Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rambling Sunday

It is crunch time. This is the last week of my MBA program through the University of Phoenix.  I need to create a Strategic Plan for an organization and study for a final exam on ALL of my classes.  I am not too worried about  creating a strategic plan but I am worried about the final exam.  I actually have until the 8th to complete everything but I am hoping to be done with my exam and paper by Friday.  I have tentative plans for a date on Saturday and Sunday is a Super Bowl party.  The last thing I want to worry about is an exam.

Yesterday a friend dropped off a CD of pictures she had taken from our Lake Powell trip in September.  She is an amateur photographer and her camera was never far away.  It was a blast to see all the pictures months after the fact.  I laughed so hard, it was like I was there again.  That was the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on.  I can't wait to do it again.

I have been slacking on my weight loss plan. I've been drinking too much Coke and not enough water.  And the 30 minutes of daily exercise hasn't happened yet.  I have been going to my twice a week exercise classes though.  Now it is time to kick it up a notch and really work on this goal.  Especially after seeing the pictures that were taken of me at Lake Powell.

I am refinishing the cabinets in my kitchen.  It all started with a broken hinge.  I have repainted the inside of the cabinets but am in the process of scraping about 7 layers of paint off of the doors.  I had hoped to have it completed by Saturday but the school work has to take precedence.

The dog is at it again.  This time he has chewed off the face of the gas meter.  You know the one that protects all the little dials and stuff.  I am so not looking forward to the call with the gas company tomorrow. I've since moved him so that he can no longer get to it.  If my sister didn't already have two dogs, I think I would send him over there to live.  I love my dog but lately he is driving me a wee bit crazy.

Enough of my ramblings.  I am off to switch and fold laundry, pick up my son from his dad's, fix something for dinner, do more laundry, and study. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Book reviews...

I am reaching out to others in the blogging world.  I have several books that I would like to write reviews for but am blocked.  Does anyone have tips for writing book reviews?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Born Again American

Born Again American

A friend sent me this via e-mail and I wanted to share with my blog buddies. It is a little long but worth it. Click on the link above for the Born Again American website. Enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reality Check

I think we all want to believe that our parents will live forever even though we KNOW that at some point they will pass on and we will be left to carry on without them.   For the most part, I try to avoid thinking about when or how my parents will pass away.  This weekend I was forced to look at the mortality of my parents and realized that, like all of us, I am in no way, shape, or form ready to lose either one of them.

Saturday night my son was performing in the State Junior High Honor Choir.  I enjoyed watching him sing with 349 other Junior High choir students.  They did an amazing job and I am proud that my son was able to participate.  When I turned my phone back on after the concert, I had a message from my sister-in-law, "Call me. ASAP."  Naturally, I called her right away.  She isn't an alarmist and an ASAP from her must mean something important.  The conversation started like this, "Don't panic but we took your dad to the hospital because he was having chest pains. He is okay."

While I was at the choir concert, my mom was at work, and my dad was watching my nephews.  When my brother and his wife got back to my parents house, my dad was having some pains in his chest.  At first they weren't worried but the pain got worse.  Along with the pain in his chest, he was feeling kind of dizzy, nauseated, and his left arm had some numbness.  He took two aspirin and my brother drove him to the hospital.  They determined that he did not have a heart attack but to make sure they had him stay overnight so they could check his blood throughout the night.  On Sunday morning, they had him do a stress test.  The results showed that nothing is wrong with his heart and they aren't sure what caused his symptoms. It could have something to do with his acid reflux or something else completely unrelated to his heart.   Today he was feeling fine and even went to work.

My dad and I have a special relationship.  For as long as I can remember he has called me Mabel. Nobody else in the family does.  He is grumpy and ornery a lot of the time, and I am the only one that can tell him to cheer up and knock it off or let him know when I think he is out of line and believe me I do.  My little brother jokes that I am the only one of us kids that can make him laugh and smile like I do.  He is my fishing buddy and my friend. 

The last few days have reiterated to me the need to make sure both of my parents know how much I love them and appreciate everything they do for us.  I don't know what I would do without them and God willing, I won't have to find out for a good long while. 

I hope all of you take the time to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you.  Even if I love you isn't easy for you to say, say it anyway.  Even if showing affection isn't easy, do it anyway.  I would rather say and show how I feel than let it pass and wish I had.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When the humans are away...

Tuesday morning when my son and I left for school and work I decided to let the dog stay in the basement.  It was windy and rainy and I feel bad when he is left outside when the weather is like that.  In other words I am a sucker.  A sad doggy face and a few raindrops is all I need to let him stay in while we are gone.  I don't think I will be such a sucker the next time.

This is what I came home to...

This WAS his pillow!

The destruction continues to my son's room....apparently the door doesn't latch.

This looks bad but the worst was yet to come.  My son has been diligently writing a book for the last year and a half. Almost the ENTIRE thing was on his memory stick which I found destroyed in the bedroom mess.  It wasn't a complete loss because I had printed out a couple of copies about a month ago.  BUT he has spent almost every evening editing, revising, and adding more chapters.  ALL OF THAT IS LOST.  I almost cried when I had to tell him.  I don't know who was more upset.  I am so proud of the work he has been putting into this book. 

 Austin's memory stick turned chew toy.

Austin working to re-write his book.  He is NOT giving up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Product Idea

I am in a mighty battle with my addiction to Coke (not the powder, the beverage).  You can see my addiction post here.  I have tried to substitute the urge for a fountain Coke in the morning with ice tea, water, ANYTHING,  but nothing matches that first cold, tingly sip, and the "AHH!" moment that follows.  This addiction is not helping me win the weight loss war.  It is a glaring weakness in my loosely defined plan

To help Coke addicts everywhere who are trying to cut back, I propose a new product, the "Coca Cola Shot".

A tiny,  ice cold bottle that perfectly catches the flavor and "AHH!" moment of that very first sip of a fountain Coke.  Add the full amount of caffeine you would find in a 32 ounce fountain Coke, with the sugar content of that very first sip and I think Coca Cola would have a product to satisfy Coke addicts everywhere who want to enjoy that "AHH!" moment and still lose weight.

Note to the executives of The Coca -Cola Company.  If by some odd quirk of fate you stumble upon this idea and chose to produce it I would appreciate at least a 10% cut. Thank you very much!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Accepting Myself

I turned 35 in December have since been examining my life, where I am going, and what I want. All of this examination has led to me to the decision that this year I am going to work on becoming a better me. I’ve started by deciding that this year is the year I lose my extra weight. The next task ahead of me is ACCEPTANCE. Not of others. OF MYSELF.

ACCEPTING MYSELF means that I ACCEPT my faults, imperfections, and everything that make me unique and ME.

ACCEPTING MYSELF doesn’t mean I cannot do better or makes changes. It means that I DECIDE what I need to do better and what changes I should make in my life. It means that I don’t need to apologize for who I am and what I do. I don’t need to conform to what someone else thinks I should be. I am no longer going to ask the question, “What’s wrong with me?” because NOTHING IS WRONG WITH ME.

ACCEPTING MYSELF means accepting that I am a single, that I may not meet someone, and I may not fall in love. It doesn’t mean that I will stop wanting to meet someone and get married or that I will close the door to opportunities if they arise. It means that I accept that I am a single woman in a world of couples and am OK with my status. This may be the hardest part in accepting me. If I don’t accept my status I don’t think I can find the happiness I want in my life. I need to stop thinking that something or someone is missing and enjoy being in the moment.


ACCEPTING MYSELF means telling the world, “You don’t get to decide who or what I am! I DECIDE!” It means telling myself, “You are beautiful, fun, spunky, smart and special. You have a wonderful son because you are a wonderful mother. You are amazing the way you are and if you want to change anything about yourself it is only because you’ve decided to be better, do more, and weigh less. You are caring and loving, creative and unique. YOU ARE YOU. If others can’t or won’t see those traits in you, it is not your problem. You only need to prove your worth to yourself and no one else.”

I know the task won’t be easy. I know that I expect more of myself than I do of others. I know that I am more accepting of others than I am of myself. I know I will stumble and worry about what someone thinks of me or doesn’t think of me. The important part is that I keep trying, I forgive myself as I would others, and I look at my faults as I would the faults of others and accept them.

This year I will be a better person physically, emotionally, and mentally. I will give myself the ACCEPTANCE I have given others and the ACCEPTANCE I deserve to give myself.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Life and Death of a Flour Sack Baby

Kim’s life began like that of any other sack of all-purpose flour. From a plethora of seeds planted in a farmer’s field, Kim grew into beautiful stalks of golden wheat, waving to and fro in the breezes blowing across the plains. At harvest time, the combines came and the grains of her soul were cut and sent to a mill to be transformed into the flour sack that would be her destiny.

Sitting proudly on the shelf, Kim waited patiently to be chosen and lovingly placed into a shopper’s cart. Then I came along. From that point forward, Kim’s life took a detour visited only by a select few.

When I entered the baking aisle Kim was merely a 10 pound sack of flour, that is until I brought her home to her new father, my son, Austin. My son's Teen Living assignment this past week was to care for a baby. Just as any new parent, Austin was required to dress, feed, change, and wake up in the middle of the night to care for his “baby”. Per the luck of the draw (literally) Austin’s “baby” was to be girl with a cleft palate. Austin named this beautifully duct-taped sack of flour Kim. He happily told everyone the story of how he “found” her on his doorstep with a note saying “Spring Break, Cancun, 2009”. Yes, the math is a little bit off.

Austin and Kim

From setting an alarm (sounding like the cry of a baby) to wake him up in the middle of the night, to taking her with him to get his haircut, Austin dutifully cared for Kim. All the while a dark side was emerging in Austin’s personality. He no longer looked at Kim as a “baby” but rather a sack of flour. Through his eyes, Kim became - chocolate chip cookies.

Austin’s cravings for cookies became almost unbearable. Until today. Austin could no longer fight the darker side of his nature. He wanted cookies and he wanted them now. Nothing could stop him.

As Austin gathered the ingredients for his cookies, Kim’s features began to show her fear. She had expected this to happen when she was sitting on the grocer’s shelf. But after being so lovingly and well tended to for a week she began to imagine a different life for herself. A life filled with love and coddling. Now she knew better. Her life was not meant to be spared after all. She wasn’t really a baby; she was just a sack of flour; a food staple to be used to satisfy the recipes of bakers everywhere.

Kim sat watching and waiting as Austin began mixing butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. It was finally her time. This was her destiny. Facing the scissors with dignity, Kim let out one last puff of white dust before being poured into the mixing bowl.

Kim’s life as a flour sack baby came to an end. She will not be missed. As I write this, the aroma of chocolate chip cookies fill the house. My stomach is rumbling as Austin and I anxiously await our first taste of what we now call “Flour Sack Baby Cookies.”

Thank you, Kim, for the gift!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Small Steps to Success

I am happy to say that I have lost 3 lbs since last Monday!

I hesitated to post this because my weight yo-yo's but I have seen a small steady decrease.  I know a lot of people say not to weigh yourself everyday but I do. Every morning right before I get in the shower.  It helps keep me on track.  My daily weigh in reminds me what I am trying to accomplish.  I stopped doing this during the holidays and completely lost my focus.  I ate whatever, whenever and rarely exercised. This cancelled out all of the progress I had been making. Now I weigh everyday and write it in my little notebook I keep by the scale.  Last Friday, I had my sister come over and take my measurements. Maybe this Friday there will be a small difference. 

For me to succeed at my weight loss goal, I need to celebrate my small successes  and continue taking small steps.  Small steps will help me succeed and hopefully sustain my weight loss.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A goal for the New Year...

As a rule, I don't make New Year's resolutions. I find that I rarely stick to them and they feel like something I HAVE to do and I have discovered that when I HAVE to do something I rarely put forth a lot of effort into it. This year, however, I have decided to tackle a problem that I have been staring at in the mirror for 15 years. My weight.

Yes, like millions of other people on the planet I want to lose weight this year. I would love to lose ALL of my excess weight but I will be pleased if I can lose half of what I want to lose.

Right now my plan for losing this weight is still loosely formed. I don't want to diet. Just the word DIET creates anxiety and weight gain. In fact, I think I just gained a few pounds just by typing the dreaded D word. Along with the D word, I really don't want to have to worry about counting the calories of everything I stuff into my face. I know what you are thinking "No diet and no counting calories? Good luck with that." It is not that I am 100% against either one of these, what I am worried about is going through all of the hard work to diet and count calories only to have the weight come back when I start eating like a real person again.

So instead of the D word and the calorie counting my loosely formed plan is:
- Always eat breakfast
- Reduce the amount of Coke I drink (Did I mention I am an addict?)
- Drink more water
- Watch my portion sizes (Do I really need TWO bowls of taco soup?)
- Snack responsibly
- Replace white with brown when possible (rice, pasta, bread, etc)
- Exercise at least 30 minutes everyday (I have a dog. He needs at least a 30 minute walk each day.)
- Don't eat after 7 PM
- Get a full 8 hours of sleep
- Don't beat myself up if I have an off day

I may be living in a dream world but I think I can lose at least some of my weight by doing these things and I am open to ideas. Does anyone have any weight loss secrets they would like to share?