perhaps it's the change of seasons. Fall is in the air...the leaves are turning color....this time of year has always left with me with a breath of new beginnings. Probably because September has always been the start of a new school year as long as I can remember. When I was in school...when my kids were in school....and also as a teacher myself. This September has been unseasonably warm - it hit 91 last week! And not teaching this year and no kids to send has just seemed like an extended summer. But the nights are chillier and the sun shines on my deck at a different angle now. When we walk through the woods on our property we meander through fallen leaves. We don't swat mosquitoes anymore and even the night sounds are different. The crickets sing a different song in the fall.

Last night hubby and I took a golf cart ride through the trails in the woods and he stopped and said, "Listen! Can you hear it? Fall is here." I never realized that you can "hear" the seasons but I guess you can!

So...with this advent of a new season - I feel like it's a good time to hop back on that proverbial wagon I fell off of a few months ago - you know, the one I've been chasing all summer! I've got the journal out - the Weight Watchers materials are with it. I've been half heartedly trying to get with it but right now - I feel like I can do this once again.

It's good to be back!