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    Thursday, February 28, 2008

    Four Things About Me...

    My friend Catie tagged me, so here it is:


    Grocery Store

    In-Laws' House

    Mom's house

    Big Lots




    My sisters




    Chicken Breast

    Green beans


    (Check me out with my great food choices, yeah?)


    in bed, snoozing in a silent house

    in my house when it's CLEAN (rather than being here while it's NOT, LOL)

    someplace warm with my kids and hubby

    in a jacuzzi with a book and a blended SF mocha


    Legends of the Fall

    Anne of Green Gables (all of them)

    Driving Miss Daisy




    Lisa C.

    One Crazy Mom


    Wednesday, February 27, 2008

    So Here I Go Again On My Own...

    No, it's not an 80's metal tune (ok, yes it is, but that's not the point...), in this case, it's me. Back on the Beach. On my own. No partner (other than my mom, who has embraced this way of life and is happier/healthier than ever), no counting on someone else to keep me accountable - just me. Starting again, as of last Monday. I know, I know, I'm sick of hearing about it from me, too. But bear with me.

    South Beach is not a diet. It offers a plan, a real plan, that can give you these things:

    >healthy years added to your life;
    >a distinct absence of illness, heart disease, high BP, diabetes;
    >a way to eat that you really can manage forever, if you choose to.

    If you're in the school of thought that says "it's just a diet", then you are uninformed. Can you take the food guide, and use it as "just" a diet? Sure, I've done it several times. Lost (and gained) 20 pounds in the last six months doing it that way. But that's because I didn't get it.

    I'm starting to get it.

    We persist in a love-hate relationship with food, but mostly we love it - but only the stuff that's killing us as a society. We eat because we're happy. We eat because we're sad. We eat as part of the ritual of family, of friendship, of love and of hate. We give ourselves excuses to overindulge, to make horrible food choices, and to eat things we know are killing us, whether we'll admit it or not. We give ourselves time frames in which to "straighten up", "eat up the bad stuff", and "get prepared to change". And then when our deadline comes and goes, we sometimes make a short-lived effort, but almost always find a way to let ourselves out of the deal that we made.

    It's not even a weight issue. Some of the thinnest people I know are also some of the most unhealthy in terms of what they put in their bodies.

    I've lived smack dab in the middle of this food pit of despair, and am as guilty as they come. I've always said "I just love food. I love eating for the texture, the taste, blah, blah, blah..." And all the while, I have been in denial about what those food choices are doing to me. And while I've read the SB book, and understood it on an intellectual level, tried it for a while, read it again as I went "off of it", and did the standard nod whilst saying "Yes, that certainly makes where's that pie?" - I still didn't get it.

    I'm starting to get it.

    I'm starting to see the role food has played in my life, and why and how I can choose RIGHT NOW, to STOP it. To make a different choice. To have/make/allow NO excuses to eat garbage, to kill my body from the inside, to make my life harder than it needs to be. I can choose that. It's not a process I have to go through, it's not a long, painful journey I must travel before I can reach enlightenment. Maybe that's why it seems so different to me this time, being back on the beach. I have no delusions that I'll be perfect every day. But it's like I have had this change of heart that has rewritten everything I believe about food.

    Food is just food. It's fuel. It's energy. It's medicine. But it's not pleasure or pain, it's not happiness or sadness, it fills no void but the one in my stomach. It's just food. I've come to a new understanding about the role food should play in my life.

    It's like this. Perfume smells nice. It has some positive, pleasing qualities to it, no? Certainly better than, say, gasoline. But imagine what would happen to your vehicle if you put perfume in it instead of gasoline. Even though it smells better, even though it seems more pleasing going in, even though you might think "Oh, GOSH, this perfume SMELLS SO MUCH BETTER than gas" would destroy your engine. That's why you would never even CONSIDER putting perfume in your gas tank, would you? You want your vehicle to run well for as long as possible, so you only give it what it needs.

    No matter what.

    No matter how much gasoline grosses you out, no matter how much you hate the smell, you would never fill up with Chanel instead of Conoco, would you?

    So why don't we see that we should treat our bodies the same way - we should only give it what it NEEDS, whether we "like it" or not, because doing anything else is a recipe for disaster. How sad, that we care more about our vehicles than we do our bodies! A new car is certainly NOT cheaper than a quadruple bypass, a heart attack, or 30/40/50 years of BP meds, or insulin. And yet, we do it every day - put perfume in our gas tanks and then wonder why we're stranded on the side of the road...tired, sick and fat, and knowing that we should have used the gas in the first place.

    It's an interesting process I'm going through, but I am hopeful it is one that will bring me to the place where I can, and do, choose to be healthy (and hopefully thinner) every day for the rest of my life. My husband, my kids, and my grandkids deserve my best efforts, don't they?

    Thanks for reading.

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    The Cab Ride

    My little sister sent me this...because she likes to make me cry...

    When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, and then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

    "Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

    The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

    "Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

    She kept thanking me for my kindness. "It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated".

    "Oh, you're such a good boy", she said.

    When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

    "It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

    "Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".

    I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

    I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

    "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

    For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband hadlived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniturewarehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

    As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

    We drove in silence to the address she had given me.It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under aportico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

    I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

    "How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

    "Nothing," I said.

    "You have to make a living," she answered.

    "There are other passengers," I responded.

    Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

    "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

    I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

    I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

    What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?

    What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

    On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

    We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


    You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you pass this on. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate.

    Thank you, my friend...

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    PSA: DO NOT BUY a New TV!

    Well, buy one if you want to, but don't buy one because of this stupid fucking "digital scare".

    Seriously pisses me off. Hear me clearly. You do NOT, repeat, NOT, need to buy a digital TV. No, you don't. Seriously.

    This is DIRECT from the governement's website:

    "... television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation’s transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission’s digital television website at:

    Analog TVs Will Need Additional Equipment to Receive Over-the-air Television
    When the DTV Transition Ends - Consumers who rely on antennas (including outside antennas and "rabbit ears") to receive over-the-air broadcast signals on TV sets having only analog tuners will need to obtain separate digital-to-analog set-top converter boxes to watch over-the-air TV. These boxes receive digital signals and convert them into analog format for display on analog TVs. Analog sets connected to such converter boxes will display digital broadcasts, but not necessarily in the full, original digital quality.

    Did you read that? OVER-THE-AIR. That means antenna. Go look at your TV. Does it have a set of rabbit ears hooked up to it? A wire hanger with tin foil? Is that the ONLY thing hooked up to it? Go out and check your roof. Anything anntenna-ish up there?


    Basically, if you PAY for your TV service, it will continue to work, before or after February 2009. Pass it on. Please. I am sick of the "hurry and buy your new TV" hype. Nauseating.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled Monday.

    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    Sweet Baby William

    With my friend Amanda's permission, I plan to start blogging about William soon. Some of you may know that a fellow "August 06 baby family" lost their Aug 06 baby, William, on New Year's Eve. It has been a horrific, saddening, maddening, heartbreaking journey, and blogging about it has been in the back of my head, but I am feeling the urge to write about it more and more as of late. Amanda has agreed to let me write about William (I would never have proceeded otherwise), and so I plan to do just that. He was such a sweet boy; he had a smile that lit up a room; he had a beautiful life ahead of him; and now he is living his eternal reward, happy and content, and watching us from above.

    But we are left, nonetheless, to pick up the pieces and move on without him. Therein lies the problem, the difficulty, and the ongoing struggle for all of us who knew and loved him.

    More to come.


    Friday, February 15, 2008

    Set on Vibrate

    This is apparently what's going on with my heart's cell phone. Ha. Ha.

    For the last few days, once in a while, it feels like my heart is buzzing. I thought it was my lungs, and I thought I just had some congestion, you know how that sometimes feels "buzzy" when you breathe? So I stopped breathing when it was happening last night, and it kept going. So it's NOT my lungs, it's my heart. It lasts a few seconds and then goes away, but it's coming more frequently as the days go by. Also feels like I can't quite catch my breath (can't quite breathe in deep enough) when it happens.

    This is a little scary, actually. Anyone know if a buzzing heart is a sign of a heart attack? OY...I'm off to google...

    UPDATE: Everything I can find suggests it's a heart murmur. Which would NOT surprise me. Samantha has a benign murmur, and my dad has irregular heartbeat, and Mom's heart races a lot, wouldn't surprise me if she had one, too. So based on what I've read, a lot of people had this same thing, went and spent a TON of money on EKG's/CTScans/tests/x-rays, all to find out that their hearts are fine, they just have a slight murmur.

    So for now I am going to continue trying to take better care of myself all the time, and try to ignore the buzzing in my heart. Now that I know it's nothing "serious", it's kind of just irritating. Then again, is there anything that buzzes repeatedly that's NOT irritating?


    The weekend is always our greatest challenge when trying not to eat out. I should get my kitchen cleaned up, get some snacky stuff, and some good (healthy) comfort food made, lest we give in and blow O:NBMSKFRTBJBPMJPHAW right out of the water.

    I think we may need a trip to the store to lend success to my mission. I'm tired thinking about hauling both kids there by myself (I know, two kids is "nothing" for those who haul many more around, but I can't hang with you girls and have admitted that fully), so maybe I'll just make supper and we'll go tonight when Greg is home, as usual. I have NO idea what will happen if I ever have to go on a regular basis on my own. Can you say LAZY?

    Any suggestions for your favorite make-at-home foods would be welcomed...but you'd have to leave a comment to do, uh, go ahead and do that!

    Thursday, February 14, 2008


    FYI, apparently skipping the treadmill and spending an hour cleaning my bedroom and folding laundry* with Greg** burns more calories than walking on the damn treadmill - I was down two pounds this morning.

    Tonight is our one digression from "Operation No BurgerMcSonicKentuckyFriedRunzaTacoBellJohnsBuenoPapaMurphysJohns
    PizzaHutArbysWendys" (gosh, I still think that needs a better name!), but Greg is bringing the chinese here b/c we are battling colds again. So it's chinese tonight, but I will make my own brown rice and not eat their white-rice-of-death, and it will be goooooood. Maybe. Or maybe I don't even need rice. But definitely need the crab rangoons. No lie.

    *Yes, we "really" folded laundry...get your head out of the gutter. Ok, or don 't, whichever. What do I care what you do with your head? As John MacIntyre once said of his own head being there, "I can't help it. It's attached to my body." Good old MASH - something for every occasion.

    **Did I tell you he was the best ever, or what?

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Two Days On The Treadmill...

    ...has gained me exactly jack-shit so far. I am not impressed.

    Spare me the "you're building muscle", "it takes time", and the "stick with it, you'll see results eventually" business. I am still a fatty patty, my BF% has not gone down one scrap, my weight hasn't either, my gut is still hugemongous, along with everything else on me. And I am too damned impatient to wait around for 9 weeks to see if walking is going to make a difference for me when I'm forcing myself to go on there every day as it is, hoping for a tiny, teeny, little bit of a result. Especially since I am eating VERY well, just as I should be, and drinking nothing but water and green tea. So then when I weigh in, I am SUPER pissed the next morning when I look at the scale.

    OK, I know I have what is probably a superbly unhealthy attitude about my weight, my food, and my exercise. My friend Cristina told me "...that fat doesn't belong to you, get rid of it. If you are not happy with it, just don't keep it..." She's right, I think, and I am looking for takers - who'd like some? Where can I drop it off? Can I set you up for auto-delivery? I do deliver. Let me know. There's gotta be someone underweight who'd just LOVE to gain 20 as fast as I can, doesn't there?

    Wait - maybe that's it.

    To the batcave, Robin. I've got it.

    I think I need to market my lifestyle as a plan FOR those who claim they "cannot gain weight". I, myself, have NO idea how that could be possible short of a medical-slash-thyroid issue, but as I understand it, it happens. If I'm not absolutely 100% vigilant about what I eat all of every day, and not actively pursuing weight loss (and failing, I might add), I am gaining. Period.

    It's all falling into place, I am getting a plan in my head.

    My eating habits, my lifestyle, my activity level, my lack of vitamin-taking, my loathing of exercise - all charted, documented, and then packaged for the express purpose of helping people GAIN weight, which I can do with NO effort at all, utilizing only my brilliant fat-bringing lifestyle...uh-huh, yes, I'm feeling this now...

    I could offer a supplement pack, and the supplements could be FROOT LOOPS...exercise is a MAXIMUM of 12 minutes a day, and generally for optimum gaining, NONE is recommended. A web addiction is helpful and can enhance the results of this plan. You may attempt a diet plan while on this plan, but must believe in your heart it will fail while never speaking it out loud, until you give up, and then you must state that you knew it wouldn't work. This is crucial.

    How can I not have seen this before? I'm like the waitress on the Cox commercial, dumping water all over her customers as she has a revelation about cable phone service. Except for my revelation is about my helping-skinny-people-who-want-to-get-fat-plan. I have never felt more helpful in my life.

    It's brilliant, no?

    OK, fine. I'll go get on the stupid treadmill. Not that it'll do any good. Picture me frumping away from the keyboard. Fat people frump effortlessly, so it's easy to picture, go ahead. More later, after I waste a few minutes making my legs hurt.

    Damn, I want a Whopper.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    Fast Food Strike

    Not a "strike" so much, we're not boycotting in protest or making some statement about fast food (or slow food, for that matter). We're just sick of bleeding money, eating out when we have six gazillion dollars in food in the cupboard/freezers, and in general wasting money because I am a big lazy ass. So for one month, we will eat out not-at-all. This has never been attempted in this house, although we generally do try to restrict ourselves to "x" number of times per week, or only weekends, etc. But somehow it always creeps back into being more often than it should be. So we decided to, for one month, put the kai-bosh (how DO you spell that word?) on it altogether.

    Except for Thursday. We had already agreed to go to Panda House (our fave chinese rest.) for Valentine's Day before the inception of "Operation No BurgerMcSonicKentuckyFriedRunzaTacoBellJohnsBuenoPapaMurphysJohnsPizzaHutArbysWendys" (is it me, or does that not flow too well? Hmmm...), and since the kids love going there as much as we do, and we already told SKC we were going, we will go. But other than that, it's ix-nay on the ast-fay ood-fay til mid-March. Details as they become available on how this affects our pocket book, the amount of garbage we produce, and my weight. Not that it should, because, you know, I'm a salad girl myself, whether at home or away, right?

    Ok, even I can't keep a straight face when I type that. But I'm really TRYING to become a salad girl, I swear!

    Hey, things are looking up. As I type, I can hear Greg upstairs, doing dishes. THAT is a good thing. I should go walk on the treadmill. Maybe I'll do just that. Except now Jackson is standing atop the stairs, BAWLING like he learned to whine from a pro (oh, wait - he did) and moaning "Mammmmaaaaaa, Mammmmmaaaaaa, Mammmmmaaaaa..." over and over. Whiner. These kids need to toughen up a little bit around here dammit. Life sucks, your mom's a bitch, and then you die, people. The sooner you figure it out, the happier you'll be.

    OK, I should stop now. I'm a little TOO grumpy. Back again soon, readers.

    Oh, and if you haven't already, sign the heck up to receive updates on my BLOG, please - I am SUCH a good asker that you have to give me what I want, right? Isn't that the rule around here? She says please so she gets whatever she wants? Right? OK?

    Filth Flarn Foul Filth

    I am GRUMPY, but I didn't do it on my own, trust me.

    Samantha is a total whiny ass. OK, ok, so she's four. I know, fine. But seriously, this child was pa-thet-IC about a half an hour ago, bless her whiny little heart. She got a sliver in her middle finger, which I know is no fun. But you'd have thought we were torturing her on a rack, or beating her with a belt when we took it out. I know slivers hurt, I know needles are scary, I know. But she is NOT distractable, and cannot be bought or sold when she's FREAKING OUT. She made it take four times longer than necessary, hurt more than it needed to, and made Greg and I both grumpy, and in turn then silently pissy at one another. I wasn't doing it right, he wasn't doing it right, you know the drill.

    Oh, and I'm still not sure we got it all out. Greg couldn't wait 14 seconds for me to find the tweezers, so he went on ahead with clippers instead, but claims that has NOTHING to do with why only half of it came out, causing us to have to dig for the rest. Because I was busy getting the goddamned tweezers I cannot say he is wrong, so I'm taking his word for it. I can, however, need a fucking break, which I did, which I took. So now I am hiding down in my office, and he is upstairs with Miss Whiny Pants and Mr Runny Nose.

    Some retail office supply therapy might help me. It's worth a shot. I wonder how late Staples is open. And if there is a bar close by. Or a McDonald's. Whichever.

    Moving Forward...Sans Office Supplies

    Or rather, sans NEW office supplies. I have enough office supplies in my office to last me until the second coming, which is what defeated my intent to raid Staples. Greg had just opened the bottom cupboard in my office and found my three piles of unused notebooks a mere two hours before I presented him with my stolen "go to Staples and then solve all my life problems" plan. So much for that!

    So I am forging ahead, new office supplies or not. I have drawn out my new "schedule-to-be", guaranteed to restructure and complete my life in a way I cannot fully comprehend, I am sure of it. I hope to have a working copy to plaster on the walls of my house soon. It details my daily needs, the house's daily needs, the kids' daily needs, and everything in between. I will possibly even be laminating it so I can use dry-erase markers to note my successes daily. But I don't have a laminator.

    I'll bet Staples has a laminator. Hmm.

    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    Back to Business

    I am serious, now. I am getting back to blogging more regularly. I am also getting back on my treadmill, and getting serious about getting this weight off. AND about getting my house in order. And I'm getting my paperwork filed/shredded/sorted because it is about to take over the house. And I need to get busy on garage sale stuff because Mrs M and I are selling EVERYTHING we own this spring, and whatever's left goes to Goodwill, period. TCB, as my dad used to say.

    That's "Takin' Care of Business", BTW, in case you don't know. Not "Titties Could be Bigger" or "Tomboys Can't Bake" or "Tasty Crusty Biscuits". Just wanted to clarify, y'know.

    Anyway, my fellow (and much more devoted to the craft) blogger Ashley (Click on her name to check her out), is mid-revelation about changes needed in her life, and is planning the purchase of absolutely necessary office supplies to enact said changes. A girl after my own heart. One who sees the value, the goodness, the fix-bringing of a good new notebook. And new pens. And folders and boxes to hold it all.

    And now I am motivated. Ash, you have given me new spark to, frankly, get off my ass, get busy, and get some shit done around here. After I go to Staples. Thank you, my fellow "not a supermom". Together, with our new office accoutrements, we will set things right. I just know it.