Monday, December 19, 2016

I Did It! Now What?

Two hundred pounds! I made it! So why do I feel so bad?

I overate yesterday big time, celebrating my new victory--with food. Not the smartest thing to do when trying to lose weight. This morning, thanks to the extra food and drink, I weighed 201.5, which is no biggie since I know that it is not my...what shall I call it?...true weight. But still. Grr.

I think that for some reason I am trying to sabotage myself. Not consciously, but very much a real problem. It has been years since I was below 200. I now have only fifty to sixty pounds to go, but hey, that is a third of the way there. Maybe there is part of me that is holding on to a known part of my life. Perhaps it is because I think I don't deserve to be healthy (a horrible idea, but I know that it is there). Why? Who the bleep knows.

There is a new-to-me treadmill sitting in my living room now making it impossible for me to procrastinate walking... well, it should make it impossible. Yet I am sitting like a lump here on my comfy chair. I just paid for another year of pool use too, despite not having gone in a while. More on that in a bit. There are options for exercise depending on how I am feeling, yet the gumption to get up and do it is lacking and no amount of kicks to the rear seem to be changing that. Perhaps over-caffeinating would work.

So I need to find a real kick in the rear to counteract the self-sabotaging that I have been part of for a while. One good way to do that is to get back into swimming. Which I tried and failed miserably.

I figured that my old suit was not going to be up to the task of containing my (rather pain-in-the-back) boobage, so I dug out my new suit and tried it on. Success! It fit! I had a list of things to bring and do while at the pool. Pay for a year's pass which involved taking my checkbook with me, trade out suits, trade out towel, go for a swim, and (if I remembered) fill up my soap bottle.

I got to the pool, went to pay for the pass...and forgot my checkbook at home. Fine. I decided that I may as well try out the new suit. I get all situated and admire the results. Off to the pool!

About fifteen feet in I realize there is a problem: my built-in life preservers are trying to escape their holder. Fine. I can just do a different stroke. They truly escaped their holder. Whoops! Razzumfrassum grr. Back out of the pool I go, less than five minutes since I got in.

So I shower off and get back into clothes, growling all the way. I remembered the soap so I got that taken care of. Then I walk out without the old suit or switching out towels. At least I took home the new suit to alter it.

I get home and realize that nothing got accomplished except the thing that I had marked as optional.

At least I remembered the soap.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Bits and Pieces

Just a short post today. The dog is free and clear on lupus! As it turned out the lump was a pre-cancerous tumor that didn't have any chance of spreading to the rest of Link's body after being removed. All I have to do now is to keep an eye out for any more of those lumps and get them taken off quickly.

Yay! Healthy boy! (Now if only his joints would cooperate--both ACLs torn, but he is stable so no surgery.)

In other news: it is cold. I call 20's cold by the way. And the 40's aren't much better. Yay for reliable heat! I pray for all those who are without heat and shelter in this winter time. It is time for blanket donation again.

In the weight loss department I managed to not gain any weight while I was on vacation! Yay! This is pretty amazing considering that it was during Thanksgiving and my total amount of exercise consisted of going up and down the stairs at my grandparents to get from the TV to the fridge (okay, and the garage to the bedroom). The goodies were endless! Here is to losing some more weight in time for the new year! Hopefully another five pounds to get me to 200, but most likely it will be somewhere in the 204 range with how slowly I was losing before the trip combined with making edible goodies for family. I was wearing a tight men's size 44 belt when I started this whole thing. I now am a comfortable 38.

Finally, the worst part of coming home from a vacation is the unpacking, especially in a gear-heavy trip like hunting in the winter. Yesterday I managed to wrangle all the gear in and have some of it put away. I always forget just how big the Beast of a truck is until I unload an entire truck bed worth of gear! Another good reminder is when I have to get up and crawl around in the bed to unload items stuck out of reach from the sides (most of the stuff since the truck rides so high).

Now on to trying to get up the gumption to go swim or do some exercise of some sort. Swimming would be good since I have to pay for the pass again here in the next two weeks. Onward and downward into a pile of blankets!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Responsibility in Fun

After the last post it is nice to be able to say that life is going well. And it is a long post too.

It was a great time to go on a vacation to see family and search for the elusive Bambi that existed in the surrounding woods. 882 miles later dad and I arrived at the grandparents' house. It was to be a little over a week of relaxation and time away with dad.

So I packed up the Beast (the giant truck) and loaded in with the dog and dad and headed up north. The dog had the most space of any of us. Dad, of course, drove the whole way. Fine with me since I am not particularly in love with driving the Beast, in fact I am definitely not a fan of driving it. I far prefer my little tiny blue baby that could fit in the Beast's bed.

To be honest, I was not expecting the visit to go well. Politics and religion are topics that my grandparents are fond of--not for discussing, but for pontificating. The soap boxes get more use when dad is not in the room, so I stuck to dad during times of likely inflammatory comments, such as when Fox news was on the T.V. As it turned out there were only a few attempts to start a political discussion and those were easily sidestepped and dropped! Yay!

Operation number one was to get Bambi or his dad into the freezer. I had more practice this time and was going up knowing that I could do it. It was hard. Harder than it should have been. We scouted all around the Black Hills of South Dakota to find the perfect deer--then I did the worst thing I could do; I gut shot a deer by getting in a hurry and not waiting to shoot. What does gut shot mean? A long painful death. And I did it. My responsibility.

That is part of the deal with archery hunting, it is not as detached as rifle hunting. You almost feel like you can reach out and touch the deer. You know when you have wounded an animal and when you have made a good shot. The gut shot was my fault. The final shot was my responsibility as well.

It was nearing sundown and the end of hunting time. We were out with my grandfather who had his tag for a white tail buck that needed filled. He had already gotten his (tiny, but still meat) deer that was dressed and in the back of the Beast. A deer that had been taunting me daily was now out of the no-go area that was the local neighbor's garden plot. He got stupid. (Ya see, deer have this sense. They know when they are in safe areas and during safe times. Only the stupid or careless ones get caught outside and in targetable areas.)

So Mr. Stupid, a large but only two points on either side mule deer, was in clear view on a flat area looking broadside at me. Perfect view. I snuck up a little and waited while he stepped a little further out. Forty yards, dad had said. Just on the edge of my effective range. I aimed and shot--right where I wanted. He went down quickly, which was good since the daylight was dwindling fast. Dad backed up the truck onto a hillside so that we could lift the 130 pound monster (okay, a monster for me) without actually lifting the entire weight. We got him (Bambi's dad) and the little one (Bambi) and made it home with time to spare.

Wednesday we got the deer. Thursday, therefore, was a day of rest while the meat set (good, since it was also Thanksgiving and nobody wants to work while stuffed). Grandma made a smorgasbord of foods that busted my diet--and I didn't care one bit. Friday was a morning of getting the deer all cut up and freezing so that we could leave early Saturday morning. Saturday and then into Sunday was coming home. This time the dog had the entire back seat to himself with no cooler taking up a seat. Who gets preferential treatment, me or the dog?

So now I am almost home and staying at the parental units' house till my doctor appointment then going home. It is now cold here (okay, not COLD but in the low 40's) so I am not too keen on walking outside. Luckily I have a new-to-me treadmill coming into the house soon. No excuses. Just like the blog--no excuses for not updating!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Three Days. Two blows.

This week can go away any time, okay?

In the past three days life got darker.

Thursday while I was out with some really good friends from out of town I got a phone call from the vet. What we thought was just a basic cyst on Link was actually something completely different and we never would have known without the pathology testing. He has either canine discoid lupus or systemic lupus. We are hoping for the discoid variety because it only affects the skin and not like human lupus that attacks the joints and organs. I won't know what to do about it until the second pathology study gets back--probably Tuesday.

So now Link has about an inch-and-a-half of stitched wound from a lentil sized bump they removed. All we can do is wait. And hope that steroids are not part of the deal--I don't want him to be crazy like I was.

So that was the end of Thursday. My closest buddy has an autoimmune disease just like me. Joy.

Today rolls around and I got a call from a friend--another friend of mine died of a heart attack. He was fairly young and healthy so it came as a surprise. I was numb. I couldn't feel anything. It took me until this last hour that it clicked into my brain just what happened. I will never see him again. He had kids. He had a wife. Yet he was taken away from all that.

I am angry. I am sad. I am confused. All at once.

So now I do what I can to help and hope for the best. It sucks.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

I have had a productive last few days.

First I helped out a friend making boozemahol. There was lots of chatting and joking around while getting things done. I think it was a good time all the way around. Oh shucks, having to wait around for stuff to boil, and have a great time while doing it.

A couple of friends needed a hand...or really four wheels...I took on the role of chauffeur up to town and back so they could get a replacement vehicle. Got paid in a wonderful way: tasty and healthy lunch! Glad to help and got me a mini vacation!

Next up, my dad and I worked on the house. The trim had been needing painting for the last five years and it was time to get it done. Part of it got done the past week. We rounded up the materials and started in on it again, this time knowing that it was going to be more work than the last round. It was. There is quite a bit of wood rot to deal with--there are several spots that need to really be replaced completely--but not right now. We got about half or so of it done.  Next week will come more painting.

Yesterday, after we got sunned out (too hot and dry) I picked all the ripe tomatoes (that I could see) that I could find from the six plats in my garden. Needless to say, based on those six I got over four gallons--enough to fill my kitchen sink--of fresh tomatoes. I blanched the maters, removed the skins, and chopped them before dumping all four gallons into the monster pot. Eventually I managed to create and can three pint jars of spaghetti sauce base. The other batch I cooked down and turned into tomato juice which I froze...All my regular canning equipment was up at my parents so I made do with what I hads.

All told I have had a busy last four days--productive too! Now I am ready for a nap and a basic calm day curled up with Netflix, a dog, and tea. Or maybe not the dog. Playing involves movement. Calmly sitting and snuggling is fine today. I am doing nothing strenuous. Today I am done.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Took me Long Enough

I am back from a three week adventure out hunting in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My dad and I had a great time toodling around the hills. We were out looking at whitetail and mule deer to put in the freezer. Between meds causing twitching, and just a plain bad shot, I killed a deer but couldn't find him afterward, even with hours of trying to track him. No luck. Dammit.

Now that I am more stable we are going out sometime in the next month to try again. Also after a large amount of practice this time. I had complained earlier about practice--I was wrong. I can't just pick up the bow and have it come back to me. I need a more steady hand and that only comes with reinforcement. Practice makes better--not perfect, but better. I am thinking about getting an overlay of a deer on the target to train my brain on exactly where to shoot rather than going from large dots on a canvas to lots of shot options on what will get me a deer.

Back at home I realized that the tomatoes had not been picked. Interesting. That means that my neighbor (who takes care of the yard) spent a while in jail--I was expecting that from conversations we had before I left. Shit happens. Especially with known ex-dealers. (Yes, I know he doesn't deal anymore by the lack of traffic into his house.) Nice guy. I don't trust him, but he is a nice guy.

So overall, doing well. Enjoying the fall colors...if not the heat. Temps in the 80s are not what I call fall weather. Not back into the swing of exercise, but that will come with practice. Again. I didn't gain weight while out of town for three weeks, which I call a win!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Garden Work Gone Wrong

I pay my backdoor neighbor to keep the yard weed-free so I don't kill myself working on it. He had been slacking off on the yard, and he admitted it freely. Only problem is that he started cleaning up the wrong garden plot. He went after the dead corn in the back plot, instead of the front bed. Along with the corn stalks were six hearty plants nestled into their appropriate edges.

Dammit, Dammit, DAMMIT!

He pulled it all.

Now, I happen to be very proud of my garden. It grows like wildfire and I pay for the water to do this. Yes, I know, not very environmentally solid, but it also acts as my therapy.  I had been babying and watching my watermelon as a pre-trip splurge.

He ate it. Every last "tasted awesome" bite.

He thought I had been up north since I hadn't had the dog out a lot, so he ate the one thing that he knew was food--the watermelon vs the squash and unidentified melon things. Well, I saved two cantaloupes, one of which got eaten immediately, and the other which is probably still cucumber in disguise. There were also four of what looks to be overgrown acorn squash. I am not sure if they are ripe enough to hold over much time, but I am going to try for it and eat any that are looking sad when I get home.

So I am sitting here trying to not yell around the dog (he gets confused when mama is mad) and trying to not cry in frustration. I am now off of the angry that happened right at the instance I learned of my babies' plight. I couldn't even really be mad at my neighbor since he didn't know what was going on. He even suggested that I knock off half of his pay to deal with what I am calling planticide.

I am trying so hard not to cry, and mostly managing. Crying over a few dead plants. Of the one thing that I have been trying to grow for several years. That is what stings the most--something I have tried so hard to get and have it stolen away. Minor thing. But for some reason it is sticking like glue.  At least I got to have my very own (and very ripe) cantaloupe all to myself. And there are an armload of squish too. And there are still the tomatoes to keep running.


I guess that stops some of the water usage.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Time for a Trip

The desert weather seems to have found fall on time. I am dubious. Just like spring got invaded by winter, I believe the same of this reprieve.

I am enjoying it while it stands. Temperatures 70 to 50ish, I like this weather--not needing my AC is wonderful. I can even leave open a couple doors and cool or warm the house. The dog loves it too: he gets to go in and out of the house as he likes. I don't even feel bad about ignoring him during the day. He has birds to chase (and people to bark at) to keep him busy.

Soon I will be taking a shot at Bambi and I am making a giant list of things that I need to pack. The list gets longer with every passing day. But The Beast--the giant crew cab long bed F250 Beast--can handle it. It is great for packing things in and taking gravel roads so long as the turning radius of a football field is available. I have learned that sometimes a ten-point turn is necessary. Filling the tank up is painful. My car could fit in the back of the bed. Parking in two spots is sometimes necessary. But I also love the truck. It gives me great intimidation in traffic. I also despise it because I can't really navigate in traffic. I pick a lane and go with it, slow or not. Pretty straightforward.

So I am managing to keep the cargo to a minimum so that my dad and I have four coolers, and hunting gear, and clothes, and every other thing we need. All while not over-packing ridiculously, since it would be so much easier to pack everything that we might possibly need. I am packing the truck for me, my dad, and the dog. I am sure that the dog will be getting more space inside than either of the humans. Typical for vehicular travel with the dog. Then he gets to smell new places, new animals, and havenew places to play.

I will be traveling solo for the way to the hunting grounds, then my dad is flying in and I will meet him there. The dog absolutely loves car rides. I think he would hop into anyone's car if they asked him to (sort of a bad idea). He has two spots he likes to sit: on his comfy couch/hammock where he can see outside, and below the hammock to take naps because it feels secure. He rarely needs to go out and sometimes he refuses to go till we are done for the day. He just lazes around doesn't even want to play. Just stares out the window, smiling. Till it is time to play.

So we all hope that the forecasts for our happy hunting ground stays on the cooler side, but no snow thank you very much. If it is too hot we will just have to go fishing instead! Well, really we hunt in the morning, fish/sleep till just before dusk and then head back to home base to have dinner. Rest. Repeat.

It's a hard life. Especially if you are a dog.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Flab, Flub, Fat

There are many words for being overweight. None of them are particularly nice (except for maybe zaftig). Sometimes I have all the names on repeat in my mind, so many terms, on repeat. My own self-destructive wheel.

Then there are other times where I don't have to worry about repeating tracks, instead I have glowing reviews--another pound lost!

I like to be somewhere in the middle--no big up, no big down, just a nice middle ground. A place that both motivates and keeps my brainz on an even keel. I'm quite happy where I now sit.  I have not exercised in a couple of days and I am fine with that. It is one of the first times that I have missed more than a day in ...well.. over a month. Taking a break just feels wrong...but still feels so good.

Now the rain is falling and I have the doors and widows opened up and I am contentedly writing to the sound of softly falling rain. Not even high winds to break my happy typing night.

The dog has also declared that it is bedtime since he doesn't want to get his paws wet. Prissy puppy! He is zonked out in his cage. (Only after I cleaned up his dog bowl full of water from off the floor..still not sure which of us knocked it over.) We both will sleep alright tonight. Looking at him sleep makes me calm.

Am I fat, oh hell yes. I just have some good tools to make some of the pounds go away. Still thinking I need a doughnut and realizing that I would have to drive 45 miles to get one...or I need to make some of my own. Just because I want something does not mean that I will partake. Especially when partaking involves energy.

That middle ground is more solid when everything is calm. I like the calm.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Three Hours of Hell

I decided that I would be useful and go get my mail, drop off a return, and stop at the grocery store. It should have taken me thirty minutes to get this done, so I left Link alone inside where it was cool. It has been a while since I left him alone as last time he ended up peeing on the (already nasty and horrible) carpet. Since then he has been fine alone in the house for short there-and-back-again trips. He also has been good while I have been working outside without him, so I figured this short run should be a starting point for his training.

It did not take a half hour.

I needed to make a mail return. First, I had trouble lifting the 50lbs of box into the car because it was so off balance. Then I drove to the post office and realized that A: I needed an RMA number, and B: I needed the label printout to deliver a FedEx box. There was no way that I was going to try to mail that behemoth on my own dime. So I waited in the car while I was on the phone with Nutrisystem. First call. Good; I got the RMA. I ended the call and looked around for my keys.

And searched.

I checked under and beside the seats, on the ground outside of the car, in the back seat, in the door pockets. I checked my purse at least five times. I couldn't find them anywhere. What I did know is that I couldn't leave the box in the car too long or it would melt the chocolate items. I didn't have anything in the car worth stealing so I left the car unlocked and headed in to make a return of that damnable box. It was all the box's fault.

I did manage to wrangle the box through the doors (thanks to a very nice gentleman who held/opened doors for me. Then it hit me. I have an RMA...but no label to ship. I was starting to get shaky and losing thoughts right after I thought them. Even making a call to Nutrisystem was hard. I couldn't even remember a phone number for Nutrisystem right after I looked at the numbers.

I made the call and the nice lady asked what my email address was...I couldn't even get the email right, but I now had an RMA number. I hung up and tried to just write down the number on the box when the nice post office lady explained that I would need a FedEx label. "Dangit, I should have thought of that."

Back on the phone again, where the lady took my information and tried to email it to one of my email addresses. No luck. Twice. No luck. Called back again: Success! But I didn't have a place to print it out, especially since the car keys (and the house) were misplaced. The nice lady let me use her computer to access my email and print out the the label and even taped it on for me. One down.

Back to the car and the missing keys. I searched and searched. I went to the lost and found department (on campus where my post office is) and they had not received anything. Dangit. I purchased my go-to brain calmer: chai. Back to the car.

More searching. Much pleading. I checked the same places over and over. I kept having the nagging thought to check my purse, so I did, over and over again. Finally I sat down and just tried to figure out my last moments of when I had the keys. Nothing. Then I picked up my purse to check for the keys on the chair and something went clink. Clink? MY KEYS! They were in a side pocket on my purse. I never checked that pocket because I don't use it. Duh.

I survived, the package is shipped, and I am safe back at home (no shopping this trip) using writing to get myself back in control.  The dog was safe and sound (asleep). No doggie drama, just a dog wanting to play after a nice nap.

I'm done.  I survived.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I like to walk--most days.

Other days...not so much.

I have been leaning more on walking than swimming thanks to the monsoon weather we have been getting. If there is a lightning strike within fifty miles the alarm goes off and everybody has to bail out of the pool.

Yeah, I could get up early (six in the morning) and go swim before the clouds build. But I dun wanna. Mornings have been my enemy as of late. Besides, the dog likes walks better. See? I have a good reason for not going to the pool--blame it on the dog.

Speaking of the dog, he has gotten more persistent about pointing to his leash when he feels that it is time to go outside. Which is frequently, especially around six or seven at night when he knows that is the most likely time for me to get off my arse and get moving.

I haven't been using Pokemon Go for much as of late, leaning instead on my music. I am sure that at my parents house when I visit there will be more hunting since their neighborhood has many opportunities for playing. It is a good motivator to keep moving. For free! This is a good version of video gaming.

My music selection keep growing thanks to Amazon Prime--well spent money. I have most of the music I want all in one place. I have more music that I can load from CDs, but have not worried about thanks to having most of them already available on Prime...and I have been lazy. Luckily, I can be lazy and just use the downloaded music--and have the playlists I want.

I don't have unlimited data though. That means that I don't even try to stream music, much less videos. I have the feeling that the data available down here wouldn't be strong enough to really stream anyway. All part of living in the middle of nowhere. (At least there is reliable cell service now that we have a whopping two cell towers in the vicinity.)

Instead of streaming, I just attack my phone's memory and download all the music to my hard drive. This is getting to be a problem since my phone only has 64GBs and I am using 51 out of those gigs. I soon may have to pare down my selection or delete (GASP) some apps. Scary thought.

So I will go on a walk tonight and make the dog happy, music or Pokemon in hand.

Yay walking!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Death to all Bushes!

Okay, not all bushes, just those branches that are really overgrown and scraggly. My front yard has about twenty large bushes,  and boy were they overgrown and huge! I don't think that I cut them more than once this whole summer. In ideal circumstances I do them every month from May to October. Not this year.

So just how did I tackle an entire front yard of bushes?

It's SUPERDAD. Yup, my dad came down and helped me attack the overgrown mess. I even got a new hedge trimmer since someone (coughcough-dad-cough) had broken my old rickety one (that I had been threatening to throw away). Now I have a much quicker and safer device for attacking the twigs. The new hedge trimmer combined with a ratcheting lopper made our work much less difficult. (Notice how I did not say that the job was easier. It was not easy.)

After we got the brushes cut we had to haul out the branches. Yeesh, were there a lot of them! I hadn't realized just how bad it had gotten. It was also strange to see which plants were the most overgrown. Those farthest from the house were the most stressed because I don't really water them. I had a few die after a hard freeze several years ago and one just this last summer. Now there are giant gaps in the hedges that need to be filled by some sort of bush. Perhaps something productive instead of basic bushes?

Today, looking out at the yard, I am happy. I am also sore. There is a definite sense of satisfaction in a day full of work. It does mean, however, that I am down for the count today and probably will not get in my daily walk or swim. We will see.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Life Without

My dog is three and a half years old. He still thinks he is a puppy. People who see him think he is a puppy. He also has the daily routine of a puppy.

For example:
Sleep. Eat. Play. Sleep. Change sleep area to near mom. Beg (and get nothing). Sleep. PLAY! Sleep. Play? Mom! PLAY! Sleep. Why won't you play with me? Wait. Mom, something's wrong. Mom. You need to do something mom. Okay, you're good. PLAY! Sleep.

He knows how I am doing better than I do. Last night he was firmly convinced that he needed my attention. He would bring me a toy, I'd throw it, he'd fetch it, and then he would lay down on my feet with the toy on his paws.

Eventually I pay attention to him and take inventory of my mental state. Under most instances, when he prefers my feet to a toy he is telling me that he is worried about me. This can take me a while to sink into my brain. Sometimes an entire day.

Like yesterday.

I was getting frustrated with his wanting to play and how he kept being clingy and needy. It took me till this morning to realize that he was trying to tell me to take one of my meds that keep me sane. When I have gotten that far into anxiety no amount of focus exercises or meditation can calm me down. He was trying to tell me to take my darn meds! Once I had taken my nightly planned med he calmed down and went to sleep over on his couch. He had done his job and was able to take a break.

Good dog. I don't know what I would do without him. That makes me nervous. I have dreams of losing him and wake up in tears.

The dog came to me when I most needed him, and when he most needed help--about three months after my husband's death. The dog has the same brown eyes as my husband did.

So yeah, I have a fear of what would happen if the dog wasn't there anymore. I just hope that doesn't  happen. Till then, I keep up listening to his insistence (after a while of him trying to get my attention) and he keeps up being a puppy.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Gimme That Burger!

I would kill for a burger right now. I could get out of the house, drive down to the local burger place, and then come home. Moving is a stronger deterrent than having extra calories to count. I am still hungry for a burger, but it is a comfort that I might have more control over hunger than I thought.

Yet the urge is still there. Typical. When I was up at my parents' house I had lots of real food instead of my Nutrisystem packaged stuff. My portioning is not what it could be yet. I am underestimating my servings. I know my mom has a food scale, I just tend to eat out more there. I will be dusting it off and do some calorie patrol. I also have to give myself more practice measuring real food.

In other news, I have realized that summer is almost done. The leaves haven't started turning, but I was able to take a walk at 8:30 am without dying of heat. It may be that the rain a few nights ago was cooling down the day, but we seem to be out of the high 90's and down to he 60's at night. It still seems rather warm, but this is a nice change.

I am not sure how I feel about changing over to fall (to be quickly followed by winter). It feels like I haven't done anything productive this summer... this last year. But it was not really bad, just different. Things have gotten done; things got done that have taken some gumption to get finished, even though some took a lot of friends' help. There is still a whole list of things to do, but it is shorter than the last year.

This coming fall will help me see new horizons in the future. I also have a hope that my brainz get more calm as well. Hurry up!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Let me preface this by saying, 'Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg!"

Okay, now that I have that out of my system momentarily I can explain.

I had been slowly chipping off the pounds. Slow but reasonably steady. Except the past week I have actually GAINED weight. Up from 214 to 216 I am 99% sure that it is meds. I also am 99% sure that it is water retention...but it still hurts on the brainz front. Even with the weight gain I did end up going for a walk yesterday, once it got cool enough to be active outside.

Part of the gain is how much I ate out last week, even if the day was mostly in calorie range. Extra salt and just plain extra food are not good for dieting. Now back to making the Nutrisystem the norm rather than the standby for a while. I even have a brand new shipment coming in today!

On a good note, even with the weight gain, I have pants that fit nicely now and are very comfortable. They may look like simple cotton medical scrubs, but oh no, these are special. This a pair of microfiber soft, quick drying, rugged pair o' pants. Only problem: they are long. Solution? Walk in them for a while so I can tell how long I should shorten them (and to make sure that they are really all done shrinking).Yay! New Pants! Next up, the shirts to match the pants--I am guessing 210 should do it.

The house seems empty. A major house renovation has come to a close so all the tools need put away. There is even empty floor space! After over a year we got it finished! Just cleaning up to do.

Next project: practicing archery to get myself honed in again. My dad and I are going up to go get a deer (or two) and put them in the freezer. I really need to clean out my freezer soon to make room for Bambi. Call that today's chore since garbage day is tomorrow. I also need to figure out how much I want to rely on Nutrisystem while I am traveling. Probably not much, but we will see. Nothing will be bad if I take it and don't use it.

Bad news: blegh. Good news: yay! General news...well... news.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day Three

Today marks the third day that I have not formally exercised (not counting today). Short bursts of activity were all that appeared those days Today will be different--it has to be. I took a streak of seven weeks and dashed it to bits. Oh well. Life sometimes intervenes.

In the area of food I have been relatively good. Only having a few days outside of the 1200-1400 calorie range. I have two methods of eating: perfect or all out. I have been careful to not let myself lower than my range, but the upper outages tend to be in the 1600-1800 calorie range. For the most part I have been where I need to be.

The last week I relied heavily on real food. It was nice, but so much easier to eat a lot at one time. I can tell what a portion should be most of the time, but eating only one portion is harder. This is not news to me, merely frustrating. But the more that I practice, the easier it gets. Repetition is where the Nutrisystem comes in. It normalizes how my body feels when it is hungry or merely munchy. The combination of real and fake food (alright, Nutrisystem is mostly food) means that I have an easier time eating in general. Mostly.

I am lucky that my splurge of the moment is fruit. It may not be the healthiest thing in large amounts, but it is also far from the worst. Besides, you can't just leave a melon open and alone, right? It is one piece of fruit! One portion. Right?

Riiiiiiiight. Or not.

Mass sprees on food are no good. For some reason I have have tons of chocolate and goodies around and not get a bad case of the munchies. But there are some things that are I know are killer diet crashers that I cannot have anywhere in the house or they will be gobbled up in a hurry.

So what are these little calorie bombs?
Monkey Bread
Homemade treats

Most of the items can either be avoided completely or frozen in portions. My fresh bagels get split in half and frozen right when I get home. I don't bake goodies for myself without packaging them up as well. The time it takes to thaw out and get whatever treat I make edible again gives me a little bit more time to decide if I am really hungry.

And now I am hungry...munchy...I want food.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


I am having trouble getting motivated to get exercise. Despite exercising every day for seven weeks, I am feeling a major slump. I also know that about the time I quit for a day is when I start slipping back down to not caring at all--it is an all or nothing type need for exercise.

Luckily, my parents are close by as well as friends. While I am up seeing them I have use of some awesome trails--that I only use when it is light out. I also have a wonderful standby at their house: the treadmill. Link much prefers the outside walks and I can tell that his hankering for a walk was high the past two days.  Little pest.

One other great thing about being up my parents' house is that it is very close to my doctors--as in, all of my doctors. This is a good thing because I will be calling one of the doc's office and being ready should they have an opening. Hell, I may just show up and pray for an opening; it would not be the first time since I have been the pest in the waiting room.

And now pooch is letting me know that bedtime is soon. And my body is seconding command.
This is about how far I can free write right now. So you will get the this tiny post-ette fun. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

He Has Learned

Thanks to me exercising daily, the dog has learned a new trick. He points to his leash when he thinks he wants a walk. When I pick up the leash he gets hyper and happy and wiggling. The only other thing he loves more than a walk is going for a ride.

If he sees me putting on my tennis shoes he starts whining and turning circles in anticipation of a walk--even if I am just putting on shoes to go take out the trash. He will sit and wiggle at me, telling me to get ready faster.

My  furry friend cheers me on, even if I just want to do is curl up on my chair and sleep. So far we have walked (and swimmed) our way to exercising once a day for the last seven weeks. No days missed.

By now I think that the exercise is second nature for me. I may not get in much but I still do it.

Last time I lost a lot of weight I didn't even bother exercising. That was when I could barely hobble around the house. I was on crutches pretty every day.

I learned from that journey that I could lose weight without exercising. (On the other hand, I was still fairly active, just not my lower body.) That stayed with me even when I was slim, no amount of exercising can outdo food consumption. Both then and now, portion control is really hard. My food scale is both my friend and my enemy.

This time around the exercise is there and I will have more muscles to even out my body. Who knows, maybe I can jog at some point! (Hah! that is rather unlikely with my joints). Between walking and swimming I have a pretty good use of muscle building aerobic exercise.(I do some strength training, but not as much as I probably should.)

All said and done, the pooch is a great motivator to get me up and moving and I intend to keep at the exercise. (My walks have been invaded by Pokemon... it works better for me that listening to music!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Old Stomping Grounds

Between 2008 and early 2013 we spent every two to four weeks in San Francisco. When my husband was having chemo we stayed there for four weeks, with weekends out with family in East Bay. It was stressful because my husband was weak and sick due the radiation treatment and healing up from his first surgery.

We came to know the people in the area. The hotels we stayed at (two nearby the hospial) were always kind and tried to accommodate us and our crazy schedules.The downtown Marriot even helped us out during chemo--two weeks at little cost.

The Turkish market down the street made the most mind blowing coffee I have ever tasted before. He knew me by name and started up a cup as soon as he saw me. There was usually someone playing a doumbek drum or people playing chess in the store. It was the local hangout.

I miss the food. The variety of fruit and vegetables mean that most of the places we visited had real food in their recipes. My two favorite restaurants were side by side U C Sushi (named because it was only a block from UCSF medical center. The other place, right next door, was a little Indian place that had the best chai--all you care to drink, .Nan flowed like a river to your table.

I miss the people. Unlike other big cities I have been in, San Francisco has some of the nicest and tolerant people that I have ever met. Yes, I only saw a small portion of SF but I always loved coming. Even in crowded busses and trains people would find a spot to squeeze in closer and apologized if someone's foot got walked on. (This was a shocker after going to DC where everyone kept their heads down and never dared to make eye contact with anyone else.)

I miss the people. So many families helped us out between transportation, lodging, food, and a friendly shoulder to cry on. I don't think that any of them were blood relatives, besides my brother--thanks for the loan of your truck! My inlaws used to lived nearby and had lots of contacts that were glad to help.

The doctors were always courteous and supportive, even when news got bad. The hospital staff were always ready to help and made the entire process go much smoother than in any other hospital center I have been to. They seemed to actually enjoy helping others, even when the people they help are dazed and confused (they helped me make sure everything was as stress free for the weeks of my husband's surgeries and scans).

I miss our little trips--usually private planes flown by volunteers. No security lines, no checked baggage, just fly and get there then hop onto transit to get out to the appointments. AngelFlight was a godsend for us, especially when my husband or I were having bad days.

I miss all of San Francisco, at least the parts we were in.If I could afford a place there it would be my dream to live down in that little part of town, but that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Just Say No

I have a really hard time saying no. I feel like I don't deserve to take away from other people's time and energy by saying no--even if I am the one it inconveniences. Last night I was talking to my next door neighbors. I know they are not well off to say the least, so I do try to help them out.

Yesterday night they were walking around my house (the quickest way to their house from the road--I get it) when I popped out the door to say hi. They seemed surprised to see me out there with them.  My something-ain't-right feeling was on last night. They asked for help hooking up their ChromeCast, but didn't have internet. They asked me if I would share my internet with them--Jason would have rolled over in his grave if I said yes. I had to say no--too much of a security risk.

There are many times that have been able to say yes, but last night I just couldn't. Last night I did get him the monthly money to pay for his taking care of my yard. I would share more with them, but, to be quite frank, I don't trust them--especially his girlfriend. Part of me is a little afraid of them and their past run-ins with the cops. But I also know that they are good people.

So why did I say no?

The biggest reason: I don't want them to think that I will give free rein to anything they ask. The second, and smaller, reason is that I don't want unsecured internet all tied up and as when I need it. My local internet is slow...occasionally painfully slow, so I didn't want to mess that up. My husband would have rolled over in his grave it I let other people on my secured internet. But the biggie was the statement that, in no uncertain terms, they can't run over me. Not quite that much.

So then, why did I not say no earlier?

Fear. I know that the two have had many dealings with the cops. He used to grow a large patch of weed, but stopped after his little brother got killed in a deal. I know that him stopping was real since the old trailer that was his growing area is now inhabited by other people (as well as the smoke no longer sending me into fits of asthma.. She has had many fights and thefts that landed her in jail--a lot of the money he gets goes to bailing her out of jail. So yeah, fear.

Do I like them? Yes. Will I help them more? Yup, just not when it affects me in the long run. Food and cold drinks? Hell yeah! A fan when they were stuck in 100s, sure, but I don't expect it to return to me. anything I loan. I expect items that I share to not return or be shared among many other people before (maybe) returning home. But the internet, for security and I just won't do it.

I still hate telling people no. That probably will not change. I think that I am doing something wrong every time I say no to a request. Saying no, even if it will inconvenience or cost me something, is just not in my normal course. I am working on it.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Checking off the List

My house has been one long reconstruction project. Today I woke up to yesterday's hard work. The living room was last night's project. This project is hard for me since it was one of the last things that Jason and I worked on together. It is time. The only things left for that room are trim along the floor and something to cover that floor.

Interesting to me is how connected I was to the project. The last year he was alive we had a long list of things to do around the house. About halfway through the year we had help from all sorts of family--we had help in shifts--it was amazing! But there were still things to do--as a matter of fact, there still are things to do.

There is something sad about getting these things done, rather than just looking at the familiar half-way done progress. Fixing things on the house is very tough for me and, in most cases I would rather someone else do the hands on. Yesterday I put in my little share of the work and, thanks to my awesome dad, the ceiling and walls are all done in the middle room. It only took me four years to fix it up.

Four years

That is quite a long time to keep avoiding a house renovation. I just don't think rationally when it comes to these to these projects, even though I should at least put in real thought into what is going on. Fixing takes away a memory of my husband, even though I know that the renovation can't stay unfinished. Days like this where I wake up to seeing a finished area of the house just makes me break down. I was already in tears last night before I finally zonked out. Tears from a coat of paint.

But yesterday was not bad. It didn't even hit that the room was fixed until long after my dad left. He taught me new secrets on how to paint well as well as how to smooth out rough edges in sheetrock. It was a good day. The night just stunk from Brainz. But brainz are better after sleep.  Right?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

No Scale Headway. Again.

I know that this is a repeat message, but I have to get it out of my system: my metabolism hates me. Another week of no measureable weight change. I am hoping that, like last time, this means that there is a large drop in my future.  I have to keep up that hope.

I wish that I could get a steady loss. I know that is not going to happen. I can still wish.

Since I have been getting back into eating normal sized foods I am scaling back the Nutrisystem foods. That decision was even easier since they raised the price on my plan. Now I have a 20 day (rather than 30ish) plan for half the cost. I find it frustrating that they don't show the alternate plans on their website. I had to go through their chat line to find out about the plans. Frustrating, but done.

It has been around a month that I have gotten in some exercise during the day. I call that a success. It is getting more difficult to get up the gumption to put on my shoes and walk or get out and swim. I wish that I could do some jogging, or even run at some point. Right now I am doing well to do get in a mile or two of walking, or thirty to forty-five minutes swimming. A month is a good time to see how a habit can be instilled in my brain. I feel wrong when I don't  move--I get restless.

I know that the scale will move, I just want it to move now! My clothes have stopped feeling looser. I want more. I want to be off of meds that cause weight gain. Unfortunately I have found that I don't function well without meds in addition to other therapy. Bah!

Between the exercise and fluctuation in brainz I have less motivation to do other things at my house. Playing with the dog (who loves to walk, so he isn't too sad), doing dishes, cleaning out the fridge. Luckily, I have people to prod me when I am down and tether me close to the ground when I am truly manic. Thank you guys!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Can't Write--Brainz Will Eat Me

Yup. Three days since a post.  Why? Busy with doc visits, family, and lots of excuses not to write.  Excuses mostly. I did, however, keep up my exercise while I fell off the writing road. Dog is pleased with this regimen and now instantly wiggles over to me and sits (while still wiggling) to be leashed up. He loves his walks.

I wish that people at home would leash their dogs, especially with how many of the loose dogs are not happy with other dogs. There is an entire block I skim around because of a very big and very aggressive dog chained in front of the house.  The tiny terrors I worry about more. There is a tiny football of a chihuahua on the main road that I occasion have to stare down at him and shoo him away--Link is afraid of the little runt; I am not. The giant pit bull that tried to eat both Link and me left me with the idea to keep far away from that dog. However, today's walk was uneventful, just like I like it.

In diet fun, I made a trivial comment to one of the workers at Nutrisystem, trying to find a way to lessen the cost. I found a plan that was half the cost of what they originally quoted, all for eating a few of my own meals--which I already do. These plans are only showed as an option after talking to a representative or click the right buttons when delaying an order (I have delayed twice so far). This is a form of false advertising by withholding other options to purchase. Yet, even with the sneaky marketing, I will be continuing the Nutrisystem--just for less money.

I can't quite wrap my head around weight loss. Not my loss at least.  Some people have five to ten pounds to lose for their happiness. I have lost thirteen so far, but it feels like nothing for me. Even hefting the ten pounds of sugar hasn't blown my mind yet.

No longer on a high, life has a tendency to drop out from me. Here is hoping that the dog keeps me moving, the other dogs stay safe, and the weight loss keeps going.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Go Take a Hike

I have managed to get in exercise every day for the last six weeks! Every. Day. Sometimes it is only twenty minutes, but other times it is up to an hour.

Pooch lets me know that it is time to go for a walk, staring at me and dancing around whenever I pass by my walking shoes. He has also started to watch me like a hawk when I pass by his leash. Good boy!  He basically tells me that it is time to go for a hike.

Thanks to a combination of dog, pedometer, and Pokemon, I have quite the motivations. So why is it so darn hard to keep up the streak? I think I am past the learning curve since it should be automatic by now.  But it isn't. It would be so much easier to just sit in my chair and never step out of the house all day. But that isn't going to happen.

In the past week I lost a pound. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that the scale is not moving up. I just wish that it would move a little faster. Between exercise and diet I think I should be losing faster. Then I start to think that being overweight is easier than getting healthy. Down the rabbit hole I go.

Next up is when I think it is going too slow. I decide that it is a great time to start on not eating. Not smart. Not smart at all. Last time I tried that I was about a week in and had lost over five pounds. Then friends and family noticed what was happening. Their concern clicked me out of the cycle. Then I promptly gained back everything I had lost, and more.

I have trouble separating emotions from food. It is not and excuse, just an observation.  Now that I have good motivation and am watching my food intake losing is an option, not just gaining. To quote my doc this last time, "Congratulations and keep up the good work." She knows just how much weight the medicines can pack on.

So I keep up the walking and swimming, like it or not. The dog keeps me moving, like it or not. I can tell the laziness to go take a hike.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Productive... or not

I was at 217.5 pounds this morning! But I am caught between three options:

First, I like having meals always have food while on the Nutrisysem --not cooking gives me more time to do others.
Second, I like to cook and bake and that causes me to overeat (fresh bread, cookies).
Third option is to do both number one and two.

Three weeks a go I was planning to only use the real food by month three. But now that I realize how well it is working  and I am leaning more on the NS food. When I eat out I choose foods that do not mess up my diet. Want dessert? Either skip it, replacing it with fruit, or split it and just have a couple of bites (A good reason to eat with others, but still dangerous).

Now that I am a little more familiar foods on the list of choices I am coming to enjoy the meals. The breakfast options are great! But I know that the plan only lasts as long as I want to lose weight--half the battle is making sure that the weight stays off--something that I already have been practicing (again).

So the choice is the third option and keep plodding along with exercise and eating reasonably well. It is obviously the easiest right now while I get medication moved around since I can get really munchy when my brainz are telling me that I should eat everything in sight.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dog Walking Me

1200 calories (or Kcal if you prefer), that is what my food intake should be around every day. Boy does that go really fast if I am not watching myself, especially when eating out. Since I am still having a hard time portion controlling through the day I am continuing the Nutrisystem food for another week, even though I am doing okay without it. I still need another run to give me options when I don't want to cook or eat. So I will happily toss in the cash if it means that this extra flub keeps shrinking.

I need to start cooking more, just because I love to cook. If I can do that while on the plan I can, eventually I can learn how to make small meals instead of a spread for an army! I used to know how to do that when Jason was with me, so I am sure that I can do it again..

I'm still writing down every thing I eat for accountability, as well as walking and swimming. Yesterday I didn't do an official walk, but instead of playing slots I played catch the Pokemon. It worked pretty well too, considering that it was inside of a steel building.

Link is not happy when I don't take him for a walk, especially after I have been swimming, because he sees me leave the house in my walking shoes--that is supposed to be the time for a walk. When I put him outside he tries to be cute at me. When I put him in his cage he plops down with the loudest,and most pathetic sigh. So he guilt trips me into a walk instead of swimming or a long walk with him. Dang dog and his powers of cuteness! Right now he has claimed my feet so that I can't escape my sitting spot without his knowledge.

We will see if my future job comes through, and if I can still do all the exercise I have been doing. First step is to secure the job before worrying.

So I run problem at at time. One day at a time. One walk at a time. One meal at a time.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Three hundred dollar tomatoes

I keep wishing for rain, but not too much at a time. Up north of me got pelted by hail and torrential rain. I can do without the hail part of that time.

I. Hate. Hail.

Every time I start to hear hail I start holding my breath. Ever since 2005 I have hated hail. We got attacked by softball-sized hail for about five to ten minutes of destruction. Now I mostly just fear for my garden.

This year I even got corn off of of the plants. The tomatoes are persistent and refuse to let the sun and dry air wither them. I love having my garden I just wish I didn't have to use as much water as I have this year. But the veggies are growing well and the pomegranates are growing well, despite not having any fruit this year. Sixth year must be the charm.

 Bur I am in the desert and high altitude to boot. So why do I persist in growing things in the land of no water? The simple answer is that I prefer fresh grown vegetables and they don't get much fresher.

But when I look a little closer as to why I garden I get to the truth: I do it because I love it. I love getting my hands into fresh dirt. I love the weeding and care required to make the food grow. I love taking in my produce.  I revel in the work of gardening, and the (sometime true) fruits  of my labor.

But  there is a downside: water, or lack  thereof.

I spent so much water in the past month that that the water company called to make sure I didn't have a leak in the system. I will have to be more responsible from now on. My garden will just have to be a little less watered, or use just a few plots instead of all four.

I love my garden.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


That sums up my day. Okay, today we start withe this

It took a long time to get and stay asleep. After yesterday when t hit my snooze button and, an hour later, woke up with my shoulder being stabbed--or, if you prefer, hot metal burning from inside. Failing to fend off an attacker with a hot poker, I settled for a couple of pain killers and some ice, which will be repeating as necessary (or interchanged with each other).

I give it a week to get better before I worry about a doc for this yet.

But, it does make swimming and walking difficult. (I can do either, but swimming can be less weight bearing than other forms.) I am I don't get focused on beating myself all it should go well. I have to remind myself regularly that I do not need to get everything AND not every thing needs done right now (or redone because I got it done while manic.)

Besides being able to clean and putter about, I can use the time to more useless pursuits. Some examples: cleaning and throwing out anything that I might regret, buying things I don't need online, typing a new book or get another.

So how do I feel today? Right now? Frustrated in pain. Come on, pills, just WORK. This not partially how I  would like to spend my time.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Family Camping

You can't pick your parents, but you can pick your friends. You can also let your friends into your family. I have many people , including my blood family, that I can thank for keeping me sane and pushing me to do my best.

Friends have more power though. They have seen me at intense highs and extreme lows, yet they stay with me. They have no familial requirements like genetic family--which makes me smile. I have had some that have helped channel manic energy into productive things like cleaning, doing yard work, or just sitting around watching bad tv shows. I also have friends that have comforted me when I am depressed, and occasionally kick me in the arse to take action. I like that combination.

When friends become family you know you're on the right track.

This weekend has been great, despite a little rain on my tent. Everybody took care of everyone else. We all helped friends unpack and set up, then pack up and leave the site clean. That is how friends are. That is how this works. I may see some of the group only once a year, yet that familiarity  stays put. When we adopt another person into the group we dive right in and help them too.

Where was I? Down in Ruidoso, NM with around 100 or 150 people, most of which I have never met. What was I doing down there? I was at a Society for Creative Anachronism gathering. If you have never heard of the group then you are missing out!  We all camp and take great pleasure in bringing the medieval world to life. Costumes, bags, boots, and tents (well, there are some people who have period tents, but most of us use a regular old tent). From peasants to royalty, there is something for everyone.Think of it as a renaissance fair, but all the attendees are in on the pretending.

And yes, there is fighting: big rattan sticks wrapped up in duct tape and plywood or metal shields, fencing blades, bows, and siege weapons. But there is also a lot for people who do not wish to come back with bruises. There are classes on everything from how to sew a hat, how to make candles, and blacksmithing  Nobody gets snooty about who has "correct" costuming, and normally there are people who will let new players with extra clothing. That way everyone can participate and belong.

Apparently news of our little group of campers has spread as being a good spot to stop for a good laugh or singing circle. Well, this year we took the singing to the dry area under the group camping shelters.This last time we were registered in what they call a siege cooking tournament--like "Chopped" but you get all your ingredients at once and have three hours to make an assortment of tasty treats. We came together to help out as much as possible and put together a positively awesome spread of goodies. Everyone chipped in on the cooking, raiding our coolers and dry goods to add to the dinner. We won. For the second year in a row! Our itty bitty camping group beat out some stiff competition.

I like going to events like this one, not too many people, lots of room to spread out, and absolutely no deadlines (unless you ask for them, like in the cooking competition).

This weekend reminded me that I have more friends that I thought, friends who will help out if I just ask...or even if I didn't ask. I love my blood family, but I also love my adopted family too!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Keeping it Real

I am having results on the Nutriststen program and I am getting to like not having to cook when I am tired. But I am missing real food.

I have found a compromise. Each day I make sure to have one meal that is not part of the system. Eating out has become easy again now that I am back to estimating portions accurately. For instance, today I ate out twice, but I was able to make a reasonable choice and pare down/package up food accordingly.

The ready-to-eat Nutrisystem is convenient. That is its main purpose--to make sure that eating does not lead to mindless snacking. The tracking system that they use is pretty accurate; not great, but better than having to jot things down. (I also use my free SparkPeople tracker to get a little more specific calorie count.) The options for several small meals means that I can either eat small meals or save up the calories to eat a larger meal at a later time.

I don't know how much I am going to rely on the delivery food, but having it ready to go means that I eat a little more healthy than otherwise--mostly in varieties of lunches and dinner. I am not claiming that they have a ton of options, but there are enough to rotate through every week or two. Lunches are easy so long as I have eggs in the house--hell, I love eggs for dinner and breakfast.

I have to watch myself and have more fruit and veggies rather than basic bread, eggs, yogurt and cheese. If I can get them in the front of the fridge or out on the counter I am more likely to eat the healthier items along with the old favorites. There is nothing wrong with the basics, but I do need to have some fresh stuff tossed in there somewhere. Nutrisystem only seems to push vegetables rather than fruits, but I tend to add in more whole fruit than in the Nutrisystem plan. Veggies, on the other side, are completely free--not counted toward your calorie intake--so they are almost impossible to dodge. Luckily I like veggies to begin with so long as they are easy to grab and go.

The quick of it: I am not too sure right now of whether I will keep the prepackaged foods. Nutrisystem is working for me outside of it not being home cooked food, and I need to make sure that I eat better while eating outside of the plan boundaries.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Clothes Feel Funny

Yup, the clothes are officially fitting better. All it took was 11 pounds. Now some people say they are fat when they are ten pounds overweight--I consider that a minor detail even though it means going up a size or two. I didn't used to feel this way. Once I was down to a healthy weight I had a ten pound range that I hovered at. I used to feel sad when I was on the edge of that range.

But now it is different. Now I look at weight loss with a long range goal--a very large goal. That is what happens when a very large women has a lot to lose. I am still grappling with the idea of slow and steady but I know that is the only way to lose weight safely and keep if off (been there, done that). This is not a quick solution.

I can't quite wrap my head around the idea that I can only lose one to two pounds per week, and that is not including weeks where nothing moves at all. I expect a higher goal for myself than for the average person. This doesn't really work in my mental favor. The average is there for a reason, I should expect average,I can celebrate when I am on the high end of loss and try better when I an on the low end.

I can feel how my clothes lay and move and tell when I am successful. Like today: I tried on a bra that didn't fit ten pounds ago. It fits. I can wear some of my other clothes. For now, all the clothes I had at 230 still fit at 218 and I will have to wait till I can fit into some of my cuter clothes. I can see it; I can feel myself getting slimmer. I even saw the outline of my cheek bones for the first time in over a year.

I like this and hope that the weight keeps going away.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Life is a Road Under Construction

They say life is a long road to haul. If that is the case, then our trials are potholes and road construction.

We can try to drive around the potholes, swerving and reorienting to get where we need to go. Or, we can hit them head on and hope that it doesn't do much damage. We hit road construction and sometimes have to wait to get what we want or take a detour--long or short--to get where we need to go.

Sometimes life is a smooth straight road; safe, but monotonous. Other times it is twisty turny with a sharp dropoff at the ledge. When we were young, most of us had guardrails to keep us along the straight or curvy roads. Adulthood hits and those guardrails are gone. What may have been a speeding bullet of a drive as a kid now becomes a white-knuckle drive on a mountain road.

We can choose which roads we travel, usually, unless detour comes and shoves us off of our safe straight road. The changes can sometimes bee seen far off--lots of warning signs before the construction. Other times you hit the orange-barrel mess without the least bit of warning.

Go through or go around. If you had a choice, take the detour or stay the course through the construction, which would you take? Depends. Can you see the end of the construction in the distance? Does the detour look smooth and short? Sometimes the decision is simple, but many times there is no simple answer.

The biggest thing to realize is the are no wrong answers. You take which road you get and you keep on driving. Yes, there may be times where you take the long or the dangerous road, but you are still moving along.

Don't park. There may be times that you want to stop, but don't. You stagnate, holding on to visions of past roads, while never looking ahead to what new road is before you. You park and you can get run over--awash in depression and without hope of future travels. Sometimes you may need to stop briefly and take in your options of roads, but don't wait too long.

Don't speed. There are cops out there: your body can be in overdrive only so long. Speeding takes away from life's pleasures. On the other hand, it may be tempting to speed over detours or through construction, but then you won't see the potholes till it is too late!

So keep on driving, watch out for potholes and choose your routes carefully, but don't take too much time deciding.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Time Management--or not

Yesterday was what some would deem a complete and utter waste of time.

I say otherwise.

In the morning I got up before my alarm and had breakfast like a normal person. I took my meds like a good little girl and did a little more packing for the weekend. Then I started in on editing the book. That is where it started to go awry. I think I stopped once to let the dog out in all of four or five hours. After getting up to take care of the dog and myself I realized that I hadn't eaten in a long time. I wasn't hungry, but knew I should eat--so I did.

Next up: the video game, in this instance "The Witcher 3". AKA complete waste of time. But it was ENJOYABLE time; that is what matters. Except that I did the same thing as when I was editing--four hours of nothing but a dog break. Then dinner.

Then I walked till my joints were sore--not very long today, but long enough to get in some exercise. (This could be considered a non-waste of time)

That was my entire day yesterday.

But video games and writing are not the only times that I binge on activity.
cleaning (because I let it pile up first),
packing (so I  avoid the "You forgot the WHAT?" tent poles),
walking (till my feet and knees are sore), and
gardening (till I can't move)
reading (just one more page)

Is this healthy? Probably not. Is my method of getting things done going to change? Nope. It works. If something interrupts me mid-binge it can trigger one of two things: aggravation at having been interrupted, or complete deflation of the binge and return to normal.

The break for dinner let me recoup my brains and realize that the temperature was only around 80 so I could go for a walk before more rain set in (which never really came, at least not while I was awake). I could only do about 1.4 miles today, but that was plenty to get my joints unhappy with me.

Yesterday was about binges, and how I use them to my advantage--or disadvantage. Luckily none of these binges included food!

Monday, August 1, 2016


Food has always meant love to me. Family gathering? Food. Church function? Food. Something go right? Food. Something go wrong? Food.

That connection has caused me trouble over the years, especially when stressed. Food was comfort. Note how I said "was comfort," rather than "is comfort." I am working on separating my emotions from my food. Still a work in progress, but I'm getting there.

So what is my type of food? Ideally, fresh veggies, beans, and meats (usually venison) in stews, sauces, and curries. I am pretty adventurous with my eating though, so I will try anything once. Maybe only once, but I will try it. I like to read my cookbooks as if they were novels.

I have a garden, such as it is. I had enough turnips to keep me busy mashing them and using them in stews. Lettuce galore while it was still cool. Now I have enough tomatoes for daily salads or munching out of hand. I had my very first harvest of corn after five years of trying to grow it! But none of the vines have produced anything because it is too hot to set fruit. I love eating from my garden, but there is never enough for me, so I end up at the supermarket or--when I am not too lazy--from the farmers' market.

Then there is the baking. I love to bake--pies, cookies, bread, pastries--all of it. That is a dangerous hobby. I have to make sure that when I bake there are other people to eat most of the goodies, or I will freeze some of them. The only problem with saving goodies in the freezer is that they are there, watching me, calling to me.

So now that I am on a rather restricted diet, well, more of a lessened portions diet, it will be difficult for me to get used to changing my hobby over to healthier pursuits. Baking is not out, merely different. For instance: substituting whole wheat flour into my breads, using whole fruit instead of preserves, nixing pastry dough or using only half of the regular recipe. It is something that I will, of course, have to practice--on a smaller batch scale if possible.

I can still cook my old standbys--most of the dinners I cook regularly are low in calories and high in protein--I just need to watch my portions. I will be focusing on favoring tomato based curries instead of coconut based versions and using smaller portions of whole wheat pastas or brown rice instead of their processed white cousins.

Now that I have rambled my way through food, know this, my relationship to food is changing--by necessity.

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall.

These seasons are well known--unless you live in a place, like my home, has only three seasons: hot, cold, and wind. But times are always changing. About the time you settle in to one season, on comes the next.

Life is like that.

Some people and some times fit into nice little boxes of life seasons, sort of like the game "Life": born, graduate high school or college, get married, have a baby. Other times are more fluid: break a leg, win the lottery, have a breakup. Either way, you find yourself in a comfortable spot--say, being in college--until you suddenly are tossed into another season.

Life is how we deal with the seasons.

Seasons are not weather--the temperature changes in life.Some people welcome change, others fear it. But in some ways we all fear change--those changes that we have no control over. The car accident, the unplanned pregnancy, losing a loved one.

That last change still has me wrapping my head around it.. I knew it was coming--it was a season moving in--but I didn't know what the new season would be like until it happened. You can see seasons on a calendar, but you never really know when they are going to start. Once the season really does start you are left dumbstruck at what to do. "What if there is a snowstorm," becomes, "what do I do now?"

Life is being afraid.

Once one season sets in you are afraid of moving on for fear of what the next season will bring. The thought of jumping back into life becomes terrifying; having children, starting a new relationship, or-starting a new job. You become so afraid that you hold onto the old season so tightly that you don't move on, you just stagnate.

That is where I am now. Stuck. So many things that I could be doing, yet I am frozen in place for fear of another season upsetting my already-tenuous mindset. I am holding on to the weight loss as a coping mechanism to give me something that affects me directly--it is a way to define myself. Charity and good works are great, but they don't fill in for having somewhere to belong, to hold on to.

So I sit, holding on to the past, afraid of the future, and avoiding change however possible. Healthy? Nope. I am working on that. But it is the way it is.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

First New Me

219.5 Pounds

I am starting to feel my clothes fit looser. My belt has to be tighter to hold up my pants. My shirts are starting to feel less tight. I'm still in the same size of clothes...but really I should have been wearing a size bigger when I started this journey. I was just not wanting to go out and buy more clothes and admitting to myself that I was getting bigger.

While I was at the mall waiting for my car to be repaired I had a wakeup call. I tried on clothes that I thought would be too small for me only to find that they were falling off. I'll be honest. I am wearing size 20/1X (or XXL if they are trendy) clothes right now. I can fit into 1X but not XL--tell me how that makes sense. I should have been in at least 2/3X or 22 when I started this.

Sizes are only numbers and letters, but they mean a lot to me for some reason. I had to remind myself not to buy clothes when I am losing weight--not from expensive new stores at least. I am making one exception to this rule: exercise clothing. I can't wait to get back down to below 200 pounds so I can wear some of my old clothes that fall into this category. Hell, I may even be able to get into some at 210 (okay, not just get into--wear properly)!

So where does that leave me with the Nutrisystem plan?

I found out an interesting tidbit about their program: every ten pounds you lose you get a little beanie baby bear with the pounds you lost embroidered on its chest. Cute and motivating for someone like me (remember the useless points that I talked about way back when). I am continuing to get shipments in from them, but will probably only need them every two months rather than every month. They make my life easier, especially when I don't really want to eat or cook at all. And they are healthier than my go-to food of bread and cheese--an acceptable meal once a day, not for every meal like I have a tendency to do if I don't watch myself.

We are coming up on the hardest part of the year for me, physically. Monsoon season always plays havoc with my joints no matter how well my meds are working. (I haven't figured out why except for the drastic changes in barometric pressure.) This time of year is an ultimate test of how my diet is because I am more likely to gravitate toward easier foods. Easier such as bread, cereal, eggs. All of these are perfectly fine on their own, it is all about variety. The last thing that I want to eat is a salad because that involves cutting, chopping, and preparing the ingredients (which is why I do all the prep work right when I get the produce home so that there is no excuse).

Nutrisystem should help me at least get some variety in my diet and make me more aware of my veggie intake. It also should make life easier because there is no or very little prep needed.

So there you have it, progress and future all wrapped up into one nice little package.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Let me preface this post on food stores. I am privileged. I realize this. There are many people who are food insecure or completely lacking food. This post is not about poverty, though it is rampant in this state and much of the world.

Instead, let me lead with this:

Every year my dad goes hunting. Last year was the first time that I was actually allowed to hunt on my own. We went bow hunting for white tail deer. Thanks to a previous injury combined with arthritis, I can't pull a full forty pound compound bow without my shoulder popping out of socket. Instead, I have a crossbow permit. It makes my aim much sharper at close range than with a regular bow.

Last year we went out with my uncle and traveled around the Black Hills of South Dakota--my dad and uncle's old stomping grounds. It was great! And also scary. Would I leave an animal injured instead of a quick kill? I hoped not. That is why I practiced every day for a month till I knew my effective range. I have weaponry and know how to use it. But I worry about my dad's kills because he does not practice much, but there is nothing that I can do about that. It still was a great experience. But last year the meat got stored in my formerly lightly-stocked freezer. FULL. As in, no more space.

Why is this interesting at all? Well it leads to a tendency I have. I tend to make sure that I have basic frozen food and sundries along with emergency kits on hand. Does that make me a so-called "prepper?" Nah. But there are similarities. When there are emergencies I am fine. Case in point: when the entire city is blanketed in two feet of snow and it is -18 degrees--too cold for the gas company to pump gas and water. I had wood, a stove, water from outside, and food in the house that I can cook on the wood stove. I could have used the propane stove if I wanted to brave the outside to get to my shed. Granted, had it lasted much longer my freezer goods would have been toast, but I just didn't open the doors on the fridge and freezer and all was well.

Last time I went on a spree and  I sort of went closer to the side of the "prepper." I was making sure I was ready for what I like to call "oh shit" moments. I made stores of oats, flour, sugar, and salt. I looked in to getting a well on my property for emergencies (still actually looking at that, but for garden use). I also bought specialty oh-shit gear. Boy was I surprised when some of the gear came in. I never even remembered ordering it! But I was on a roll and had a purpose--for the two to three weeks I was out of reality.

What does this all mean?

I store, but not hoard. I make sure I am safe, but don't endanger myself in the process. I am prepared, but not a "prepper."

Good, bad, or (my guess) in between, I am ready for oh-shit moments, but not for the apocalypse.

So what do you think? Any prepping tendencies out there?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Little More Magic and Some Ramblings Too

Yesterday I typed about magic. Well, today I had a major dose of it while driving.

Today I got lucky. No, not like that, you dirty minds. Today I dodged a major piece of debris on the interstate. We are talking a lane-covering bag full of dirt and trees. Of course the first thing that I did was call 911 while trying to calm down enough to remember details. Somebody or something is looking out for me. That would have been a major accident. I just hope that everyone else was able to dodge it before the cops got there to take care of it. I am still trying to calm down from it--it was about fifteen minutes ago. (I am typing from the car garage where they are fixing my baby.) While I have all this adrenaline in my system is a great time to be creative, right?

Yesterday I processed most of the cherries that my friend and I picked (from outside of a gas company to be exact). I was not looking forward to pitting all those cherries so I put it off. I cooked up most of the cherries to get the juice with the plan of using the rest as smushed up jam makings. My mom, ever the cook, figured otherwise. Overnight she pitted every single one. I have no idea how long it took her. I now have juice for drinks or jelly, pie cherries for tasty goodness, and some fresh frozen to munch out of hand.

Little things count toward a good day. My mom and her wonderful help made me smile. I knew there was no way that I could go through all of them, so her help made the haul so much better. I, of course, will be sharing the goods with her.

On a different note, I am hoping to be less manic, which might lead to less posts. I don't know yet. I am so much more creative while I have that high. But that may mean I am doing better mentally. I call that a good tradeoff.

Not being manic may also have a different effect: making my weight loss harder. I don't tend to eat as much when my mind is racing. There are just too many thoughts to bother with anything as mundane as eating. Because of that, I will be continuing the Nutrisystem for a few more months but on my schedule. I will be eating a mix of real food with their foods to supplement for when I want to avoid cooking. It also will be useful for when I am too manic and want to cook all the things that I can--normally lots of calorie laden cookies and other desserts.

I got another boost to my mental state when I went to the doctor yesterday. They weigh me before every appointment and it showed an eight pound loss (I had eaten and drank water). The first thing that the nurse said was, "Congratulations!" When my doctor saw the number she asked first how long it took to lose the weight (four weeks) and then said that it was, "Amazing to lose that much on the meds you are on." I know her comment means that future weight loss will probably be slower than I like, but she was happy with how I am doing, as am I.

However, among all this eating on Nutrisystem I have found several items that are not what I would call food. There are also several items that are basic enough that I can just substitute in real for their versions in future orders. The basic items include things like bagels and oatmeal, so long as I watch my portions. I will save the Nutrisystem foods for items that I cannot easily replicate or do not wish to replicate (lasagna--if I make it I will make enough for an army, rather than one or two servings). I do not have room in the freezer right now to make batch meals, but I am working on that. Right now the freezer is mostly full of deer meat and frozen vegetables. I need to use up the deer before I go hunting, but more on that another day.

On that note, I think that is enough rambling for one day. Have you had any close calls lately? Boosts to confidence? Or maybe even what is your freezer full of?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


What is magic?

Smoke? Rabbits? Mirrors? My husband preferred cards.

But I am not talking about slight of hand here. No, I think magic is what happens when everything falls in to place. Call it miracles, call it destiny, call it just chance.

No matter what you call it, magic is everywhere. The timing of lights when I am in a hurry. The simple smile of someone on the street when I am having a bad day. The gentle sound of rain. Good things that can make life better.

Today was full of magic. I got to my doctor appointment at what I thought was the right time--but was mistaken on the schedule. The doctor had a cancellation right when I needed it.

Once I got out of the doctor's office I went shopping at Costco--a stressful experience for me under good conditions. By the time that I got to the checkout I was shaky, anxious, and confused. The very attentive cashier caught some bad produce in my haul. Then I didn't notice that something I was purchasing came in a pack of two, not one. He offered to go get me a new pack from the far back of the store. I turned him down, but he didn't need to offer. He didn't need to be nice--that is outside of his job description--but he was.kind.

Finally, the sweet smell of cherries wafting through the house was wonderful. It was all due to a good friend who helped me pick fresh cherries yesterday. Today I started processing them; the sheer smell of them was heavenly and instantly upped my mood, which had been sagging.


It happens when you least expect it, but most need it. That is magic.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Actual Progress!

I actually have lost ten pounds! Thanks to being female, I was retaining water like you would not believe. I got on the scale this morning and was a full pound and a half lighter than yesterday. 220 pounds!

Ten pounds in a month. I call that success. Yesterday I was really bummed out from the lack of progress, but today lent a whole new boost to my confidence. That is one thing about being female--you don't have steady weight loss. I was not taking that into consideration.

So, now that I have gotten to my next milestone what do I get? "The Witcher" video game! I purchased it a week ago but did not download it until I knew that I had hit my goal. I just need to make sure that playing the game does not interfere with my exercise. Next up is buying a movie (215lbs).

Mentally this gives me a kick in the rear to not give up hope. I got my second (and last) shipment of Nutrisystem food yesterday. This week I start eating real food supplemented by their food for when I don't want to cook. It is scary to go back to eating healthily without the regimented portions, but I know that I can do it, especially with the help of my handy dandy food scale. Eating out is going to be where it is hard, but I am pretty good at estimating portions.

I am not sure if I am going to keep up the six meals a day thing. I am guessing that I will reign it in to four or five meals depending on how I feel that day. Breakfast, lunch, (snack,) dinner, snack. We shall see. Since eating six meals a day involves eating mostly 200 calorie meals, with the exception of dinner which is 300 and night snack which is 100. It is easier to keep meals at around the 300 calorie mark for actual meal preparation.

220 pounds. It doesn't feel much different from 230. I picked up about ten pounds of groceries (really a gallon of milk--8.6 pounds) and felt how heavy that was in my hand. That is how much weight I have lost. That is how much weight is no longer on my knees, on my ankles, and on my mind. It really brought home the significance of what I have managed to accomplish.

I can do this. I have done this. I will do this. I can't wait till tomorrow when I step on the scale at the doctor's office and see the difference. My doc said that losing weight while on my meds was "incredibly difficult." I will show her that incredibly difficult does not mean impossible, just challenging. I can take that challenge.

220 pounds. Down from 230. Yes! Just take it a pound at a time. An inch at a time. A step at a time.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Progress...I Guess

It has been a week since I last weighed in. I am down exactly one half of a pound. Blegh. I was hoping for something more... impressive. I probably should not have expected so much given the loss previously combined with my weight-gaining meds, but still, it stinks. To know that you are doing everything right, following instructions to the letter, exercising and eating right, all for a measly half pound.

On the other hand, I could have gained that half pound, or one pound, or more. I could gain back all that I started to lose. THAT would truly stink.

I have worked out every day, no breaks, including yesterday when weather started jerking me around, since the 11th of this month. I think that may be a record for me! Now when I say "work out" I am not talking about anything more than swimming and walking, but it is a great success for me. I feel better, mentally, when I have an outlet for all the pent up energy I get--manic or not. I hope that I will continue to get out and about--even for just a few minutes at a time.

I feel wrong. I feel off. I feel fed up with this stinking roller coaster. Whine, whine, complain. Moan, groan, etc. You get the idea.

So I will take my measly little half pound and hope that the coming weeks are a bit more impressive--or at least not gains.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Dog's Day

Dear Dog,

You went out last night, right before bed. Yet, at 4am you decide you need to go out for a breath of fresh air.

It is time to get up. You lay right in the middle of the floor, begging for pettins. I try not to fall over you.

Breakfast time. You are so awake that you are positively wiggling--trying to jiggle the food off of my plate.

Nap time. The snoring is unbearable. You need a doggie c-pap machine.

Lunch time. You are soooo hungry. Starved. Pay no attention to the bowl of dog food.

Nap time. You wake yourself up barking, scaring me in the process. Thank you very much.

AWAKE! Play. And play. And play. Take a break for a drink. Play.

Snuggle time. You insist on pettins. Head under my arm. Nose on the laptop. Failing that, you lay on my feet to make darn sure that I can't get up without you noticing.

A noise! Oh no! Barking galore. You have to scare off that big old trash machine, or the truck door that closed at the neighbor's house. I have to open the door to get you to shut up and realize there is no one at the door.

Dinner. Dog food? You don't need no stinking dog food. No, you want my dinner. Only in dad's world do you get food from a dinner plate. But yet you persist.

Walk time. I start to put on shoes and you start dancing. I pick up the leash and you start prancing. Off we go and you are lovin' it. Get home, get a drink, and pass out.

Sleep time. I'm busy. But it is 10pm, and you know that is the time that we go to bed. You want to go outside. But I'm busy. But you don't care. I put down the laptop and we actually get to bed on time.

The cycle of dog continues. You keep me sane, usually. You are my buddy, my pest, my entertainment.

So, dearest dog, thank you for being you. Now could we keep the barking down a little bit?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Book. The Doubt.

I am writing a book--even have most of it written. It is a sci-fi story about a distopian near future full of cyberware, drugs, and choices. About every one to two months I pick it up and start editing, start adding to it. It's a constant process and it is about time to start again. I also have a short story that I have been working on for almost as long as the book.

It's scary.

I read some sections and think, "Holy hell, this is great!" But normally the reaction I get is, "What the hell, why would anyone want to read this?" The self doubt is crazy. Brainz (with a z) on repeat saying, "You're not good enough. It's not good enough." Okay, so that last bit it true, for now.

But how do you know when it is good enough? Good enough to share with friends? Good enough to share with others? I don't know yet. I don't know that I ever will be positive.

So what now? Keep editing. Adjusting. Fiddling. Pushing till it works as best as I can. Which leads us back to questioning what I think is the best I can do. It never will be good enough in my eyes--of that I am sure. But if it never is, then how can I try publishing it? I can't.

Fear. Doubt, Insecurity. All these things are written into the pages. It doesn't matter if it is a short work or a full book, all those things are intertwined. Now I am trying to tease apart the emotions from the stories, but that can be dangerous and leave the writing cold and wanting. I need to figure out at what point it is really good enough. Not perfect. Good enough.

Till then, till I get to "good enough," I will keep at it and adjust as needed. Anyone know how to overcome the doubt? Not the immediate doubt--the necessary doubt to fix major issues--but the permanent doubt--the doubt that paralyzes perfectly good writing.

How do I overcome that?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Getting Things Done

Yesterday was busy. As in bordering-on-full-manic busy. In addition to the watering and grocery shopping I got a lot more done in the house; a lot more.

I did remember to eat, though sometimes it was much belated because I had just forgotten to go to the fridge or the "just one more thing" phenomenon hit. It didn't help that sometime that morning, after I had come in from the garden, I had a nice strong cup of tea. Since I haven't been drinking much caffeine lately, the one glass was enough to tip me into manic mode.
I started out itching to do something and read that an uncluttered kitchen makes you less likely to snack. To the kitchen! Now the room needed some love anyway as I have been sort of ignoring the growing pile of random stuff on one of my counters, but that was not the only thing I attacked. All the surfaces, all the counters, and all the appliances--including the stove, which tends to be the last thing cleaned. I even made a shrine of tea supplies (I do enjoy my tea) where it makes sense to put it rather than jumbled down by the stove.

There. One room down.

The bathroom was still a mess from all the tar that I had to clean off of the dog's paws a few days ago. Luckily, the tar does not stick too tightly to porcelain, but the tub liner down the center was looking like someone had been throwing mud balloons at it; very sticky mud balloons. I sprayed it down with baby oil and let it sit. Came back and scrubbed and washed it off. Hmm... not quite there yet. So I repeated the process. It looks great!  Now if only I could get tar off of the rug.

Two (and a half?) rooms down.

Then there was the main living room, or what is standing in for the main room till the real living room is finished (long story). For the past few weeks I have been staying in one little area of the room where there is space to sit and park things like drinks and food. Bearing in mind that my carpet looks like someone threw four different colors of brown at the floor, lots of things can hide in it. For example: tar bits, dog nail clippings (which I added to yesterday), fur, more fur, dirt, crumbs, and yet more fur. I vacuumed it all up and did the workshop as well while I was already at it.

Three rooms down.

Then there were the tables. I was running out of room on my side table where I sit. I finally went through the mail, trash, and books on the two tables and found their surfaces (mostly). It is amazing how much can accumulate on a surface while you are too busy trying to do other things. In this case I had spent too much time in the real living room so this room became the drop station for "things I'll do later." Later finally came.

Two tables down.

Finally, I decided to take the dog for a walk once it cooled off a little. The walk was a little over a mile and a half--not much compared to some of my recent walks, but not bad either. I was amazed at how many people were gathered in one spot playing "Pokemon Go." Granted, I was one of the many who were staring at their phones, waiting for something to appear.

At least I have the dog to keep me aware of my surroundings (especially for things like skateboards, which, according to my dog, are the wheels of the devil). I also found many people with dogs who just weren't paying attention to how their pooches were behaving. There were two dogs that would have torn Link's throat out (well...they would have tried) had they gotten off leash. Others were just wandering about on a retractable leash, tripping whoever they walked up to. But I guess the owners didn't see anything wrong with the situation.

Walk down.

Finally, I forced myself to take a break and watch Netflix while I had a snack after dinner. The meds kicked in and I was no longer bouncing off the walls.

Yesterday: the day of Getting Things Done.