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Showing posts from January, 2011

The last day of the first month of the rest of your life

You did designate January, 2011, as the first month of the rest of your life, didn't you? Heh.

So if some of your New Year's goals have fallen by the wayside – mine would be journaling all of my food and exercise, every day – then today's a good day to reboot the system. Why wait until the first of next month? It's a Monday!

I didn't meet any of my three activity goals, but I'm beginning to think I might have been too ambitious. I need to take into account three things:
January weather, which limited outdoor activityI don't care for strength-training (but I keep trying to care)Time spent is probably more important than miles slogged throughI will give myself credit for working out most days in January, and for only going fewer than 60 minutes a couple of times. I haven't tallied the numbers yet. Something to look forward to!

I still have 2GB of data transfer remaining on my USB modem plan this month, and one week to spend it. After helping Elora get up t…

Friday Quote Day

Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.
~ Doug Firebaugh

Not that all of your tomorrows won't be perfect anyway, right?

I've read and heard about and experienced the phenomenon of success building upon success. We don't suddenly wake up one day running four-hour marathons, throwing gourmet dinner parties or looking like Halle Berry.

Those accomplishments, and countless others, are the result of many days of practice, diligence, consistency and - dare I say it? - blood, sweat and tears.

Layering is not just something you do when you head outdoors during YET ANOTHER WINTER STORM. It's what you do with your life.

We're nearing the end of January already. I could have done better with my goals this month, but I feel good about myself and my overall efforts. I've laid the foundation for future success.

Perhaps the most important word in today's quote is "inch." Success rarely comes swiftly, and lasting success is a proce…

Don't you hate it …

when you're working on a project (in my case, custom-designed candy bar wrappers) and the power goes out.


Fortunately the power goes out frequently enough here in the Middle of Nowhere that I've learned to save, save, save, especially when I'm working on a Photoshop document.

One of my mother-in-law's favorite foods is a good old-fashioned Hershey bar. No dark chocolate for her, thankyouverymuch, she loves milk chocolate. So we're going to give Hershey bars with personalized wrappers for party favors. Maybe I'll pick up one of those giant-sized bars for her.

I may have found a tutorial on how to make a cupcake-shaped cake without buying the mold. I'll have to study it, but at first glance it looks like it will work.

So. Did I walk yesterday? You betcha! Four miles, outdoors, and it was great. I'll always like walking outdoors better than doing an indoor workout. Pretty soon, I hope, I'll be running outdoors. I keep downloading half- and fu…

The blahs

Well, it appears that maybe – maybe – I've been trying to come down with something the last couple of days, which could account for my lethargy and lack of motivation. I managed to do half an hour on the elliptical yesterday before I started feeling lightheaded, dizzy and a little sick to my stomach. I stopped and took it easy the remainder of the day.

I didn't even make dinner, and I think my husband was glad. I'd planned to bake a couple of winter squashes with a filling of ground beef, onions, celery, couscous and African spices. Whenever I say "squash," he gets this funny look on his face like I'm going to make him eat liver or something. Squash is way better than liver!

So we'll have it tonight, and he'll eat it and he'll like it (because he's eaten and liked it in the past), and the next time I serve it he'll wrinkle his nose again. Until he cleans his plate. Heh.

Woke up feeling okay this morning, not great, but not dizzy. It looks…

Time for a reboot

Hmmm. My Friday quote was prophetic, in a way. While I hadn't consciously considered abandoning my New Year's goals, I slacked off quite a bit over the weekend.

But I haven't quit.

My husband and I are hosting a birthday party for his mother in less than two weeks, and I'm the party planner. So instead of exercising Saturday, I went shopping. And shopping. And shopping. Which doesn't burn as many calories as climbing on the elliptical, but takes a lot more time.

I did climb on the elliptical yesterday, but stopped after 45 minutes, instead of stretching it out for a full hour. Not a big deal. I felt good for doing what I did.

So today is a reset/reboot/renew day. Food has been great. I'm meeting and not exceeding my caloric goal each day, and I'm eating good quality, whole foods. I'm logging my food each day, as well. I just need to ramp up the activity level. At some point today it's supposed to hit the mid 30s. That's warm enough to walk outdo…

Friday Quote Day

It's always too early to quit.
~ Norman Vincent Peale
Quit? Who, me? It's only January 21!

Nah, I'm not quitting, but just in case you're done, done, done working toward your New Year's goals, well, today's quote's for you!

Yesterday looked like the day before yesterday – a four-mile walk, calorie goal met and I logged everything. Today's intentional exercise will definitely be done on the elliptical. We have a tiny bit of snow covering a sheet of ice. And it's c-c-c-cold!

I've not done a strength-training workout this week, unless I can count moving a fairly heavy bookcase from my house to the second floor of the garage. My back and shoulders and upper arms would love to count that as a weight workout! If I do one today, it will be a lower body routine.

Let's see, what else … I got some knitting done while I was gone, but haven't touched the project since I got home. The older I get, the more time it takes to regain my energy after a lon…

Having trouble ...

getting back in the groove.

I hadn't expected my little getaway to be such a problem, as far as food and exercise go. True, I walked yesterday (four miles) and true, my food came in slightly under the calorie goal. And I logged everything, too. Looking at what I just wrote, it would appear that I am back in the groove.

But I'm not feelin' it. And that, above all else, is what I need to believe I'm on target.

Maybe the feeling will come back today. Right now I'm just going through the motions. I guess maybe it's like that saying we use in AA: Fake it 'til you make it.

Health care debate

I refuse to waste my time watching the House of Representatives waste their time debating the repeal of the health-care law. It's on the TV, though, because my husband doesn't mind wasting his.

Since it's on, and I'm in the house, pieces of the rhetoric drift out and assault me.

One phrase that really irks me is the right-wing contention that PPACA is "government-run health care." Bullsh**. Insurance companies run our health care, and they'll continue to do so under reform, for a mandated larger number of consumers.

The other phrase that more-than-irks me is when they call it "Obamacare." Call it AHIP-care. Call it Big Pharma Care. Call it what ot is: PPACA. But don't use my President's name to denigrate it.

I don't like PPACA. I still support and am working for single-payer Medicare for all. PPACA is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't go nearly far enough.

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Let's call this a placeholder

Or maybe not. I mean, it will be a post, but it probably won't be very long.

My younger granddaughter summed it up nicely Monday morning as she and her parents were preparing to go back to their home from Tennessee. She said they were going to "drive, drive, drive, hotel, drive, drive, drive, North Carolina!" When we explained that there would be no hotel stop this time, she amended it to be "drive, drive, drive, lunch, drive, drive, drive, North Carolina!"

That's what it was for me yesterday.

The trip was wonderful, I really enjoy being with both my children and their spouses/children all at the same time. We gathered together for my older granddaughter's dance recital. There were 21 pieces and she was in nine of them, with two solo spots. She's very talented, and very down-to-earth.

And now it's home again, home again, jiggety jig. I was able to get at least 60 minutes of exercise in each day I was gone, thanks to the great walking trail that …


Have been living in sweats and yoga pants all fall and winter, because I refuse to buy a larger size of blue jeans.

Tried them on a couple weeks ago - no dice. This morning? Zipped right up!

I'm not losing pounds, but something's happening ...

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Brrr. And grrr.

Damn, it's cold! 17 degrees right now, with a wind chill of 3. The wind is gusting up to 45 miles per hour, or at least that's what the most current Winter Storm Warning says:


I woke up at 3 a.m., which isn't as bad as it sounds, since I went to bed last night around 8:30. That's plenty of sleep. But I'll have to take a nap today to get through tomorrow.

I'm heading out to visit my daughter and her family in Tennessee, which is about a 7-hour drive. To get ready, I need to do some laundry. My laundry room is in my garage. My DETACHED garage. Meaning I will have to brave the wind and snow and cold in order to have clean clothes for my trip. Oh, and the luggage is out there, too.

I'm sure Elora <> doesn't feel a bit sorry for me - she has to brave the weather to mil…

Ya wanna take it outside?

Sometimes, even when it's cold and even when I have a cool new piece of gym equipment, I need to walk outdoors. Yesterday was one of those days.

I waited until mid-afternoon, when – theoretically – the temperature had climbed to its peak for the day, and did four miles, rather effortlessly. It helps me a lot to take the Fat2Fit guys with me. No matter how many times I listen, I hear something new, or I hear something and realize I can apply it to my situation.

If you're new here, the Fat2Fit philosophy is to eat the number of calories daily you would need to maintain your goal weight, according to your BMR. There are tools on their website to help you calculate this number.

(I want to stop and give a shout out to Shauna, who directed me to the F2F podcast in the first place. Brilliant! Thank you!)

New Years (and, to a lesser extent, Mondays) offer such hope and promise for changing behaviors which have held one back. Speaking for myself, of course! Heh. I began implementing th…

Lady Marmalade

The marmalade-making project was both successful and disappointing. Successful in that I used a new recipe in which the peels are first boiled and then sliced, cutting the slicing time and effort significantly.

Disappointing in that I cooked the mixture too long, thus reducing the amount of product. And the product is, um, thick. Very thick. Like, we have to nuke it for a half a minute in order to spread it.

I noticed that the fruit stand down the road has a new shipment of Florida oranges. I may be making two batches of marmalade this year.

Before I publish this, I had planned to post this today ever since I finished the project, not knowing, of course, what horrific events would transpire over the weekend.

I am heartsick about the shooting in Arizona. I realize that the young man who is responsible for the actual shooting is unstable. But I agree with Pima County Sheriff Dupnik that the rhetoric spewing from right-wing talk radio and "some television stations" fuels the fi…

Friday Quote Day on Saturday

The difference in winning and losing is most often... not quitting. Walt Disney
Is it too early into the new year to say, er, type the word quitting? Probably not. Some new year's goals and resolutions have already bitten the dust. Including mine.

Sort of.

I wanted to get 60 minutes of exercise in each day. I did 40 early yesterday morning before I left to take my husband for his cataract surgery, thinking I could either walk for 20 minutes while I was waiting for him (didn't happen – bitterly cold, and I felt like I needed to be available and present for him), or whip out 20 minutes when I got home (also didn't happen – plain-and-simple gosh-darned tired took over as soon as I hit the door).

I also wanted to strength-train twice. Well, yesterday was the last day to get that in. See last parenthetical expression in previous paragraph.

I did, however, do a total of 533 minutes of intentional exercise the first week of 2011, 35 of which were strength training. That's almos…

Waiting. And waiting.

My husband and I made it to the hospital just fine. Thank you to the weather forecasters for overplaying the weather alert for today. We left early, which has left me with PLENTY of time on my hands.

My husband is in surgery right now. I have been knitting, reading and ignoring a steady stream of weight-loss commercials since we got her at about 10:45.

Before we left this morning, I did a 40-minute elliptical workout! Yeah, me! I assembled it last night and did a 20-minute test drive.

It's completely non-impactful - no pounding, no pain - but a VERY good workout. I was sweating in no time. Thank goodness for the cute little face fan!

In order for the iPod to work, you actually have to be moving. Pretty motivating if you want to hear the rest of a podcast.

Assembly took about 3 hours, including unpacking, and you need a helper for parts of it.

All in all, I'm calling it a good investment after less than a day of use. The ability to work out when it's cold, dark, snowy and i…

Sunshine in a jar

Orange marmalade, yum! This was a five-hour project, start to finish. Is it worth it? To me it is!
Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

It figures ...

We have to travel tomorrow for my husband's eye surgery, so OF COURSE we have yet another Winter Weather Advisory:


It really doesn't look too bad, 2 to 4 inches of accumulation total, and my car has all-wheel drive. But I'm guessing not everyone else on the highway will be so equipped.

Ah, well, we'll at least be traveling after daybreak so we can see the other vehicles careening into us! Heh!

I've logged 21+ miles so far this year. Today will be mighty busy and mighty cold. I hope we can get the elliptical out of the back of the car and into the upstairs office/workout room. It would be nice to do a workout without freezing my face off!

If not, well we'll be at a hospital tomorrow; if my face freezes off, I can get it tended to there. Heh.

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone


I feel kind of like I did when, as a child, my mother would take away a cherished privilege as punishment for some misdeed.

The fabulous, wonderful, amazing, awesome 3G modem that connects my desktop computer to the internets came with a 5GB limit. The nice people at the US Cellular store said it was really, REALLY hard to exceed that limit.

I managed to get there three days before my billing cycle ends. I have a 5GB limit on my phone, too, but it's more difficult to compose lengthy blog posts or chatty e-mails on the mini-keyboard. And it's really, REALLY difficult to leave comments on others' blogs.

So here I am, poor me, unable to use the desktop without paying a quarter per megabyte (that adds up fast!), sitting in the corner with my BlackBerry.

Life is SO hard. <smirk>

Fortunately I have lots to keep me busy for the next few days. Today I need to bake bread and make mozzarella, do laundry and clean the floors. And, hopefully, go get the elliptical! Tomorrow I…

Still organizing …

and walking and eating within my calorie limits and feeling gggggggreat!

Tomorrow is when the elliptical is supposed to be available for pick-up. I kept thinking it would be, um, later. When you don't work a 9-to-5 job, the days sort of run together. (Notice I didn't say I don't work, because it feels like I'm doing something – whether it feels like work or not – all day!)

What that means is that today is the day to complete the office organization, and figure out what, if anything, I need to buy to make it work efficiently. I already know I want some wall pockets, but there might be something else that would make things look or feel or work better. And since I'm going to be in a large town with shopping opportunities a Staples, well, I need to take advantage, right?

I moved the computer to a different desk, which is a little higher than the old surface and I further screwed things up by elevating the monitor atop a box. (Covered in white paper, because a plain bro…


Baked chicken stuffed w/goat cheese (recipe in current issue of Cooking Light), coleslaw and butternut squash in a ginger-honey glaze.
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The fruits of my labor

Black-eyed peas. From what I gather – in a completely unscientific poll – you either like them or you don't. Or, if you're my husband, you think you don't like them, but you do!

I made Hoppin' John for New Year's Day, using the recipe from my tried-and-true Betty Crocker cookbook. (Surprisingly, the Southern Living cookbook didn't have one!) I added celery and Tabasco to the called-for ingredients, and used a diced leftover-from-New-Year's-Eve barbecued pork rib instead of bacon or smoked ham.

Why is Hoppin' John one of the traditional New Year's Day foods? Here's the answer. Sort of. It's one of those things that's kind of hard to pin down.

The only thing I forgot to do was keep a few of the dried peas to plant this coming spring. Or maybe I did and I'll find them when I start figuring out what I need to order this year. Seriously, though, these came from a bag I bought at Kroger. Much better value!

To round out the meal and add to …

It's almost as good as 01-01-01

1-1-11! Happy New Year! I'll be taking a walk, watching football, knitting (that second sock still isn't finished!) and making and eating Hoppin' John.

I've heard an old wives' tale that what you do on the first day of the year is what you'll do all year, so I'm definitely not going to be mopping my ever-dirty-in-this-weather floor. So there. Heh.