Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2013

When last we met ...

I was debating whether to walk two miles, to make 20 for this week, or five miles, to make 100 for this month.

One option not on the table yesterday was to walk zero miles today, and let the mileage chips fall where they may.

Well, let me just say that option's not only on the table, it's the final answer.

When I was mulling this over yesterday I was all you-go-girl and you-can-do-it and hell-YES-I want a hundred miles in March.

Today, after the cooking and the cleaning and the eating and the cleaning up and the rain and the wind (I hadn't even considered it might be windy but it IS!), well, a 95-mile March looks pretty darned good.

Instead of adding more miles to the log, I think I'll add a nap to the schedule.

'Night. And I hope your Easter was just lovely.

March 31 - Stuff

Happy Easter!

My favorite Easter card:

'Tis a rainy morning here, pouring right now. Good thing I have a dinner to fix, right? Can't be debating about whether to walk or cook when Mother Nature intervenes. Perhaps later. The mileage is still to be determined.

Have a lovely day.


So tomorrow is Easter and we're having dinner here and I'm cooking it. And cleaning both before and after the cooking, since I walked this afternoon and wiped myself OUT.

I was just checking my monthly and yearly mileage and discovered that if I walk five miles – JUST five, not impossible at all – I'll have logged a hundred for March.

I was planning to do two tomorrow, in the afternoon, after the dishwasher was loaded and company had gone home.

I'm sure I'll be tired after cooking and cleaning and entertaining. But the OCD part of me would LOVE to hit 100 miles.

Such a dilemma ...

I hope you have a happy Easter. Results will be posted tomorrow evening.

March 30 - Relax

March 29 - Goodnight

Lenten FAIL

The two things I said I'd attempt to do for Lent have both fallen by the wayside. The note-a-day exercise generated exactly two notes, neither of which was handwritten or mailed. (One was an e-mail and one was a text message. Viva la geek!)

The major house purge hasn't happened at all. I might work on the garage today. It would be a shame not to at least make an effort on the decluttering project at all, and it's supposed to be sunny with a high near 60 today – perfect garage-cleaning weather.

Perfect walking weather, too, so that's part of the plan du jour, as well. I am SO, SO grateful for perfect walking weather. Just sayin'.

I walked with my friend yesterday and was a teeny bit underdressed. The wind always attacks us for the first three-quarters of a mile, after which the road is more protected. My only outer garment was a hooded windbreaker. With long sleeves that worked pretty well as handwarmers.

News flash: I SURVIVED. Happily, as a matter of fact, and I&#…

March 28 - In the mirror

Remember what I wrote ...

on Tuesday?
Look, look! Blue sky! 

And sunshine!

I predict a good day. Film at eleven.

Today's the day

I'll be back on track this afternoon, with a date for an outdoor walk. It should be somewhat warmish (low 40s) by 2 p.m., so we're outta here!

I walked around Tiny Kroger yesterday (alas, no other intentional activity), and was kind of astonished at how busy it was. Also? I was kind of glad to be out of the house. That short trip did as much good for my mind as it did for my pantry.

And the vegetable drawer, which now overfloweth! I still have some eating issues with firm foods, but woman cannot live on soup alone. I bought cauliflower to roast and broccoli to steam and a bright red pepper to add to something. I should have bought sweet potatoes; I didn't know the ones I had on hand were well past their prime. I also bought fresh organic spinach for my smoothies and a bunch of fresh cilantro just because. I can afford to throw away 65¢ worth of cilantro if I don't use it, as long as buying it means Tiny Kroger will keep stocking it.

In fact, if they keep stocking it, I…

March 27 - Pair

March 26 - Something you did

Alrighty then

Channeling Ace Ventura, here, with an 'alrighty then' to begin the day. Because what else is there to say when you wake up, open the door to let the dog out and see the front porch covered with snow. Again. Or still. Although I think it melted yesterday afternoon. I was probably on the couch playing solitaire on my phone when that happened.

I kept my date with the elliptical yesterday, entertained by a Real Time with Bill Maher episode from a couple weeks ago. The best line was at the end, and worth waiting for. He reeled off a line-up of speakers at this year's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) – Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Wayne LaPierre, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin – followed by the kicker: "A virtual who's who of what the fuck."

I laughed out loud. Or LOLd.

I also had a short-and-sweet date with the dumbbells. Yay, me!

How else can I bore you? I did laundry yesterday. My laundry room is in my detached garage, so I had to go OUTSIDE …

The sun will come out …

day after tomorrow.

Somehow that's not quite as smooth a lyric as the Annie version.

In the meantime it's snowing. Again. I didn't work out yesterday. In fact I didn't get out of my pajamas yesterday. I had no place to be and no reason to get dressed, so I, um, didn't. Probably not good for my mental health. Nothing says "slug" like spending the day in your pajamas.

And so today I will GET MOVING. An elliptical workout is on the agenda, as well as an upper-body weight-training session. Nothing heavy or dramatic. Laundry is on the agenda, too. I live such an exciting life.

I start work at the garden center a week from tomorrow, two mornings a week. I love opening up. The routine is to make sure the opening cash matches the closing from the previous day and then water the plants, which takes about three hours. You get to look at every single plant and tree and shrub and seedling. You see what's new, interesting and unusual. It's too early for veget…

If it's Monday, it must be winter again

Or something like that.

I'm not sure why the National Weather Service calls it a "Winter Storm Warning" when it's spring, but they do. The daffodils are bent under a couple inches of snow, with more to come. The warning ends at 2 p.m. tomorrow. Our road has been plowed, though, and my tires are good, so I might try to get to the grocery today.

DID YOU MISS ME? I enjoyed my little break from writing, but I also missed my routine of getting up to a silent, dark house and having a couple hours to myself. My granddaughter is an early riser and LOVES having a grandma to play with first thing in the morning.

We packed a lot of activity into basically a Saturday. Nothing got canceled due to rain, as we'd feared, and we even made a trip to Trader Joe's, which was definitely one highlight among many. I would seriously buy all my groceries at a Trader Joe's if there were one within a reasonable driving distance from the Middle of Nowhere. Alas, I don't think We…

March 25 - In your drawer

March 24 - Up

March 23 - What you do for fun

Edited to add …

Jen mentioned using a foam roller, and I also got that advice from another running friend. Foam rollers clearly are the massage weapon of choice. I poked around my house looking for something suitable until I could find one to buy (I want to try out how hard/soft it is), when I found this:

And you know what? I don't think I'm going to even look for one. I can apply this to specific areas where it really hurts and it seems to be helping. I think the rest will do me good, too.

It pays to have a well-stocked kitchen gadget drawer. Just sayin'.

March 22 - About me

A necessary break

I'm headed out of town today, to deliver some of those Easter crafty goodies to my younger granddaughter. Not sure if I'll be walking over the weekend and also not in charge of food. This could stall my progress even more.


I have developed what I think is IT Band Syndrome, and resting might end up being a good thing. I've been stretching and massaging, but I've still been walking and by the end of almost any distance I'm nearly at the limping stage. (The site of my pain is not at the knee, which is typical, but at the upper end of the iliotibial band. So I could be wrong about my diagnosis, but I don't think so.)

We woke up to snow and absolutely f-f-frigid temperatures yesterday. The meeting I had prepared for was canceled. Kind of ironic to postpone a meeting due to weather on the first day of spring, but there you go. I didn't leave the house at all and, in fact, took a long, long nap. I wasn't exactly sick, but I also didn'…

March 21 - Working

Super-easy, super-cute Easter cookies

I know, I know, I'm dieting. Well just because I'm not eating cookies doesn't mean I can't make them, right? I'm hosting a bring-your-own-lunch meeting at my house today, and as the hostess I think it's just plain nice to offer something to drink and something sweet. To that end, we'll have plenty of hot and iced tea, coffee, water and, well, cookies.

I've had an egg-shaped cookie cutter in my collection for years, but have never used it. Seeing as how it's spring and Easter is coming up and I'm on an Easter crafty kick anyway, I rinsed it off and put it to work.

Any sugar cookie recipe will work. I roll my chilled dough between sheets of parchment paper with a marble rolling pin. You don't want the dough to get too warm or it will break apart when you lift the shapes onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.

First bake your cookies and let them cool thoroughly. Then whip up a confectioner's glaze. I added a teaspoon of vanilla to two cups …

March 20 - Clean

Ain't it grand the wind stopped blowin'?

Since last summer's derecho, any time the wind picks up around here we get a little, um, nervous. Yesterday afternoon the wind blew steadily from the west at 25 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph. The wind continued to blow as I was driving to my volunteer gig at the prison last night. I saw a couple of uprooted trees as well as many, many branches and fallen limbs littering the roadway.

And when I got to the prison to sign in, I learned that the lieutenant warden had closed the compound.

Alderson FPC is more campus-like than prison-like. There are four large residential buildings and a recreation facility in one area, the education building is down a hill, the administration building is at the far end of the property and the dining hall is next to it. The visitor's center, where my activity takes place on Tuesday evenings, is a pretty good hike from the residential halls. In other words, the inmates do a lot of walking to get from place to place. And there are a lot of trees on the…

March 19 - A sign

of spring!

I'm a geek and I know it

One of the things I love about working out and working on fitness and health in the 21st century is the abundance of technological help available. It's especially good for someone like me, who lives far from the madding crowd. Or the stinky gym locker room. Whatever.
I get weekly wrap-ups from LoseIt! and dailymile and it's encouraging to see those seven-day totals all in one nice, neat little graphic. It's discouraging to step on the scale and see an unexpected result, but after 12 weeks of recording every calorie in and out, I guess it's time to stop expecting anything like a normal response from my body.

As I study the LoseIt! graphic, I wonder if I'm doing it wrong. I don't think I am. The final column should be as close to zero as possible, right? I realize I'm far below that on most days, but on the days I come close I really feel as though I've eaten too much. At my age, I don't need the same number of calories a 40- or 30-year-old needs. I&…

March 18 - Shoes

Some things change

My weight, apparently, is not one of them. At least not this week. Hope springeth eternal, and I shall keep on keepin' on because, really? What choice do I have? Besides, I tried the jeans on again and I actually could wear them out of the house. Not comfortably, but at least I could zip them without a major effort.

In order to incorporate the Irish feast into yesterday's caloric parameters, I had to hearken back to my youth and eat like a kid again.

On special Sundays when I was little, our family would have a light breakfast, go to church, drive about an hour to my grandparents' house and have a large mid-afternoon meal. We usually saved dessert for "later," after Daddy and Grandpa had napped and Mom and Grandma had cleaned the kitchen. We got home after dark and went straight to bed, without supper but certainly not hungry. And we didn't think we needed to eat again just because we'd skipped a meal.

So I punched all the numbers into LoseIt! and our mid…

March 17 - Green

Mother Nature is conspiring against me

Well, she IS!

The forecast is for rain and rain and rain, today and tomorrow and maybe even Tuesday. Not only will the rivers rise, wreaking havoc on the garden center … again … but this kind of steady rain rarely offers a window of opportunity to get outside to walk.

Days like this are exactly why I have an elliptical.

I'll have to check today's movies to see what might keep me going for more than an hour. (Speaking of movies, I saw the very entertaining Oz the Great and Powerful yesterday at the theatre and my husband and I watched The Help [again] on television last night. I'm definitely in a movie mood.)

Enough of that. Happy St. Patrick's Day! My family is German, Irish and Welsh, and my husband's is Scottish, so we've got plenty of blarney to go around here. I'm making a traditional Irish feast today, carbs be damned. I've never made Irish soda bread before; I'm using Jenna's recipe for my first attempt. And we're even having dessert.

March 16 - 9 o'clock

Back in December …

I wrote these words:

Rational, matter of fact, steady … that's the goal.
I'd like to report that, for the most part, that's how life has been for the past almost-three months. But in reality, I am not rational, I am not matter-of-fact and I am not steady. I'm not meeting that goal. And both of you are my witnesses.

I'm doing what I've always done (and we know where that leads, don't we?) – focusing on food, being grimly determined, experiencing wide mood swings, having high expectations which lead to falling off a cliff.

My recent thoughts about tweaking the macros is – for ME – a bit problematic, in that I'm now analyzing every bite of food that goes into my body. This behavior has never been good for me. It might work for you, and it certainly works for competitive bodybuilders and elite athletes.

But for me? Not so much. I just want to live a normal-for-me life eating healthful meals, cooked from scratch in my own kitchen. I want to take long walks i…

March 15 - Explore

Keeping up with the times

So a friend mentioned yesterday on Facebook that Google Reader was going away.

For those who might not know, Reader is an aggregator that lines up unread posts from your favorite blogs, all in one handy-dandy place. It's simple, efficient and effective.

iGoogle, Google's home page, also is going away. It was equally handy, putting several modules of information all in one place and ready to read as soon as I launched my browser.

I'm trying out feedly, which has made it super-easy to migrate from Reader to their product as long as you log in with your Google account AND as long as you do it before Reader goes away. It's working well, but I wish I could change it so older entries are at the top of the list. That's my only beef so far.

As for iGoogle, the module I used most was … Reader. So I'm learning to do without. I had a stock-checker on there, and a weather widget, and top stories from the NYTimes, all of which are also apped on my phone. And I tend to have …

March 14 - Tasty

Mmmm. Pi(e).

It's 3/14, y'all! Happy Pi Day! You math geeks know what I'm talkin' about. The rest of us can go make pate brisee. Heh.

So, it's snowing. Again. Or still. I took yesterday off to do a little retail therapy after my morning meltdown and got caught in a whiteout at the Target in Christiansburg! The sun was back out by the time I headed home, although it was still too cold to walk. This overnight snow should melt by this afternoon and I can get back on track again.

I have a couple of projects to work on – Easter banners for the grandchildren, super-simple odor-removing coffee soap (to which I am going to add some cinnamon, I think) and Groundworks Nursery's newsletter. I was supposed to work in the Groundworks greenhouse this morning, but I'm a little nervous about getting down my hill and then getting up theirs with snow on the ground.

I'm such a wuss about driving.

Thanks for the outpouring of support yesterday. I may work on my macronutrient ratios to…

March 13 - Sound

Today's message from the Universe

Do you know what it sometimes means, Debbi, when you feel a bit bummed out and aren't sure why? When you catch yourself looking back over your shoulder and wondering? When you feel doubt, sense uncertainty, and experience fear? When you sometimes wonder what's taking so long? 

It means you're normal. 
How does it KNOW?

I do feel a bit bummed out. I am feeling doubt, uncertainty and fear. And I sure as hell wonder what's taking so long.

My lofty beginning-of-the-year desire to be fit and healthy despite the scale result isn't really panning out as I'd hoped it would. I do, indeed, think I'm on my way to fit and healthy. But the number on the scale continues to increase – another 1.5 pounds for today's spot-check, bringing my total loss this year to five pounds. It's almost like the harder I try, the higher the number goes.

And as that number increases, so does my anxiety and fear and doubt and disappointment and sadness and frustration and TOTAL BUMME…

March 12 - In the distance

March 11 - Important

The weekly wrap-up ... move along, there's nothing to see here

Ten hours and 40 minutes of logged activity (not counting housework, I never count that).

Thirty-two miles of outdoor walking or working out on the elliptical – mostly walking.

An approximate calorie deficit for the week of 1800, and I didn't go over the limit once, not one day.

A gain of 1.5 pounds.

What the hell?

I understand that a gain at this point may be attributable to water retention in my very sore muscles. And they are, indeed, very sore. Twenty of those 32 miles happened Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If there were a figure of speech like "her eyes were bigger than her stomach" that correlated to walking, you could insert it here.

I am really loving walking outdoors, and the weekend weather was simply perfect. That eight-miler Friday afternoon whetted my appetite for more. My friend and I decided to walk 10K Saturday because it was so gorgeous and why not keep walking? And I talked my husband into another 10K yesterday. I tried urging him on to seven miles but he wa…

March 10 - I want …

The reward at the end of the day

Yesterday was a pretty busy day for me. As I've gotten older, my energy level has diminished significantly, enough that I really, really notice it. I sometimes have to step back and look at the fact that I am, in fact, in my 60s, not my 40s, and one's energy does diminish (usually) with age.

So the fact that I

did four loads of laundry (bedding and linens, no clothing)line-dried most of ittook care of a couple little nagging choresvacuumed the entire housewalked for two hours (6.2 miles – a 10K!) and prepared a home-cooked meal (chicken with peanut sauce and rice) 
proves that yes, once in a while, I can still get things done.

The reward was going to bed early, one of my favorite things to do. Heh. (That's kind of a joke; I always go to bed early and spend an hour or so reading. I have little interest in television these days.) I had a little trouble actually getting to sleep last night, though. It might have been the aches and pains that are a natural result of walking 14 …

March 9 - Faceless Self Portrait

I am, apparently, map-challenged

To be fair to myself, one of Hinton, West Virginia's claims to fame is that it was settled at the confluence of three rivers. There are, therefore, many bridges to navigate when you're looking at a map. I went one bridge too far when I calculated the distance on Willowwood Road yesterday. It is, indeed, eight miles round-trip, just as I thought.

You know what that means, don't you?


On a whim, and because my phone was fully charged, I decided to take and post photos at the beginning and at each mile. If you're not my Facebook friend (search for Debbi Young McNeer) or if you don't follow me on Instagram (search for @shrinkingknitter), you can see my progress here. The first photo is today's photoaday attempt, and not part of the walk, obviously. The next eight are in reverse order.

I had to skip the seventh mile. Despite a fully charged phone, the battery was nearly drained by the time I got to within a couple miles of the finish. In order to have enoug…

March 8 - Favorite