Monday, December 29, 2008


I'm exhausted.

We had a ton of fun over the long Christmas weekend, but I really need some REST. Of course, that is nowhere in sight until after our New Year's Eve Ball. At the moment, I'm dreaming of lying in bed with a book while the Ball unfolds around me. But, of course, that won't happen!

Christmas Eve was our usual -- Indian food, back to the house to keep on wrapping, then a rainy walk on the Venice canals to see lights and there weren't as many as usual so that was a little disappointing! Christmas Day we had to make sure to get up kind of early (8:30) because we had to be done with the gifts for me, Mommy and DB by 11 to leave for PD1's Christmas bash. Santa DB was very good to me (and only went over our 4 gift maximum a little bit!): a gorgeous Tiffany heart necklace (my favorite), fantastic new computer (with no tower -- whole computer is in the monitor!), sound-blocking earphones, a new pillow and MORE. I also got the complete Harry Potter books, the new Wally Lamb book and my first Crockpot (which I loved so much that we took a photo of me hugging it!). ;-) We had lots of fun. Then we hurried and got "dressed" (I put on a top with Christmas jammy bottoms) and went to PD1's for more presents, food and fun. It is great to be with the kids and grandkids on Christmas. Indescribably great. :-)

Did I mention that PD1 is having a new baby? Yup. Due in July. That makes 4 for her and 6 total grandkids by next Christmas! :-)

Friday I got up at 7:30 AM to go to the gym. Please feel free to applaud. ;-)

We left at 10 to drop my mom off at home then drive to Nearby Town to see DB's mom and The Good One. I got some good shopping in at Old Navy while the boys had some alone time. Then one of DB's sisters and her brood showed up on Friday night too and we had a ball playing poker for matches until bedtime (after The Good One grilled us steaks and I made grilled potatoes and salad -- I was longing for green veggies after the meal on Xmas at PDs where the closest thing to a vegetable was a corn and massive cheese casserole).

Saturday we left Nearby Town at about 1 and headed home with a short pit stop at an outlet mall (WAY too crowded, but I needed some V neck long-sleeved t-shirts that they had on sale at the Gap). We got home in time for MORE wrapping (for Princess' Xmas and Smiley's birthday on Sunday), a quick nap then off to Indian dinner with some friends. We were home by 9 and in bed by 10. That was NICE. DB watched Blade Runner on the new contraption I got him that allows you to watch "instant" Netflix movies on your home tv through your computer. The idea is great, the resolution and sound not-so-great. I fell asleep before it was over. Long before it was over. ;-)

I got up at 9:30 yesterday morning and went to the gym. A standing ovation might be in order here. ;-)

Then we did our usual beach walk for breakfast and headed back to PD1's for more celebrating. And sugar. Of course. Then we stopped for dinner with some friends who live near her...luckily they agreed to Chinese food so I could get some veggies. I am craving veggies. Starved for them.

I also feel very very poochy. I have not been paying attention to what goes in my mouth other than to say "yum". The two gym trips may have helped a little, but I am sure there is damage. Which I will deal with...SOON.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ho ho ho!

I truly do love this time of year at work -- everyone else in my business seems to be away (or hibernating) and I have a chance to catch up and clean my office in peace. Ahhhh, peace. It's lovely.

I am still veryveryvery busy getting ready for Christmas. Had a lot of holiday celebrating over the weekend and, now that most of our shopping (and my baking) is done, we are facing the daunting mountain of wrapping! That's what I'll be doing tonight after the gym. Wish me luck. I hope I don't reinjure my arm! ;-)

Tomorrow night will be the traditional Indian dinner then walking the Venice canals to look at the lights (if it's not raining too hard -- it has been chilly and rainy here and, frankly, I like it -- it feels Christmasy!). After presents on Xmas morning, we (me, DB and my mom) are all headed to PD1's house for the day. We'll see both the PDs and their families and open presents. Considering that I used to be a "I want to stay home in my jammies all day on Christmas Day" person, it's amazing how much I absolutely LOVE this tradition of getting together with DB's side of the family. It will be really nice to get to take my mom this year too. AND we get to wear our jammies to go there! Score! :-)

At the moment, we all plan to come back to our place for Xmas night (although DB may be going up to Nearby Town to hang with The Nice One who is there all alone with their mom right now). Mommy will go home on Friday morning and DB and I plan to go up to Nearby Town for overnight with The Nice One and their mom. Saturday we'll be back in town, then going to Korean dinner with some friends. Sunday is Smiley (number 3 grandchild)'s birthday party (her b-day is Monday -- she'll be 4) and we'll be back at PD1's house for that (and for Xmas with Princess who is now in Southern State with her daddy and his family). Yes, there will be NO REST this weekend. :-(

However, there WILL BE REST the next weekend. Count on it. Of course, that will be after the New Year's Ball that we are throwing at our house. ;-)

Merry Christmas and I wish all of you out there in blogland all the magic and joy of this season!!

Friday, December 19, 2008


That sounds nice a soft and cozy for this time of year, right? Well, today I'm thinking about cushions. When I got on the scale this morning, I realized that my cushion-y body was a little less so today -- down almost 3 pounds. Now I'm back in a range to get this party started again after Christmas. That is...if I stay here at this poundage. Which, clearly, is not guaranteed since this is "that" time of year. So at least I have a cushion if I eat really poorly next week.

This week I maintained my equilibrium by watching and making up for when I ate something "bad". For example: on a day when I had my piece of Godiva (two days this week, actually), I cut back elsewhere in my calories for that day. Now, you may have seen Vickie's comment about cutting out good nutrition in order to make up for "bad" food. And she's right. This is clearly not ideal. However, I am aware that I am a person who would feel extremely resentful if I did not have at least a few "treats" at Christmas. I understand everyone else can't/doesn't operate this way, but for me it is essential to figure out how I get through the holidays happy and not outrageously off the wagon. This week, this is what worked FOR ME. :-)

My plan for the rest of the holiday season is to do the same: basically eat less of what I usually do to make up for extra "treaty" calories that I want to enjoy. This just means being extra Drastic at meals where I am not in my usual place. This is how I can still stay in control. At least it is how I PLAN to stay in control... ;-)

I baked a bunch of cookies this week to give away and also made a dish for our staff potluck lunch today (wild rice salad...probably will be the healthiest thing there!). The cookies that I made with applesauce instead of Crisco came out ok -- they don't have the real look or texture of the "real" cookies I have made in the past, but they taste pretty good. I would definitely make things this way for my own and my family's consumption. Probably would NOT for gift-giving just because they are not as luscious as I think Christmas cookies "need" to be! Yeah, I know...

I did NOT lick the mixers or taste more than a tiny bite of any of the cookies. This is fairly easy for me because I am not a real sweet person (not that I don't like my sweets, but they are not a binge food). I was proud of myself for this. It probably is a first.

Last night I got totally frustrated with being a girly girl when it comes to cars: a couple of people had mentioned that my tires looked low. I couldn't see it myself and since I have an appointment to go in to the dealership for scheduled service tomorrow I thought I could wait. Then I looked again and they did look low so I went to the filling station to try to fix. I borrowed a tire gauge (couldn't find mine) that sucked. Measured (in the dark), filled, measured some more. Spent double on the air that I should have had to. I'm still not sure if my tires are at 15 psi or 40. Can't they make tires that don't have these problems!! Thank God DB is home did I ever deal without him?! (Answer: I never ever checked my tires unless they were totally flat.)

Tonight I am going with a few friends to work with a charity that distributes food boxes to the poor/disadvantaged for Christmas. We will be working at a huge hangar at the local airport and putting the boxes together and packing them up to be distributed this weekend. I am really looking forward to this. This year, more than ever, I am getting pleasure from helping those who are less fortunate than me. It gives me an amazing feeling of...LOVE.

Then tomorrow I have to get a bang trim, gym, buy last-minute gifts, take my car in then celebrate with some friends for dinner tomorrow night. Sunday is similar: gym, bake cake to take to Yule celebration Sunday night, Yule celebration then dinner with some other friends. Next week: more cookies for DB and Mommy. :-)

I love Christmas. And I love it more when I'm 20 pounds less than I was last Christmas! ;-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snuggly winter day...

A quick word about chocolate: I have noticed that when I eat REALLY GOOD DARK chocolate, I don't get those weird post-eating-sugar cravings/crashes. At all. When I eat this, I seem to be fine with "just one". Hmmmm...

...and my sweetie is away! :-(

But I am doing really well this week and didn't do too badly last weekend either! Everything went as planned over the weekend until Sunday morning: when I called PD1 to say when we'd be on our way over to pick up Princess, PD1 said Princess was on serious punishment and couldn't go. :-( This really made me sad because I was looking forward to it so much...and apparently Princess was too or this wouldn't have been such a bad punishment. BUT it all worked out ok. PD1 said she would go with me (yay!) and I told her that I was planning to have Princess shop not just for herself but for gifts for her family -- learning how fun it is to GIVE (which, by the way, she's very good at actually). This was a surprise for PD1 too and she quickly revamped the plan: got Princess to make a wish list for her family, all the things she'd like to buy for them. Then when we arrived at the house, Princess told me the gifts on this list that she would most want to get for her family...and PD1 and I were off! We got presents for Princess to give to everyone...and she was thrilled. And I sneakily got a lot of ideas for PD1 too... ;-) We had a really fun day.

I did another big shop on Monday night and filled in some gaps in our list. By this weekend when DB gets back there should only be a few things to finish up. Yay! I love that I got this huge family when I got DB and I love love LOVE shopping, but I am POOPED. And broke. ;-)

Today I got the last package off to my NYC should make it in time...whew! Tonight I have to go grocery shopping for ingredients to make things to take to two potlucks over the next few days. I'll be cooking and baking tonight too. And am going to try to bake cookies with shortening substitutes (applesauce or butter...I know, butter is not THAT much better, but...). I've never done this and hope they turn out ok!!

I've made it to the gym on my regular days this week except for Sunday -- I figure that 4 1/2 hours of non-stop on-my-feet shopping counts at least a little. ;-)

I'm feeling good. Despite that one piece of Godiva chocolate I had yesterday. ;-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

What I must remember during this season: EXERCISE

I am down a mere half pound this week. While down is better than up, this is really a maintain week for me and I'm grateful. I have not been perfect, but I have been mindful. And, MOST importantly, I have been right on with my exercise. I am reminded that I am not able to lose or maintain without a serious exercise element in my life. Even a week off really messed me up.

So this weekend as I look at possibly not making it to the gym on Sunday (am taking Princess for a special she and me shopping trip), I am also looking at how I will make that up. Possibly an at-home pilates or maybe I'll do an extra gym night next week. I MUST DO THIS if I want to maintain until January and continue losing after that.

All this is because I will not be perfect this month. I know it. I will eat a little more sometimes (not every day!) and I will drink (more on that below). And I enjoy that and I will try not to feel bad about it. I will take responsibility for what goes in my mouth. I think that last sentence might be a key to dealing with this life-long problem.

I want to "answer" Vickie's alcoholic suggestion on my last post. As a person who for some periods in my life has been an every-day drinker and who has had troubles with both food and smoking, I would be an idiot not to have considered whether I could be an alcoholic. I am aware that I have an addictive personality. I have looked more than once at "what is an alcoholic?" stuff on-line. And, while I certainly have some of the "symptoms" sometimes, for now I feel confident saying that I am not an alcoholic. BUT I definitely risk heading down that road. And I am mindful of it. I am trying not to be defensive here, but truthful. I think that, for people who don't drink or very rarely drink, the idea of someone having a drink every day (or more than one) probably sounds like an alcoholic. To me, someone who might do something every day that I don't might sound like an addict to that thing too so I understand. But the reality of my life is that I enjoy having a drink (or more)...and the challenge is not letting it get out of control. Yes, my friends, I am sure it's not a surprise to you that I can get out of control!!! ;-) It sure isn't to me.

Tonight we have our firm's holiday party. I am very excited because it's at an Indian restaurant that looks very cool and I love love LOVE Indian food (which, by the way, I also think is really good for you). Can't wait to go home and get dressed up and have some fun! :-)

Tomorrow I have my usual gym then some errands and tomorrow night we are going for a slumber party to some friends' house who live about an hour or so north of here. We haven't seen them since July and we can't wait! Then Sunday, the aforementioned shopping trip with Princess. (I am close to finished with shopping after my "shopping date" with DB on Wednesday night to Target. With my family and his, we have over 15 people to buy multiple gifts for. We are trying to go easy this year, but with my niece and nephew and his grandkids, it's hard!)

DB leaves for Nearby Town on usual, I'm not looking forward to his being gone, but I have lots of things to do: wrap presents, finish shopping and bake. Hopefully the week will fly by! :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Friday post on Monday

Clearly, the weekend got away from me and I had no time to post my extended Friday blog. Like I said, holidays are fun, but tiring:

Friday night we had a friend over for a bit then we went out to dinner and fairly early to bed because Saturday I had to get to the gym, pick up my mom and take her to a two-hour eye doctor appointment (everything is ok, but the actual time out of my day was about 3 1/2 hours), get ready for a performance of The Christmas Carol at a local theatre group in a town that is part of L.A. that I had never been to (cute), then go to other friends' house to finish the night closing down their holiday party. We went to bed at 2. Got up around 10 yesterday so we could do our usual Sunday "rut" (walk down the beach for coffee and breakfast sandwich) before gym and more festivities! A friend of mine had a ladies' tea at an authentic British tearoom and it was really fun -- even though I didn't know anyone there except the hostess, all 10 of the women were really nice and interesting. I wondered if 10 men who didn't know each other could have chatted so comfortably. I ordered a lot less to eat than most (small sandwich with a little cheese and Branston pickles, salad, one small scone) and didn't leave feeling too stuffed. Small victories...

DB had to leave at 4:45 this morning for an overnight business trip. After he left, I had nightmares for the rest of my "night"'s sleep. I think I catastrophize more when he's gone and it bleeds over into my sleep. Not fun. for the Friday post:

I am NOT happy with being up 3 1/2 pounds in the two weeks with Thanksgiving in the middle. I am NOT happy that I drank beer virtually every night last week (I didn't mean that to sound like a diet tip -- I am working on really balancing much less food when I choose to drink). But I guess I AM happy that it's not worse. But it's a kind of resigned happy. Not REAL happy. I hope and plan to do better this week.

I AM so very happy in virtually every other area of my life. I have actually never BEEN happier. But the ONE THING that is making my life not perfect is my weight. I actually was wondering last week when I was sabotaging myself with yet another beer if I was doing this on purpose so I had SOMETHING that wasn't really great in my life. That sounds SO sick. I know I am not doing that consciously, but it sure looks to me like what I am doing anyway. I have started to think about going back to therapy, but really what I know I have to do is buckle down (again) and make overeating NOT AN OPTION (again).

The mechanics of losing weight are no mystery. The workings of my mind when it comes to my behavior are a little bit more of one.

I have thought about, worked on, lived with, cried over, and suffered through my weight problem for (literally) my whole life. I am certain that my metabolism has been damaged by the fluctuations in my weight. This makes me mad (oh oh, am I finally becoming an Angry Fat Girl?!)...I'm mad that I cannot eat as I see/perceive others do and maintain a lower weight....I'm mad that I somehow have still not really dealt with whatever it is that makes the weight haunt me so.

No answers today...just questions...and more holiday to-dos coming...

At least I plan to be "good" this week. Or maybe I should just say "today". One day at a time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

No time to blog, but...

...a lot to say so I'm writing public notes here as a teaser and to remind me what to say:

- Down over 4 pounds from Monday (net up in two weeks about 3 1/2 pounds)...and drank beer almost every day. :-(

- The ONLY thing in my life that continually haunts me with sadness/frustration is my weight.

- Holidays are fun...but tiring.

Will try to find some time to write over the weekend...I WANT TO!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The absurdity of the scale

I got on this morning despite my misgivings. It shows me up almost eight pounds from 10 days ago!!!! Now, I know that (a) I did not go to the gym for a full week (until yesterday) and (b) I did eat "bad" food this weekend, but EIGHT POUNDS? NO WAY. I seriously did not eat THAT much. I am posting this just to illustrate how volatile my weight can be...and how easy going UP is. God knows, going down is rougher (although my main reason for getting on the scale this morning was to have a high point that I would feel good on Friday about being down from!).

This scale adventure put a serious damper on my post Thanksgiving good feelings, but we did have a very fun weekend:

My office closed at 2 pm on Wednesday (a first in my 15 years here!) so my mom and I were able to get going early to Nearby Town. Traffic was pretty bad, but we made it in just over 2 hours (usually takes an hour and a half). We had pizza for dinner. Yes, that wasn't great, but not THAT horrible because it wasn't the greasy too cheesy kind. Settled my mom in her hotel around 9 pm and back to the family house to hang out.

Got up around 8:30 on Thursday to get going on the turkey. I had lots of help this year with side dishes (PDs brought green beans, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, strawberry pie and Sister-In-Law made fabulous mashed potatoes), so I only had to make the turkey and stuffing, oyster dressing, broccoli casserole and the pies (sweet potato and pumpkin). Did very well on food in the morning...just had some turkey jerky to tide me over. PD1 and her family arrived around noon and started cooking her dishes and PD2 and her family arrived around 3. We ate about 4:30 or so. I had one full plate with just my favorites, one-half plate with just a wee bit more broccoli casserole and corn and one and a half pieces of pie. That's it. May seem like a lot, but I don't think it really was. And probably would have been ok if I would have had time to go to the gym before yesterday...

We stayed up late Thursday night playing Apples to Apples with PD1 and her man out by the fire, then went back to the hotel for the night. Got up to the house Friday morning in time for breakfast, then gradually everyone scattered. My mom and I left about noon and DB started back a few hours later after some talks with The Evil One (yes, he's back to that). Lots of drama with his siblings over what is going to happen with the family house after their mom dies (which may not be too far in the future). The Evil One thinks he gets to live there with his wife rent-free and he is so mean (most times...although he was ok over T-day...not great) that no one else would ever get to come to use the house for family events. It was so great to see DB's girls enjoy being there for would be sad not to have that option. And the taxes on the house are incredibly low per year as long as the house stays in the family trust. But there are upkeep expenses and I don't think everyone will want to pitch in if they can't come and comfortably enjoy the house because The Evil One is growling around. It's so complicated with emotions and everything coming up and all the sibs are feeling angry/sad/resentful. :-(

Friday night we went to see Spring Awakening (which won the Tony a couple of years ago). Had great seats and it was a fun date night out, but the show was so-so. Maybe I'm too old to appreciate the teenage angst. But the music was really good! ;-)

Saturday we built concrete speed bumps/berms in two of our garages to keep them from flooding when it rains. That was an adventure! DB did most of the work because my arm was hurting too much (and I probably shouldn't be doing anything like that anyway!). I hope they work...we'll have to wait for the next rain to know for sure.

Yesterday we started to put up Christmas decorations...that was fun! Tonight I hope we can get our real tree (we got the aluminum one up yesterday). :-)

Then The Good One (DB's brother) is coming down for a few days this week and we have yet more theatre tickets for Wednesday!!! Tis the season to be art patrons... ;-)

So, I'm back on the good food wagon today. I'd be lying if I said I'm not displeased with my weigh-in today. I am displeased. Very much so. And sick of Monday posts always being about this similar thing. :-(

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Good Helen" and two fun weekends

Last weekend was SUPER fun -- in addition to Twilight (see my review below) Friday night (I guess I'm an official and the rest of the 14-year-olds! It was HOT), we went to a ball on Saturday night with some friends. I wore a long slinky gown and black and white Converse tennis shoes. I carried a wand. It was incredible fun...dressing up, lots of nice people, lots of dancing, no food! (Although we did go out for late dinner at about midnight and I had a veggie wrap and rice...good Helen!)

Sunday, I made my pies (3 sweet potato -- one to give to the local homeless dinner -- and two pumpkin). DB and I walked the beach. And I went to the gym both days...good Helen!

We had to replace the water heater for our rental apartment today (our new tenants moved in and had no hot water!)...not a fun expense, but I know this is the price you pay for home ownership. Our new tenants (a young couple from Virginia) seem really sweet.

Today DB then went up to Nearby Town to prepare the way for us all to descend for Thanksgiving.

Tonight after work I'm taking my mom to the eye doctor (she's having some retinal problems), then bringing her home with me to spend the night before we drive up to Nearby Town tomorrow night. I hope to get to the gym tonight if it's not too late. If it is, I'll do pilates at home...I canNOT go all week without formal exercise and I know I won't be able to get to a gym in Nearby Town.

Oh yeah, I finally went to my orthopedist yesterday for a very painful problem I've been having with my right elbow since soon after I cracked my wrist this summer. It had started to radiate all over my arm and shoulder and even was causing a headache this weekend. I have tendinitis in my elbow, a/k/a "golf elbow". OUCH. Started PT today and have a little band thing to wear below my elbow. PT hurt a lot, but it's going to be good to get this had gotten to the point that, over the weekend, I had to have DB open the cans for me for my pie filling ingredients! Yikes.

Tomorrow after work my mom and I will pack up the ingredients for Thanksgiving that DB did not take today (like the turkey!) and head to Nearby Town. She will stay in a hotel tomorrow night and we will stay at the family home. Thursday, the PDs and their families will arrive (both of DB's brothers will be there with family too) so we will stay in a hotel on Thursday night too. We're coming back on Friday and going to see Spring Awakening (musical). I hope to get going on Christmas decorating over the's only a month away...yikes!!!

I LOVE THANKSGIVING. I have so much to be grateful for... :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Got a what?

Despite the ice cream fiasco of last weekend (for which I remained mad at myself pretty much all week), I did a little better than maintain this week: I'm down over a pound and a half. It feels good to know that discipline works (sometimes at least!). But now I'm thinking:


Thanksgiving is next week and even if I have a small bite of everything that will be offered (which is NOT going to happen), I will not be able to maintain my losing. I know it. If I am totally great next week other than that one day, I might be able to maintain and I am going to go for that and hope for more. But:


The holidays will start in earnest. I am usually (not last year) good about avoiding the bad sugary stuff and that will help. So, assuming I will maintain or inch down during December:


Like I said earlier this week, I am FAIRLY comfortable at the weight I am...but I have NO cushion (LOL) to gain even a couple of pounds. And I still want to weigh at least 15 pounds less than I do now. When I look in the mirror, I see fat. It's weird because last year at this time I was at least 15 pounds heavier (closer to 20) and, after these months (since June) of mostly maintaining my good February - June loss, the smaller me looks fatter to me than the really fatter me of last year. I'm thinking this means it's nearing time to get off this plateau and start losing again. I don't think this is possible for December (although I, and I know some of you, have done that before) but I will just keep plugging away, making good food and drink choices as often as I can and exercise, exercise, exercise!

On to my day-to-day: going to see Twilight tonight with a friend whose teenager wants to go with friends rather than a MOM, LOL. The mom and I have been coincidentally reading the books at the same time (she's on book 3 and I'm savoring book 4)...a little unusual for women not in their teens! ;-) Tomorrow I have to grocery shop for Thanksgiving, go to the gym then get ready for a "ball" tomorrow night (DB and I think dancing is good exercise!). Sunday, after gym, I will make pies, get packed for our trip to Nearby Town and do odds and ends.

Hope everyone has a great, do I love Fridays! :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Got a grip

I got a grip and got away from the BAD food yesterday. It will be a miracle if I lose this week, but I hope to maintain. I am mad at myself for overdoing like I did. And, as a bonus, I got a bladder infection so am now on antibiotics for a few days. Nothing like that to make you feel even WORSE in your body!

I'm also getting scared of the holidays. I know me. I know that I will not say "no" to everything. I am scared that I will gain. While the weight I am now is OK, even a couple more pounds is NOT.

With that in mind, now I'm planning our Thanksgiving which we will have in Nearby Town this year. I am very excited because we will have a lot of people there: my mom, DB's two brothers, a sister-in-law, the PDs and their families, etc. The PDs and I are planning our dishes and DB will go up a couple of days early to get the house ready for the influx of kids/grandkids. (Oh yeah, DB ended up not having to go up there last weekend at all. Yay!) I am very VERY excited. :-)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crockpot for a Crackpot?

Quickee survey today: does anyone have a recommendation for a really (or pretty) good Crockpot? I have never had one, have asked for one for Xmas and my mom is asking me to be more specific...I had no idea there were choices!! ;-)

Very BAD food weekend. But lots of exercise. I still feel like YUCK today. :-(

Friday, November 14, 2008


Scale was not happy for me this morning...up 0.2 from last week. And I was VERY good this real "bad" food at all and exercise exactly the same number of days as usual. This is very perplexing (and, to be honest, upsetting). I was looking for a loss of a few pounds my body, I actually FEEL slimmer this week. But the scale doesn't lie. Although it IS capricious...after I weighed this morning (naked, before eating or drinking anything, after bathroom -- all as usual) I went on a walk with DB at the beach for coffee. When we got back, I thought I'd get on the scale again...maybe the earlier thing was an aberration? NOPE. I was THREE POUNDS more and I am SURE I did not drink three pounds of coffee or add three pounds of clothing. It's really hard to understand. :-(

So I'm looking for any good news I can find today. I guess it's good that I've been maintaining at a net of about 20 pounds down. I haven't moved up or down the scale more than a few pounds in about three months. But I do not WANT to maintain here. While this is a good weight for me and, I guess, easy to maintain (seems to be where I settle when eating well and exercising, but not being totally Drastic), it's at the high end of where I WANT to be. If I were down 8-10 or so pounds, I would have leeway for upcoming holidaying. I really NEED that leeway. My maintenance weight needs to be 10 pounds less than I am now (although I'd like to be about 8 pounds less than that).

It sure was nice to get up early and do the coffee walk on the beach though! In the winter I think I may need to do this more often....with the change in time, if I don't see the ocean in the morning, I don't see it at all except on the weekends because it's dark when I get home. It is truly beautiful...I could watch the surfers all day...and I feel energized this morning!

Bad news is the bad fire north of here in Montecito...there was a minute this morning when I thought DB would have to go up to Nearby Town (VERY nearby Montecito) to help protect his family's house from the fires, but it seems that, for now, the house is safe. Either way, he's going up tomorrow for his week of duty (although we heard this morning that The Good One is headed into town unexpectedly so DB will probably get to come home after only a few days this week -- yay!). Please send good thought to all those families who lost their homes so quickly last night...DB's niece, her wife and baby were evacuated last night.

Other than this, it's been a good week...I celebrated my 15-year anniversary at my job so I've been there about a third of my life! Wow, hard to believe. And there are MANY employees who have been at the firm longer. That tells you something about how special a place it is. I am lucky that my path led me to this firm. :-)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A weekend of Too Much

(But, thankfully, not too much food!)

I've been meaning to write because it was a big weekend, but haven't had time...and I came in early to work today because I have to leave at 4 to take my mom to the doctor...but I need a little break so here we go!

We had a wine-tasting party to go to at our new neighbor's old house on Friday night but it didn't start until 8 so we went to Our Local next door for Happy Hour sushi dinner. We had had one appetizer and half a drink when, at 7 pm, my phone rang, then went right to voicemail. I picked up the message and it was Lifeline saying they had gotten a signal from my mom and couldn't reach her and would I go check. My mom is a half hour from me!! So I ran out of the restaurant leaving DB to deal with paying and called my mom's number. It rang two times, then was "answered", but no voice, no voicemail. It was like she pushed the button to answer, but couldn't speak. I freaked out. Called 911 and got them to send someone over...while I'm making all these calls, DB is pulling his car out and we're headed down toward my mom's. I called a neighbor of hers who has a key and (feeling horrible about this) asked her to go check on my mom. When I hadn't heard from my mom in 10 minutes, I knew something was wrong...I figured if she was there and her neighbor checked on her and she was ok she would call me. I tried other numbers for other neighbors. I tried my mom's complex's answering service and they couldn't reach the on-site manager and said they'd call me back (which they did TWENTY MINUTES LATER). In the meantime, 911 kept calling me back getting clues as to how to access my mom's apartment and finally saying they were forcing entry because they were getting no response (DUH, hurry up!). When we were about 3 minutes from her place (this is now close to 1/2 hour from the first can imagine what was running through my head), I got a call from 911 that she was not in her apartment!!! This still wasn't GOOD news because, for all I knew, she tripped the button from somewhere else (I now know that the Lifeline thing only works within 300 feet of the base in her apartment). They searched the premises. When I got there, I saw her car was gone. I wasn't sure if she could trip the Lifeline from somewhere away from her house so we went to her neighbor's apartment and she said she thought my mom was at a concert and she told us where. We headed out to try to find the place, but at this point, were pretty sure that she was ok so headed home soon after...after leaving a message for my mom to call as soon as she could.

Yes, she was at a concert. And her Lifeline malfunctioned. And I believe that phone answer was part of the malfunction because they use the phone line to call out from the unit in the apartment. Bottom line is that my mom is ok (THANK GOD) and we learned a lot of good lessons -- like she always has to tell me when she's going out, her complex needs MUCH quicker response time, she needs a new Lifeline unit (and we need to make sure they call 911 too if they can't reach anyone because I'm not sure they did). It was a NIGHTMARE.

Anyway...after that, we went back to dinner and then to the wine party (which was more of just wine-drinking and socializing than TASTING!). We got home around 1:30, I think...

Saturday we had a birthday party for the one-year-old of some new Burning friends. It was supposed to start around 2. We had to shop for presents (it was also the daddy's birthday) and I had to get to the gym...after sleeping in. But wait...I wake up in bed at 10:30 and DB is not with me. I figure he's in his office (although I almost never don't hear him get up). I finally get up and go looking for him and he is NOWHERE. The doors are locked. There is no note. He is GONE. I call his phone and NO ANSWER. Finally, I e-mail him with "where are you?". He left to go walk for coffee and was just walking back along the beach!! I was frantic...couldn't stop crying (leftover from the night before I'm sure). When he got home, I cried and cried and told him he HAS to leave me a note if he leaves like that...but that I would prefer that he wake me (he didn't want to because I was so asleep so that is nice, but...).

OK, that trauma over, I head to the gym and shop for Baby birthday gift. Just as we were leaving, I got a call that my aunt in Northern Indiana (who we had just seen last month) died. I am so happy I got to see her -- she had Alzheimers (and had had a stroke before), but she was in fine form and very lovey. That will be my last memory of her and that is so great!! When we were in Indiana, we went to the cemetery where my grandparents are and where my uncle (my dad's brother) got a stone for my dad (he had a hard time with the fact that we didn't do that when Daddy died). He and I stood there and cried. And he said to me "I know I'll be standing here crying again soon over her [meaning my aunt]". They had been together for something like 66 years. My heart is breaking for my uncle (and my cousin, of course). But I am SO HAPPY we got to see them last month. Hallelujah!! Aunt Mary's service is tomorrow, but we sent flowers to the mortuary today...I had never done that so had no idea how to!! Had to call my cousin's wife (who works at the local flower shop) for advice.

Anyway... on Saturday, we made it to their pad around 4 pm and most everyone was already there!! They had a roast pig (family is Filipino) and a big spread of food...and I didn't eat TOO much. We had a really good time...stayed there until 10:30 or so...the last to leave except for the family!

Sunday we had yet MORE socializing!! We had planned to have dinner with some other friends (whose house we went to for Samhain). So we had breakfast out, I went to the gym and barely had time to shower and read my vampire book a little before they arrived at 4!!! We did a beach walk, then dinner at Our Local (the 1/2 price appetizers make a great meal!), then went back to our place. They are looking to move out of L.A....and are looking at an area we are maybe interested in someday along with some other Burner friends of ours. The girls get along great and so do the boys and we get along great together. We had a really fun time dreaming of the future!! :-)

Yesterday DB and I went for our flu shots at lunchtime (which is why I had no time to blog) and last night I did the gym since I have to miss it tonight to take Mommy to the doc (she's got something weird with her eye).

So how was YOUR weekend? ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Magic Week

So I guess the magic of the week extended to my weigh-in today...I am down a teensy weensy bit...but at least I'm not UP (which my behavior this week would deserve). I was perfect yesterday and kept up with exercising so that saved me. Am still over my lowest and not looking forward to the coming Party Season. I vow to be careful, keep up exercising a lot and watch food at all times when not partying (and even at parties...just a little less strictly).

Party Season starts for us this week with plans Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights! Whew...we're both actually tired already thinking about it and have planned to leave the party tonight early to get some sleep. Tonight is a wine-tasting at our new neighbor's old house (if that makes sense?), tomorrow is a first birthday party for a friend's baby, and Sunday is dinner with a couple who are new friends. Somewhere in there I have to get to the gym twice and maybe, if I'm lucky, get some down time too.

I'm starting to think about of our favorite places opened the other day with a huge dump of snow...hmmmm...

Still floating on a cloud about the Obama election...and trying to stay there as long as I can! ;-)

Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And the celebrating continues...

Wow, what a crazy two days...I haven't had a single day that I haven't cried since Tuesday. I read somewhere that someone said these last days have brought the country together in tears in a way it hasn't been since 9/11...but that we like these tears of JOY better! I feel so much happier and more hopeful than I have in a LONG time. Hallelujah and welcome President Obama!!!!!

I feel like personally thanking and hugging every single person in the UNITED States that voted for President O...I am THAT grateful. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Having said that, I also realize that the next years are going to be HARD and we need each other more than ever. I too will be praying hard for our new president...his task is unimaginable. But, if anyone can get us through this, I think he can. Yes, we can!! (oh oh, I think I'm gonna cry again...)

If you saw Oprah come out screaming at the beginning of her show yesterday that is pretty much what I looked like (with paler skin and different hair and maybe, hopefully a bit thinner!) on Tuesday night. I kept screaming out my door "I love you, California" and "thank you, America". There were even fireworks in our neighborhood. Cool.

Then yesterday was my mom's 79th birthday and DB and I took her out for more celebrating. We had a great time. And cake.

SO...all this celebrating comes with, well, calories.

Once again, I have been "bad" this week. The only saving grace is that I continue to watch what I eat and I haven't missed any scheduled exercise at all (I even went to the gym on Tuesday night before celebrations commenced). But I got on the scale this morning to prepare myself since I was having a mini-physical for life insurance and knew they would be weighing me and it was NOT PRETTY. Luckily the examiner's scale was a full seven pounds less than mine...not that I believed it (I believe mine), but at least I wasn't as embarrassed by the number as I could have been.

So I'm going into tomorrow with trepidation...but I will weigh...I will face the music. I am so happy this week that (almost) nothing can make me sad.

The future looks brighter...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Happy Election Day"

I think it's interesting how people today are saying "Happy Election Day". I don't remember that before. Maybe because it's been a LONG time since Election Day was "happy".

Personally I have NEVER felt like I do today or like I have felt in the run-up to this election. What is it that I feel? HOPE (while kind of a cliche for Team Obama) is definitely part of it.

I also feel proud. When I went to vote this morning and saw the HUGE lines (I waited for 50 minutes...never waited before for more than 5 minutes), I saw that my fellow citizens actually do care (which I have seriously doubted these past dark years). I saw that Senator Obama has INSPIRED us to get off our butts and go vote in ways like never before (and, yes, I do think it is him and not The Other One that has made this happen).

I feel community. Standing in that line this morning was FUN. We all were so happy to be voting. People were driving by honking and shouting. And I did the same when driving to work later and I saw the same lines block after block. I have NEVER seen something like that before in my entire life.

While I always get excited by elections, I have never been as inspired as I am this year. And this is in the midst of some pretty serious doomsday fright on my part. But this man, Barack Obama, who is a mere 6 months older than me has stirred my heart in a way that NO candidate ever has before. Ever.

And tonight when, as I truly hope and BELIEVE will happen, he speaks to this nation as our president-elect, I will cry. I will cry for JOY that this country has put aside petty differences and prejudices and has elected a unique and special person who is a GIFT to us. I will cry...and I will laugh and I will smile and I will feel HOPE like I haven't felt in a very long time. It's time. It's time for US. This is OUR moment.

Happy Election Day. :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

I can't WAIT until tomorrow

Celebration weekend

Photos above from Halloween at the office and Halloween with friends.

We also had a great time celebrating PD2's birthday on Saturday night at her new house and Samhain with some Wiccan friends last night!

Bad food was plentiful. We are back on the wagon today and looking toward a week of being better (although we do hope for much celebrating tomorrow night and celebrating my mom's b-day on Wednesday).

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bad weigh-in

I weigh exactly what I did two weeks ago. Not good. I know why, pretty much, but it's odd because in the past 6 days I have only missed going to the gym once. But it's the beer (only missed that once too, I think) and maybe prior weekend catching up. I have been very very good with food though so hope next week to get a grip.

I am dressed as Ginger head is throbbing because I bought a queen-size knee-hi to cram my hair into under the wig and it's cutting off my circulation, I think. It's also very hard to type in elbow-length gloves. But I look great...LOL

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Bad" sugar

I noticed something yesterday and it got me thinking about sugar...the sweet kind, not the carb-kind that can come from my more favorite salty foods and I want to just write a note to myself here to actually NOTICE it.

Yesterday afternoon I was hungry. Very hungry. I could have had a 100-calorie bag of popcorn, but instead I thought it was better to have a mini-Tootsie pop (only 17 or so calories and no fat). So I had one. Then I really REALLY wanted another one. Why not? Only 17 calories! So I had another. Then I really really REALLY wanted another one. So I had it. And I was up to my "serving" of three for 50 calories. Not too bad calorie-wise because I was still less than the 100-calorie popcorn. was NOT satisfying. I felt a HUGE sugar-crash as it (very soon) wore off. And I was incredibly unusually hungry headed to the gym last night. I was literally UNCOMFORTABLE with hunger (and that rarely happens) much so that I nearly went somewhere to grab some food on the way. But I talked myself out of it and didn't. (Once I get to the gym, any hunger always goes away for the time I'm there.)

Anyway, I thought a lot about this...this sugar-crash thing happens fairly often when I have really REALLY bad sugar that has NO redeeming nutritional value (like the mini-Tootsie pops). I even have this reaction (wanting more, feeling less satisfied) when I eat my low-fat meringues at home. But I don't have it (or at least not as noticeably) when I eat my post-dinner popsicles. I wonder if there is actually SOMETHING good in there (like fruit maybe?) and that makes my body react differently. I also wonder if my body is trying to tell me "PAY ATTENTION, this is NOT good for us!!!!"

Hmmmm...ya think? ;-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Not a lot to say this week...except that I still am thinking about my love affair with MORE. It flows over into everything...I even realized that I want MORE when I cuddle with DB in the morning!! I love MORE, but I think I may need to investigate a closer relationship with ENOUGH or even, gasp!, LESS. ;-)

I managed to go to the gym both days last weekend AND Monday and will go tonight and tomorrow too (PD's birthday bash was pushed back to Saturday so all my gym-juggling only resulted in me having MORE time to go!).

I am going to dress as Ginger on Gilligan's Island for work on Friday -- several of us are going as all the characters. I got a slammin' red wig and sequiny dress to wear (along with false eyelashes, etc.). The wig is a kind of beehive so I might look more like Kate Pierson from B-52s than Ginger, but it will be fun! ;-)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wow, two posts in one day or Wonder

"Wonder" is the title I really feel here...

Tonight I saw a rocket blast off and fly across the sky (a satellite for the Italians which was launched from California)!! DB told me about it and Doglet and I walked to the beach to watch and WOW. We saw this amazing fire come over the Malibu mountain and streak through the sky. Almost no one down at the beach with me was aware of this wonder...but I was. Because my DB told me to LOOK. :-)

And that's the next part...DB helps me SEE things that I, alone, maybe would not see. This is just one tiny example. He ROCKS.

I sure love Fridays when the scale is kind!

Down about 2.5 pounds this week...this is very very happy news after my beer and junk food fiesta of last weekend. But I did really crack down this week and I am absolutely SURE that getting back to very very regular exercise is the key. The KEY. So I will be getting even more fascist about that...NO excuses for missing regular gym schedule. For example, next Thursday is the birthday of one of the PDs. Thursday is a regular gym night. Sooo...I am rescheduling the whole week to work around it!! I even am going to the gym on Wednesday before a previously-scheduled dinner with a friend of DB's. It is SO IMPORTANT to me to make this exercise commitment. Not only does the scale go down, but my knees are demonstrably WORSE when I miss my weight (and probably elliptical) work. Like Vickie, I want to be popping up off that toilet when I'm in my 90s!!! ;-)

I am still not to my lowest weight (from June)...I have about 5 pounds to go to get there. Then I can go beyond. Yes, now is the time to admit that at my worst (after Burning Man, post-BM guest, etc.) my weight was up 10 pounds from my absolute lowest (which was a one-week brief shining moment, but you know that's in the back of my head as where I should be!). Since even at that "high" point I was still almost 20 pounds down from February, I have tried not to stress too much about it and that seems to be working. Stress "makes me" eat and drink (I put that in quotes because nothing really MAKES ME do it...I just tend to do it). And, with so much negative stuff happening in the world right now, additional stress is exactly what I don't need. Not stressing TOO much over the re-gain has been helpful. And I am being successful in getting back on track. This makes me feel good = anti-stress! :-)

DB is home tomorrow (yay!). With all the world-stress going on, I've been having uncharacteristic nightmares this week and no one there to comfort me when I wake up. I try to tell myself that I lived for A LOT of my life without that kind of support and I was FINE, but I have gotten used to my sweetheart and I LIKE IT. ;-)

I have a jam-packed day tomorrow: hair trim, Doglet nail trim, gym, birthday shopping (for PD and a friend and my mom), then b-day dinner with a friend and her hubby. Sunday, in addition to gym (or, if I'm lucky, yoga -- my arm is still hurt so I've been reluctant to go back), I'm not sure what's on tap...hopefully a little R&R. :-)

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The desert is great for a cold...

...and not so great for watching what I eat!!! My cold virtually disappeared out in the dryness of the desert over the weekend...and came back (less bad though) when we got back on Sunday. But despite taking a lot of healthy food, I managed to overeat due to the kindness and generosity of our fellow Burner-campers. Oh well...maybe some of that was worked off by putting up and taking down our tent...right? ;-)

The weekend was a blast -- in some ways more fun than actual Burning Man! Only a 3-hour drive instead of 12, only 2 days instead of 8, only a tent to set up instead of a whole camp, only 400 people instead of 50,000, etc. Much EASIER, I guess I meant to say. And we camped with a great group of warm and inviting and so many fun chats and stories. PLUS I got to actually read my Twilight book (I'm about half-way through the third one now). All in all a great weekend (except the part where DB left on Sunday night for his week in Nearby Town). :-)

Back on the wagon this week and thinking a lot about how I relate to everything in a non-moderate way. This is not a revelation, but just something I'm thinking about for the umpteenth time. I am trying to figure out if I can be happy with abstinence from certain things (like "you can never eat/drink [blank] again") like I am with abstinence from smoking. I wonder this because there are just certain things where my mind says "if one is good, ten is better and it makes me HAPPY". Eeek...if that's not an addictive personality, I don't know what is. I have thought several times in the past that I have come to terms with this very issue/question, but it continues to rear it's ugly head and say "not so fast!". Still more to learn here, I guess...

At least my body is feeling good and sore after the gym last Cindy, I love that feeling. :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Not bad!

The weigh-in today was a pleasant surprise. At first I thought I had actually maintained, but after I checked my records I see that I am up a little over a pound from two weeks ago and just a hair less than three weeks ago. A pound doesn't seem too bad to me after the Hoosier Food Orgy (which I will not detail at the risk of descending into food porn, but there was plenty of stuff I nearly never eat: fried food, frozen dairy products, fermented hops products...)

I am still fighting a cold and today it feels like it's winning. Unfortunately, tonight we're driving over three hours to a desert camping expedition with fellow Burners. Normally I would spend the weekend in bed, but this is a once-a-year thing and we've been planning to go for a long time so I'm going to suck it up and try to REST tomorrow...maybe just lie in my tent and read. We'll see. Right now, all I want to do it go to bed. :-(

After this weekend we should be HOME until late January and I am so happy about that...the travelling the past few months has wreaked havoc with my schedule that helps me maintain my good habits. I am anxious to get back to in in earnest.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Way too busy

And still no time to complete the story of my trip...we're leaving again tomorrow night for a weekend camping trip!!! A Burner thing in the desert. I am still pooped from the trip, fighting a cold (again) and we had a big industry charity event last night where I ate very little (good) and drank too much (bad) so feel kinda yucko today. :-( AND I also feel very fat. Didn't weigh in last Friday because we were in Indiana so this week it could (and probably will) be ugly (particularly due to my apparent need to eat EVERYTHING I ate in my childhood in 4 days). But I'll get on the scale and see the horror. Gotta stay accountable.

Maybe I'll have time to write my blog when we get home...or, if we have connectivity, in the desert.

I need a vacation where I do NOTHING. For a month. ;-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

We're home!

Had a fantastic trip and will type the whole story when I have time, but I know you all are most anxious to see photos of me and V so here we are!! Aren't we cute? :-)

This seems an appropriate time to give my huge props to my dear friend, Vickie, for introducing me to this wonderful world of blogs and to so many of you wonderful people. THANK YOU, VICKIE!! :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hoosier salad

We're heeeeeere! ;-)

Did the whole family tour: all three houses where I lived, my elementary school, my high school, the hospital where I was born, the church where my parents met and married and various other memory-inducing spots. We went to the grocery store where I would go buy beer as a teenager...I had a system to not get carded. ;-) We bought beer there and I felt like I had to get out of there quick...just like back then!).

Tonight we're staying at a beautiful hotel in the Union Station in Indianapolis and we're staying in an old restored Pullman railway car!!! It's fantastic!!! :-)

The only thing that's NOT fantastic is that DB is tonight we're in the hotel room trying hard to get him healthy and trying for me not to get sick.

OK, yeah, salad: I thought I'd be a good girl and order salad for dinner tonight. Of course, the healthiest salad at the restaurant had steak and blue cheese dressing (luckily on the side). I didn't do too badly with that. BUT I realized why I never was a big salad fan as a child: the only lettuce here seems to be iceberg! And my salad had just a TON of that, the steak, a few pieces of tomato and a few pieces of cucumber. For a girl who makes a nightly salad of at least 6 veggies, this was kind of disappointing...particularly for $14.99!! ;-)

My highlight of the day? As we landed at the airport (not too bumpy a ride, but I think I'm actually getting to be a WORSE flyer than before...I HATE IT), we saw...THE OBAMA PLANE!!!! Yes, he was just leaving after a huge rally here. It's amazing to me to see Obama lawn signs...when I was growing up here, you'd NEVER see a Democrat lawn sign. I'm very bummed I missed him: the candidates ignore California pretty much because they figure we're a foregone Democrat conclusion. :-(

More the next time we have connectivity...which may be in several days because we're headed out to the country tomorrow.

It's very good to be here. :-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Smiling thinking of Indiana

I love that I grew up in Indiana. I can't wait to see it again. But I'm afraid I won't know where anything is!!! I haven't been there in sooo it will be an adventure. The last time I was there my mom lived there (she's lived out here for nearly 10 years), I didn't own a cell phone, my life was oh-so-different.

Our time there is crammed with stuff/people to see. This will not be a relaxing vacation really...but 400 miles in 4 days is nothing for an Angeleno! ;-)

Anyway, I can't wait...and, on the subject of weight, I will try to find good, healthy food. Last time I was there, that was pretty non-existent!! I remember going to a pitch-in with my mom where the "vegetables" were baked beans, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes! I am hoping that green vegetables might be on SOME menus... ;-)

Here I come, Indiana!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Down, down, DOWN!

Like the stock market, my weight is down. Unlike the stock market, I am happily surprised with the news on the scale this morning. This means I've put together two weeks of downturn and that is a relief...particularly since I haven't been perfect this week...I guess I was perfect enough. While I weigh more than my lowest, I'm getting back there...and beyond.

I also got my CRACK book yesterday -- about time!!! -- along with two more Twilight novels (I'm hooked). The CRACK book looks very interesting...can't wait to read it and try out some of the principles as I keep the weight moving downward. :-)

This is all extra-good because it gives me a boost in the confidence/determination department and I'm going to need that next week. To paraphrase the great Jackson 5: "We are going back to Indiana, Indiana here we come 'cause that is where I started from!" :-) And Indiana is where I learned to eat BADLY. The Midwest is much more challenging to me to eat well than California. That's just a fact.

Anyway...we leave on Wednesday morning and will be in Indiana for a short four days (back very early the next Monday morning). I am taking DB to see where I'm from -- the houses where I grew up and the schools I went to, a festival we used to attend every autumn when I was growing up, my Northern Indiana family and (yes!) my dear college friend who is one of our fellow bloggers. :-) Maybe, if we're lucky, we'll also get to see my French little brother who will also be visiting Indiana next week (I haven't seen him in about 7 years because we missed him when we were in France two years ago!). I haven't been back to Indiana in 10 will be strange. It's where I'm from, but it's not "home" anymore. It's funny, but I realized that DB met my French family (family I stayed with for the summer when I was 16 -- THIRTY years ago, yikes!) before my Indiana family (my dad's side of the family). He hasn't met my mom's side of the family at all...that tells you how close I am to my actual blood relatives beyond my immediate family!! ;-)

Tomorrow we have post-Burning Man "decompression" in L.A. A party/event that runs from noon to midnight. DB is setting up some of our BM stuff so we'll be going very early tomorrow morning to get that done. I'll be in and out during the rest of the day before we pack up to leave that night.

Sunday I'm hoping to REST and maybe get to see the PDs and's been a long, rough week and we're going to be away the next two weekends. I am going to be glad when our next trips are over and we plan to stay home until our skiing trip at the end of January (we're headed to Tahoe again this year). :-)

Onward and downward!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Feelin' poochy

OK, so I had one perfectly good day this week and will have another (including gym) today. I am certain that will not make up for the other days when I was not perfect. The pants I have on today which, over the late spring and summer were loose, are tighter. And it's PMS time so I am dreading getting on the scale tomorrow for all sorts of reasons. But I will do it.

Where is that darn "Crack" book I ordered?! ;-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Too much

This week is full of too many too muches:

- Too much stress over this crazy economy and dire doomsday predictions of all manner of catastrophe (not just economic) on its way.

- Too much time off from work (No! Is there such a thing?!): our office was closed yesterday for Rosh Hashanah, so Monday was a Friday/Saturday night and yesterday was a Sunday.

- Too much eating and drinking. (No excuse for that, but Addict's Mind is not quiet this week.)

- Too much to do and too little time both at home and work.

At least I've also gotten a lot of exercise (worked on some home stuff yesterday and then took a walk on the beach after sunset -- it was hotter yesterday than practically all summer and today is more of the same). I just MIGHT be able to do a maintain this week if I buckle down for the next two days. A loss is probably out of the question, but a girl always hopes... ;-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Scary times

Take care, friends. I fear things are only going to get worse. But I strongly hope I am SO WRONG!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ahhhhhhhh... I'm back on the downward slope again. Whew! I lost about a third of my total summer-long gradual gain this week so I should be in virgin territory not too far in the future. This time, though, I have no goal date set so I can be a LITTLE easier on myself. This week I had a couple of glasses of wine on Wednesday night when I went to a show and I still managed to lose by (a) getting back to my serious exercise, and (b) being mindful the rest of the time.

Wednesday night was a show by Dave Stewart and his Rock Fabulous Orchestra. I loved it. Particularly liked hearing his story about writing "Here Comes The Rain Again" during a huge fight with his then-partner/lover, Annie Lennox. I listened to that song in a whole other way and think I now have a new theme song for fights. ;-)

That night we also met a woman who was Miles Davis' first wife -- she is now the maitre d'iva (her term) at a restaurant in L.A. and she is a total hoot. Only in L.A...

DB will be home tomorrow. I think this will have been the longest we have been apart (10 days) and these last few are TOUGH. I really miss him! But I have a friend coming over tonight for dinner and to watch the debate.

Onward and downward!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back on The Drastic Wagon (and more Addict's Mind)

I crawled back up on my Drastic wagon yesterday and I feel good. When I'm off the wagon, it seem so high, almost insurmountable, to climb back up, but when I'm up there, it's a pretty easy ride even though there are bumps sometimes. I'm anxious to see a loss this week...and keep on down again.

More on Addict's Mind:

From dealing with my cigarette addiction, I do totally recognize Addict's Mind: that little devil on my shoulder that tries to push me off the wagon and keep me walking beside the wagon rather than riding along. Being able (no, that's the wrong word...the right word is "willing") to not let it control me is another thing altogether. I managed to beat it with smoking, but only by really accepting that I am one puff away from a pack a day. Seriously.

With food, it's not that "easy" because I still have to eat. I can't just say NO FOOD EVER AGAIN. I guess I can say "no bad food ever again", but that just seems way too depressing to me...I feel like I've given up a lot of "bad" or "rebel" behaviors over the years and I just can't let go of all of them. And, yes, that's probably Addict's Mind talking again.

And I see what I have been doing the past few weeks -- using the classic Addict's Excuse: STUFF is happening so I can't deal with my addiction right now. Well, stuff happens. And it will keep happening. And I had to learn to deal with STUFF without cigarettes. When I was quitting smoking, I actually sat and thought of the MOST AWFUL thing I could think of happening in my life and said to myself -- if that happens, you CANNOT SMOKE and I actually visualized it (even though it made me sick and made me cry). I haven't had to deal with that thing (and I hope I never do), but I have dealt with a lot without I know it's possible. But I haven't mastered dealing without food (and, yes, for me, drink).

And when I fall off the wagon, Addict's Mind is right there in the road, wanting me to stay with it and not climb back up. It's always a fight if I let myself stroll along (slide) too much.

There is addictive behavior in all of Us. It manifests both ways like Vickie often says -- the anorexic is just the other side of the fat person. Personally, I think it's about control...and letting go of it. I am a person who LOVES control...and who maybe needs "help" letting go of it. In fact, strike that "maybe" and I think I might have a revelation there. ;-)

Anyway...clearly, I'm not there yet (and may never be)'s scary how fast these pounds crept back over the summer. The pants from before The Drastic are still baggy, but the skinny pants? I'm afraid to even try them on. :-( Tonight is gym and then salad for dinner...again. :-)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2008 Burning Man Story

I have more thoughts on Addict's Mind that I will post in the next couple of days, but today (at long last) it's time to get the story of this year's Burning Man done! :-)

When we last talked, DB and Brooklyn had left for early arrival at Burning Man on Friday. Early Monday morning, I flew to Reno where I was met at the airport by a lovely couple who I had met on the internet and had offered to drive me the two and a half hours out to the "playa" (desert where Burning Man takes place). They had met there three years before. She is from California and he is from England. They married last year and now live in England...they turned out to be a lovely couple and even camped with us this year...

We had a jolly old time driving out to the playa -- getting more and more excited every mile -- sharing stories of our prior Burns. It was a beautiful day. Usually when you arrive, you are greeted by signs like this on your way in (keeping you amused while often waiting in line):

Unfortunately, as we turned off the road onto the playa, the dust storm we had seen from far away (these are wide-open Western vistas) enveloped us. To make a VERY long story short, it took us about 4 hours to go the two miles to our camp!! It was total whiteout conditions so you had to either go very slow or stop altogether. Punishing! I always like having a dust storm on the way in because it feels like you are entering another world, but this was a little much!

We were stopped at the Greeters Station for about two hours when the dust cleared for a bit and I could see the large tent at the center of our was so close and my sweetie was there and I hadn't had a kiss in three days!! So, I was OFF. Unloaded one of the bikes from the car and without goggles or dust mask for my face, I road into the storm (which kicked up again soon after I left the car). This was not the smartest thing to do in a whiteout, but it WAS dramatic!

I got to camp and, of course, no one was around -- DB had no idea what time I would be arriving and I knew that. So I set about gathering up goggles and dust masks for me and my new friends in preparation to head back out to them where they were still stuck, unable to enter the city. Just as I was about to leave, through the dust came my sweetie!!! Yippeee!! I got my kisses. Turns out it had been whiteout conditions for two whole days...yikes. This was the beginning...

(And that's not even THAT bad. Seriously.)

My new friends finally made it to our camp and set up and we were all ready to go out for our first night. I realized this year that every year I'm hoping to feel the wonder I felt the first night I was ever there and went out to the middle of the playa (the middle of the city) and saw its vastness and the amazing lights and art that people brought out there. Art cars, bikes decorated with lights, people decorated with lights. It's really an amazing sight. This is us just...looking (it's almost impossible to get photos at night...sorry!):

The next morning, we got up and it was a beautiful, non-dusty day! We headed to Center Camp Cafe (one of the two things you can purchase there is coffee):

(you can also purchase ice):

After our coffee, I had to head back to our village because I had volunteered to help with the village tours every day from 11:01 to 12:01 (most days they actually took two hours this year because we had such amazing projects to show!). These tours would be a true highlight of my year -- I learned SO much about alternative energy: solar panels, wind generators, swamp coolers, solar blenders, solar ovens (everyone loved the one camp where they fed us quesadillas and fresh cookies every day!), and (what I now want for next year) an ebike. I also got to know a lot more of my fellow villagers and, because I love the community aspect of Burning Man, this was fantastic for me!! I did this tour every day from Tuesday through Saturday and I have ZERO photos of it, do you believe it?! Anyway...

After the tour, our mail delivery came...yes, there's actual mail delivery (from the Post Office, but delivered by volunteers) on the playa!! Brooklyn's husband (who couldn't come this year) sent us all mail:

(And DB sent me a beautiful card that I got later in the day too. For a girl whose dad and granddad worked for the post office, this was super cool!)

After the tour on Tuesday, DB and I headed out to the middle of the playa to see art/projects. This was really my favorite day this year. The art wasn't as great as in previous years, but there were some fun things. My favorite was McLightenment:

Yes, they had a drive-thru serving things such as Nirvana, Samadhi and Bliss. (This year's art theme was The American Dream and this was a perfect example -- don't we all want drive-thru enlightenment?). ;-)

We also came across some people who were taking down a piece -- someone had destroyed it the night before (yes, there are idiot yahoos even out there in paradise). So, in the true Burning Man spirit, we stopped to help them (we actually stopped to get some shade and they were under it working and THEN we started to help!). I had a BALL...I learned to use a socket wrench...what FUN!!

(That's me and my socket wrench.)

On Wednesday, I managed to get heat exhaustion. NOT fun. Luckily we had a nurse camping right next to us and she became a good friend over the week. She diagnosed me when I started getting cramps in my belly, doused a sarong in ice water and wrapped me in it. I stayed like that for a few hours until I felt better. I was totally bummed that this happened on Wednesday because that is the day I do Greeters -- the wacky people who stop everyone coming into the city and welcome them "home". This is usually my favorite thing of the week, but I couldn't start with the rest of my crew on nurse's orders. I did manage to put in my four hours but started an hour late...and with an icy sarong on my head:

(That's me in our "dome home" in my Greeter finery.)

I haven't mentioned yet another thing that made this year super difficult physically: the playa was HORRIBLE to bike on. It is usually flat and hard so very easy to get around the very large city (no driving in cars allowed unless you're in an art car):

This year there were huge "serpents" (snake-shaped sand dunes) and actual dunes themselves along with huge ruts. So either you would be bumping along ouchily or you would be biking along nicely and run into a dune and CRASH. Yes, lots of bruises this year. And virtually impossible to bike safely at night so we walked everywhere...this was not horrible, but not really that fun.

Thursday was more of the same: coffee, tour and killing time in dust storms:

One really cool thing on Thursday was that I had signed up on to host a party to watch (well, really listen, no tv out there) the Obama speech at the Dem convention. People actually came! And it was the first time that Burning Man allowed any programming from outside the city to be broadcast on its radio station. Loved it!! During our party, our village mayor came over and played jazz drums with the unforgettable experience:

That night I went out looking for some friends who were supposed to arrive that day with their 10-month old I headed over to Kidsville and left them a message. They came over later than night to our camp and we had fun visiting with the littlest Burner. ;-)

Friday is usually the day when I lose it. I am tired, dirty, cranky, ready to GO. Well this Friday morning, we were sleeping in our tent and I heard a voice that I thought I recognized...but no, it couldn't be! Brooklyn's husband had flown in from Virginia on the red-eye to Sacramento to surprise her/us!!!! We were thrilled. Things just weren't the same without the four of us together this year and he came and we had our foursome as usual...yay!!!

A friend of ours from home who is an artist also arrived on Friday for his first my Friday was FUN.

Friday night we dressed up and headed out...

And I ended up going to sleep on my cape out on the playa while everyone else looked at an art project. It was just so comfy! ;-)

Saturday is Burn Day and it ended up being such a huge whiteout dust storm day that they almost cancelled burning the man. So we had another day at "home dome"...playing music, hoping for the storm to end so we could go out for our big night:

About 9 pm, they finally announced that the Burn would happen so we all rushed to get our finery on and headed's a good mile walk to The Man so we skedaddled. And we pushed DB's drum cart with us...DB and I ended up staying back from The Man with the drum truck (a/k/a Rhythm Jism) and watched The Man burn from afar. It was cool. (Again, sorry, no photos, but you can find them on-line pretty easily if you look.) And here's the Rhythm Jism:

Sunday is packing up day, then The Temple burns (the Temple is a beautiful place where people put their memories and remembrances of past loved ones and things that they want to let go...then it burns on Sunday night...I love the Temple burn). We knocked ourselves out packing and had to rush to make it out (farther than The Man) to the Temple...but it was an absolutely beautiful sight. This year, the Temple was made of "basura sagrada" (sacred trash)...all recyled materials...beautiful windchimes of reused metal, etc. Truly special.

Unfortunately, after the Temple burned, a huge dust storm came up and we were all trying to walk back to the city and got lost. DB and I had a huge fight and I ended up struggling home alone. NOT a fun way to end the week...but emotions are very much on the surface out's brutal...and sometimes not-so-fun stuff happens.

Anyway, in the middle of that night Brooklyn and her hubby headed out to Reno since it started to rain and they were afraid to get stuck in the mud (and he had to be back to VA for work on Tuesday). We got up at 5:30 and managed to get out and to Reno in 3 1/2 hours (a record...usually it takes 3 hours to get to the road from camp!). Yay! Brooklyn and Hubby? SEVEN hours to Reno. There was a terrible accident on the road on the way out. Sad.

We picked up Brooklyn in Reno and headed to our lodge in the eastern Sierras for showers, gambling and cooked food. YUMMMY!! We went to sleep at 9 pm. And got up the next morning for the drive home...beautiful:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Addict's Mind

I feel my Addict's Mind working overtime lately.

I have not been eating or exercising The Drastic way for about a month (since our friend arrived before Burning Man). At times I have been eating pretty well and exercising pretty well. Other times, not. Never as bad as I can be, but bad enough. As of last Friday, I had gained almost 10 pounds over my absolute lowest since February. I vowed that I would get back on The Drastic wagon last Monday. Didn't happen...

I have had a sore throat and cough all week. Have missed about a total of two days work which, with my current workload, is time I really can't afford. I still am coughing and a little stuffy, but back to work today.

Then the bad news on Monday which made Addict's Mind, which is oh-so-great at finding excuses, say "you need Chinese food AND a few drinks to cheer up". (Yes, I know hot toddies don't cure sickness, but they sure made me feel better...for a little while.)

On Tuesday, I needed salad pizza and beer for dinner to make me feel better (and I didn't go to the gym either because I was sick). Of course, it didn't.

But, on Wednesday, Addict's Mind "needed" more Chinese wonton soup (since I was still sick) and a beer (what for? who knows?). At this point, Addict's Mind started telling me that I might as well wait for next Monday to start over with The Drastic since I've blown this week already.

And today, we learned we have fleas in the house which came from the apartment (our tenant just moved out and left the apartment infested with his cats fleas -- DB is highly allergic and they bite him like crazy, but they don't bite me at all so it took us a few days to figure this out). DB, of course, has now left for Nearby Town to take care of his mom for 10 days so I'm left to deal with how to get fleas out of our house (Doglet is fine -- I Advantage him every month and have never had a problem in the 10 years I've had him). I'm yucked out about having fleas in our house...YUCK...and am not sure how to get rid of them since I've never had an infestation for close to 15 years.

And, did I mention that I still have a cough and sore throat and super-stress at work? Yup. Addict's Mind is now telling me that I might as well skip the gym tonight and go home and watch Baby Mama with a salad (good) and beer (bad).

My pants are tight. I feel too jiggly. I have to get a grip. Maybe today...