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Showing posts from November, 2013

We've come to the end of another NaBloPoMo

Third one for me. And what started three years ago as a one-month experiment has turned into the almost-daily drivel both of you look forward to! Who woulda thunk it?

I am TOO OLD to drive to North Carolina one day and come back home the next day. What's worse is making the drive all in one day, which is what's going to happen a couple weeks from tomorrow, when we visit my husband's son and his family. But that trip will be about an hour shorter each war than Thursday/Friday's was.

Ahhh, but it was so worth it to be with BOTH my children (and my son's family) at the same time. That happens so rarely that I would do it again tomorrow if I had to. Even though I am TOO OLD.

Dinner was lovely and delicious and absolutely not on plan, except the turkey. Seriously, every side dish was sauced or sugared, but I had decided going in that I wasn't going to make a big deal out of one meal.

Russ and Jeff used to say, it doesn't matter what you eat between Christmas and …

November 29 - Black

November 28 - I am grateful for

November 27 - No!

November 26 - Message

About that weather …

My holiday trip begins at dawn o'clock Thanksgiving morning and I'm heading south. The forecast for two days from now is cold and sunny.

I hope it's right.

It was so cold Sunday I worked out on the elliptical. Managed to stay on for 85 minutes, which just might be a record. I waited until 3-ish yesterday to walk outdoors. It was still chilly, but I bundled up and did six miles. My outer layer was a BRIGHT gold sweatshirt, the better to deflect stray bullets.

Buck season began yesterday. The hunters can have at 'em this year. No longer are deer the cute furry little Bambis I used to catch fleeting glimpses of when I moved here 16 years ago. They are now pests, brazen and bold and not a bit shy.

There will, from the looks of that map, be no outdoor walking today. I'll have to find something fascinating to watch on television while I'm on the elliptical. Two recorded episodes of The Biggest Loser did the trick Sunday. Maybe a movie today …

It's a great day to…

November 25 - Quirky

It's gratitude week!

Thank you, Jen, for reminding me that, yes, I have come a long way and have much to celebrate. Had I not gotten so cocky when the pounds were melting away last summer, I'd be happy as a kid in a candy store.

To use a not-so-paleo-friendly metaphor. Heh.

Because if I hadn't gotten so cocky, I'd be BELOW my original goal.

My weight was back up again this morning, 1.5 pounds: the largest weekly gain I've had all year. HOWEVER – I'm down 1.5 pounds for the month of November. After a stay-the-same October, I'll take that loss, thankyouverymuch. And I still have another week to add to that small loss. You know, the week with the biggest food day of the year in it.


Last Thursday, though, when I weighed myself after our trip – which was all restaurant meals, all the time – I was way down. Like less than 10 pounds from goal down.

So I'm struggling with the gratitude thing this morning. Maybe it would help if I made a list.

Finding a way to eat that works for me…

November 24 - A word

My new favorite game.

Just wait a couple of days …

While this morning's wake-up temperature was 12 degrees, with a feels-like reading of MINUS 3, this is West Virginia, and this kind of bone-chilling cold doesn't last for days and days and days. Just day.

And that's just fine with me.

I've gotten to be somewhat addicted to my almost-daily outdoor walk. Unless I bundle WAY up, I'm gonna miss it today.

Honestly, though, I can't imagine what it would take to get me to travel any further outside than from my front door to my garage, where I can hop on a machine. I have a couple TV shows recorded; those should keep me entertained long enough to get a good workout in.

The big news today is that Faux Noise's anchors' heads are splitting over the deal with Iran to freeze its nuclear program. I swear I think they want to destroy this country and all we stand for just because Obama is black the President.

I'm not especially excited about tomorrow's weigh-in. In fact I'm not especially excited about co…

November 23 - Simplicity

Here it comes …

The weather outside is getting frightful. It's not like it doesn't do this every year. West Virginia does have four seasons, after all. But it sure looks like today's the day to walk outside, and the rest of the week I'll be dreadmilling and ellipticalling and maybe even rowing, oh my. (If I get the rowing machine fixed. Not saying I will, but ONE NEVER KNOWS.)
I'm finally beginning to think about the holidays. Retailers have been thinking about them since Halloween, but I'm lagging a bit. And I'm less enthusiastic then I usually am. Which is to say not very. My Christmas present to me was to have been reaching my goal weight, a quest which began last December 26. It's not going to happen without some kind of Christmas miracle.
I'm happy to be where I am, though, which is more than 50 pounds lighter than a year ago at this time. Gotta keep that attitude of gratitude, always, obviously, but especially as the holidays approach.
I'm grateful to ha…

November 22 - Behind

You'll forgive me …

if I use today's post as an opportunity to pay tribute to President Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his death.

America changed that day. We trusted government less and turned our televisions on. We who were young when it happened will not forget where we were when we heard the news. President Kennedy's assassination was our generation's 9/11. He had his faults, as humans do. But he gave us hope.

As humans do.

Our most basic common link 
is that we all inhabit this planet.
We all breathe the same air.
We all cherish our children's future.
And we are all mortal.
~ John F. Kennedy

November 21 – I wish I had this

What was I thinking?

Planning to do a second Whole 30 in November wasn't, probably, the wisest decision I've made this year. Then again, when I planned it I didn't know I'd be traveling to a neighboring state to wait for a family friend's brain aneurysm to be surgically repaired!

In fact, I thought this same friend would be coming to visit me for a few days. Instead, she was admitted to the hospital the day before her trip to West Virginia. She's been in ICU ever since, and will be there a couple more days before spending even more time in inpatient rehab.

Her recovery since the initial incident has been remarkable, and no one was more surprised than my husband and I to be able to talk and laugh with her the same night she'd spent hours and hours and hours in surgery. We're so grateful, and so glad we made the trip.

I did okay with food while I was gone. Waiting while a friend goes through life-saving surgery puts things in perspective. The good thing is I didn't cave i…

November 20 - Communication

November 19 - Where you ate breakfast

November 18 - Mirror

Another Monday …

As I predicted, I wasn't able to hold onto the magic number. But today's official weigh-in was only a half pound more than the one I saw last week. Meaning I'm 10.5 pounds from goal, 1.6 points from a normal BMI and oh-so-close to …


When you read blog posts written by people who've lost a lot of weight and kept it off, you get the idea that maintaining that loss is a matter of daily diligence. For them and for me, there's no done.

I've lost a significant amount of weight before. Twice before, as a matter of fact, followed by days/months/years of gaining it all back and then some. Should I ever think I'm different or special or unique in this regard, all I need to do is read a few blogs by those who have been there/done that. They're not hard to find.

Harder to find are those who've hit the magic number and stayed there. Usually they, too, have lost and gained and lost and gained. But then, somehow, they found the set of behaviors they n…

November 17 - 5 o'clock


So my husband and I were sitting in our little media TV room watching football, as you do on a Saturday afternoon, when we heard a loud BONK! at the front door.

We don't live in a nice, orderly neighborhood of houses lined up beside each with sidewalks out front. As both of you know by now, we live in the Middle of Nowhere. In order for someone to toss something at our front door, that someone would have to walk up a fairly long driveway. You can't even see our house if you're coming up our road from the east.

My husband went to investigate and found that a little bird had knocked itself out. At first we thought it was dead, but it was still breathing shallowly. I grabbed a pair of garden gloves, thinking I would move it to a safer spot (out of Hershey's range) until it was ready to fly again.

This isn't the first time a bird has crashed into our front door and survived. In fact, they've all survived, to the best of my recollection, one or two each year.

As I c…

November 16 - Play

An F- bomb(shell)

All of the excitement about Thursday's announcement regarding foreign investment in little old West Virginia was tempered – to say the least – by my Congressman being one of the 39 Democrats who voted with the GOP in the House of Representatives for the "Keep Your Crappy Insurance Plan Act of 2013."

It's not really called that. But it should be.

The bill's not going anywhere and even if it does the President will veto it.

Congressman Rahall will probably have his toughest election race ever next year (although, really, the election cycle nowadays begins on the previous Election Day, right?). Here we are, a year out, and already there are nasty, negative television ads funded by outside money targeting him because he voted for the Affordable Care Act.

After his vote for the KYCIPAof2013 yesterday, he was asked what grade he would give President Obama. His reply? "F-."

I do so wish he'd have sloughed off the question with a harmless remark and a twink…

November 15 - In my purse

Yesterday was …

jam-packed with excitement.

Mostly it was WVFDW stuff, awaiting news of a big economic boost for West Virginia. We thought the announcement was happening at 10 a.m., but it ended up being pushed back to early afternoon. I was able to make some noise about it before I went for a walk with LYNNE!

My husband is my usual and customary walking partner, but it's always a treat when Lynne can get away. We talk non-stop, something that just doesn't happen with that man I live with. Heh.

I learned yesterday that a family friend will most likely be having surgery early next week, which is a huge relief, as the surgery will be life-saving and is absolutely necessary.

I began the day, as I always do, by stepping on the scale. I was shocked – SHOCKED! – to see this:
Only 10 pounds to go. (Oh, and I bought yet another pair of new jeans, this time purple corduroy, in a size EIGHT! Woo hoo!)

This morning's number was a little higher than yesterday's, but yesterday's gave me a huge…

November 14 - Eating

November 13 - Part of me

Cold weather makes me want to …

wear sweatersdig out the wool sockseat soupwatch footballKNIT!
If you're a fan of the sticks and string, you probably already receive Classic Elite's e-newsletter. If not, yesterday's had a very cute little FREE hat pattern in it that I wish I'd seen before I began making the one that's currently on my needles.

To be fair, one of the designs is simple enough to not need a pattern. I like the little visor-type brim on the other one, however, and I really appreciate that someone else took the time to figure out how to make it happen. That pattern is definitely in my queue.

The hat I've almost completed is a very simple slouchy beret (from the book Homespun Handknit – link goes to the revised e-book; I'm using a pattern from the original printed version) done in a glitzy black/grey/silver fiber that's almost knitting itself. I cast on Monday and will cast off today. And I only managed to complete a couple rounds on it yesterday.

It was, and is, SO cold her…

November 12 - Clouds

A new accessory

You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you just might find You get what you need. ~ The Rolling Stones
Did you notice the new little doodad I put on the blog this morning? You're forgiven if you didn't, as it doesn't look much different from what used to be there. And it certainly doesn't mean as much to you as it does to me.

Unless you're my children. Or my husband. Or anyone who must have anything to do with me in person, face-to-face, on a regular basis.

In the little box labeled ODAT, the image has a 23 on it. Yesterday it had a 22. Which means I've had another birthday, of sorts.

Another year, One Day At a Time, for a total of 23 years of not taking a drink. Today marks 8401 days of living life alcohol-free. I've gone through a divorce, changed jobs, bought and sold property, and gone to weddings (including my own!), funerals, celebrations and the grocery store without getting drunk.

And that, my friends, is a miracle.

I wrote a …

November 11 - Memory

One week in

First full week of Whole 30, Part Two, is done, and my weight stayed the same. I still have 12 pounds to lose to get to my goal by the end of 2013. LoseIt! predicts it'll happen January 6. I have my doubts about that, even.

I have this little app on my phone where I can enter my weight daily. I've told it I want to lose 65 pounds by December 31. It tells me I'm 81.54% of the way to my goal, and I've used 86.72% of the allotted time. Interesting numbers, and I'd like for them to be dead even, but alas … they are what they are and it is what it is.

I've been feeling a little lethargic the last couple of days. Have slept well and for many hours, so I can't blame insomnia or restlessness. But no energy during the day. I hope that will turn around today.

Mondays can be reset buttons in so many ways.

I took yesterday off from the walking (but still managed to log about 30 miles!), and I haven't run at all in a couple weeks. I'd like to say I'm going t…

November 10 - Book

Insert clever title here

As this week winds down, I want to provide links to the first set of featured NaBloPoMo Must-Follow Monday blogs. I've added each of them to my Feedly list and have enjoyed reading their posts.
Here's an introduction to a few of the blogs participating in NaBloPoMo this month. We chose these in particular to show the diversity of bloggers that commit to blogging monthly in November -- but remember, there are still many, many, many more to meet on the list. Go meet them, too! SchmutzieElan Morgan has been publishing a new poem every day in 2013 on the Schmoetry section of her blog, Schmutzie, and this month, she's stepping up to the plate to post some prose every day, too, in her (ahem) copious spare time. Hedonia Sean Timberlake of Hedonia writes mostly about food, with some travel and San Francisco living thrown in. His words and pictures narrate his experience -- from inspiration to cooking; from planning a party to the conviviality that ensues. It's always informed, o…

November 9 - Mine

Computer maintenance – sigh

So I upgraded my Mac's operating system yesterday to the new OSX 10.9 Mavericks. Honestly? I didn't even know a new OS had been announced last summer, and I really do try to stay on top of tech updates. Oopsie!

(Apple has switched their OS naming hierarchy from wild felines to California-based appellations. But when I see "Mavericks," I think of the Dallas, TX, NBA team, not a west-coast beach known for its great surfing. I had to Google to find that out.)

At any rate, everything got updated with the new system. Including the Mail application. (Turns out it was a Good Thing I waited to install the update; they issued a patch to fix Mail a couple of days ago.)

I have Mail set up to deliver my Gmail messages. Imagine my surprise when I launched Mail and ZERO new items were available to read. Y'all know how hard it is for me to keep up with my e-mail, so I was, um, a little worried. (And yes, I know I can read Gmail online. But I don't.)

Ah, but there they were,…

November 8 - Someone I miss

Hah! You thought you'd get to see another photo of my sweet dad, didn't you? I pondered this prompt for a while. I've written about bloggers gone blank in the past. Laurie Perry's blog has been dormant since spring. She still tweets and occasionally posts photos on Instagram, but I sure do miss her blog. 
There are others I miss quite a bit. Big Ass Belle (first one in the left sidebar) lost her husband several months ago. She's greatly missed. And I used to love reading a blog called Act Boldly. The server can't find the domain name now.
Bloggers come and bloggers go. I lost many readers when I stopped writing at The Shrinking Knitter and switched (for personal reasons) to this blog. As some go by the wayside, new ones enter the fold.
And there's always the archives.

What's up with health insurance companies, anyway?

Have you ever heard so many people say so many bad things about a particular industry as you've heard said about health insurance companies? Maybe cable TV companies. Although according to a recent Gallup poll, these are the 10 most hated industries in America:
Oil and gasFederal governmentHealthcareBankingPharmaceutical makersLegal firmsReal estateElectric and gas utilitiesTelevision and radioFilmmaking (seriously?) I'm not sure if "Healthcare," in the third position, means health insurance or your family doctor. I suspect it's the former and I wish it were clearer. As for me, I love my family doctor. My health insurer?

Not so much.

If you live under an American rock OR if you live outside the U.S., you may not have heard by now that President Obama went on national television last night to apologize to the American people for suggesting over the past couple of years that if we liked our healthcare plan we could keep it.

Those who like their healthcare plans are…

November 7 - Yes!

Whole 30, Part Two, Day Three

As I mentioned last week, I've decided to do another Whole 30* as a kind of reset button for getting the losing of the weight started again. Just making the decision did a little good, since Monday's weigh-in was, indeed, lower than last Monday's. I'm three days into Part Two.

Jen had a good point in her comment about my plan. She said she thought I'd been doing a Whole 30 all along.

I've been following a mostly paleo plan all along. The Whole 30 is more strict: protein, vegetables, fruits and fats, with no fun stuff like coconut or almond flour or honey, which can be used for mug muffins fun stuff. The point of a Whole 30 is to kickstart your system and get back to basics.

Not losing any weight in October taught me a valuable lesson, one I won't soon forget. I CAN maintain. I don't have to yo-yo. Although, to be sure, my yo-yo history has looked more like one of those super bouncy balls: Get to my ideal goal weight and then start gaining it all back fiv…

November 6 - Music

A good day in the neighborhood

And by "neighborhood" I mean traditionally conservative Virginia, who just elected a Democrat for their next Governor.

If I drive just 14 miles south, I'm in the Commonwealth, in the reddest of the red part of the state. (Although, to be sure, the state is pretty red all over.) When I recently traveled to Blacksburg on those shopping trips, I passed way too many billboard-sized signs for Ken Cuccinelli, and far too few supporting Terry McAuliffe. And despite the good poll numbers for the Democrat, I was a little concerned.
And it looks as though I had good reason to be. The margin of victory was uncomfortably slim. What tipped the scales (you'll pardon my phraseology … this is, after all, somewhat of a weight-loss blog lately)?
Women. Virginia's current Republican governor and the candidate his party chose to replace him are front-and-center in the war on women, pushing for laws restricting reproductive rights. They cry for small government while standing at your…

November 5 - I collect …

What I wore to the J-J Dinner

Those of you who've known me a long, long time might remember a knitting workshop in Blacksburg several years ago where we learned to make a cardigan called the Carolyn Jacket. The class was taught by the designer, Carolyn White, a lovely woman from Kentucky, I think, and the jacket I made ended up being very dressy. Dressy enough to wear to the J-J Dinner. I got SO many compliments on it, and I was very happy to finally get to wear it.

The pattern was published in 2001. I've searched the interwebz for a link to buy the pattern, but have only found a photo of one other finished jacket. Which is kind of surprising, because it really is a stunning piece and the construction is ingenious.

It begins with a fabric vest-like piece, to which you add knitted sides, sleeves and button bands. The pattern includes a formula for calculating how much of each different yarn you'll need (three colors, to coordinate with the fabric) and, of course, knitting instructions. It comes together…


Just got a tweet that said I'm one of BlogHer's featured bloggers on Must-Follow Monday! I don't know how long that link will be good – maybe just this week. Had to take a screenshot, though …


Well, maybe whoosh. One and a half pounds isn't exactly all-caps worthy. Then again, after a month of staying the same, maybe it is.
According to LoseIt, I can still reach my goal by the end of this year. I really hope starting another strict Whole 30 today will be the catalyst I need to get the last 12 pounds off by Christmas.

But if it doesn't happen until January 1, I'll be okay with that.

Can you believe it? Neither can I! But going back and reading my posts from April of this year, when I did the first strict Whole 30, gives me so much hope.

Last month was the only month this year in which my weight didn't change at all. I've recorded losses every month except March, when I had a 1.5-pound gain. And that move in the wrong direction forced me to think outside the box, to take a look at another way of doing things, to step OUT of my comfort zone.

Seeing how a paleo plan had helped others near-and-dear to me wasn't enough to get me to try it. It took complete…