Friday, October 19, 2012

Just dropping by...

I think it might be time to revive this blog... I've got a ton of projects to share, and Facebook just isn't amenable to what I'd like to do. Maybe in a couple of days, I'll actually have a real post to share!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Reflections on an emergency

After every trip up there to help, it's days before I can close my eyes without seeing hay and straw stuck on or through everything, twisted metal, broken trees and glass everywhere. What's almost worse, though, are the ghost images, where memory fills in the missing buildings, and seeing an object, or rather, parts of it, makes you remember where it used to sit. I could almost hear the sound of the wind when I stood in the midst of what used to be a beautiful grove of trees, like an echo of the tornado that ripped through the farm.

I can't imagine what it must be like to go through that every single day.

My biggest heroes are my aunt Paula, my uncle Jim, and my parents for helping take care of them and the mess. I have no idea how they have made it through the past five weeks, except that it is an Iowa-thing. I only wish I could send them all on a vacation somewhere tropical and quiet, as I know they are exhausted, and have all of the work finished by the time they come back.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 8 - Weight Watchers, and my complicated relationship with food.

Nearly every day at 3:30 pm, I find myself heading down to the vending machines, hungry for a snack. The vending machines don't have a large selection of healthy foods, obviously, so I would usually settle for a rice krispy treat (60 oz), or Chex Mix (1/2 cup bag), or both.

I didn't realize exactly how much damage I was doing with those two choices.

Try 6 points each.


Added to this is the fact that I would quite often get a sugar-low about 30 minutes later, leaving me scurrying for yet another bit of something to eat, so that I wouldn't get sicker. And then there was the after-dinner ice cream, and the chocolate bars (the big ones), and the chips and dip, and sometimes all three, and it's no wonder that I gained 20 pounds last year. I can't say it snuck up on me, because I knew perfectly well that it was a bad idea to snack like that. I just couldn't stop eating once I started. It was so much easier to sit and eat while reading a book, than to examine why I was unhappy.

Because I spent this past year profoundly unhappy.

I justified what I was eating by telling myself that I deserved a treat. Fridays started out as "bacon-cheeseburger days". Pretty soon, that was expanded to Mondays as well, then Wednesdays, with a little stop by Little Caesar's for a deep-dish on Monday evenings, while Ian was at Jazz Band.

Eating out, eating fast food, eating, eating, eating.

Sure, I noticed that my clothes were tighter. I took to wearing long scarves to cover up the fat rolls that apparently decided the only place they wanted to be was my front mid-section, and my chest. Favorite button-down shirts were out, as they were the first to become too tight (I gain weight in areas that some women pay to enhance). I kept putting off buying new clothes. I was completely in denial.

Then, last Wednesday morning, I got on the scale, and noticed the numbers hit exactly what I weighed right before Ian was born.

Yes, my secret is out. Last Wednesday, I weighed as much as I did when I was 8 months, 1 week along with my 8.5 pound son, nearly 17 years ago.

It wasn't exactly a WTF moment. I felt a deep sense of anger at myself, but no real surprise. After all, I knew what I had been shoving in my mouth for the last 12 months.

The next day, I decided that I just needed to make a change. I logged back into my Weight Watchers Online account, and entered my new weight (cringing the whole time). I reset the Week count to Week 1.

As of the end of week 1, I have lost 6 pounds.

Now, the healthy rate of weight loss is less than 3 pounds a week. However, when one is NOT stuffing oneself with well more than a thousand extra calories a day, it tends to make just a bit of a difference. I know that this is a fluke week. I'll just be happy with any loss on my way to my goal.

The only nagging problem is that this whole house of cards could come crashing down unless I tackle the reason WHY this happened.

I knew something was off, but it really took just a small thing to help me pinpoint what was wrong. It took laughing until I nearly cried, and being around friends to make me realize that it had literally been months since I had felt that good. MONTHS. My son even commented later that he was happy I was able to laugh again. I guess I had been so miserable that I didn't even know how unhappy I truly was until that evening. I had laughed, yes, but not like that.

Part of my weight loss quest will be finding ways to get that feeling back.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


You know, I had actually forgotten that I had a blog, until a friend mentioned something on Monday. It's strange, or maybe not so strange, that something that you've done for years suddenly just drops off the radar to the point where you basically forget it ever existed.

Yeah, weird.

Here it is, June.

Yep, really don't have much to say...

Which is probably why this blog was on break for so long. I probably do have lots to say, but the fact that I have a major sewing project on my sewing room table right now is keeping me from writing. In fact, the practice of keeping my thoughts to myself for the last near year really isn't helping, either. What can I say? I'm a boring person.

To sum up the last 10 months: Good things happened, bad things happened, I survived.

Maybe with some practice I'll be able to actually write again.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not everything is about you

So, after a 24-hour+ migraine, I am finally feeling a bit more like myself. I still have a bit of a headache, but it is manageable now, and not the type where the light feels like it is stabbing my brain, and food actually stays down. So I'm good.

Anyway, I got to thinking the other day about some pretty deep things. Like how life moves, people change, and somehow we all find a way to enjoy everything around else. Most of us do, anyway.

I don't let people get to me anymore. That SUV that cut me off in the construction zone on Monday after work would have driven the old me absolutely crazy. I would have cursed the rest of the way home. Instead, I just said, "What an asshole," then concentrated on not rear-ending the stupid Hummer in stop-and-go traffic on Lincoln Way. In less than a block, I was able to just ignore it. I was happier for it, that's for sure, and I did not end up with a worse headache than I already had because of something I could not control. Yes, traffic is going to suck due to construction, but I can either deal with it, or be in a bad mood for the next month or so until it is finished. I know what I'll pick.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give." I keep this quote in mind in whatever I have to do. She also said that no one can make you feel inferior unless you allow them to. That also has been a guiding thought for me for many, many years.

These two things are paramount in happiness. If you know that you did your best, stay true to who you are, and don't let others keep you down, you will at least have the basis for happiness. If you are always concerned about what other people think, or think too much about others yourself, or if you blame others for what's wrong in your life, you cannot be happy.

Just let yourself be happy. "The Universe tends to unfold as it should."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New sewing room! (not to mention new apartment...)

I am slowly getting the new apartment into shape, after a very aggravating time of getting the apartment painted, and the carpet replaced (the previous tenants had wrecked the carpet and walls).

Anyway, I have one small corner that is finished: the sewing room!

I'm thinking bright pink curtains on the window should finish this off nicely. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Once more, with feeling!

When I decided to move into a bigger apartment, I knew it would be hard work. When I moved into this apartment more than 9 years ago, I had just over two weeks to pack, as I had been busy prepping for graduation and working on the job search.

Within a day of getting my job (I had two offers come in the same day, including one where I received the offer before the interview was over - oh the good old dot com days...), I had found an apartment, but I had just a week until graduation. I was teaching two classes at the time. I had to completely focus on getting my students through finals, finish grading final projects, and pack up my office during that week. Oh, and I had a five-year-old, and Christmas to deal with.

How in the heck did I do it???? I know I had less stuff, or rather, most of my stuff was already packed in the basement storage unit in family housing. The old apartment was also much smaller (but had a much bigger kitchen, go figure). I just honestly feel like I have been packing for ages and ages.

I started out with big plans for doing a perfectly organized move. I packed up seldom used items first, including all holiday themed items, tossed and donated tons of clothes, books, and even some furniture. I labeled boxes quite well, and as I packed a box, it either went to my room, my closet, or a corner of the living room.

That worked for awhile. I've reorganized my closet no less than four times, each time consolidating old boxes, packing away more items, and trying to figure out how to get more boxes into the closet so they can be out of my way.

Unfortunately, I didn't stop to think about keeping boxes that belong in the same rooms in the same areas. They are all mixed in with one another, because of the way I packed! All of the boxes at the very least have the room marked on them, and nearly every one has a general list of contents. This all works well and good until you try to find something that you didn't think you would need until after the move, and the contents are written on the ^&%&^% lids instead of the sides!!!!!!

SO yeah, I didn't find what I wanted, and I think I may actually have thrown it out, thinking we didn't need it. Whoops.

Anyway, I know that by this time on the 31st, I'll be going to bed in my new, bigger apartment, glorying in having two bathrooms instead of one, 7 closets instead of 3, a bigger kitchen, a garage, and a new sewing room all to myself. It will all be worth this stress and hard work in the end.

That's what I keep telling myself, anyway...

Changes for the better

This is day two of my push to sharpen my mind by making myself blog for at least 15 minutes a day.

July 6th, I decided I had had enough of seesawing weight, and wondering if my clothes were going to fit from month to month. I was alarmed at the weight I saw on the scale, and decided that I really, really had to commit to losing this weight in order to feel better, and look better.

I decided to join Weight Watchers Online. So far, I haven't regretted that decision, even though this probably wasn't the greatest time to start a diet, what with the move and all. The first few days were really rough, mainly because I still had fattening food in the house, wasn't eating the right things, and ended up feeling very hungry at the end of the day.

I ended up downloading the iWatcher app for my iPod Touch, which includes a points calculator. THis way, as I am shopping, if I see a snack food that LOOKS like it might be a good choice, I can calculate the points and find out if it will actually work. Case in point: Reduced Fat Pringles are pretty much the same points value as a serving of NORMAL Doritos (3 points). However, the Light Pringles are only 1 point. Much better choice, really. Sugar Free Jello Pudding is 1 point per serving, and tastes yummy enough that I feel like I am indulging in a treat, as well as being filling and a good source of dairy. So, you can't always look at a package and tell for sure by the name that you are getting a good item (Light) as opposed to a shady item (reduced fat). Once I started doing this, the whole plan got easier.

So far, I've lost about 5 pounds. It probably would have been more, but there was an incident Sunday with a rack of ribs, and my mother's cupcakes (yes, I only had 5 ribs, but the 3 cupcakes more than balanced that out at 6 pts per cake!!!!!!!). Oh well.

That's the end of that little bit of info. Four more minutes to write...

Lat night, I decided to take my son to the new Harry Potter movie. The movie was excellent, but there were a few things that bugged me about the audience. The guy swearing behind us during a particularly tense scene was one. It didn't help that he kept hitting the back of my chair. Luckily he didn't do it often. The guy in front of us who apparently hadn't bathed in awhile, and decided to remove his shoes was another. My God, it was an awful, awful smell.

And then there was this little incident. When the movie first began, I could have sworn I had heard a baby cry. Nah... I thought. No one could have been THAT stupid...

Apparently they can. Now, I have to say that I did not hear the baby cry again during the movie, but I did see a woman with a newborn infant in a snugglie in the restroom afterwards. So yes, someone actually brought a newborn to the movies.

People are weird.