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Showing posts from February, 2010

Friday Quote Day

"Do we need more time? Or do we need to be more disciplined with the time we have?" ~ Kerry Johnson

Oh. My. God. Do we even need to ask?

I'm a lucky woman, in that I don't have a nine-to-five job where I have to show up, produce, accomplish, interact or perform. The job I have doesn't pay much, but I get to stay home, do laundry, cook, pay bills, clean and fill the remaining hours with as many hobby and leisure activities as I can fit in. And workouts. Don't forget the workouts. Heh.

At the end of the day, though, I usually don't have much to show for my waking hours. I knit while watching television (I find it very difficult to just sit in front of a program sans knitting project), so I do, eventually, end up with completed sweaters, blankets, slippers and hats. I love to cook, and truly enjoy the hours spent preparing food. I try to clean up as I go along so I don't have a disaster-filled kitchen to put back together when the last bite is gone. And I…

Just goes to show you ...

Remember when I was tooting my own horn about how much progress I'd made doing the 30-Day Shred? Hmmm. Yesterday? Not so much. I could only make it through one and a half circuits (of three) and I was done, done, done. Not sure why. I ate prior to working out; I usually don't do that. Will try, try again today, and I hope to knock it out of the park. So to speak.

The cornmeal tortillas turned out great! Here's the recipe. I found that rolling them between pieces of parchment paper worked better than waxed paper; other than that, I'll definitely make them again.

My original intention was to cut them into strips, sprinkle them with sea salt and bake them in the oven to garnish a taco salad. But I started looking around the World Wide Cookbook and found the easiest enchilada sauce recipeevah! so enchiladas suddenly turned up on the dinner menu. I had previously decided to use this taco seasoning recipe for the beef.

Making enchiladas is a labor-intensive process, and I…

A tiny sign of spring

Is that so cute? I'm trying to follow the suggestions on the West Virginia Extension Agency calendar, which told me to plant cabbage seed indoors last week. And here they are! Already! Even my curmudgeonly husband broke out in a smile when I showed him our little baby brassicas.
The snow is melting more quickly than the Wicked Witch of the West did, and although more is predicted for the next few days I have high hopes that it will remain in the "flurry" state, rather than coming down hard and fast and piling up again. Hope springs eternal, doncha know. Our rivers don't need more snow to melt; we've had quite enough for one winter!
Anne asked yesterday if the ab work in Jillian's DVD was done on the floor. It is, and there also are two strength moves – push-ups and a dumbbell fly – done on the floor. If you have trouble getting up and down, this might not be the workout for you.
Today I'm going to try to make tortillas using cornmeal instead of masa harina, …

Shredding, ever so slowly

No, I'm not getting rid of 10 years' worth of tax records. More like 10 years of flabby abs. Heh.

Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred DVD appears to be the motivation I needed to do at least a little something every day. The combination of strength training (with light dumbbells), cardio and ab work doesn't take too long, but I am definitely feeling it after a little more than a week.

Am I shredded? Oh, no. Not at all. I have a long way to go.

But you know that feeling when you first wake up that today might be a "thin" day? The kind of day when your clothes don't bind and you walk taller and you can actually feel formerly hidden bones? I've been waking up like that lately.

It feels pretty good, which is even more motivation to keep on shredding.

When I first read about this workout DVD, I thought, "Oh, c'mon, a 20-minute workout isn't even worth doing." Then my daughter-in-law told me she had been doing it and she really liked it. Persona…

Such a tease

Oh, not you, I'm not talking about you being a tease.

I'm talking about spring.

What a flirt she is, tantalizing us with a full day of sun, warm temperatures and no wind. After the relatively brutal winter we've had here in the Middle of Nowhere (and brutal is relative; we don't live in Siberia, after all!), yesterday felt like a day at a spa.

My husband was surprised that I planned to do Jillian's Shred DVD and take a long walk outside. That shows you just what kind of taskmaster Jillian is, doesn't it? I've missed a couple of days since I started, and I'm certainly not shredded, but I'm seeing some improvement in performance.

So I did that in the morning and then he and I took a five-mile walk in the sun in the afternoon. And we weren't wearing coats!

And you thought all I could do was bitch about the weather. Hah!

Since we all know spring doesn't happen in a day, though, I'll leave you with this, the forecast for the next week here:


Please imagine that the previous post has a beautifully formatted
quote at the top. I'm having so much trouble with Blogger this
morning. I had it formatted just the way I like it, then had to change
something else and now the whole post looks SCREWY! And since I can't
get back to the Dashboard to even try to get to the screen to edit it,
I hope you'll just ignore the crappy way it looks and concentrate on
how I felt when I wrote it.Looks ain't everything, right? Heh.

Friday Quote Day

One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. ~ Henry Miller
We all know that time marches on. What we do with our time is up to us. I've spent a lot of time this winter playing computer solitaire and bitching about the weather.
Two short trips do not cure cabin fever. I'm just sayin'.
But, among other things, I've also:
finished a sweaterstarted another oneeaten reasonable portions of healthful foodordered seeds for the gardenstarted working out. again.
And my new way of seeing things (which actually began late last year) is that working slowly toward a goal is still – eventually – going to get me to the goal. Today's "destination" is not a number on the scale, as it has almost always been (since I was eleven years old).
To that end, I'm committing dieting heresy and only weighing myself on the first of each month. How many of you fitness bloggers can even imagine doing that? If you're anything like I was, you weigh yourself at

Okay, where was I?

Math problems.

(First, though, we started out on our trip yesterday morning but turned back. The farther north and the higher up we drove, the faster and thicker the snow fell and it just wasn't worth risking an accident to continue. We stopped at the grocery for panko crumbs and catfish on the way home – a pretty good trade for an out-of-town trip, if you ask me!)

Night before last, my brain was buzzing (and keeping me awake) trying to figure out just how my health insurance company arrived at my new premium rate.

Last time I wrote about Aetna, I was ranting and raving about having to endure two rate increases within a calendar year. Thanks to the intervention of the West Virginia Health Insurance Commissioner employee who has been helping me, not only has my premium been reduced, but I'm getting a refund check for overpayment of premiums. Lots of overpayment. (Frankly, I'll believe it when I see it – the check hasn't arrived yet.)

I know what the original premium quot…

Lots on my mind …

but no time to blog about it.

My husband and I had planned to go out of town today, but the forecast looks rather bleak. I'm not sure we'll make it down the driveway, let alone two hours north of here. At any rate, it's time to make the decision.

I was half-asleep and half-awake doing math problems all night. Will try to remember to write about it tomorrow. Have a good Wednesday!

Thank goodness ...

blogging isn't my job, because I don't feel very inspired today. If I
had to show up for it, I'd be calling in sick.I'm tired of bitching about the weather, but the weather is the be-all
and end-all of my life right now. We're in the midst of yet another
Winter Weather Catastrophe. What else can one say about bitter cold,
driving winds, icy roads, snow and more snow, and MORE SNOW?Thank goodness for the Olympics, where we can watch, um, more snow.
And ice! (Actually I love the Olympics and find them a comforting
distraction. Maybe when they're over we'll start thawing out here in
the Middle of Nowhere.) But the fact that it's warmer in Vancouver
than it's been here since December is NOT comforting.I went to bed hungry last night (not something that usually happens
around here). It's okay to be hungry, I kept reminding myself. I woke
up hungry, as well, but have only had coffee so far. I'm down to the
last quart of my last batch of…

Dodging a bullet, maybe?

Yesterday we were in a winter storm watch. Today? We might get half an inch by this afternoon. That's according to, and let's hope they're right. We're still going to be watching it snow for several days, though, according to my weather widget:
I keep thinking I should be outside with my camera, recording this winter wonderland for posterity. Honestly, though? I'd just as soon forget it ever happened.
I've been enjoying the Olympics, especially the interviews with Apolo Ohno, who I remember from the previous two winter games. He's hard to miss, of course, but his personality has changed so much, and his work ethic is truly inspiring (he does four two-hour workouts daily!). He's briefly featured in the current issue of Runner's World, in their back-page story called "I'm a Runner."
So many of the athletes – no matter their sport – are pictured running during their training. It makes me want to get out there and try it again. I …

Friday Quote Day

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ~ Buddha
I have no trouble at all taking care of you, or you, or you (or him or her or them). I have a lot of trouble taking care of me.

I've always, always thought that "love yourself" crap was, well, crap. Even worse, I thought it was psychobabble crap – a homework assignment from your therapist to keep you coming back until you finally get it.

As you might have guessed, I left therapy a long, long time ago.

My mother suffered from the same condition: taking care of others was what she did, friends or family, we were all under her comforting umbrella. She also fought a weight problem all her life.

Taking care of myself doesn't mean I can't or won't take care of you or you or you or him or her or them. It means I'll be better able to give of myself, if myself is whole and healthy. What a concept. The airlines do it on every flight: Put your oxygen mask on before you as…

Searching for the bright side

I was just too, too bummed by the snow yesterday to post anything.
This morning I decided to think of three things about the current
"weather event" that make me happy. Or, at least, not so bummed.1. We're grateful and blessed to have a neighbor who has a frontloader
and doesn't mind using it to scoop snow off our driveway.2. Moving snow from one place to another isn't just meaningless
exercise – you're actually accomplishing something as you elevate your
heart rate and strengthen your muscles.3. When you can't get out in the car, you automatically are saving
money on gas!That's about it. Four more inches last night. It really does no good
to scoop snow off the driveway because it's covered again the
following day. No one around here can remember a winter like this.
We've had heavy snowfalls before, but not one after another after
another after *another!*Hope you're enjoying clear skies wherever you are!

Round ... four?

I've been fortunate to have been out of town for two of our three
"winter snow events" this year. (Well, the first was in December, but
I count it as this winter.) Today, though? I'm home and it's snowing,
sort of. It's more of a snow/ice mix right now.Lovely. Grrr.To say this winter has been unusual would be the understatement of
this young century. My husband was born here – a long time ago! – and
can remember only one winter that even comes close.Did we go to Florida last month? Doesn't seem like it. I have oranges
and marmalade and seashells to prove we were there, but the memory of
walking on the beach wearing capris and a t-shirt is quickly fading.I've no idea how much accumulation we're going to get today. I don't
even care. As the young folks say, "It is what it is."I just wish it would go away.

The internets are frozen

And so am I.

I'm having trouble getting to a few websites this morning. Do you suppose when your computer has been turned off for a few days it gets cranky and doesn't want to play nice until it warms up a bit? (I know that's not how it works, but it sure seems that way! For example, it took 27 minutes for the "compose post" screen to load.)

My long weekend a couple states south was a nice break from the endless expanse of blinding white snow here at home. Even a full day of rain (.72 inches!) didn't, ahem, dampen our spirits. And yesterday was glorious. I kept marveling at the blue sky during breakfast, and remarked to someone that she didn't seem to fully appreciate the weather. Her reply? "Oh, yes, we do! That's why we live here!"

Good point.

Got home in plenty of time to watch the Super Bowl, which was a super game if you were rooting for the Saints. I wasn't exactly rooting against them, but since Peyton Manning is my NFL boyfriend,…

Friday Quote Day

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
~ Confucius
I'm composing this note on Thursday morning, as I'll be computer-less for the weekend. I may be eating the words in today's quote, depending on the weather. The forecast isn't great, but I think I can slide in to my destination without any trouble. Getting home on Sunday if the big "if" in the plan. I can always extend my visit if necessary.

My weight-loss goal for this year is to lose five pounds every month for 10 months, which will get me to a reasonably healthy weight for a woman my age. As you regular readers know, I only made it halfway for the month of January, and therefore I've adjusted my plan and extended my deadline.

The important thing, as Confucius wisely suggests, is to not stop.

I don't feel like I'm on a "diet." Especially when I'm eating home-baked bread, freshly churned butter and homemade orange marmalade for breakfast. I feel like eating …

The grind

Hah! You thought I was going to talk about the whole diet/exercise routine and what a rut you get into and how it just seems to go on and on and on with no change and no excitement and no results, right? Well, surprise! Not only do I not feel that way about the whole diet/exercise routine (at least for now), that's not what's on my mind.

Or my table, as a matter of fact.

What you see pictured here is my shiny new grain mill, which I used yesterday to grind flour from wheat berries.

I suggested to my husband that if I had to do this to get six cups of flour, I'd probably never have to lift weights again. Evah! I only made one cup of freshly milled flour, adding it to a mixture of whole wheat, unbleached bread flour, oat flour and ground flaxseed, along with yeast, butter and whey, and have two loaves of bread to show for my efforts.

I'll use the mill for a variety of ground grains and/or seeds, and I'm especially looking forward to freshly ground cornmeal. Gotta gro…

Sunshine on my toast

Well, not yet, but soon, soon! I'm going to open the first jar this morning.

Yesterday was a long, difficult day, interrupted in the middle by about three hours of marmalade-making. The parentheses were a funeral in the morning and – you guessed it – shoveling and more shoveling in the afternoon.

The snow fell almost all day, turning to rain and then sleet in the late afternoon. We now have snow crusted with ice. I could probably get a great workout building another snowman; the snow is very heavy. (I'll do anything to not lift weights. Heh. KIDDING!)

Marmalade is quite the labor-intensive process compared to, oh, strawberry preserves or even zucchini relish. (Those are the only two things I canned last year.) Strawberries are easy to crush, and a food processor makes quick work of shredding vegetables for relish. For marmalade, the oranges need to be peeled, the white pith needs to be scraped from the peels, the white membrane needs to be removed from the orange sections and …

Even cranky Grandmas can build snowmen

And it only took me 45 minutes to upload his picture.

Cranky is the word of the day. That cranky groundhog isn't going to see his shadow anytime soon because cranky Mother Nature is dumping more snow, along with some sleet, on this part of the country today. What a shock to wake up (early, way too early) and look outside to see the driveway all white again. My weekend exercise was shoveling snow and then shoveling more snow, and the driveway was blacktop when I went to bed last night.

I wish I could be delighted about winter, like some people I know. But. I'm. Just. Not.

My little snow toddler is kinda cute, though, don't you think? Heh. Within an hour his eyes and nose had fallen off, it was that warm yesterday afternoon. Today, though? Not so much.

We're having a "winter weather event," which means yet another day of either staying indoors or creeping along hazardous roads to get where we need to go. (We were going to attend a funeral this morning; not sure…

Blogger is being cranky

Again.I've been trying for nearly an hour to create a post from the
dashboard. No luck, so I'm e-mailing instead.I know you're all breathlessly waiting for my Month One Report ...
your encouraging comments were very much appreciated, all of you!
Thanks so much.Before I announce the results, I'd already decided that if I didn't
hit the mark, I wasn't going to try to make it up in Month Two.
Extending the deadline makes much more sense, particularly since
February has fewer days in it. It also makes sense because, as we all
know (or we wouldn't be here), weight releases itself from one's body
on ITS timetable, not ours.So anyway ... despite almost no cardio activity (but with the addition
of a piddly little weightlifting routine), I lost 2.5 pounds in January.In AA we say half-measures avail us nothing. But you know what? I'll
take half my goal over nothing ANY day!Onward and downward to February we go ...