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Showing posts from March, 2009

The equivalent of tongue-tied

I guess that would be writer’s block, hmm?

Not much to say this morning. I try to throw up a daily post during the week, taking the weekends off. (Which is ridiculous, because I don’t have a 9-to-5 weekday job; I have seven-day weekends every week.) But sometimes there’s just nothing in my brain that needs to come out.

Lessee, I finished painting the end table bases yesterday and they look great. I recovered the lampshades and they look “homemade with love,” if you know what I mean. But they’ll do; I might be overly critical of my fabric-glue skills. My husband didn’t even notice! I guess if they were truly ugly he would have said something.

I’m knitting four little bunnies for Easter gifts for the four younger grandchildren. I think the 8- and 12-year-olds are beyond the stuffed bunny stage, and I’m sure they do, too. This is the simplest pattern in the world – knit a square, sew a few strategic stitches, stuff it and you’re done.

I found time over the weekend to walk on the treadmill bo…

Unfinished business

I’m the kind of person who, as a rule, likes to finish a project in one session. There are obvious exceptions, of course – knitting comes immediately to mind. But I don’t really count knitting as a ‘project.’ Knitting is more of a process for me, something to keep my hands busy while I watch television sports.

It is for this reason that I’m not much of a seamstress. When I do sew, I’ll cut the pattern out one day and set the entire next day aside for the actual sewing part. Which is, most of the time, unrealistic.

And because I know this about myself, it’s pretty freaking amazing that anything ever got painted. Buying the supplies was one thing; actually moving the furniture, taping the windows/woodwork, putting the rest of my life on hold and opening the paint can was another. I can hide the supplies in a box behind the couch and pretend they’re not there. But, eventually, I have to bite the bullet and accept that my living space is going to be chaotic for a few days.

I’d love to report…

Friday Quote Day

The difference between what we do
and what we are capable of doing
would solve most of the world’s problems.
~ Gandhi

I’m perfectly willing to let my President solve the world’s problems. He seems to know what he’s doing.

I’m going to assume Gandhi’s advice works on a personal level, as well.

I lost a bunch of weight more than a dozen years ago. (Today is my older granddaughter’s 12th birthday, and I know I was thin when she was born. Not thin-ner – thin.) I lost that weight via a combination of Xtreme dieting and Xtreme exercising. Meaning, I was eating an almost-no-fat diet and I worked out two hours a day. Every day. In a gym. And I ran a mile to and from the gym. Every day.

I may not be capable of doing that any more, considering I’m a dozen years older. Age takes its toll on our stamina and abilities. But the truth is, I’m not even willing to try.

The no-fat diet was a mistake. Yes, I lost weight, but I also lost the ability to stay warm. My skin was dry, flaky and itchy; my hair was dul…

Debbi's Believe It or Not

I miss running. No, I really do! Now that the weather has officially turned from winter to spring, I feel ready to run. I had hoped to lose more weight by the time I started stepping it up, but oh, well.

Next time I hit the road (which, due to having to apply more paint to the woodwork, and then putting the living room back together, won’t be today) I’ll be doing an alternating walk/run plan until I can continuously run three miles without stopping.

You runners know what that means … a training program is in my future. But it’s a distant future; I have no spring or summer races planned. Might do Richmond again in November. (But don’t tell my husband.)

Like Marla, I’m finding that all-day physical labor can accomplish great and unexpected things. (Marla, I tried to leave you a comment but it took too long. The problem is on my end. It’s called dial-up.) I’m waking up every morning a little sore from the previous day’s activity – something that just doesn’t happen doing an hour on the trea…

Figuring things out

While I was taping around woodwork (and taping, and taping – three sliding glass doors and two doorways, ugh) yesterday, I realized that part of why I am so frustrated with this painting project is that the Clean House team cleans, paints, organizes and redecorates in two or three days! And that guy on 24-Hour Design works a multi-room miracle in a day.

And, of course, by the time I see the results, the whole process has been compressed into a 30- or 60-minute program. With commercials.

I need a reality check, not a reality show. Heh.

Two things have made the process palatable: Diet Coke with Lime and my iPod, which I’ve set to shuffle through the Rock genre while I work.

I’ve been meaning to mention the company that fixed my broken iPod screen. If you ever need anything done to your little magic music-maker, I can highly recommend Juice Your iPod. I was apprehensive about sending my device to an unknown company, so I called them first and they said they get calls like mine all the time. …

Derailed

I’ve been painting my living/dining/kitchen area since Wednesday. Wednesday! It’s still not finished. In fact, not much painting happened at all over the weekend. Who knew I would suddenly have so much other stuff to do that I couldn’t finish a job that needs to be finished.

I am sick of walking around furniture. I am sick of eating dinner at a table with paint cans for a centerpiece. I am sick of blue tape. I am sick of bare windows. I am sick of uncovered electrical outlets.

I haven’t had time to walk outside (although I’ve been getting plenty of exercise), and the weather has been just about perfect. I want to be raking dead leaves off the perennials and working on the flower beds. Instead I’ve been chained inside doing a lot of necessary tasks, some of which have been income-producing – their only saving grace.

Whine, whine, whine. Oh, and it’s 5 a.m., too. I’ve been up since 3. Insomnia has been a rare event in my lifetime, but lately? One or two nights a week I wake up between 1 an…

Friday Quote Day

At first, dreams seem impossible,
then improbable,
and eventually inevitable.
~ Christopher Reeve

Who am I to argue with Superman?

When I calculate the amount of weight I have to lose to reach a normal BMI, it does indeed seem impossible, particularly when I think about how many months – or, actually, years – I’ve been trying to lose it. The lowest weight I’ve been recently was in early fall of 2006, when I squeaked in below 160 and fit into a size 12.

(As I’m sure you know, that dress was vanity-sized. I weighed 135 in high school and wore a size 12. That was when a 12 was a 12. And I felt like the fattest girl in 10th grade.)

I’ve gained 20 pounds since 2006, making my goal weight approximately 45 pounds away.

Sometimes I feel like it might as well be 450. I put a lot of effort into eating right and working out consistently for damned little reward.

And then, of course, I trip over a Milky Way and feel like everything I’ve done is a total waste.

There are days, though – sweet, unexpected days…

Many thanks …

for your comments yesterday. I managed to stay on course, and hope to do the same today. Buying that Milky Way was a deliberate act of defiance and didn’t solve anything. But wouldn’t it be great if a candy bar could fix stuff? We wouldn’t need plumbers any more!

The time-sucking activity du jour will be painting my living room. Well, most of it, anyway. I need another gallon of paint to do the center part of it, but I have enough to do all the walls and woodwork. That should keep me out of the pantry and refrigerator, doncha think? (Our living/dining/kitchen area is a hexagon. The center of the hexagon is one wall of the kitchen backed by some built-in bookshelves and a fireplace. That’s the part that will remain unpainted until I can get back to Lowe’s.)

Off the wagon

I ate a Milky Way candy bar last night, a totally emotional response to a completely out-of-my-control event.

For some people faced with a stressful situation, the automatic response is a clenched stomach along with, “I’m just so ____________ I can’t eat a bite.” Me? Not so much. Food is the automatic go-to-source of comfort and calm when things get tense.

So today I’ll get back on the horse. I have a big day planned, full of activity that will take my mind off food. Dinner will be a simple salad of romaine and salad vegetables topped with goat cheese and grilled chicken.

Who knows … maybe by dinner time I’ll be so tired I won’t be able to eat a bite. Heh.

Proof positive

A day or two without bread or pasta and BAM! A pound gone.

I could cry. I was really enjoying the starchy carbs. Why is it that the things I love (except my husband, most of the time) end up hurting me? (I’m looking at you, alcohol and penne and whole-wheat crackers!)

A quick note for Denise: I looked into Hughesnet just this weekend, as a matter of fact, and it’s a little pricey for home use. Like almost $50 more per month than my dial-up connection, plus purchasing equipment. I’d rather spend the equipment money on an iPhone and the extra monthly money adding data service to my wireless phone plan.

But that ain’t happening for a while either.

Busy day today … I haven’t thanked you guys for stopping by here for a while, so thanks. Sometimes (and I know I’m not the only one) I feel like I’m writing into a void, and then I get a couple thoughtful and helpful and encouraging comments that make me realize there are people out there who care about what goes on here in the Middle of Nowhere. I…

Friday Quote Day

Don’t let the fear
of striking out
hold you back.
~ Babe Ruth

Okay, so here you are reading a blog that you know is about losing weight, no matter what the title suggests.

(I'm up to running continuously for a tenth of a mile now. Aren't you impressed? And the knitting? Two cotton fingertip towels for the remodeled bathroom are the most recent finished projects. Yawn.)

I will assume, since you're reading a weight-loss blog, that you're knowledgeable about why (and whether) you should lose weight, and some of the effective ways to go about doing so.

But most of you – like me – have tried everything, literally, and are still waiting for the magic to happen.

Could Babe Ruth's message hold the key?

I've read, many times, that fear of success can hold one back. If I get too thin, men will stalk me, my friends will be jealous, my mother will think I'm sick, yadda-yadda-yadda.

But what about fear of failure? I'm so accustomed to failing at losing weight that I assume,…

Digging deeper

Perhaps that last item on the left is why iTunes Genius won’t update itself. I have all the other stuff (except the 4th item, and I’m not going to buy a new computer in order to watch HD videos when I can watch them on my HD television.)

So I got on the internet (slowly) to see if Verizon has deigned to provide a broadband connection out here in the Middle of Nowhere yet, and of course they haven’t. I’m getting very frustrated with not having a high-speed connection – but you knew that, didn’t you?

I’m turning this iTunes problem into a part-time job. It’s keeping me awake at night. I woke up at 2 a.m. wondering if the connection had broken, but was too cold and tired to go check on it. (My computer is on the second floor of our detached garage.)

At 8 a.m., when I finally did make it over, it had – of course! – shut itself down. There’s a new, huge version of iTunes available. I’m downloading a program called Speed Download (it’s taken more than an hour so far) which will cut the iTunes …

Why I need yet another blog

I have three blogs, two of which are active. One is for Project 365, which has lately devolved into Project 300-something. The inactive one is the late, lamented Shrinking Knitter; I stopped posting there for personal reasons. Then there’s this one, supposedly about knitting and running.

Lately it’s been about ranting. I could rename it Growl. Grumble. Repeat. and that wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

Many thanks to Wendy, who suggested giving Genius a reboot. If my internet connection would Just. Stay. Connected. it probably would work. I turned Genius off, restarted it (a process requiring my user name and password – neither of which I could remember without requesting help from Apple grrr, grrr, grrr) and it began whirring and churning. The gathering information process didn’t take long, but it was still sending information to Apple FIVE HOURS LATER when I got back from my volunteer gig at the prison.

Of course I left it on overnight, and of course the connection closed during the pr…

It likes me! It really likes me!

For the moment, anyway, the internet is my BFF. This morning, when I really had time to blog? Not so much.

It’s not the internet that is the problem – it is what it is. It’s my stupid dial-up connection. We have two phone lines, and the one I use for the computer just isn’t very stable. Lately. It’s the newer one, too, proving once again that older is better.

More proof that older is better: iTunes Genius. When Genius was first introduced, it worked great, and I used it a lot. I’m not sure when it stopped working – could be when I upgraded the browser from Tiger to Leopard. (You Mac guys will know what I’m talking about.) Suddenly Genius won’t create a playlist out of any song, even songs it’s successfully used in the past.

It tells me it needs to gather data from my music collection and send it to Apple. So the gathering process, which used to take quite a long time, now takes mere seconds, while the data-sending portion of the task takes – well, it’s neverending. A few days ago I left …

Very productive weekend

And right on target healthwise, as well.

The weekend started Friday with me going shopping. All. Day. Long. By myself. I left at 10 a.m. and got home around 5 p.m. It’s not that I love shopping so much, but when I go, I like to take my time and hit as many places as necessary to get the job done. Keeping in mind that I live in the Middle of Nowhere, my stops included Lowe’s (big-box hardware store), Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Dollar General and Sam’s Club.

When my husband goes with me, I feel the need for speed. If it’s a solo trip, not so much. The nice thing about this trip is that I won’t have to do such a massive one again until the end of June, when we get ready for our annual 4th of July family reunion.

Took a long (10K) walk with my husband Saturday and began hand-digging the garden yesterday. After 30 minutes I realized I was temporarily insane – I have neighbors! Who have tractors! – and switched exercise gears. The rowing machine has been out of commission for a long, long time. I’ve…

Friday Quote Day

“The greatest discovery
of my generation
is that a human being
can alter his life
by altering his attitude.”
~ William James

I only hope and pray that I’ve altered my attitude toward refined sugar and flour enough that I can alter my life for the better by steering clear of it. Them. Whatever.

I found myself craving crackers yesterday, and Triscuits weren’t exactly what I wanted. What I’d really love to do is sit down with a sleeve of saltines and a stick of butter. But I have altered my attitude about that little indulgence.

So I tried a recipe for whole-grain crackers.

They are, like a very dry martini, an acquired taste. My husband assured me he wouldn’t be sneaking any of them out of the pantry. Why should he? He gets to eat saltines and butter!

Uh oh, there goes that attitude again.

Altering one’s attitude isn’t something you do once and then fuhgeddaboutit. Like exercise and applying antiperspirant, attitude adjustment is a daily thing. It’s been helpful to me – especially at restaurants –…

How to burn 1,000 calories …

in four hours. And break your back while you’re doing it.

Four hours for 1,000 calories isn’t really very impressive, is it? But you should see my floors!

My husband is, as I may have mentioned previously, somewhat domestically challenged. He figured out how to make tuna salad this time. (Last trip he learned how to make toast. I’m serious!)

What he hasn’t figured out how to do is mop a floor. Or, frankly, even notice when the floor needs to be mopped. He invariably spills a bit of coffee as he walks across a room, or some juice when he pours it from the pitcher. It’s just not on his radar to see if anything ends up on the floor.

Ten days of no Debbi and, well, the floors were a mess. Not any more! (Did you just hear Niecy Nash in the background saying, “Take off your blindfolds, and see what we’ve done!” If so, you may be watching too many episodes of Clean House on the Style network.)

For half of this job I got down on my hands and knees and really cleaned those floors – the hallways, ba…

What I miss about Florida

It probably goes without saying (although I’ll say it anyway) that I miss my Dad. When I left last Saturday, I had the eery feeling that I might not see him again. That’s probably unrealistic; he’s doing better with the current drug regimen and pacemaker than he has in nearly a year. Nevertheless, that was the overriding thought as I drove away.

Other things I miss about the Sunshine State:
Flat land: It was so-so-so easy to just lace up and hit the road. One day I took three walks, just because I could. West Virginia is not flat. Oh, there are a couple of semi-flat roads nearby, tracing a river, but I have to drive four or five miles to get to them. When I left the front door at Dad’s, I was walking. When I leave my front door, I’m trudging up a hill.

Warm temperatures: Need I say more? Well, I will anyway. It has been bitterly cold here ever since I got home. I would be risking frostbite if I walked outside. Thank goodness for HGTV and the DIY network, and a treadmill that faces the te…

Didja miss me?

Oh, it was so, so, so hard to come home from Florida. I wore shorts there! Two days in a row! And sandals!

Okay, enough with the exclamation points. I really didn’t want to leave my dad, as much as I wanted to be home with my husband. And the snow. Did I mention it snowed in West Virginia?

Dad seems to be doing well, all in all, except for a seriously bad case of cellulitis on his lower left leg. Diabetes is a bitch, folks. He recommends you do everything you can while you’re young so you don’t develop it as you age.

But even though he’s doing well, it just kind of broke my heart to leave.

I was able to walk outdoors probably every other day on the whole trip, anywhere from four to six miles each time. I did well with the eating plan early on, but Dad and his wife – despite dietary recommendations – really eat pretty much what they want. I decided to take matters into my own hands one night and fixed my favorite chicken pesto pasta dish.

Dad made a pina colada cake one night – hello, sugar…