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Showing posts from July, 2013

August Photo a Day prompts

I love Instagram and taking photos with my phone and following the prompts from FatMumSlim. Her tag line is "Living Life Inspired," and she really does. And she encourages her readers to do the same. Here's the list:
And do follow this link to read more about the prompts and how they might be interpreted. Of course, anything goes … it's supposed to be fun, not frustrating.

Another number

Wowie wow wow wow.

Only had to do 4.1 this morning to hit this benchmark. The plan at the beginning of the year was to log 1000 miles in 2013, and I'm well on my way. I could probably change the goal, but the logical shift would be to 1200 – 100/month – and I'm not sure that's possible.

Fall is a busier time of year for us as far as travel goes, and traveling is the biggest roadblock (heh) to logging daily miles. So 1000 it is, and 1000 IT SHALL BE!

Hope y'all have a great day. That is all.

July 31 - Workspace

July 30 - Friendship

Question du jour

First, thanks for all your comments and congratulatory notes, about the 5K and about yesterday's weigh-in. You keep me running! (You're welcome for that earworm.)

In yesterday's comments, Hils asked:
It sounds like you are one of the paleo people who also keeps track of calories--and I was wondering, how did you figure out what level to keep your calories at while eating paleo? Thanks!  First, are there other paleo people who track calories? I'd love to be reading their blogs. Do let me know of any. Thanks!

I've been using LoseIt! to track my food since the spring of 2012. I haven't logged every bite, every day, but have been pretty consistent with it, and have been religious about it this year. Having the app on my phone really makes it easy to add items throughout the day.

Just ask my husband: He says the phone is attached to my body.

But I digress.

When you create your LoseIt! account, you set goals for both your weight and your rate of loss. If you'd lik…

July 29 - Perspective

Still going down, down, down

Two and a half more pounds GONE this week.

Astonished. Amazed. It's now been four months since I began my Whole30 (which has grown, for the most part, into something like a Whole120), and I can't quite believe that I'm still losing weight.

The pace has slowed considerably, but down is down and losses are losses.

My mini-goal to weigh what I weighed when I got married by our seventh anniversary (which is next Monday) is thisclose – only half a pound to go.

LoseIt! offers many ways to analyze progress. There are charts and graphs and spreadsheets galore, for just about anything you'd like to track. Want to know what foods you've eaten the most of? There's a chart for that. Favorite exercise? There's a chart for that, as well.

I like this nutrient graph, which clearly illustrates – at least for me and my body – that increasing fat consumption will create weight loss. In my case, it looks like adding healthy fats, beginning in April, has helped me release weight …

July 28 - This is new

Last-minute decision

Last night I went to a charity 5K race, which was the kick-off event for the annual Water Festival, held in Hinton, WV – about 12 miles from the Middle of Nowhere. I hadn't pre-registered, and really was still up in the air about going at all until late yesterday afternoon. It rained all day, the forecast wasn't good for the 8 p.m. start, I'm a morning person (and usually in bed by 8:30 p.m.), blah, blah, blah.

I recalled my feelings after that 5K in April, the one where I had registered as a runner but ended up joining the walkers. I felt like I'd let myself down, just a little bit, by not having an "official" time. But last night, even as I was driving into the park where the event was held, I still hadn't made up my mind. Walk or run?

As it happened, a friend texted me right about then. I told her where I was and she asked, at 7:31, "Running?" I told her I hadn't decided. At 7:40 I texted her again.

"Running. …"

The field was sm…

July 27 - Black + White

Curses ... foiled!

According to yesterday's forecast, we weren't supposed to get any rain until this evening.

It is SO raining right now. Pouring, as a matter of fact.

My morning plan was to walk four miles. I'm supposed to do a local 5K tonight (not sure yet whether I'll register as a runner or walker). I don't even think if I were training for a distance race I'd go out in this rain. Sprinkles? Yes. Downpour? Uh-uh.

And it really is downpouring.

All the chairs we were painting yesterday are outside on now-soggy pieces of cardboard. Because it wasn't supposed to rain this morning, you see. So we left them out in order to get started again as soon as I got back from my morning walk.


We got the back and undersides of four chairs done and, of course, ran out of paint. Hopping in the car to get more took a couple of hours (as do most errands out here in the Middle of Nowhere), and I had some design work to do on the computer, plus dinner to fix, so we didn't even try t…

July 26 - The everyday

A lady of leisure I'm not

Retirement started off with a project. Or two. I got home from work, chopped back the petunias and a few perennials, watered the hostas and then we finally extracted the firepit from its box and put it together.

Today's project is to paint four of our wrought iron patio chairs so we can actually sit around the fire. There's an old log out there we could park our butts on, but chairs would be more comfortable.

And stylish! Because instead of boring old black paint, I bought bright tropical-colored paint! I'm really excited to see how they turn out. And if I hate them, well, I can always buy black and start over.

I'd planned to walk early-early this morning, but here it is after 8 a.m., with pea-soup-thick fog and a temperature in the low 50s. I was going to drive down to Indian Creek Road, which is my flat route, but I think it would be very spooky down there by myself. I can probably talk the husband into joining me a little later.

Today is Week 3, Day 3 of Cto5K. And …

July 25 - Ground

I made it!

No, I'm not talking about food.

Or a knitting project.

Or jewelry or a card or anything else crafty.

I didn't die and "they" (which in this case means Republicans in Congress) didn't take it away.

I thought it would come in after midnight, but it actually showed up sometime yesterday.

I've been threatening to blow the first month's benefit – it's NOT an entitlement! – on something fun, but I'm basically a pretty practical kinda gal. I sort of want these, but I want to try them on before I buy them (the reviews say they run small), and the local running discount store doesn't carry that brand.

And if I only sort of want them, I probably shouldn't be buying them.

It might go toward a trip. I might find some new electronic gadget I can't live without. I'm seriously considering buying the materials for one of these.

One thing is for sure: I WILL do something fun with at least part of…

July 24 - D is for …

Following up

My intentions for yesterday were to put in six miles:
Clean the refrigerator, go grocery shopping and make deviled eggs:
And bake a batch of zucchini muffins:
Check, check and check! And I made it to the prison last night, as well, but we're not permitted to take photos there, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Today's weather looks better for a later run rather than the early-morning one I'd intended to do. I've already passed the window of opportunity, time-wise, but I'll have time this afternoon. And I might not have to water plants at work this morning with the overnight rain, so I won't wear myself out at work.

Speaking of wearing myself out … I don't do that as much as I did 30 pounds ago. Yesterday was a very busy day. The grocery run also included a little clothes-browsing (didn't buy anything – but Gingerzingi did, you should go check out her new wardrobe!) and a stop at the drugstore. I'd have to say a day like yesterday would…

July 23 - I drew this!

Now that the inbox is cleared out …

it's time to purge stuff from the laptop.

Now to keep up with the email and not let it get so out of hand. AGAIN.

Denise, my assumption is that the DirecTV control box will capture anything I tell it to record regardless of whether I have electricity in my house or not. Kind of like a cloud function. I've never tested it.

Also, I'm pretty sure waterlogged ground had something to do with the fallen tree that caused our power loss. At least we're not experiencing drought conditions this year, right?

I'm having some computer issues this morning. The fan keeps running, and sometimes revs up alarmingly, reminiscent of an engine run-up prior to takeoff. I've Googled and tried one solution, which worked for a while, but I think there might be something else creating the problem. SOB!

And, of course, now that I've written that paragraph, the fan noise quit.

Is that anything like stating your intention and suddenly finding yourself able to achieve it? (Like cleaning…

July 22 - Grey

If a tree falls on a power line

Mother Nature reminded us who's boss yesterday afternoon, lest we get all smug and think we're in charge. We were happily going about our business, which on Sunday afternoons usually means doing not much at all. The air conditioner kicked off, as it does during its cooling cycle, but the ceiling fan slowed down, too. One glance at the blank digital clock confirmed that the electricity was, indeed, off.

We'd had a heavy downpour and wind in the late morning, but it was 2:30 when the refrigerator quit humming. I called the Power Outage Hotline and began waiting.

Fortunately the rain that had come through earlier brought with it slightly cooler temperatures. It was nice outside, actually. I grilled pork tenderloin chops and sliced tomatoes for dinner as we continued to wait.

As the day wore on into evening, we thought we might have to miss The Newsroom, which begins at 10 p.m. EDT (and is the best hour on television. Period). I'd already gone to bed, resigned to watching …

July 21 - Fave food

Figured it out!

Sometimes you have to hit old people over the head to make yourself clear. The new Gmail app works just like the old one, except there's no box to check. A statement at the top of the list clearly states "Tap on the sender icon to select a message."Clear as can be. I feel kind stupid.And old.

Still buried in e-mail

I recently wrote about my electronic clutter problem. I've been doing much better about keeping up with my favorite blogs. Feedly is a great reader app, and I especially like it on my tablet. Swipe, read, swipe, read and in no time I've gotten through 50 posts!

My inbox, however, is cluttered with more than 800 e-mails. I try to get through a hundred or so each day, unsubscribing when I truly don't think I'll ever care about reading something from that company, group or shop again. It's easier to manage e-mails at the computer, and I purposely chose an uncomfortable chair to put at my desk – to reduce the amount of time I spend with the laptop – so it's becoming less and less likely that I'm ever going to catch up.

The recent Gmail update for the tablet app sucks. Used to be you could just check boxes to batch-delete, which I was doing fairly regularly. Now you literally have to read each e-mail and tap the trashcan to get rid of it. I suppose that's go…

July 20 - Hot

Things I love

My job
I'm going to be so sad not to work at the garden center any more. My responsibilities this year have been opening in the morning (just two days a week) and watering everything, as well as helping customers and keeping things tidy. I haven't done a lot of potting, and that's fine with me. I like doing that, but I really like watering. I get to see every single plant in the nursery, what's new, what's doing well, what needs some attention … and especially what would look good in my own landscape!

XL T-shirts
I love how an XL tee covered a multitude of lumps and bumps when I was fat(ter), and now that I've dropped a few pounds makes me look kinda skinny. For instance: a collarbone peeking out of a too-big V-neck. Never thought I'd see that again!

Especially hot coffee, ready and waiting in an insulated carafe, every morning. And the coffeemaker loaded and ready to go when I finish what's left in the carafe. Courtesy of my husband.

Pulling weeds

July 19 - Building

Well, I screwed that up

Today was supposed to be Week 2, Day 3 of Cto5K. I again chose to pop the training workout into the middle of a longer walk/run session.

It didn't take long for the thick fog to cover the lenses of my glasses, rendering them useless, so I took them off and tucked them into the neckline of my shirt. When it came time to begin the Cto5K program, I hit the wrong button – since I'm blind without my glasses – and ended up doing Week 3, Day 1.

WHICH I WILL DO AGAIN ON MONDAY … the first day of my third week.


The little feedback messages I was getting following each interval seemed off, for sure, but I didn't think much about it since it's still all new – both the training and the app. Anyway.

Here's last week's workouts:

And today's totals:
The last complete mile (before the .3 cool down) was at a 12:34 pace. And all downhill.
When I was auditioning apps, I attributed some of my problems with one of them to opera…

July 18 - Number

Yesterday, on a whim ...

I tried on the dress I wore for the blessing ceremony/wedding celebration my husband and I had with our families in September, 2006. (For those of you who may be new here, we eloped to Las Vegas in August of that year.)

Size 12. It fits.

Here's my favorite shot from the party, and here's a full-length shot of me in the dress (not terribly flattering, but oh, well.)

I didn't want to set the camera up to take a current shot, but one of these days, soon, I will.

I've had a mini-goal in my mind for the last month or so of weighing what I did when we were married on our anniversary, which is 18 days from today. That would mean a total loss – this time around, heh – of 41 pounds by August 5, six more pounds from the most recent Monday-morning weigh-in.

I'm not sure it's going to happen. As both of you know, my body doesn't release weight consistently or predictably. I've been quite surprised by some of the weigh-ins since I switched my eating plan in April, s…

July 17 - Inspiration

New 'do

I decided a month or so ago it was time to shake things up a bit. My hair has been growing and growing and growing, and it was finally long enough to chop off for Locks of Love. My appointment was yesterday.

All I ever did with that long hair was put it up in a pony bun. I French-braided it once or twice (which is an excellent arm workout, by the way), but mostly just brushed it back and twisted it up.

And if you're going to make your long hair look short, you might as well have short hair, right?

It looks better this morning than it did when I left my stylist's. Whose hair does that?!?!?

I took a quick-and-dirty selfie for Facebook, which you can see over there in the right sidebar, but I'm going to have to update that soon, because brushing it back off my forehead is an even better look than the bangs are.


I'm thinking the chopped off part weighed AT LEAST a pound. Heh.

July 16 - Bottle

Lots on tap today

If it (a walk) is to be, it's up to me. And it had better happen earlier, because later is booked.

I have an appointment this morning at 10:45 followed by a lunch meeting at 12:30, after which I will pick up a few groceries and come home to do laundry, make dinner and then leave for my volunteer gig at the prison.

The walk will begin at 7 a.m., fog or no fog. It's really foggy this morning, pea-soup foggy, LONDON foggy. (I've never been to London, but I'm thinking they didn't create an entire brand of outerwear called London Fog for no good reason.) I really, really, really don't like walking when it's this foggy.

But I shall.

Yesterday I finished Week 2, Day 1 of Cto5K. The number of interval sets was reduced from 8 to 6 and each interval was 30 seconds longer. Which would have worked out fine if not for the hills. It's so much easier to walk out my door and start walking than it is to drive to a flatter route. Until I'm supposed to run up a hill.

July 15 - Outside my window

By the numbers

It's official. As of this morning's weigh-in, I'm down 35 pounds since Christmas, thanks to a 1.5-pound loss this week. I've only lost two pounds in the past four weeks, but I'm still a loser! Yay, me!

My BMI has dropped a little more than six points. I'm still   j u s t   b a r e l y   in the obese category. Maybe next week I can celebrate BEING OVERWEIGHT! Heh.

I have 15 pounds to go to reach my stated goal of losing 50 pounds. You heard it here first: My stated goal may change when I hit that number.

When I began the calories in/calories out plan six months ago, I was full of motivation. When I began the GLDS-free plan three months ago, I was full of despair and frustration.

I am now, officially, full of hope. And I haven't had a lot of hope as far as weight loss goes in a long, long time.

My other first-of-the-year stated goal was to log 1000 walking miles. Two weeks past the halfway point of the year finds me well over the halfway point in miles, at 61…

July 14 - Edible

July 13 - 4:00

File this under WTF

I haven't watched even a minute of the George Zimmerman trial. My husband (who has a law degree, although he never practiced) has watched enough for both of us. I knew when I went to bed last night that the jury was still deliberating.

When something newsworthy or even (sometimes) just mildly interesting happens, I'll find a handwritten note on my laptop when I wake up. (He stays up later than I do.) I knew when I saw one this morning that it would be the verdict. I read it, more than half an hour ago as I sit here now, and I still feel like I've been punched in the gut.

This is America, where white men with guns rule. It's like the wild, wild west all over again.

Am I surprised? A bit. But honestly? Not much. It would be easy to blame it on Florida justice – it's not difficult to come up with at least a couple recent decisions out of the Sunshine State that seemed to be totally wrong. (Casey Anthony and the 2004 Presidential election come immediately to mind.)


What a difference a flat road makes

It only took me two weeks, but I can now say I've completed Week One of Couch to 5K. A huge shout-out to Gingerzingi for inspiring me to begin it.

I know you're supposed to let a day or two go between workouts, but I got a little carried away yesterday when my husband and I were walking on Indian Creek Road. It's flat, since it runs alongside a meandering creek, and it was Friday and I was feeling pretty good. So I did back-to-back training runs smack-dab in the middle of a long walk.

My husband doesn't like to walk fast any more. There was a time when he would challenge himself to step up his pace, but those days are long gone. Nowadays he ambles. So yesterday's companionable walk turned into five miles for him and six for me, in the same amount of time.

Doing the Cto5K part on a flat road was a big improvement over my hilly route. See?
Here's the Thursday-to-Friday side-by-side comparison.
So I got home, had a little lunch and rested for a bit, with every int…

July 12 - A bad habit

The purge beginneth

One shelf of magazines and one shelf of books have now been boxed up and are awaiting delivery to the library for the annual fall book sale.

All of the magazines are knitting-related, periodicals I haven't opened in years. I guess I'm now a former knitting publication hoarder. Nearly all of the books are knitting instruction, pattern or technique books. Do I really need three books devoted to knitting mittens? I think not.

I saved all of the Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits and Knitter's magazines in my inventory. I purged Knitter's a few years ago, saving only the ones I thought I might use in the future. Time to revisit each issue, I suppose.

And find another box.

I'm also divesting myself of a dozen diet books. That may or may not be all of them. Please tell me you have a similar collection on one of your bookshelves. I can't be the only one!
I haven't started on the cookbooks. Yet.

Knitting consumes much less of my leisure time than it did a few years a…

July 11 - I wore this

This is …

my usual and customary route (as recorded in MapMyRun), the one I've been doing the RunDouble Cto5K workouts on:

It's kinda cool to see a visual representation of the run/walk intervals. I'm surprised that the actual elevations don't look as KILLER as they are when you're out there on them, though.

I usually walk a half-mile before I begin the Cto5K part, and then run the last mile home.


First, @Gingerzingi: Did you see my response to your garlic question?

Second: Cto5K. Last week I did the first two days. Tuesday I repeated Day One. Hoping to repeat Day Two today. Which is really boring, since they (and Day Three) are all the same. OH WELL. Party prepping got the best of me last week, thus the lapse.

Now. Labels. No, not food labels. Very little of my food has a bar code slapped on it these days. I'm thinking of the "caveman" label that Diandra objected to in a recent comment. (I appreciate the comment, Diandra, you really made me think.)

I haven't studied what it means to Be Paleo. I would guess, from what I've skimmed on the interwebs, that such a lifestyle includes weight training or kettlebells or crossfit. (I could be wrong.) What I do know, for me, is this:
We can’t return to the paleolithic. We’re not cavemen. This isn’t about reenactment, and it never has been. We’re all here because we recognize the value in viewing our health, our food,…

July 10 - Smooth


I've pulled all the garlic and it looks good. The heads aren't quite as large as last year's, but they're plenty big. I didn't plant quite as much this year, which turned out to be a good thing since I still have quite a bit of last year's harvest "in stock."

I've been adding cherry tomatoes, both yellow and red, to salads for the past week or so, and there will be plenty more from the two pots on the patio. The garden tomatoes aren't doing very well. The plants are small and there are only one or two fruits on each one. I may have to – gasp! – buy tomatoes at the farmer's market for canning this year.

Half a dozen onions were large enough to dig up, and there will be many, many more. Yes, onions are cheap and easy to find at the market, but they're also easy to grow and I find it very satisfying to add a homegrown onion to our daily fare. At least for a couple months, until I run out of them.

Zucchini, as you probably know, can be pr…

July 9 - 3 things

I've turned into one of those people

I used to think they were snobs, or held themselves to an impossibly high standard. Maybe you've felt the same way, upon hearing that new couple announce they "don't watch television."

Well, I can't say I don't watch it at all. I spend half an hour a day with Alex Trebek. Because I'm old like that. And because my husband likes Jeopardy, so it's 30 minutes of quality time he and I spend together.

My husband also likes cable news. Me? Not so much. I've also turned into one of those people who gets her news, skewed as it is, from Facebook.

I started watching Beasts of the Southern Wild last night, but 10 minutes into it I couldn't see where it was going and wasn't interested enough to find out. I am, perhaps, a good candidate for Short Attention Span Theatre.

It's not that I don't get plenty of screen time. I'm at the computer or on my phone or tablet several hours daily. PRODUCTIVE hours, lemme tell ya. I log my daily food in Los…