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Showing posts from 2009

Keep on keepin' on

What else can one do, when all is said and done?

My husband and I have been dealing with a situation involving a family member. Such situations tend to take their toll, after a while, and this one certainly has. But in some cases – and this is one of them – there's nothing to do but to put one foot in front of the other and keep on keepin' on.

It helps to have a sense of humor about it. It's difficult to find that sense of humor in the midst of chaos and crisis, but we've managed, a couple of times. It helps to have an outlet – someplace to rant and rave and yell about it, and that can be with friends (thanks E and M!) or in the shower or in the car. Hopefully it won't devolve into ranting at each other.

I want to eat and eat and eat when I get angry and frustrated. Instead of putting one foot in front of the other, I've been able to take a step back, to be still and recognize that external factors are driving me to the pantry door. Fortunately – so far! – I ha…

Running

At the beginning of 2009, I had it in mind that I would at least run one half-marathon sometime during the year. Due to a variety of circumstances, that didn't happen. This past fall, I got the bright idea that I would run a full marathon in 2010. But I already know that won't happen either.

I'm setting limits for myself, even though I know I shouldn't. But being a practical sort, and knowing my weight-loss history, it will take a good long time before I'm in good enough physical shape to run 26.2 miles in one day. Hopefully in six or so hours.

I watched Running the Sahara today. My favorite line was this, spoken by the team leader to one of the three members who wanted to quit at about the halfway point:

"If you don't want excitement, run a marathon."

That might come across as a little elitist, but these guys truly didn't know what was coming next as they ran … and ran … and ran … across Africa. It's an amazing documentary and an amazing stor…

We don't need no stinkin' Mondays

Take that, Monday. And take that, January 1st, as well! The Official Debbi Does Dieting Regime (or, ODDDR, how appropriate is that) started Saturday, thankyouverymuch, and not a moment too soon. I saw a very scary number on the bathroom scale the day after Christmas, and decided enough was enough.

Enough peanut butter fudge. Enough snickerdoodles. Enough walnut caramels. Enough shortbread. Enough, enough, enough. We're back to clean eating here at Chez Knit Run Repeat, and it feels great.

So far.

I'm sure the day will come when I'm tempted beyond my limits, but I'm hoping I'll remember to come back to today's post and instantly regain my motivation, instead of lardage.

It's truly frightening how quickly weight can pile on. As I told my husband, though, new fat disappears more quickly than old fat does, so I hope to at least get rid of the holiday damage before our winter vacation next month. And since our winter vacation will take place in sunny Florida, we…

Merry Christmas

You know the drill. Save the image, punch a hole
through the white circle on the right, tie a piece of yarn
through it and add it to your bookmark collection.

Oh, and have a very merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas Eve!

I got home from my little trip last night and jumped right into Life As Usual. I feel like I've already had Christmas, since I got to visit with both my children and all of their children all at the same time. My daughter took some great photos of the three grandchildren and of all of us together, so for me, Noel et finis!

My husband and I will be going to an annual open house this evening, and we're looking forward to that. Otherwise, I'm back to cooking, cleaning, laundry and, um, shoveling snow. More than a foot of it piled up while I was gone. It's lovely, really, and it's the first white Christmas I can remember since I moved to West Virginia.

I know y'all are busy doing stuff, too busy to read blogs, so this is short, sweet and full of good wishes for a lovely holiday for all of you.

Friday Quote Day

Happy Friday before Christmas!

I'm heading west, but thanks to the Miracle of Blogger I was able to create this post ahead of time and schedule its publication for today. Didn't want to miss giving you your weekly gift just because I was going away for a few days.

I didn't say anything about the health care reform debacle yesterday. Too raw, maybe. But here goes.

Many in Congress are not doing a very good job of spreading light. Republicans who are fighting reform at every turn in order to see President Obama fail certainly fall into this category. Baucus, Lieberman and the rest of the so-called Democrats who are bought and paid for by insurance and healthcare corporations do, too. Even President Obama, who surely could have handled this whole mess with more strength and conviction, is guilty of not shining the way he could and should have.

But one Senator does shine, bright and clear and steadfast, and he is Bernie Sanders. His impassioned speech on the Senate floor Wednesday…

Breathe in, breathe out, move on

I love that Jimmy Buffet song. (Can you believe it? I listen to other-than-Dylan music!) He wrote it about New Orleans after Katrina, but it's applicable to many, many situations.

The Big DVD Project for my dad is done. I accidentally trashed it and emptied the trash when I was finished with it the first time, two days ago, so had to recreate it from scratch. Fortunately it was only a six-minute production (heh); it wasn't worth the time or money to download and purchase a data-recovery program. I will, however, execute a back-up the next time I do something like this.

Now that it's done I really do feel like I can breathe. Cards have been signed, sealed, stamped and sent. "Delivered" is up to the U.S. Postal Service; it's out of my hands. Today I will wrap gifts, do laundry, finish making treats and do some general tidying up.

I might even get a walk in, if I have some time this afternoon. I prefer morning exercise, but it's too cold then for me. Some p…

The Christmas lament

Why do I do this to myself year after year after year? And please, please tell me I'm not the only one.

Christmas comes but once a year, always on the same day, and – beginning every December 26, we all have a year to get ready for it. So how come I'm not ready and it's a measly nine days away? And for me, it's really a measly two days away, because I'll be celebrating the holidays with both my children and their families beginning Friday.

My to-do list this year was too long and was created too late. I won't get any doll clothes made for my younger granddaughter's Bitty Baby, but I did manage to get them cut out. I also knit a tiny sweater for her. I even sewed the buttons on in a somewhat timely manner! But without the outfits, I think I'll just save the sweater and send everything after the holidays. The present Santa forgot. Heh.

I'm working on an iMovie project for my dad and it's being rather recalcitrant. I've had all the material for…

Seen a shooting star tonight

Another blog post title brought to you by Bob Dylan. I'm getting in a rut here. If you're a casual Dylan listener, you probably aren't familiar with this song, which he recorded during the late '80s, a time in which only hard-core fans bought his albums. Like me. (And even I'm not hard-core enough to buy his Christmas CD. The reviews are horrible! It's for a good cause, but money's too tight these days.)

The Geminid meteor showers are putting on quite a show. If it wasn't so cold, I'd still be outside. In five minutes I saw half a dozen shooting stars streaking across the early-morning sky.

Here in the Middle of Nowhere we aren't affected by light pollution too much except to the south, but all I had to do was look up and toward the west to catch the performance. I love starting the day – and the week – with a smile, and falling stars always make me smile.

So. The weekend was good as far as food goes. I really feel as though I've got a hand…

Friday Quote Day

It's the second Friday of December, and you know what that means … another present!



Or, as Franklin's friend Winston Churchill said: "Never, never, never, never give up."

Since I've seen myself as overweight since I was 11, and I'm still trying to get to what I consider a normal size, I guess I've been following the advice of both Roosevelt and Churchill for most of my life.

That's both bad and good. Bad because I tend to feel like I'm on a hamster wheel (or a treadmill, when it doesn't quit on me!), working really hard but not actually getting anywhere. I try not to let those thoughts enter my pretty little head too often, but when I'm trying on jeans – as I was yesterday – it's easy and comfortable to fall into those negative thoughts.

The good is that I continue to persevere. What drives me is that I've been thin before. I was younger, of course, and I was also an insane gym rat, but I know deep inside that the possibility of a norm…

Idiot wind

Those of you who know and love me might know that today's title is brought to you by Bob Dylan.

And Mother Nature.

I worked out on the treadmill yesterday for 16 minutes. During that time the belt suddenly stopped moving three times. I figured that was a sign that maybe I should go for a walk outside, as the temperature was in the low 50s and it was nice and sunny.

About the time I made that decision, the wind started blowing. It hasn't really stopped yet, although it's slowed down considerably. As I was frantically trying to batten down the hatches yesterday around noon, I watched one of our pine trees snap off about two-thirds of the way down the trunk.

Our grill is laying on its side in the back yard, 50 feet from its usual spot on the patio. (It's a big, heavy grill; I can't believe the wind was strong enough to move it that far.) I found my compost bin an acre away on the side of a hill, and while I was rescuing it I noticed a highway crew moving a tree that ha…

Back to knitting

I'm afraid to read the news this morning. My husband watched all his favorite cable news programs last night and was full of Medicare-at-55 news when I finished watching The Biggest Loser finale. I'm not sure if I dreamed his conversations or if they were real!

The finale was very inspirational; the transformations from first day to last were incredible. Best of all, I made it past the halfway point of the Big Bad Boring Baby Blanket! Yeah, me!

Seed stitch takes longer to execute than stockinette, and the blanket has a wide border of seed stitch all the way around. The center is four large squares of alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette. And I'm knitting it using two strands of softball cotton in ivory.

Yawn.

I'm anxious to start a new project. I have an idea for a child's toy that I think I should be able to sell the pattern for, but I need to find time to create the prototype. Good thing I have triplets to knit for, since I think it will take three tri…

Could we really have meaningful health care reform?

Depending on who you listen to, the answer is yes or no. Even when you only listen to conservatives or liberals, the answer is yes or no. But an intriguing idea was thrown around last night on a couple of MSNBC programs, giving me, yet again, a little hope.

My Senator, Jay Rockefeller, introduced a bill last year some time ago which would lower the age for Medicare eligibility to 55. It appears that an amendment to the current Senate health care bill might do just that.

I think Medicare should start at birth. It's not free health care, and it's not socialized medicine, no matter what you might hear. It's not going broke, either. Yes, reforms need to be put in place, but what's worse: private health insurance premiums rising 15 to 20 percent annually (or, in my case, 33 percent)? Or overhauling a government-administered program that works quite well.

If you didn't attend any of the Congressional town hall meetings this summer, you may have missed the geriatric crowd…

Can't get blogger to work this a.m.

For some reason it seems not-right to e-mail a blog post. I guess I'm
used to doing it MY way, checking the formatting, blah, blah, blah,
and when Blogger is being uncooperative, I feel like e-mailing a post
is a last resort and not as good. And you probably don't even notice
the difference!We were away for the weekend, so no weigh-in this morning. One thing I
thought about all weekend, though, was this:I should only eat when I'm hungry (I didn't do this all the time, but
I certainly did it most of the time, which is a big victory), andIt's okay to be hungry.We had a great time on our little mini-trip, but it was punctuated
with two pretty bad shocks. If you read the blog Bo vs. BAC, which is
listed in my sidebar, you already know that Bo lost his battle with
cancer Saturday morning. He was a friend of a friend of my son's; I
never met him, but felt like I knew his wife, who took over the blog
when he was too ill to post. They have a little girl who …

Friday Quote Day

'Tis the first Friday of Christmas month, and you get a present! Save the image at left (I think all you have to do is click on it and it will open by itself in a new window), print it on cardstock, laminate it, punch a hole where the black circle is and tie some leftover yarn through the hole. Every time you use your new bookmark you'll think of me!

Actually, I hope you think of being ready – or getting ready – to change, not of me.

If willpower worked, we'd all be thin and sober, no one would smoke and everyone would finish what they started, be it a marathon or a home remodeling project or a boring, endless baby blanket.

(You can tell what's on my list of Things That Need To Be Finished, can't you?)

I'm sober and I no longer smoke. And it didn't take an ounce of willpower to accomplish either. I simply wanted to not drink or smoke more than I wanted to. I was ready to be a non-smoker and a recovering alcoholic.

Am I ready to be thin again? Are you?

The news

My husband and I (he more than I) are news junkies. He watches the stock ticker all day and is glued to MSNBC all evening, with breaks for Brian Williams at 6:30 and Jeopardy at 7:30. What to do with the 7 p.m. time slot? More news, of course.

If you watch The Daily Show in the early evening, you get the previous night's rerun, which is fine with us because we're watching MSNBC. (Or he is; I'm usually in bed by then.) The big news Tuesday was, of course, President Obama's speech to the American public justifying sending more troops to Afghanistan. For some, there is no justification. And for others, nothing President Obama does will ever be right … or right enough.

Jon Stewart didn't dwell on it, though. His big news story of the day was illustrated by a clever montage of talking heads. The background music was Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and each clip was someone dithering about The Man Who Makes His Living Hitting a Ball with a Stick.

I had to climb back on th…

Local channels

If you're a satellite dish customer, and you live in the Middle of Nowhere, you know all about the local-channel brouhaha. Our television set-up is this: We have a small TV in the house and a big-screen in our second-floor garage/office. The cable from the satellite dish had to be buried along the patio from one end of the house to the other, in order to reach the garage.

We used to get the four networks – ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, plus PBS – through satellite feeds from New York. Local stations didn't like that, of course, because we were watching New York advertisements. (We weren't listening to them, though: We mute commercials.) So the satellite companies had to discontinue our network feeds. If we wanted to watch any network television, we had to have a rooftop antenna.

Our antenna could only pick up CBS and Fox. ABC and PBS granted waivers so we could continue receiving the New York feed. But NBC wouldn't waiver us, and we have been unable to watch any NBC programmi…

A long, boring day

Yesterday absolutely dragged around the Middle of Nowhere. I would look at the clock and be so surprised that it wasn't two hours later. We even ate dinner (such as it was) early, hoping to speed up the evening hours.

Usually I think time is flying by, and this year certainly falls into that category. But every once in a while I get tripped up by a day that doesn't seem to want to end.

Today will, I hope, be a little more, um, interesting.

Dinner was interesting. I used the last of the Thanksgiving turkey to make white chili, one of our favorite cold-weather meals. The recipe calls for two 4-oz. cans of chopped green chiles, which I didn't have. I did, however, have some sliced homegrown hot peppers (they might be poblanos, I can't remember now) in the freezer. I made the mistake of using an equivalent amount.

Sheesh! I couldn't eat it, but my husband had four servings. He was sweating like it was the Fourth of July, though. I quickly made some peanut butter for my…

Break's over

Well, the past few days have convinced me that rest is what my poor sick foot needs. I was alternately on and off my feet, and the days I was on (or took a long walk) meant some uncomfortable nights. The anti-inflammatory I'm taking is helping some – the burning pain isn't quite as intense, nor do the episodes last as long. But I'm not fixed yet by any means.

I didn't weigh myself this morning. We'll get back to more healthful meals this week now that the leftovers are almost gone, and I'll continue The Plan of weighing and reporting on Mondays sometime this month. Maybe even next week, although we'll be out of town over the weekend. It's always something.

(By the way, what do you get when you make turkey-rice soup out of leftover turkey? Leftover turkey-rice soup! Arghhh!)

I wanted to show you my Thanksgiving centerpiece. I stole the idea from Martha, but she used pale blue candles and Epsom salts, for a Hanukkah decoration. My candles are creamy vanill…

Camo is the new black

You city-dwellers have no idea what it's like to wake up to the sound of gunshots echoing across the hills. Perhaps you've heard the sound of handguns pinging back and forth in a back alley, something we don't get much of here in the Middle of Nowhere.

There's no comparison.

If I heard a volley of shots, I'd take that as a sure sign to Get Out Of The Way. What we hear from the mountains are booms of thunder, distant and ominous. We wear bright colors when we walk, and we keep a close eye on the dogs when they are out. One neighbor dresses her dogs' collars in bright orange ribbons. Not a bad idea.

Buck hunting season began Monday morning, bright and early. I heard the first shot just prior to 7 a.m. I've been in town both days this week – Monday was personal maintenance, yesterday was car maintenance – and the number of folks I've seen dressed in camouflage is astonishing. I felt rather out of place at the service station dressed in solid black slacks a…

Dr. Google was wrong!

No big surprise there. Unless, of course, Dr. C. is wrong. But I doubt that. Nothing is more valuable in medicine than being able to have a face-to-face – or, in my case, face-to-ankle – consultation in order to make a diagnosis.

I have a superficial vein thrombosis, which causes almost exactly the symptoms I have. I'm on a prescription anti-inflammatory and I'm to rest as much as possible, but I can still take a daily walk. Just don't push it, he said. And don't run for a while. The Merck Manual also says hot compresses are beneficial.

The symptom that can't really be accounted for is the numbness, but he told me that the vein might be pressing on a nerve, and that can cause my foot to tingle and then go numb. I feel certain it will go away with time; after all, the other one did.

Our hospital cuts their fees in half (I had to have a blood test) if you pay cash on the spot, which I did. I figured I'm not going to make it to my $3000 deductible before January 1…

My weight is like the stock market

Up. Down. Up. Down.

Today? Up, of course.

We had company Friday and Saturday, which means four days of eating too much and exercising too little. I can hear you saying, "That does not compute. Two days of company does not equal four days of no exercise." Ah, but it does, because the day before they arrive is a day of major floor-cleaning (almost my entire house is a laminate canvas for dog footprints), and the day after they leave is a day of major resting. And we all know that cleaning floors is not the same as a five-mile walk. Nor is resting. Heh.

There's another problem, though. Something I alluded to a couple of months ago has returned to throw a wrench in my plans. I had a doctor's appointment in September to check out an odd growth on my right ankle. The growth disappeared, so I canceled the appointment. In the last couple of weeks, though, I've experienced numbness on the top of my foot most of the time, accompanied by searing, burning pain in the middle …

Puh-lease

From the New York Times today, regarding the Senate health insurance reform bill, announced last night:

"Many provisions of Mr. Reid’s bill, including the creation of insurance markets, or exchanges, would take effect in 2014, a year later than similar provisions of the House bill. The delay is intended primarily to reduce the cost of the legislation."

Five years. Um, I mean, FIVE YEARS!

Get a calculator and figure out what your insurance premium is going to cost if you increase it, oh, 15% each year for five years. (And if you have employer-based insurance, you're not out of this mix, because your employer is going to raise your contribution and reduce your benefits as time goes by. And keep in mind that my insurer raised their premiums twice this year, for an effective increase of 33%.)

Then figure out how you're going to pay for it.

I don't know anyone who has gotten a 15% increase in salary lately. In fact, of the people I'm closest to, two lost their jobs…

Bag it

Okay, back to normal. Thanks for putting up with my little rant yesterday. The problem is not solved, not by any means, but I'm taking steps.

I promised two knitted bags to put in a gift shop for a holiday open house and I'm on the handle of the second one. Yeah! Once I start the handle I'm in the home stretch. I then need to felt them, create and attach some kind of tag to them and they are outta here!

Lots going on the next couple of weeks. Company coming this weekend, then Thanksgiving, followed by a short trip to Ohio to visit the triplet grandsons (and their parents!). I should probably make a list of Things I Need To Do, but somehow, whether there's a list or not, everything eventually gets done.

Food wasn't so great yesterday. Stress and anger do that to me. Some women clean when they get emotional. I bake. But I also walked, both Monday and yesterday, and plan to get out there again today before it rains. One good thing about rain in West Virginia – we rare…

Rant. Rave. Repeat.

This post has nothing to do with my personal health, running, knitting, losing weight or fitness. It has everything to do with the health of our country and our economy.

I don't care what political stripe you wear, we can certainly agree that the U.S. economy, while showing signs of a comeback, is in dire straits. One of the major reasons companies are struggling is trying to keep up with increasing health insurance rates.

The simplest solution for everyone except Big Insurance and Big Pharma is to enact Medicare for All legislation.

I've been a single-payer advocate for years, but kind of backed off when healthcare reform seemed like it was really going to happen. Something is better than nothing, I thought. I'm rethinking that stance, particularly in light of the letter I received yesterday from Aetna, who provides my private health insurance.

My premium (and yours, too, if you're an Aetna member) will be increased in January 2010. Since I became a member 18 months a…

Week Four: Stats and Results

Setting goals is helpful, but it depends – of course – on the goal.

A pie-in-the-sky goal of losing X pounds in a week is (for me, anyway) doomed to fail. If I have a goal like that in the back of my mind, I almost always will do something to sabotage my bad self and then blame my lack of progress on overserving.

Heh.

But setting a goal of not using artificially sweetened coffee creamer? Now that one worked. I also didn't buy any sugar-free ice cream. Here are this week's stats:

Stats for Week Four:
Average daily calories burned: 346
Average daily calories consumed: 1082

The result? I lost two pounds. Which means after a month of tracking calories in/out, I've gained half a pound.

That should be discouraging, but for some reason it isn't. I feel like I've been back on track for two consecutive weeks, and clearly I can never do Halloween again. Ever!

Last Friday I did something I never thought I'd do. Lately I'm all about eating not only less food, but also b…

Friday Quote Day

Luck is what happens when
preparation meets opportunity.
~ Seneca, Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD

In other words, you can't credit your good fortune to whichever way the wind blows.

It's hunting season here in the Middle of Nowhere. You will occasionally hear someone say, "What a lucky shot!" But really? Is there such a thing? I'm not a hunter, so I wouldn't know. (Remember, I'm the one who invites all the neighborhood deer to live in my woods during hunting season.) But I can hazard a guess that the lucky shot goes to the man or woman who peers deep into the leaves and branches, understands deer behavior, becomes one with the woods and happens to be toting a loaded gun.

Or consider a pilot landing a small aircraft. He or she may think that just-executed smooth landing has everything to do with luck. I'm a private pilot who has walked away from any number of landings thanking my lucky stars. But really? I was trained well, I practiced regularly …

One day at a time

The backstory is here, if you're unfamiliar with my Other Life. It's been 19 years today since I've had a drink of alcohol or another mind-altering substance. I'm grateful on a daily basis, but I'm especially grateful on anniversaries.

No matter what else happens in my life, getting and staying sober is both my biggest job and greatest reward. Without a clear head, I'm useless to myself or others. I'm certainly not perfect and I don't have all the answers, but at least I have a fighting chance, as long as I don't drink.

In AA we say the farther away we are from our last drink, the closer we are to our next one. I don't want to forget that last drink, ever. In the whole scheme of things, it wasn't particularly exciting. I didn't get arrested or have a wreck or wind up in bed with a stranger. It was just one more foggy night punctuating years of murk and gloom. I'm rather glad I didn't end my drinking with an exclamation point, or …

Ahem.

I'm not terribly worried about my results last week. Weight fluctuates from day to day; Sunday morning it looked like I was going to be able to report a loss, but I officially weigh in on Monday, so that's what I had to go with.

I've taken a few breaks over time, but for the past, oh, 10 years or so I've been trying to lose weight or maintain a weight loss. And seriously? I've been on some kind of diet or another since I was 11. ELEVEN! I used to work for Weight Watchers. I know what to do. I know what should work. If it doesn't, so be it. I'm fit enough to walk five miles a day; how many 58-year-old women can do that?

Also? Reporting results is not the same as asking for advice. Perhaps I'm being a big defensive here, but let's just all assume that I know how to weigh, measure, count, etc., and that I'm using data that a program or a device has calculated for me.

Seriously, if I write in a post the words "moving on," as I did yesterday, …

Week Three: Stats and Results

Grrr.

I stayed the same this week, meaning those 2.5 pounds from my week away from home have decided to visit a bit longer. My workouts were spotty this week, and I'm taking sugar-free ice cream off the menu for a while.

I also haven't done so well with going back to black coffee. This week's goal is to not use creamer. I might use some cream, but I'll be sure to measure it and count the calories.

Stats for Week Three:

Average daily calories burned: 383
Average daily calories consumed: 1130

You'd think anyone could lose a pound or two with those numbers, wouldn't you?

Mary's interpretation of Friday's quote is spot-on; that's how I looked at it, too. I've been buoyed up all weekend thinking about wanting what I have, instead of longing for something out of my reach. Of course I draw the line at my weight. I'll probably have a weight-loss goal until my children throw me into the ground. Which is kind of sad, isn't it?

What would happen if I were …

Friday Quote Day

Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more;
love more and all good things will be yours.
~ Swedish Proverb

Today's quote tells me to move toward the light of good living and away from the darkness of negativity. This proverb doesn't forbid anything: There are no musts here. Just encouragement to be a little more positive, a little less defeatist.

Good stuff for someone like me who enjoys beating myself up about missing (another) walk this week.

Yesterday got away from me, plain and simple. I tried to make up for the lack of a serious walk with some leaf-raking, but we all know that's not a fair comparison.

I need to reorder the words so that "whine less" is the first directive in the quote.

"Eat less" is always good advice, unless you're anorexic. (Have any of you ever, as I have, prayed for anorexia?) "Chew more" tells me to enjoy what I have, and it doesn't matter if it's reading material, ya…

Gooooooooooo, Yankees!

I haven't mentioned it much, but I'm a Yankees fan. And if I hadn't taken two Motrin yesterday afternoon, I'm sure I would have loved watching them win Game 6 of the World Series. As it was, I ended up in bed, moaning with a stomach ache, before the sixth inning. My husband kept me informed, though, walking from the den to the bedroom to announce each additional Yankee run until I fell asleep.

I have two Yankee t-shirts; last night I wore the Derek Jeter one, since the team shirt didn't work Monday night. I've hearted Jeter for years.

I grew up in Ohio and my dad had season tickets to the Cincinnati Reds, so I was a Big Red Machine fan all through my school years. That was when Johnny Bench and Pete Rose and Joe Morgan were part of the machine – good times!

My husband had the great good fortune to actually attend the Yankees World Series game in 1956 when Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. It didn't take much for me to switch all…

Oh, deer, oh, deer, oh deer

Look who joined us for dinner last night!

It took me half a minute to realize that this little deer family is the same one I've been seeing on my walks since mid-summer. The two little ladies used to have spots and were tiny-tiny. Now they're nearly grown! I usually see them about a mile from my house on a densely wooded hillside. I guess they learned of my invitation to all the neighborhood deer to hang out at our place during hunting season. Heh.

Yesterday was, as predicted, a very busy day. The bad thing is: No walk. In fact, no exercise of any kind unless you count primping in the mirror looking at my sassy new glasses and haircut. The good thing is: No overeating, because who has time to eat when you're driving, shopping and primping?

We're going to have another beautiful day today – this will be three in a row – and I'll definitely be out for a walk when it warms up a bit. This morning I'm going to work on the damage my house incurred while it was in my husb…

Just visiting

My friend Anne commented that those extra pounds from last week's debacle are "just visiting." I love that! It's just too bad that when I go visiting, a couple extra pounds decide to come home with me, along with all the dirty laundry.

I got right back on my plan yesterday. Took a 10K walk that started mid-morning and ended at noon and, while I didn't really plan it this way, yesterday was a completely vegetarian day. As a rule, meatless meals tend to be higher in fiber and good carbs and lower in calories, a very good thing to kick off the week.

We had a wonderful dinner last night. This recipe was the starting point, but I didn't have an eggplant, a zucchini or a sweet potato. Did I let that stop me? Uh-uh, no, sir, not on your life. The great thing about most stew-type recipes is that anything goes. I added three small russet potatoes, a small butternut squash, some celery and a can of mushrooms to the onions, tomatoes (I used canned), garlic, spices and chi…

Monday: A great day ...

for starting. And for starting over!

I'm only a little bummed, actually, because I had so much fun this past week. But I guess I'm not such a good dieter/exerciser when I'm traveling. Or maybe it depends on the traveling. I can imagine myself being able to keep up the exercise at the beach or, as I did in September, at a lodge. But even then I didn't rein in the food.

I gained back the two pounds I lost the first week, plus another half. I can't even begin to estimate the average number of calories I consumed or burned each day I was gone. So here we go, Day One all over again.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Off we go ...

There was no walking in the Middle of Nowhere yesterday due to rain, rain and more rain. My brand-new rain gauge said we got three-quarters of an inch! I'm going to head out as soon as I move a load of clothes from the washer to the dryer.

When I get back, I'll be packing my little bag and heading south for a few days. In addition to clothing, toiletries, phone and iPod chargers and my knitting bag, I'm taking:
the Garminmy running shoesrunning shorts/shirtsthe food count bookmy paper food journalNow whether I use any or all of these things remains to be seen. We will be very busy, so running/walking will have to be squeezed in among other activities. But food? I can measure and count food, and journaling works very well to rein in consumption. It's astonishing how quickly one can get to 1200 calories when one is not doing the cooking, however.

Thanks for your comments about the coffee creamer. I had some lovely herb tea last night (my friend makes it and as soon as her w…

Anticipation. And Coffee Creamer.

I leave tomorrow to spend a few days with the younger granddaughter again, this time, of course, for Halloween festivities. Won't be back until Sunday … meaning too many days of not being able to control my own food and probably just one day of being able to walk any meaningful distance. I guess that depends on the weather, but our schedule is pretty packed.

Analyzing yesterday's numbers, it looks like I could lose weight if I ate 800 calories on non-exercise days, doesn't it? But who wants to go there? I knew this trip would interfere with The Plan; I'm just hoping to keep the damage to a minimum.

Now for the coffee creamer. I've been experimenting with going back to drinking black coffee. I was a black coffee drinker for years. I don't know when I slipped over to the creamy side. If I had a milk cow I'd be using real cream (mmmmm), but I don't, and I wasn't quite the food snob I am today when I started buying the plastic liquid known as sugar-free C…

Week One: Stats and Results

One week down, six months to go. (It's 180 days until marathon day. Yikes!)

Using the numbers from my CalorieKing journal entries, here's what the first week looked like:

Average daily calories consumed: 1222
Average daily calories burned: 442

Ironically, after that inspirational quote on Friday and five days of nearly perfect performance, I had a "bad" day Saturday. Got right back on track yesterday, though, and the result was a two-pound loss. Yeah for me!

Of course, that's the same two pounds that's been coming and going all summer. But I must say it's been helpful keeping track of the calories I've been shoveling in. And I haven't felt at all deprived. I found a recipe for a yummy treat I knew my husband would like (Apple-Cheddar Turnovers), made them and enjoyed one Friday and half of one yesterday.

I guess it helps that I've been heading down this path for the past few weeks anyway. I just needed to rein in the eating and continue the consiste…

Friday Quote Day

Have a dream, make a plan, go for it.
You'll get there, I promise.
~ Zoe Koplowitz

This quote works pretty well to wrap up this week, don't you think? The good thing is not only have I worked on my plan, I've actually been doing it, too. I've managed to walk or run every day so far. I decided digging a trench around the garlic/onion bed was a decent trade-off for weight training. It certainly was a good upper-body workout, whether you agree the trade-off was a good one or not. I've been on track limiting daily calorie consumption to 1200 and I've been journaling everything in CalorieKing.

In AA we say, "Plan the plan, not the results." I must admit I'm hoping for a good result when I weigh myself Monday, but based on my previous history, I probably shouldn't be disappointed with whatever number shows up.

In order to "get there," I maybe need to redefine my goals. One goal is to complete a marathon before I'm 60. It may very well be t…

A time to plant

Looks like today's the day to plant the garlic. According to a Department of Natural Resources gardening calendar my neighbor gave me last spring, I should do it Monday. But with today's temperature expected to hit the mid-70s and then, beginning tomorrow, all-rain, all-the-time, for two days, and then colder weather moving in … well, today's the day.

I'm excited, can you tell?

My mother never used fresh garlic when she cooked. Our food was seasoned with powdered garlic salt or powdered onion salt, although she did use fresh onions. My grandmother said she never used fresh garlic, either, which is kind of astonishing, as she ate chickens she'd raised and named herself. You'd think they'd have planted garlic, if for nothing else than to ward off cold germs.

I, on the other hand, love the flavor and bite of fresh garlic. I use it in just about every savory dish I prepare: soups, stews, roasts, stir-fries, bean dishes – you get the picture. So the idea of being a…

How about some knitting?

My knitting mojo has returned, alive and well, and there's always something on my needles these days. I finished the second Doddy Sunday night and immediately started a Christmas stocking, one of three for – naturally – the triplets.

Once the stockings are finished (I'm using my own pattern for these), I need to make a few little doll items for my younger granddaughter's Bitty Baby and then six hat/mitten sets for each of the grandchildren. Then in January I can get back to the periwinkle blue cardigan I started a couple months ago for myself.

Lots going on today; no more time to write. Hope you both have a great day.

So far, so good. Heh.

Yeah, Day One went well. But doesn't Day One almost always go well?

I finished reading The End of Overeating last night and was surprised that Dr. Kessler didn't have a long list of don'ts. His philosophy and mine seem to mesh: Don't eat in restaurants. Don't eat processed foods.

The Big Deal in EoO is that food manufacturers create treats that are layered with sugar, fat and salt, and that the sugar-fat-salt combination creates the desire in some people for more sugar, fat and salt.

I do use sugar, fat and salt when I cook meals at home, but I haven't made anything yet, with the possible exception of apple pie, which has very little salt, that depends on the layering of these substances in order to taste good. Maybe my tastes have changed? I can count on both hands the times I've eaten in restaurants this summer, and I can count on one hand the times I've gotten sick afterward. Kind of makes you want to not eat in restaurants.

Anyway, back to Day One. We w…

Make a new plan, Stan

I promise I'm not going to throw earworms at you every day from here to eternity, but it was just too appropriate.

Before I dig into the details, though, I need to comment on the comments. Marla, I'm thisclose to finished The End of Overeating. I made the mistake of starting The Botany of Desire before I finished and, frankly, the end of EoO was kinda scaring me. Sounded like a bunch of "don'ts" coming up, so I bailed. I can set up my own don'ts, but it's not the setting up that works, it's the doing, er, the don't-ing.

Greta, how wonderful to hear from you! And congratulations on sticking with your plan since spring. Care to share the details?

Okay, back to the plan.

I have, in a previous life (heh), been sugar-free for more than five years. I attended Overeaters Anonymous meetings in the late '80s/early '90s, and a requirement (then) for abstinence was No Sugar, No White Flour and No Red Meat. I might be making up the red meat part, but I do…

Time keeps on slippin'

Those of you of a certain age will recognize the subject line as the beginning of a song by the Steve Miller Band from, oh, (can it possibly be?) 30 years ago.

My, my, my, how time does fly.

Was I thinking about the passage of time as I listened to those lyrics half my life ago? I guarantee you I was not. Because when you're in your 20s and 30s, time is immaterial. If I don't get it done today, there's always tomorrow or next week or next month or next year. Or the year after that.

But when you're in your 50s and staring down 60, you begin to realize that, well, time keeps on slippin'.

I suppose these thoughts are spinning through my brain because my husband had a birthday yesterday. Last year was the big 6-5, and that was something to celebrate: Medicare! Hurrah! Now he can get sick and we don't have to worry about how to pay for it. For the record, he's actually gotten healthier, maintaining his 35-pound drop in weight when he retired (the first time) almost …

The perfect pumpkins …

because they have no squishy guts! Heh.

Finished the pumpkin trick-or-treat bags over the weekend. These were knit with wool and then felted (fulled is the technically correct term) in the washing machine to shrink them into submission.

BEFORE
floppy, sloppy, wimpy

AFTER
sturdy, look like pumpkins


The "before" versions would probably hold more loot, but the "after" versions are cuter, doncha think?

To recap, the pattern is called 12:01, was developed by Nathania Apple and is available on Ravelry. If you're a knitter and you're not a Ravelry member, sign up now! It's free and fun and inspirational and a real time-suck. I'm not making that up. Heh.

P.S. My Ravelry ID is shrinkingknitter.