Thursday, March 31, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

I woke up this morning to the sounds of heavy machinery and men shouting and -- just for a second -- I had 1/100th of the feeling that people in the middle east and Japan must be having.  I was insecure in my own home. Threatened. Then a wave of relief washed over me and I realized that I was safe in bed in a quiet neighborhood in an American suburb.  Wow.  I am just not thankful enough for that. 

I'm still not sure what was making all the noise.  One of my neighbors is evidently having their house razed to the ground. :)  Whatever it was, it involved a lot of clanking and thumping and shouting. 

No pictures today -- and maybe for a while.  My camera battery is dead and I can't find the charger.  I looked for over an hour last night.  Fortunately, when I finally gave up, I was able to find an inexpensive replacement online.  Even if I find the old one, it'll be nice to have a back-up. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

$2.50 Well Spent

It actually works!  I got a cappuccino maker at Goodwill on Saturday for $2.50 and brought it home fully expecting it to be non-functional, or at least missing some vital part.  But it works!  I bought some espresso coffee yesterday and tried it out this morning.  It makes espresso and it steams the milk -- voila, cappucchino. 

Of course, it was pretty comical to see me steaming the milk.  The machine shoots a jet of steam and you're supposed to keep the nozzle under the surface of the milk so it heats the milk and makes it foam.  In my case, it wasn't exactly foam -- more like a tsunami all over the kitchen counter.  But it DID work.  I added a little sugar free caramel coffee syrup and had a masterpiece. 

I'm working upstairs today because there's no one here to care where I work ... but I may creep back down to my lair.  It's too depressing.  I just looked out the window and it's SNOWING.  Geez.  Will this winter never end? 

I finally started a new book last night.  I've given up on the 14 book series by Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time.  I finished book 6 and called it quits ... at least for the time being.  Jordan was getting on my nerves with his overuse of the same phrases and slow pacing.  In some ways, after 6 books, I'm invested in the characters and fantasy world -- if I could only find a synopsis that tells me what happens, that would be great. 

Anyway, I started a new book last night.  I didn't realize until last night that Jean Auel had completed the last book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series, The Land of Painted Caves.  So, I downloaded it from Audible and listened to some of it last night.  It seems pretty consistent with the rest of the series so far.  The heroine, Ayla, possesses qualities far superior to anyone around her yet she is shy and self-effacing.  If you can get over the fact that Ayla is more beautiful and smarter and more athletic and better at everything than anyone else, then the book is fun for its portrayal of what life might have been like for our caveman ancestors. 

I put Black Heels to Tractor Wheels on my wish list, but I'd like to read the blog for a while first.  I took a look last night and there's some beautiful photography on the site.  Annette should submit some of her stuff for the contests. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's a Balancing Act

Today's not going so well, so I'm going to make it a game.  For every bad thing I list, I'm going to try to come up with a good thing.  First, the bad:
  1. When I came downstairs this morning, Sam had gotten into the trash and spread it all over the kitchen floor ... something he's only done a couple of times in 10 years.
  2. When I bent over slightly to put down my protein shake, my back suddenly seized up and I'm in acute pain on my lower left side. 
  3. The sump pump is making a sucking noise every 20 seconds -- I think the switch is stuck in the "on" position, but I can't get it to turn off, no matter how I jiggle it.  If it doesn't stop soon, the pump will break and the basement will flood. 
Now the good:
  1. This -- by itself -- is enough to make up for the bad stuff.  When I went out to take the garbage to the curb, I found a package for me that must have been delivered yesterday.  It was a birthday gift from my friend Julie in NC.  Julie and I have been friends since we were toddlers and she was very fond of my mother.  In fact, my sister and I call her "the good daughter."  Julie made me a gorgeous mobius wrap in all my favorite jewel toned colors.  In her letter, she said she used some yarns that Mom and I had given her and some yarns that she had used to make gifts for my Mom.  It was a real work of love and I love it.  She said she thought I needed a virtual hug because it's been a tough year. 
  2. Another good thing is that -- even though I relented and didn't kennel Sam last night -- I didn't find any puddles this morning.  Just the trash all over the floor. 
  3. A hot pad and ibuprophen are making my back feel better.
I'll try to focus on the good and make this a good day.

Jeff and Kate are having a wonderful time at Disney World.  Jeff called me from the Japanese pavilion at Epcot yesterday.  They're headed to the beach today in 90 degree weather. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Well, I'm Stuck in Folsom Prison ...

 I'm dealing with a problem.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love my dog.  He is my constant companion.  HOWEVER, he has recently started a bad habit of coming downstairs in the night and peeing on the floor. It's not a nice surprise. 

I asked the vet about it and she told me the only real way to deal with it is to retrain him by crating him at night.  Knowing that he wasn't likely to be happy about that -- he's used to having the run of the house at all times -- I decided to do it now while Kate and Jeff are in Florida.  Kate would be too soft hearted and Jeff would get mad if Sam cried or barked for a prolonged time. 

Did I say prolonged time?  Try ALL NIGHT.  Literally.  He barked ALL NIGHT.  Loudly.  I think he just couldn't believe that he was being crated.  He was perfectly safe and comfortable -- but he was incredulous that I would actually leave him in the crate.  When I came down in the morning, he had utterly destroyed the dog bed I put in with him for his comfort.  But at least he held his bladder until he got outside.  

I hope he'll be adjusted to this new routine by the time Jeff and Kate get back this weekend.  I've got earplugs and a heart of stone.   

Ally and I had a nice time this weekend bargain shopping. We hit Plato"s Closet and got her some boots, some shoes, and several blouses.  We also went to the craft stores and got beading materials.  Ally's gotten into making her own jewelry and she was able to scavenge some of my beading supplies along with the stuff we bought.  I made this necklace with a puau shell centerpiece and some matching earrings.  (Actually, I may redo the beads -- now that I look at it, it looks too much like a rosary!)

After Ally left, I hit Goodwill and picked up a pair of short brown Clark's leather boots that fit me perfectly  for $3.  I also got a perfectly functional Mr. Coffee cappuccino maker for $2.50 and a lovely green LandsEnd spring raincoat for $7.  I love bargains!

Over the weekend, I also finished up the hat I was making with the handspun Finn wool yarn. I wore it all day on Saturday because the weather was so cold. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tracking Food

Today's good thing is a web site called Sparkpeople. It's an amazingly valuable and FREE tool for anyone who is either trying to lose weight, manage a diet, or track their health.  It does for free what I paid the Weight Watchers web site $30/month to do -- and more.  Yes, there are advertisements, but get over it, it's FREE. 

Some of the things I like about it are:
  • It allows you to make "food groups" for things you commonly eat.  Like, I typically eat the same thing for breakfast every day. So, I just have to click "typical breakfast" and it enters all my normal food choices.
  • It gives you feedback on your nutrition every day.  At the end of the day, there's a report that tells you whether you met your goals for protein and several other key nutrition factors. It tells you whether you were over or under or just right on each of them. And it keeps a running chart of how well you've done for the week.  And it either gives you encouragement or helpful tips to improve.
  • Other web based food diaries that I've used have limited food choices -- and if it's not in their database you have to enter all the data yourself for each food you eat.  In this program, you can access the food entry data for all the other users of the program so you never run into a food that SOMEBODY hasn't already entered. 
  • You can enter and save recipes (and access recipes from other people) and the computer will calculate the calories and nutrition of each serving. 
In addition to the food diary feature, there is also an exercise diary and a lot of other stuff too that I haven't accessed.  :) 

So, this is a really boring post for people who don't need a food diary.  But for people who do, it's an invaluable tool.  And did I mention that it's FREE?!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Break ... Not

There's lots going on around here -- but not actually to me.  Jeff and Kate are taking off for Florida today for Kate's spring break.  They're going to Disney World for a few days and Vero beach for a few days.  It's supposed to be 80 degrees down there. 

Here, on the other hand, we're supposed to get 2-3 inches of SNOW.  Seriously.  Snow. 

I chose not to go to Florida because I have to work anyway and I'll be more comfortable doing it here rather than trying to set up shop in a hotel room.  So, I'm on my own all next week. Bring on the Chippendale dancers!

I've been importing and sorting our family pictures to put onto a nice digital photo frame that I got a while back.  Here's a cute one from when the girls were little.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stash to the Rescue

 Yesterday, my super bulky alpaca/wool blend yarn came in from Jimmy Beans and I was all ready to start on the cabled shrug I had planned. I got it all wound into a ball and CRAP I don't have any size 17 circular needles -- the largest circs I have are 13s!  So I ordered some from Knitpicks to go with my Harmony interchangable needles -- and, of course, I found it necessary to order at least $50 worth of stuff -- because I want that free shipping.  So, last night there I was with no project and twitchy fingers. 

Stash to the rescue.  I did some stash diving and came up with a beautiful skein of handspun Finn wool called Waterlilies from Hampton Artistic Yarns.  A Ravelry search for suitable patterns turned up this one with a cabled edge that looked interesting.  It's called "My Swissie's Hat."  I'm not really understanding that name, but the hat looks cute. 

So, thanks to the beloved stash, I was able to knit last night while I watched "Guys and Dolls" -- the movie -- with Kate.  It may have had Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, but I enjoyed the Villa Madonna production more. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Laundry Day

I have seven baskets of laundry to do today.  I suppose I could try to see it as a blessing that I have the clothes to wash, but somehow that never works for me. 

I'm a little down today.  Maybe it'll get better as the day goes on.  I'll report back later if it does.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out, Norman Rockwell

(This is not my food -- I borrowed it from a free stock photo site.) 

Today's good thing is finally having a family evening together.  Ally, of course, is away at college for most of the year but over the past few weeks even the three of us at home haven't sat down for a meal together.  Jeff has been overwhelmed at work and Kate has been at play practice almost every night or cheering at a basketball game. 

But this week the play is over and Ally is home for spring break.  Last night I made chicken and dumplings (one of Ally's favorites) and we actually got to sit down and say grace together and share a meal.  It was very special to me. 

Afterward, we all watched an old silent movie called "The Boob" and filled in our own dialogue.  It was pretty racy!  Kate even complained that we were all "working blue."  There was a lot of laughter -- I love my family. 

BTW, the car repair was only $73 for replacing the belt.  Hooray!  That could have been a LOT worse!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weathering the Storm

Sunday was not a good day. 
  •  I got up late, so we missed church.
  • Jeff and I had a little dust-up because I couldn't find the power cords to either his computer or his Kindle and then I DID find my cell phone charger under a bunch of his stuff where it should not have been. 
  • I got caught up on the computer and ran late to join Jeff and Ally at Kate's last high school play performance. 
  • Ally's car was blocking mine in the driveway and she had the only set of keys with her.
  • After rolling Ally's car out of the way -- still running late -- I was almost completely out of gas. 
  • When I stopped for gas, the car refused to start again and only made a clicking noise.  The belt that has been squeaking for some time apparently chose this moment to break. 
  • I called AAA and a tow truck took me to the repair shop -- which was closed on Sunday of course. 
  • I had a cab pick me up at the repair shop and take me to the school where I arrived in time to see the last part of the first act. 
  • After the show, we took Kate out for a celebration dinner where I ate one shrimp bruscetta, two very small bites of steak and two spoonfuls of lobster bisque. 
  • When I got home I threw it all up. 
Yet, I weathered it all in pretty good form.  I didn't fall apart.  I handled the situation.  Some days, that's a victory in itself. 

On Saturday, I ordered some lovely yarn from Jimmy Beans to make the Aspen Cabled Shrug pattern that Lynne lent me. 

In the meantime, to keep my hands occupied, I selected a skein of my handspun Angora/Alpaca and found a pattern on Ravelry that would suit it.  It was only 60 yards long, so finding a pattern was tricky, but the Ravelry pattern finder is so helpful!  I'm making this cute reversible neck warmer.  Now all I need to find are some really cute 1" buttons. 

I'm already half way through the pattern.  I'm been doing so many socks that this fat yarn and big needles make the knitting seem to fly. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The First Daffodil

When I came downstairs this morning, I noticed the first daffodil out the back window.  At least, the first daffodil in my yard.  It looks a little sad ...  All the rain and gloom have stooped it over.  Maybe if we get some sunshine in the next few days it'll straighten up and look happier.  

BTW, the unexpected phone call thing didn't pan out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Daughter the Stripper

Last night was the opening gala for the Villa Madonna Academy production of "Guys & Dolls."  My daughter has a small part as a stripper.  I keep telling her that the school is finally teaching her some life skills! 

The show was very entertaining -- a notch up from last year's "Footloose."  Alex Banta shone as Adelaide, the New York showgirl who wants to marry her long-time fiance, Nathan Detroit.  Of course, Kate was the real star in my heart. 

Today's good thing is unexpected phone calls.  I'll leave it at that. Just keep your fingers crossed for good things. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 Happy St. Patrick's Day!  We're all a little Irish today -- although my recent genealogy searches show that I do have a least one Irish ancestor way back in the 1700s.  I got Kate this adorable hat to wear today in honor of the occassion.  Strangely, she left it behind this morning and didn't wear it to high school.  I guess she didn't want to be the envy of her friends.  :)  I offered it to Jeff, but he didn't want it either! 

Fortunately, I found someone who would wear it.  I guess he's an Irish Setter for the day. 
Today's good thing is a website called .  My friends and I have been emailing each other St. Patrick's Day cards today.  Georgette introduced us to the site, which allows you to send ecards for free to anyone with an email address.  Some of them are animated and most have music.  I'm sure some of them are irritating, but most seem to be fairly high quality and some are beautiful.  I wouldn't do it all the time, but for a birthday or special occasion it's more fun than sending a plain email. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hit the Snooze

Today is one of those days. I haven't gotten anything done. After breakfast, I decided to lie down on the couch for 15 minutes and set an alarm to be sure I got up. I hit the snooze three times before just turning the darn thing off.

Now I've got a little coffee in me and I'm trying to make a fresh start. I may need more coffee ...

Last night was my last post-surgery appointment with the dietician, thank God. She's about a size 4, naturally, and full of helpful advice and criticism. She's against the use of coffee and shakes her head sadly over the smallest sweet treat. My exercise program is clearly insufficient. She makes me feel like losing 52 pounds was a failure. I was so depressed coming out of that appointment. At least, I don't have to see her again for three months.

Good things ... good things ... let's concentrate on good things. What's fun? This is sad. I can't think of anything fun. I really shouldn't let an officious size 4 woman make me feel bad. What is it that Eleanor Roosevelt used to say, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission"?

Okay. Today's good thing is fuzzy socks, be they handmade or store bought. I have a whole drawer of them because my feet get cold sitting down here in the basement all day. Today's fuzzy socks are bright red and warm, even though they're store bought and probably made out of *gasp* acrylic.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun With the Magic Box

Today I'm just showing off. I've been researching my family tree and, as part of that, I've scanned a bunch of old photos that we had. I found this one of my grandfather, Roy Isenberg, and his brothers. My granddad is the cute littlest one with his hand on his big brother's knee. This picture was taken around 1900.
Through the magic of Photoshop, I've restored the image over the past week -- it takes a lot of time and patience -- and I'm almost done with it. There are still a few more tweaks to make, but overall, I'm pretty happy with it. Isn't it amazing what you can do? Of course, the original photograph was very sharp to start with. You can see the weave of their tweedy coats and the check on the houndstooth. Whoever took this photo was definitely a pro. By digitizing it, I hope to preserve it for my family in the future.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Last night around 10:30, I felt a little antsy. So, at that late hour, I decided to run some errands. I posted a package to my sister at the 24-hour post office kiosk and went to the grocery store.

Isn't it nice to able to get things done whenever you feel like it? When I was a little girl, if you wanted to do anything late at night just forget it -- and, on Sunday in particular, there was no way. On one hand, you could say it was nice back then because you were forced to be idle and made to rest ... but I suspect our mothers weren't actually idle at all just because the stores weren't open. They had to plan their activities more carefully and simply do without if they ran out of something. They were forced to be more efficient and structured. I like being able to do what I like when I like.

While I was at Krogers, I found a beautiful orchid plant on sale. It was the only one of this type on display and I thought it was beautiful. I've been wanting an orchid for a while -- my Mom grew them and my sister is growing them now. I'm hoping that she can help me if it starts to look unhappy. It has plenty of buds, so I'm hoping to have a long blooming season before it goes dormant (or, more likely, dead).

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I finished the Potamatus socks this morning. They turned out nicely with a generous amount of leg and a pretty design. Once Kate determined that the pale color in with the black and white was actually a lavender, she has been asking me whether she could have them. I played coy, but I think she knew I would give them to her if she wanted them. She was excited when she saw that I was kitchenering the toe this morning and put them on as soon as I got the ends woven in. It's so nice to have your work appreciated. She was thrilled with them and happily wore them off to play practice this afternoon. Strangely, she just bought a skirt in those exact colors! I have some assurance that she'll really enjoy them because the Monkey socks (another Cookie A. pattern) that I made for her a year and a half ago have been in the wash every week.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back in Hot Water

Well, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that I woke up this morning and had no hot water. The good news is that after calling several plumbers, I finally found one who would come out and replace it on a Saturday. The bad news is that it cost $1000. The good news is that I had enough money in my account to cover it.

I felt like I couldn't really complain about having to wash my face in cold water and not getting a shower knowing what is going on Japan. The shocking videotapes of the tsunami sweeping over the country are beyond belief. It's hard to even get a grip on the utter devastation.

Coming back from Mississippi yesterday, Jeff was sitting in the airport with the general counsel of a company he's doing work for. The woman was glued to the television screen and told him that her entire family, her parents and grandparents, live in the little village closest to the epicenter of the quake. I hope she gets good news, but it doesn't seem very likely. God be with her.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Last (?) Snow of Winter

When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to see a coating of snow on the ground! These hardy little daffodils are surprised too!

My thoughts today are with my friend, Judy, who is traveling in Australia right now. Japan was hit with a tsunami earlier today and Australia is expecting some of the fallout too. The film from Japan was was difficult to believe ... boats and cars side by side in a rushing wall of water.

Even here in Cincinnati, there are people in distress. The river has hit flood stage and a lot of homes near the river are going to be under water.

I'm thankful that I'm warm and dry and out of danger, and worried about those who may be in harm's way. Keep safe, Judy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Up Before the Roosters

Today's good thing is waking up before the alarm goes off. I woke up on my own this morning about 15 minutes before the alarm. I got to stretch and listen to the birds for a few minutes without that sense of urgency that makes you slide out of bed (or burdens you with guilt if you don't).

By the way, why is it an "alarm" clock? Doesn't that sound a little sinister and more dramatic than it needs to be? It sounds like you're waking up to an emergency every day. It should be a "wake up bell" or a "morning notice."

I was downstairs in time to fix Kate's breakfast the way she likes it and everything went smoothly. Nice morning -- indoors at least. Outdoors, it's damp and cold.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Today I'm thankful for yesterday's opportunity to visit with my friend Lynne. We met at a local coffeeshop, Brewberry's, and talked for 2 1/2 hours yesterday. Brewberry's is a particularly good venue for us because Kathy Jacobs, the owner, is a spinner and belongs to the spinning group Lorain Petit started.

Lynne and I have been friends for a long time -- since her daughter in graduate school was a baby and her son in college was just a gleam in his father's eye. We shared our knitting and caught up on all the events in our lives since the last time we got together -- just before Christmas, when I was feeling deadly ill. Long-time friends are the BEST!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Can Stop Anytime I Want

I've got a new addiction and it's getting to be a problem. I've discovered . No, seriously, don't click that button. It will suck away at least a week of your life.

It's so easy. You just build your family tree with the information you have and click on links to learn more ... and more ... and more. I found this picture of my great, great grandfather, Jack Calloway Pennington (1831 - 1918). I get my name, Penny, from the Pennington side of the family. I learned that one of my ancestors on my father's side, Enoch Parker, fought in the 34th infantry regiment, Company H, on the confederate side of the Civil War. Unbelievably, one of my ancestors, John Flood (or Fludd) may have been part of the Jamestown colony in the 1600s. And -- I'm not sure this can be believed and I'd like to see more documentation -- I've traced one branch of my mother's ancestors all the way back to Germany in the 1100s. Way COOL!

Speaking of family, I had to get my blood drawn this morning and I sat in the waiting room with the nicest young man. He was waiting for his wife, who was having some pregnancy-related testing done. The baby is due in June and will join a three year old brother. Every year he and his extended family go down to Destin together -- this year they're going in July, after the new baby is born. He takes his grandparents too and they just sit on the porch all day and enjoy the weather. He was pleasure to talk to and seemed like just a lovely family centered guy. With a new baby on the way, he and his wife are just starting the adventure that Jeff and I are rapidly seeing come to an end. God bless him and the coming baby!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Minute Particular

"Every minute particular is holy." -- William Blake

"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." -- Mother Theresa

This morning, I'm thankful for Fr. Laurence Freeman because he challenges me to broaden my horizons. It's strange for me to be thankful for a priest, because I'm usually just resentful of them. As a born and bred Methodist who came to the Catholic church because Jeff refused to switch, I don't have much use for the pateralistic "Father says" attitude that permeates much of the church. We can all think for ourselves, thank you very much. And I don't need a male appendage to be a person either.

Fr. Freeman, however, is different. I admire him because he's much better read than I am. He's always throwing in obscure literary references and pulling in thoughts from other faiths. Somehow, he manages to remain true to his faith while being all-inclusive. Today, when I got the WCCM newsletter and read his article, I was intrigued by his quotation from Blake, above. His point being that we should focus on the moment -- a concept the Buddhists sometimes call "mindfulness." From there, I looked up the source of the quotation and found it in Blake's "Jerusalem," and I read a little bit of it. The part I read, reminded me of the Mother Theresa quotation, so I looked that up too. It's nice to spend a little time thinking. And gleaning wisdom from greater minds.

Today, I want to live in the moment, like Sam does every day. Which reminds me of another favorite quotation: "Lord, let me be the kind of person my dog thinks I am."

Today has not begun propitiously. The first thing, Kate went downstairs and found that Sam had made a puddle in the kitchen. She found out by stepping in it. She was not happy about it. I don't know why he's doing that -- he's 10, but surely not old enough to lose bladder control. He's always been very well housebroken. Anyway, I was ravenously hungry, so I decided to try an egg in a basket -- one of Kate's favorites -- where you cut a hole in a piece of bread and fry an egg in the hole. I ate most of it, but it made me feel sick. Jeff is driving to Detroit today and won't be back until tomorrow night, then the next day he goes to Mississippi. It's a gloomy day outside and chilly. I guess it's a good day to stay inside and work ... but, first, I need my stomach to settle down enough to tolerate a cup of coffee!

P.S. This is a good read. I like the guy who writes this blog -- whoever he is.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday Sloth

I just posted a video to facebook of a baby sloth -- the caption says it's too cute to be a deadly sin. I agree ... for both the animal and the sin. A little bit of sloth every now and then can't hurt, can it?

I've been surfing around on the Internet today -- catching up with people and looking around. One of my friends is visiting Australia and I'm enjoying her blog posts.

I've also been doing a little bit of genealogy on my Mother's side of the family. My Uncle Bob has a handle on Dad's side, but I don't have much research on Mom's side. I learned that my great-great grandmother was named Jane Wilson and that, after she was widowed, she moved in with my great-grandmother's family of six children. I wonder what that was like.

Oh, well. I'd better get a little work done today. I don't want to be a total sloth, even if they're cute.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Free Flight

I saw something beautiful on my way to the bank this morning: two Canadian geese flying over the road. Not an uncommon sight, but they are beautiful and graceful. I love to see geese flying in formation with their precise V.

Sister Nancy would disagree. She's a nun at the girls' school who hates the geese who invade the campus and leave their little geese "presents" on the sidewalks. She has no use for the geese and some of the kids claim she tries to run them down with her car. It makes a good story, but I doubt that Sister Nancy would be guilty of goose-a-cide.

I'm to the heel of my second Potamatus sock. I'm anxious to finish them and wash them and see if all the Wollmeise hype is true.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Path Not Taken

Today I'm thankful for the burdens I have NOT been given. This morning I watched the Today Show for a few minutes and learned the story of Ruby Gettinger. Apparently, she has a very successful reality show on the Style channel chronicling her weight loss struggles. She started at 716 pounds and has lost over 300 -- and gained back 30. She's a spunky Southern belle type and has a lot of personality. You can't help but like her. But ... I'm so grateful that I don't have to face a weight loss of that magnitude. I'm hoping to lose 100 pounds and that seems daunting enough!

While Ruby's show seems like a stunt -- and I guess it is -- it's nice to see a truly likeable person humanizing the problems of overweight people. So many people, some in my family included, just see fat people as weak and flawed and unacceptable. As Jeff frequently points out, each 10 pounds is the equivalent of a full gallon milk jug. How would you feel walking around carrying ten full milk jugs? Not very comfortable, I can tell you.

It's a hard life for those who have to live that way and there are no easy answers. Ninety-seven percent of those with over 100 pounds to lose cannot permanently lose weight through diet and exercise. Ninety-seven percent! Sure they can lose weight, but they gain it all back and sometimes more. Even Weight Watchers admits to an 85% failure rate.

That's why I made the hard choice to have weight loss surgery. Sometimes I'm not sure it was the right choice, but I'm making progress towards a healthier weight and I have some assurance that the weight won't come back. With weight loss surgery, the percentage of failure is only 12%. It's unnatural, it's self-mutilation, it has been painful, and it's restricting -- but I'm 50 pounds lighter than I was and I feel better. All in all, I think it's what I had to do.

That being said, I'll get off my soapbox. I don't think I'll watch Ruby's show. I'm not a huge fan of reality shows (except American Idol) and I think it would make me sad to watch her. But I wish her well and I hope she can be an inspiration to others with weight to lose and an ambassador to those who unfairly judge overweight people.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Give Us This Day

Today's good thing is the fact that I have a job. It's not a terribly challenging or prestigious job, but it is a legal job -- that is, a job that requires the skills of a lawyer as opposed to scrubbing floors or digging ditches. I get to do it from my home on my computer in my bathrobe -- a huge plus that most lawyers never do. Moreover, I set my own hours -- so I could do it in the middle of the night and sleep all day if I wanted to ... which I don't. I get to be with my dog all day.

I don't make a lot of money -- especially as lawyers go ... even as regular jobs go --but I do make some and it helps our family a little. It gives a direction to my day and a goal to meet. And I guess I'd better go and do it if I want to continue to have a job in the future! :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Land of 1000 Boxes

Today's good thing is bittersweet. Last weekend, my sister Kathryn and I spent the entire weekend going through Mom's stuff and packing it up for charity. In addition to the clothes, Dad wanted a lot of the clutter and pictures removed. He can't look at the stuff without getting upset.

So, Kathryn and I did our best to set everything to rights. We gathered six huge garbage bags of clothes and several boxes of knick-knacks and costume jewelry for him to donate. In addition to the garbage bags of clothes, though, I was able to pick out six boxes of Mom's clothes that should fit me over the spring and summer. Mom was a couple of sizes smaller than me, so as I lose weight I should fit into her things. I think she'd be happy that I'll be able to use some of her things before I, too, pass them on to charity.

Kathryn and I also selected a lot of stuff to save. Probably too much. We picked little things that meant something to us as well as things we just liked and wanted to keep. We divided up the last of the sterling silver place settings -- of course, Kathryn got all the best pieces! :) We tried to pick out some keepsakes for our children and for Amy and Frank, who couldn't be there.

Anyway, my car is full to the brim with memories. Who knows when I'll have the time and energy to unload it and find places for all the stuff!