Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31 - Faux

Yes, of course it's faux. Because if I had a rock this big I'd sell it and buy something
I really wanted. (This is an antique stick pin, given to me, and not something I really wanted.)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Last gasp blast of winter

I am so completely and utterly sick of winter. I guess I've complained about it too much, because Mother Nature is playing one last (I hope!) cruel trick on us here in southern WV. March may still go out like a lamb, since temperatures are supposed to be much more moderate tomorrow, but on the penultimate day? Not so much:
I'm leaving in a couple of hours, heading north for a most-of-the-day meeting. North is the best place to head to get out of potential snow. It doesn't usually work that way, but today … And my biggest dilemma, of course, is what to wear. I'm thinking black jeans, boots, long-sleeved t-shirt, jean jacket and scarf. You know … something springy! That should cover all the weather bases.

I really wanted to wear a skirt today, though. Grrr.

April 7. That's Day One of the next strict Whole 30, although I'm following the plan pretty well right now. Gingerzingi completed one a couple weeks ago and is finding it difficult to get back on it without a little slip-up here and there. I feel the same way. It's time to buckle down, so we're doing it together. Anyone else want to jump in? No rules, we're not doing anything formal or reporting to each other. Just the idea that someone else is out there, though, being virtually supportive, is very motivating.

At least for me.

Gotta get going … a three-hour drive, four- to five-hour meeting and three-hour return trip awaits. Now that I think about it, it's a great day to be sitting on my ass all day. If I were home I'd just be bitching about the weather preventing me from walking. Instead I'm watching the snow and listening to the wind and feeling more than a little grateful that I have plans for the day.

And I hope you do, as well.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

March 29 - Sticky

Definitely wanted honey and a spoon, but not the usual honey dripping from a spoon.

And with a stroke of the pen …

we don't have to talk about that Pain-Capable Child Protection Act in West Virginia any longer. (Well, we will, and it'll come up again next year, no doubt.)

On the advice of legal experts, who said HB4588 was unconstitutional, and stating passage of the bill would be a "detriment to women's health," West Virginia Gov. Tomblin vetoed it last night.

He's not the best governor we've ever had. He gets lots of things wrong, as far as progressives go. But he got this one right.

And I'm glad he did.

Now if he'd just sign the minimum-wage bill …

Friday, March 28, 2014

March 28 - Nostalgia

A pair of antique spectacles from my husband's grandfather's eye practice.
We also have an old oak case full of lenses. 

Yesterday's walk was a lot like life

You know how comparing a small thing to something much bigger can sometimes help you get a little perspective on things? I don't usually analyze my walks like this, but yesterday's really did seem like a metaphor for a life well-lived. It was:

the right length …
I'd hate to live too long, in pain and discomfort (as my grandmother did) or too little (as my mother did). Yesterday's five-miler was perfect.
sometimes chilly …
Because no life is perfect, after all. The winds were a bit fierce at times, but I managed to push through.
and sometimes sunny.
Warming my face and making me happy I'd chosen not to bring a heavy jacket.
I'm just hoping there IS a walk today. It's supposed to rain all morning, while I'm out running errands and attending another political event. But by mid-afternoon the rain moves out, I'll be home and that five mile path will be waiting for me.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 27 - I made this

Homemade Larabars, which I cut into small squares rather than bigger bars.
This batch is a combination of almonds, walnuts, dates, prunes and raisins,
with vanilla and cinnamon added for a little extra punch. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Just like starting over

Okay this morning's weigh-in did not go well. At all. But rather than cry over spilt coconut milk, I'd rather learn from my mistakes and move the hell on.

I now need to lose 19.5 pounds – arghhhh! – to reach the magic BMI. That's seven pounds more than the lowest weight I was able to get to last year. If I'm to accomplish this goal in the next 61 days (which would be on my birthday), I need to buckle down.

There aren't many minefields on my calendar for the next couple months. A banquet April 4 and another one later in May are really the only events at which I won't have any choice about the food.

I'm going to pretend that 20 pounds have crept up on me over this horrid, brutal winter, rather than seven. Spring truly is in the offing – even though the roads this morning are snow-covered black ice – and soonsoonsoon I'll be able to get a long walk in every day. Food choices have been all over the map, but there's absolutely no reason not to get back on the Whole 30 horse for a couple of months.

The combination of clean eating and increased activity worked for me beginning last April. No reason history can't or won't repeat itself. I've been far too liberal with all four paleo forbidden fruits. I'm not just seeing those results on the scale, I'm feeling the telltale achy joints.

But … my jeans still fit. My wedding ring is still loose. I don't look like I've gained seven pounds and I don't look like I need to lose 20. And there's the dilemma. For all those who say BMI isn't accurate or doesn't matter, I say – for me – it has to. Otherwise I'm pretty comfortable right where I am, and right where I am is 20 pounds too much.

Pretending that I've always been at a normal BMI and, over the course of three months, have seen an increase is a head game I'm willing to play. My hope is that once I get there I'll feel and look SO terrific that staying there will be more important than eating birthday cake.

And anyway, my birthday falls during strawberry season, not cake season. Heh.

March 26 - I am here

My laptop wallpaper reminds me of each day's photo prompt, as does
the calendar reminder that pops up when I open the lid.
My husband would argue that I'm in front of some kind of screen all the time.

March 25 - Soft

Hershey's sweet, grey and soft little muzzle.

March 24 - One of a kind

A look back at Pilot Mountain, NC, which is near the Virginia border.
It's a one-of-a-kind mountaintop that is visible and recognizable for miles!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

That was nice

Taking a little bloggy break was refreshing. And even though I commit every month to writing every day, I don't feel guilty for missing a few. I even missed one of the photo prompts, mostly because it was "I'm loving," and I was loving being with my younger granddaughter but I don't post photos of her anywhere.

What's not nice? This:
That would be snow. At first light it was only on the ground, but it's now sticking to the driveway and porch and road. I've seen a snowplow go by once, which is kind of silly because it's all going to melt later, when the temperature rockets to a balmy 37° in the early afternoon.

In the meantime … ick.

Food choices over the weekend did not go well, but very little damage was done, according to my weigh-in this morning. We'll see what happens tomorrow, when the official weekly number is recorded.

Saturday was beautiful in North Carolina, and my son and I walked four miles together while his wife and daughter were at a birthday party. Sunday's weather wasn't so great, however – rain and chilly temperatures kept us from any kind of outdoor activity other than running from the car into church or from the car into TRADER JOE'S! I really really like shopping there.

And now, it's back to sort of normal. Winter normal instead of spring normal, but mostly the normal of home: laundry, cooking, cleaning – all the things I don't have to do when I'm someone's guest.

Ah, well. I'm happy that I'm welcome there, and happy to be welcomed home again. It's a good life I have, no matter where I am.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 20 - Letter

In my youth, it was speeding tickets. Now that I'm in my 60s, it's parking tickets.

That went well, too

West Virginia's Secretary of State, Natalie Tennant, came to our little town for a round-table discussion on the prescription drug problem we have. We probably had 40 community leaders present, representing government, health care, churches, law enforcement and plain old everyday folks.

The latest Rx pain med, another extended-
release hydrocodone formula. The label 
clearly says "Do not chew, crush or dissolve." 
Sounds like directions to get high to me.
We all hope this is not the end of the discussion. Ms. Tennant left armed with the knowledge that we have a big problem and we have some resources to help combat it, but probably not enough. She's running for the U.S. Senate, so the event was a fact-finding mission as she campaigns throughout the state. But she wasn't there as a candidate. She really seemed more interested as a citizen who happens to have some clout. And a young daughter.

If there was consensus, it's that parents and teachers and church leaders and coaches – all those who care about and interact with young children – need to begin educating those young children about the consequences of using and abusing drugs at a much younger age. Today's nine-year-old is twice as old as I was when I was nine. Stop-smoking programs have greatly reduced tobacco use among young people. Modeling a similar strategy seems like a good beginning.

We all agreed on the need to stop the supply. Doctors are the ones prescribing these drugs, but they have no idea what happens to the pills once they're sold to the patient.

Really though? The scientist or sociologist or clergy who figures out why some people need to alter their consciousness will be the hero of the day. We're stuffing the leaks in the dam with wads of chewing gum (Nicorettes, probably), trying to come up with after-the-fact fixes.

Today is our county Democratic women's club meeting and tonight I'll be traveling to the capitol for a dinner at the Governor's mansion. Of course my biggest concern is what to wear.

I'm so shallow. And vain. But in the best possible way, right?

I'd hoped to get a walk in this morning. The weather is not cooperating, but maybe when day breaks I'll just bundle up and do it anyway. I managed six miles yesterday at a pretty good clip, averaging 15-minute miles. Which sounds like walking to both of you, I'm sure, but included plenty of jogging for me.

The best part of stepping up the pace is that I'm not sore or unusually tired afterward. I feel really good, in fact, which is an incentive to keep doing it. Not every day … but two or three times a week would be a good way to keep the momentum going.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19 - Cropped

The lesson today was about cropping photos. This original photo was a long
shot of a field and a barn and that fence post, with a bunch of cows.

That went well

Yesterday's meeting with my Congressman was a real strategy session, in which we learned what he needed from us and he learned what how we could help. So exciting to be this involved!

My previous campaign work has been much more peripheral and self-directed. Being part of a team of dedicated people with a clear focus is new territory for me, and I feel like my contribution will be valued.

I just hope it helps my Congressman get re-elected! He's the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives from West Virginia; we need his experience and seniority to continue working for the good of the state.

It's a tough race, possibly the toughest of his career, thanks to the millions of dollars being spent by supporters of his opponent. It's truly a shame that money is as powerful an influence as it is.

Also … this morning's weigh-in went well. After last week's whoosh I expected to stay the same and I did. Hoping another week of good eating and regular walking with some speedier intervals will result in a loss next Wednesday.

Funny to be hoping for a win on the one hand and a loss on the other.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 18 - Five years ago

The benefit of blogging is that I don't have to actually REMEMBER what I was doing when a photo prompt like "five years ago" pops up. I can just go back and read about it. Which might not be a benefit. After all, my brain isn't getting much exercise when all I have to do is click a link and read all about it. Anyhoo … five years ago I painted the living room and kitchen. This is just a representative paint chip – I'm not compulsive enough to have saved one from when I actually did the painting.

The benefit of crafting is that you have random paint chips lying around for photo prompts.

I'm off to a three-hours-away city for a meeting. Might do a little shopping on the way home. Long day, no walking (insert sad face here). No walking yesterday because it was too damned cold. Spring will be here soon. I think. I HOPE!

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17 - Today's weather

Grey, snow, cold, ice – winter just isn't ready to give up yet.

Dodging that winter storm bullet

We watched the radar and paid close attention to weather updates all day yesterday. As temperatures dropped, we watched the afternoon rain become the dreaded "wintry mix," and, finally, turn to snow after dark.

But it stopped. By 9 p.m. it was no longer precipitating at all.

This morning the porch and driveway are ice-covered, which isn't all that wonderful, but at least we won't be struggling with the snow shovel.

I think it's safe to put it away for the season.

Yesterday was a great day, even with the wintry mix. I was able to log five miles, beginning in the early afternoon and finishing up just as it began to rain. Perfect timing. I hadn't planned to do five, but the farther I went, the farther I wanted to go. It was only that impending rain that made me turn around at the 2.5-mile mark.

I picked up the pace a bit:
Yesterday's route was on hills, and I even ran up a couple of them. The Saturday walk
(yes, I know it says run but whatev) was on a flat route. And it was much slower.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The feel-good endorphins hung around most of the afternoon. If you'd been here, you'd have seen me dancing around the living room – solo, with Hershey and with my husband. Music and running are both great mood-lifters.

I just looked out the window. It's beginning to snow again, lightly. Maybe it won't stick (she said hopefully). And maybe I should keep the snow shovel handy.

Just in case.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 16 - Beautifully ordinary

Y'all know I love to knit. And I love to knit with simple, ordinary wool
more than any other fiber. 

Kill. Me. Now.

I realize spring doesn't officially begin for another four days. But seriously? Really? We could get six inches of snow or more between this afternoon and tomorrow morning. REALLY?


Since this weather madness isn't supposed to hit us until late this afternoon, and since the temperature will be in the balmy mid-40s later this morning, I plan to get outside for a walk then. Maybe even a walk/run. Vickie suggested stepping up the pace a bit, and that has been somewhat effective in kickstarting my metabolism. Sometimes. Maybe everyone's, but I can only speak for me. And, obviously, I can't count on it. Since I really can't count on anything weight-loss related working consistently for me.

My calendar for the upcoming week is full to overflowing:

Monday we'll be snowed in, most likely, so delivering the elliptical may not happen. We're donating it to an auction which will raise funds for the local Animal Welfare Control Project. If it doesn't make it to the venue on time, they'll just sell it via a photograph and the winning bidder can come pick it up.

Then there's this:
Natalie Tennant is West Virginia's Secretary of State and – oh, how we hope – our next U.S. Senator. TRDW is my shorthand for our local Democratic women's club and stands for Three Rivers Democratic Women. The reception on the 20th is to honor a family friend who holds a high-level position in the Obama administration.

Pretty heady stuff.

(The words highlighted in pink are my photo prompts for those days.)

I'm also heading to North Carolina Friday for a long weekend visit with my son and his family.

So. BUSY! But that's okay. Weeks like this seldom happen and all I have to do is take it one day at a time. I'm ever so grateful to have stuck to the plan and lost all that weight, as in the process I've gained enough energy and self-confidence that I know I can handle these upcoming events. I can only imagine how paralyzed I might have been a year ago.

The Tuesday meeting with my Congressman was arranged upon my initiative – I can guarantee you that wouldn't have happened last year.

And I don't mean for this to be an oh-look-at-me-I'm-so-important post. I really want it to be an oh-wow-I'm-so-grateful-to-be-able-to-do-all-this post. I'm not bragging, honest! I almost didn't put it all out here. But I want to remember it, and I guess I'm hoping that neither of you will mind.

Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14 - Care

Self-care means taking that walk no matter how tired I am or how busy I've been.
I think after this walk I've proven to myself that bad weather is my only limiting factor.
And as I said when I posted this to Instagram/Facebook/Twitter:
"What a difference a year makes."

How are YOU caring for YOURself? Don't put anyone else's needs ahead of yours.
If they're that important, think about how they would manage without you.

Take care …

Friday Quote Day

You are never too old to set another goal 
or to dream a new dream.
~ C.S. Lewis

Well, C.S., that's good to know. Since I'm perpetually setting (or re-setting) goals and dreaming new dreams.

My dreams kept me up last night. Or this night, I guess. When I first woke up the first digit on the clock was a "1." When I finally gave up and got up, it was a "3." I don't often suffer with insomnia, but when I do … it's pretty brutal. I think I got about four hours of sleep.

I'm going to have a very wonky, weird day, I just know it.

I think part of the reason I didn't sleep well is because I spent a lot of yesterday on the phone, talking with a variety of people about many things. I don't usually have so much verbal stimulation, and all the ideas and projects and enthusiasm spilled over, I guess.

I'm working on an annual report for a local foundation, assisting a friend with some website issues, helping plan a couple meetings, trying to decide what to wear to two events next week (my late-winter/early-spring wardrobe is pretty much non-existent), and still urging the Governor to veto that bill, along with the usual meal-planning/preparing, homekeeping, laundry, and, of course, the daily walk.

Yesterday's walk was cut WAY short. So cold, so windy. Had to turn around after only a quarter mile. But today will be lovely, and tomorrow, too. My husband and I will be at a little ceremony this morning dedicating a business to a community leader, but will be coming straight home and, hopefully, getting a long walk in this afternoon.

I mentioned to him yesterday that I was going to have to average 4.5 miles/day, every day, for the rest of the year to hit 1500 miles. He didn't suggest I lower my goal, bless his heart (and I don't mean that in the Southern belle way, but in an honest-to-goodness wow! he gets it! bless his heart! way), but said I'd probably have to throw a few more five- and six-milers in there than I'd originally planned.

He's right. And I will. Those walks have become more than just exercise.

They're bordering on therapy. Heh.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13 - Fresh

So happy our Amish neighbor's chickens are laying again.

So yesterday was a pretty good day

Yesterday I logged seven miles walking, 2.95 in the morning rain, from the service station (where I dropped my car off for an overdue oil change) to the dentist's and back, and 4.05 in the afternoon down by the creek with my husband. We managed to make it back to the car just as it began to rain again. We really did pick the perfect window of opportunity.

Today I think we'll be staying indoors. The wind has been blowing nearly nonstop since yesterday afternoon. The temperature has plummeted – it's now a balmy 17°. And it's snowing, but not enough to stick. There's a dusting on the driveway and porch, but I don't expect any accumulation. Should be back in the 50s tomorrow. Maybe this is winter's last gasp. I certainly hope so.

I've walked 178 miles this year so far. I might have to re-evaluate the 1500-mile goal I set for 2014. I must average more than 4.5 miles per day, every day, for the remainder of this year in order to make it. That will be challenging. I could try for five miles every possible day, to give myself a cushion, but there will be lots of impossible days this spring, with a travel schedule that is unusually busy for me.

Oh, well. Not much point in setting a goal if it isn't challenging, right?

We ate bacon-wrapped chicken tenderloins for dinner last night along with a delicious side of mixed fresh vegetables. It did take some time to prep, but once I threw everything in a saucepan it cooked itself down to a yummy concoction that I will definitely do again and again.

Sautéed Mixed Fresh Vegetables
  • Bacon grease (or olive oil)
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped into large pieces
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 red pepper, sliced and diced into large pieces
  • 1 yellow squash, halved and sliced
  • 1 zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 small container fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes or 1 slicing tomato, chopped
  • Sea salt, freshly ground pepper
I had some odd little pieces of bacon left after I put the chicken in the oven, so I cooked those in a skillet and used the grease to sauté the onion and garlic. After a couple minutes, I added the celery and red pepper. Allow those ingredients to soften, then add remaining vegetables and cook on medium heat for about five minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 20 minutes or so – less if you like crisper vegetables, more if your entrée isn't quite done.

This is one of those dishes that you could add just about anything to – black olives would be good, as would fresh cauliflower.

It makes a lot – I'm guessing it would serve a family of four normal people – but my husband and I had no leftovers. Which is kind of sad, now that I have a nice big refrigerator in which to store them!

Hope you both have a great day. I think I'm going to get my crafty on and finish a couple little knitting projects while I begin watching Breaking Bad.

Yes, sadly, I'm the last person on the planet who's seen it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 12 - Partial

Partial cloud cover as we headed out for a walk in the early afternoon.
Turned into pouring rain shortly after we got home. Good timing!

If it's Wednesday ...

So both of you know how difficult it's been for me to continue the losing trend I was on last year. I stayed the same weight from early November through the first of the year (I think that's called a plateau, duh) and then started gaining. Not much. But after seven extra pounds showed up I buckled down, got back on the horse, and it seems to be working.

I'm down 3.5 pounds this week, which seems impossible, but whoop! There it is!

I've reset my goals and will do everything I can to make it to the magic BMI of NORMAL by my birthday, which is May 25.

I have 15.5 pounds to go, and 94 days to get there. That would mean losing slightly more than one pound per week. With improving weather conditions (although the next day or two looks a little iffy) to make those outdoor walks possible and pleasant, and with continued vigilance as to what I put on my plate and in my mouth, I think I can get this job done.

We who have watched our weights go up and down and up again for most of our lives know the really hard job is maintaining a perfect number. Doesn't have to be the one on the insurance chart, or even the perfect BMI. Picking a number that works for YOU, getting there and staying there is a real challenge.

Or, maybe, a real opportunity to test your mettle.

Although for the past few years I'd have to say the getting there has been the really hard job. I'm just glad I've found a way to eat that is satisfying and works for me. The results – especially considering my weight-loss history – are hard to argue with.

I'm a strong woman, most of the time. I've attempted many challenges, succeeding at some and failing at others. (Skydiving comes to mind, although I suppose failing at skydiving would mean smashing into the earth. I never made it INTO the plane, let alone out of it!)

I've already made significant progress – losing 50 pounds in a year seems reasonable and safe and worth an attagirl. I don't have to WANT making it to goal more important.

I just have to do it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 11 - Something good

That really great soup I wrote about a couple days ago.
Chicken, cabbage, onions, mushrooms, celery, tomatoes, taco seasoning,
topped with chopped avocado and salsa.

West Virginia, we have a problem. Abort! Abort!

Okay, I can't stop myself. Feel free to not read if politics bores you. I'm ranting for myself and you won't hurt my feelings.

Saturday, March 8, 2014, West Virginia became the first Democratically controlled state legislature in the country to pass a bill restricting post-20-week abortions. Many southern red states have done the same. Some of those laws have been found to be unconstitutional. We're the first blueish state to do so.

I say "blueish" because we are on our way to becoming a red state, despite having a majority of registered Democratic voters, a Democratic governor, a Democratic majority in our state legislature, and two Democratic US Senators. West Virginia is represented by three seats in Congress, only one of which is held by a Democrat.

I also say blueish because many of those voters, the governor, many Delegates and state Senators and one US Senator are what we call DINOs – Democrats In Name Only. Oh, they like to say they're "moderates" or "center-left," but really? They have a lot of 'splainin' to do.

Let me say right here and right now that I would and will do whatever I can to reduce the number of abortions. For me, that means increasing sex education and expanding access to contraception. None of us who call ourselves pro-choice are at the same time pro-abortion. It's a last resort.

And for women who learn late in their pregnancies that something has gone terribly wrong, it needs to remain a choice.

Only five Senators opposed West Virginia's bill. None of them are up for re-election this year. Which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the rest of them: They're either Republican and right-to-life advocates or Democrats whose seats are up for grabs.

The state party platform specifically states, in a section on women's health, that all health decisions, including reproductive health, are made privately without interference from the government, insurance companies or employers. All the Dems who voted for the bill flipped off the party platform.

The state party leaders need to step up and do whatever it takes to turn the party around.

That is all.

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 8, 9 and 10 photo posts

I have been so, so busy lately. And my head is full of political stuff and I know y'all don't eat, breathe and sleep it as I do. See I do love you!

Anyway, I'm still taking pictures and not one of them has anything to do with legislators whose heads are up their you-know-whats.

March 8 - In a corner

The prompt was 10:00 am, which I missed. But at 10:00 a.m. I was fixing breakfast.
In this skillet. At this stove. In this kitchen.

Far away.

Friday, March 7, 2014

March 7 - Fly

A little plastic lapel pin. I wore it so often the pin back came off. Must replace.

Orange you glad ...

I didn't say refrigerator [again]?

Okay, this new unit is quite a bit larger than the previous one. And I'm the first to admit that I don't eat enough vegetables. So I decided keeping the freezer section organized and stocked would be a top priority.

I bought a couple smallish bins to corral several one-pound bags, which are meal-sized for the two of us. It's not that I don't like vegetables, I just like meat and fruit better. I think it might be helpful having veggies at my fingertips instead of having to schlep over to the big freezer in the garage to fish them out.

Lo and behold, my weekly Tiny Kroger e-mail offered loyalty card coupons for freezer items. So … I clicked. And here's what I could download.
I foolishly thought they might have, oh, say, frozen brussels sprouts on sale. But no, it's all convenience foods and frozen desserts, all the way.

Insert sad face emoticon here.

How ironic is it that this major grocery trip (I haven't stocked up in two weeks!) included … a rotisserie chicken. On the day that I actually could cook and have a place to store leftovers, I take the easy way out and let Kroger cook it for me. Poor planning on my part.

But I made up for it by simmering the carcass in water for a couple hours after dinner. It's in the refrigerator waiting for me to make some kind of yummy soup. I'm thinking cabbage, carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, a can of tomatoes and some taco seasoning. Topped with chopped avocado. And not a single frozen vegetable. Hah!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6 - Chair

Extreme close-up of a side chair in my living room.

It's here!

I do believe I'll take a walk and then go to the grocery.
Nothing fancy. I don't care about in-door water and ice dispensers or ice makers. But it's cooling down nicely, it's larger than the old one, it fits the space perfectly and wow is it ever clean.
Vickie shared her delivery story in a comment yesterday. You've heard/read mine. I went online last night and found scores of complaints from others with similar experiences. Or worse.
It isn't my store's fault. It isn't the delivery guy's fault. Somewhere along the line Sears the Corporation decided to outsource their delivery instead of having an in-house delivery department.
Too many layers. Too little communication. Abysmal customer service. They've given me absolutely no reason to buy anything else from them.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 5 - Something beginning with i

This was tough. But I finally decided to do the "inside" of my pantry.
If I had a refrigerator (WHICH I STILL DON'T!), I'd have taken a photo of some ice.

Plan the plans, redux

I was prepared.

I moved the bench inside the front door. My husband cleared both the front and back porches of snow and ice, to facilitate delivery of the new refrigerator and removal of the old one. The floor in the area where the new appliance will live is spotless – that rarely happens here, and I'm guessing it rarely happens in your kitchen either.

Those mothers are HEAVY!

I spent the waiting time – scheduled delivery was between 2:15 and 4:15, yesterday – finishing up House of Cards (wow, what a great series), finishing up two pairs of fingerless mittens (they'll be mailed today), occasionally stirring the curried chicken in the slow cooker (enough for leftovers, since I would have a refrigerator in which to store them).

We were supposed to get a call in the morning, which didn't come. I called at around 3 and got a recording stating my delivery was scheduled for … you saw this coming, right? … today. Not yesterday, March 4, which is what is printed on my receipt and confirmed in three e-mails.

Apparently a truck broke down.

Now I can understand a mechanical failure – an unavoidable circumstance – which would necessitate rescheduling. What I can't understand is why. we. weren't. called.

After several missteps – the delivery number was to a call center, not to the local store – I finally reached a woman who actually knew what was going on. She said we weren't going to have our appliance delivered until Thursday. She couldn't give us a time window, but promised to call in the morning to let us know.

We haven't had a refrigerator for TWO WEEKS. I'm going nuts.

So last night I was driving to my volunteer gig at Alderson FPC and my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number so I let it go, and later checked my messages. It was an update on my delivery. It's coming today, between 1:15 and 3:15. Bwahahahahaha. That's not happening. I have been assured by a live person that a replacement vehicle will not be available today at all.

I saved the message.

Oh, and since it's Wednesday … I lost half a pound. This clean eating is a really good idea. Heh.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March 4 - On my mind

The refrigerator outlet, vacant for the past couple weeks. I think I'll
put a switchplate cover on before this afternoon's delivery. And I wonder why
I haven't done that already? Probably because no one sees behind the refrigerator but me.

I wanted to stab my eyes out

I woke up yesterday to the ol' wintry mix again, and thought, "noNoNO!" We knew it was coming, of course. The radar map was the same every time I looked at it Sunday – a huge pink-and-blue wall of ice and snow heading our way. Combined with sub-freezing temperatures, it was a bad day for taking a walk, but a good one for ass-sitting. AND KNITTING! I completed, beginning Sunday evening, three fingerless mitts, and the fourth one is about a third of the way done.

And I think we may have watched eight or nine or even 10 episodes of the second season of House of Cards. If HoC is your only exposure to how government works, it's no wonder a lot of people say they're not interested in politics.

I got a four-miler in Sunday morning. It began raining when I was a quarter mile from home, on the way back. Eating has been good and clean for three days now. I think I'm back on track.

The new refrigerator is scheduled for delivery between 2:15 and 4:15 this afternoon. Perhaps I'll cook enough for dinner that we'll have LEFTOVERS. Because now I'll have a place to keep them. Although, realistically, it won't be cooled down and ready to freeze things until tomorrow, I would imagine. But the light really is at the end of the tunnel for this ordeal.

And maybe the light is at the end of the tunnel for our weather woes, as well. Mostly sunny and highs in the 40s and 50s for the next five days (including today, but right now it's only NINE!). More wintry mix moves in after that, but it looks like it may only be during the overnight period, as high temperatures during the day are still going to be quite moderate.

I'll be so glad when there's no more bad weather to write about.

I'm sure you will be, as well.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2 - Borrowed

Amazing I still had enough sugar in the house to fill a measuring cup.

A darned good day

Six miles.

Clean eating.

A call from a state Senator.

Couldn't ask for a much better yesterday than that, right?

The meeting I thought I would be traveling to today has been canceled again because West Virginia is under a Winter Storm Warning. We could get six to nine inches of snow overnight.

Right now it's 45° and the high this afternoon will be 60°. Crazy weather makes me crazy.

My husband and I have barreled through eight episodes of House of Cards in two days. It's really hard for me to get him to sit down and watch a program, let alone a series, as he's glued to the news most of the time. But he's as hooked on this as I am. Sorry I'm so late to the party, but we're catching up quickly. And enjoying it immensely.

My biggest worry, prior to the cancellation, was whether I'd miss much of the Oscars.

I so shallow.

Unless we have a power outage, it looks like game on. We could probably watch some of the nominated movies before the program begins.

But I'm betting we finish up Season 1 of HoC.

Have a good Sunday y'all. Hope the storm is much ado about nothing, wherever you are.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 1 - Yellow

Mmmmm. Sometimes ya just gotta have a fried egg.

Good day for a reboot

The first day of any month is a good day to start over, yes? And so today's the day for me. Enough nibbling, enough poking around the edges of paleo, time to get back on board and work it, baby!

Because it really does work. FOR ME.

Jen's comment about a plan being defined by what isn't has a ring of truth to it. When I describe paleo, I don't say enthusiastically that you can eat all the vegetables you want. Maybe I should, as that frames it in a more user-friendly way.


No, I say paleo means no, no, no, no: no sugar, no grains, no legumes and no dairy. But honestly? I don't miss it much at all. Especially when I stay away from it. Just one Hershey's Kiss has been enough to make me want more.

Jen also says it must be hard to climb back on, and she's oh-so-right about that. Which proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that grains and sugar, especially, are like crack for me. (Strangely, I've not missed peanuts or beans at all, and I'm able to tolerate dairy in limited amounts.)

The other thing I'm really missing is that daily walk. I got five miles in yesterday, and am hoping for four/five/six today. Rain is approaching and my walking date is at 1 p.m., so we'll see what happens.

I still have the elliptical. Maybe THAT will happen. That's how committed I am.

Or maybe I need to be committed? Heh.

Anyway … taking a break from daily writing has been a good thing for both of us, probably. The 20-week abortion ban bill is still working its way through the legislature and that's all I can think about. Instead of railing about it here, I've been writing to Delegates and Senators and TV station managers and anyone else who has a say in the issue. Some of our Delegates have been real champions for women's rights.

Mine? Not so much.

I'm going to try my darndest not to bring it up here again until it's resolved – either killed in committee (which is what I hope happens) or voted on (which almost certainly means it will pass). Film at 11 on Tuesday (that's when Health and Human Services is taking it up).

In other news: If you appreciate good writing and satire (in a Jonathan Swift-esque style), do not waste any more time. Go read this.