Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer fun

Summer fun...I've had a lot already and the next few months are full of weekends full of summer fun. This makes watching my weight extremely challenging. And, with teeth issues this week (thankfully mostly cleared up after second root canal yesterday), I found it hard to care too much. So I guess it's a miracle that, while up, I'm still in the 2-pound range I have been for the past month. I'm having a REALLY hard time motivating myself to go DOWN for our July vacation and's hard to see how I can be really "good" with parties, birthdays, more parties, more birthdays, holidays, etc. I am not good at "depriving" myself at such functions. The thought of it actually depresses me.

Yeah yeah, I know it's being good to me...why doesn't it feel that way?

I'm compensating by exercising more though. This week I only had one day without any real exercise (that was Wednesday when my tooth was hurting so much). I am really happy with my incorporation of non-gym exercise into my weeks. I feel really good and, except when looking in the mirror a certain way or putting on the wrong size clothes (when I feel fat), I actually feel strong and healthy and think I look good (not great).

I'm loving my option for yoga. It makes me work as much as a "real" class and I can do it at home. LOVE that. I'm loving my gardening. This week I do it on Sunday instead of Saturday because tomorrow we're having a big beach/BBQ at our house for our PWK (People With Kids) friends and family. Tomorrow I plan to get my exercise by boogie-boarding. :-) I still am hitting the gym a few times a week (weekday evenings mostly) so I am really mixing it up and doing minimum 4 days a week of exercise.

We'll see if DB and I decide to Crack the Fat...with all of the above, I just don't know.

Tomorrow's BBQ menu: grilling turkey (I have a whole turkey that I got free last Thanksgiving that's been in our freezer and I'm looking forward to seeing if I can do it whole on our grill -- we got a new, bigger grill for this that DB picked up this morning!), corn on the cob, pasta salad with vinaigrette and veggies, veggie salad. Yummy.

Mostly right now I'm feeling very conflicted about my loss efforts. But I keep trying.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not a lot of Perfect Days this week and Crack the Fat

No way will I have 4 Perfect Days this week. Maybe 3. It's hard with summer fun. :-( But DB is interested in doing the Crack the Fat diet and I think we may try to start that to some extent at least next week.

Right now I'm hungry and in pain -- had root canal today on a tooth under an old poorly-done cap and it made the pain I've been having WORSE. Have an appointment with an endodontist tomorrow to hopefully get the pain gone. I declined pain meds from my dentist but am re-thinking that right about now. OW.

At least it hurts to eat...I'll have to think of something soft or liquid for dinner...and not COLD which REALLY hurts. I guess it's not a bad thing that it hurts to eat...

Friday, May 22, 2009

The experiment continues

Three Perfect Days is not enough to lose. I have to achieve 4 or more Perfect Days to lose. Three Perfect Days = maintenance. Simple equations are best for me.

My week has been nutty busy even for me. I haven't had any time at all to read or write blogs. No time to breathe during the day at work (seems all our clients are really active now with records being released, tours, tv, etc.), needing to mindlessly recuperate at night when not DOING something else (like, of course, gym).

My friend's surgery on Monday went really well. We're looking forward to him coming to visit us for a week at the end of June. :-)

We had an earthquake aftershock on Tuesday that rattled some nerves. The only way to deal with earthquakes is to live in denial. Millions in California do. ;-)

American Idol finale was fantastic this week...only a little less so because Adam didn't win. Although, in retrospect, I truly think that might be better for him. No one is talking about Kris (who, while a nice guy and talented, is no STAR). Everyone is talking about Adam. And that makes me happy. Can't wait to see what's next for him.

Had my annual physical yesterday. I'm very healthy (and only a few pounds heavier than I was last year). My BP was 100/70. Doc says I have arthritis in my right hand that is causing me the discomfort I feel occasionally -- at 47? He said it's hereditary and my mom says whenever she sees my hands she thinks they look like my aunt's who had arthritis, so... Doc also says to cut sodium (which I've been cutting back on anyway).

DB's hernia surgery is healing well...still has some discomfort, but much less painful than when he had the shoulder surgery.

My upcoming weekend will be full but fun: Star Trek tonight; gardening, Korean dinner and wine-tasting party tomorrow; Cutie Pie's 6th birthday party on Sunday; BBQ at friends' on Monday. Really not too busy for me! But I dream more and more lately of getting some time to just READ or watch a movie on DVD...vacation in July can't come soon enough.

Hope everyone is well...I'm going to try to catch up today and this weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yes, we had an earthquake tonight

Pretty big, but not huge. I felt it as we walked home from Chinese dinner. Earthquakes are much less frightening with you are outside than in a building that shakes. This was the strongest one my mom has felt and it did disturb her...she says she's sleeping in her clothes tonight.

Other that this, I had a beautiful, peaceful weekend. Friday night salad pizza and resting with DB. Yesterday morning Coffee Walk, then took Doglet for nail clip then took him to my gardening project (no one was home at the house on Saturday so it was just me, Doglet and plants). I didn't get through as much of the garden this week because my next area was so jungle-y...more than filled up the "green" trash container (which is huge, by the way, for people who don't live in LA) in an hour and a half. I also watered a lot and spent some minutes just plopped in the middle of the yard with Doglet and and a drink...looking, appreciating. Progress is a little slow, but satisfying. And excellent exercise on my body.

We had some of our more quiet friends over last night...they brought stuff to BBQ and we had a nice healthy dinner. They left by 11 and we watched SNL before bed.

Today my plan was CLOSET CLEANING. We slept late. Got out of the house around 11 for Coffee Walk, then leisurely strolled home. I started Closets at about 12:30. A friend dropped by in the afternoon to chat with us and I just kept working. Got about 4 garbage bags of clothes and shoes to take to Goodwill tomorrow. Finished all closets (cleaning, sorting into seasons, etc.) by 4, then watered OUR garden, washed Doglet and his beds and! Our tenant recommended this website ( to me the other day...they have a new 1 hour class everyday and it's FREE. Wow!! We'll see if all are good, but the one I did today had me dripping with sweat, feeling good afterwards. A great option when I don't want to leave the the summer, going out in the car from our house on the weekend sucks because of all the beach tourist traffic.

After yoga, I showered and did a few more things around the house then we went out for dinner. DB is feeling better though still somewhat ouchy...he's off the percocet though and just icing and ibuprofen and Tylenol helps.

Tomorrow is the prostate cancer surgery for my best friend from college...sending good thoughts his way. :-)

Hopefully reasonably "normal" week ahead...just having a friend over for American Idol final...otherwise just crazy work and life... :-)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday night and all is well

The past few days have been nutty today that it's Friday post day and it's good news and I didn't even have time to write until now! :-)

Weight is down almost two pounds this week. I wasn't successful at my four perfect days, but I didn't eat out almost AT ALL and I think home eating REALLY makes a difference. I love to eat out, but for my weight, it's just not good. More proof of that on the scale today when I was expecting a maintain or gain.

Having said this, I have not lost in a month. I still have 10 pounds to go before St. John on July 18. I think I can make it, but I'm going to have to get more serious. Or garden for 8 hours on Saturdays instead of 2 or 3! ;-)

The REALLY good news is that DB's surgery yesterday was successful. He woke up in recovery in a lot of pain, screaming the "F" word to beat the band and the nurse had to keep saying "you have to STOP that!". They gave him some dilaudid and that stopped the pain. After that, he's had percocet to help, but truthfully I think his pain is way less bad than it was when he had the shoulder surgery. He was up for several hours today although right now he's enjoying our instant Netflix from bed.

We'll lay low this weekend although, yes, I will be gardening tomorrow. I will take Doglet for a nail clip first, then take him with me to the garden. My friends won't be home so it will be very zen and I'll feel free to talk to my plants as much as I like! ;-)

We may have friends over tomorrow night, then Sunday (if I don't do it tomorrow), I am digging into cleaning out MY closets. I have been thinking about it all week...preparing to LET GO. I am very excited.

I have GOT to figure out how to make a lot of $$ cleaning people's things out... ;-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Panty Power

Yesterday the panties I was wearing caused chafing between my thighs and, OUCH, I was afraid it was actually my fat thighs causing the discomfort, not the panties. Then I remembered that I always get these boils/ouchies/whatever down there when I wear these particular panties. I determined it was the panties' fault.

So, on my lunch hour, I went out to buy a brand I know and love and doesn't chafe. I was in so much pain that I had to remove the offending panties for the rest of the afternoon while at my office. I was still very uncomfortable until much later in the evening. Again, I was very worried it was ME, not the panties.

Well, today I have the magic new panties on and, voila!, no more ouchies. It's not me. Whew.

Those awful panties are going in the trash. :-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

OK, seriously, I really NEED three-day weekends!

Had another great one, but over WAY too fast. I'm half-seriously strategizing how I can get 4-day work weeks and still keep my salary the same. Whaddya think? ;-)

Saturday I got up and headed to my mom's apartment after our Coffee Walk on the beach. I got there around 11:30 (I was shooting for 11 so not so bad!). For her Mother's Day present, she wanted me to clean out her closets so I did! She has lost probably 50 pounds (definitely over 40) over the past two years and had a LOT of stuff that was WAY too big. So we sorted stuff to go to a friend, Goodwill and consignment shops. I also grabbed a few historical things (including all the letters I wrote to my parents when I was in France for a semester in '82 -- Vickie, did I really say "neato" that much?! LOL) and got some cute earrings that she never wore but that are totally my style. Both closets are now totally neat, "empty" and organized. I am seriously going to do this to my closets this weekend. I have WAY too much stuff that I never wear and/or that, while it fits, it doesn't look good so I will never wear. I wear the same stuff over and's crazy to have all this stuff that I don't use.

After about 3 hours of that, I grabbed a snack (my splurge -- fresco style Taco Bell) and headed to Zeph & Dave's for my weekly gardening extravaganza. Yippee! I first watered all the containers (which, of course, hadn't been watered since I was there the week before) then dug in. I cleaned out about one-tenth of their two hours. I found nice flower beds under piles of dead leaves and weeds. I (hopefully) saved a rose bush (I'm good with roses -- had over 15 old rose bushes at the first house I owned and I taught myself about them). That poor girl -- she was suffocating in weeds and no sun. I pruned her down and I think she'll be ok. Now she just needs some friends planted in that area to keep her company. :-)

I pulled out a huge clump of bulbs (not sure what they were, but they can be replaced...they were old and too clumpy) and I trimmed and raked like crazy. It took me only two hours to completely fill up the garden waste trash barrel for the was overflowing! So I had to stop there and that was probably good for my knee (which had been hurting last week and is a little crackley). I felt good seeing all the progress...even though I've got at least 10 more weeks probably to clean out the rest of the garden...then we start planting! ;-)

(I seriously think that my next career is going to be cleaning out and organizing of some is INCREDIBLY satisfying to me to do both the closets and the garden.)

After I was finished, I went home and showered and then we came back to Z&D's for a barbecue. We just love hanging out with them...we're in total "couple love". ;-) We had so much fun that we didn't leave for home until 1 am. YIKES.

Sunday we had to get up early and go get my mom to head to PD1's house for Mother's Day brunch. PD1 invited the immediate family over and everyone pitched in something. It ended up being about 20 people, I think. Both of DB's girls were there and all the grandkids. It was really great...yummy (though fattening) food, relaxing, chatting with family. All good!! :-) Cutie Pie (soon-to-be-6-year-old granddaughter) made me a set of three magnets that say "I (heart)", "MY", and "Helen". I treasure this!! Sooo sweet. Then Smiley (who informed me that she does not want to be called Smiley on my blog, but either "Princess Cutie" or her full name!) brought me a rock that she "found in the back yard and washed off to give to you". Sooo cute too! :-) I spent time lying on the sofa talking with PD2 and her hubby and DB and my mom and also spent a long time coloring with the grandkids -- I almost forgot how, but it was fun! :-)

We got home from the festivities in time to watch the recording of Saturday Night Live from Saturday which I thought was one of the best/funniest episodes in a long time.

I'm back on the wagon this week...hoping to have 4 perfect food days. One and a half down...two and a half to go!

DB has hernia surgery on Thursday so I'll be working from home some of the day. Send good thoughts so he heals fast! :-)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fat and fires

I was talking with a friend yesterday and I said "you know, in the universe of people's body sizes, I don't really think I'm fat, there are just parts of my body that are fat". LOL, but this is true. There are at least a few parts of my body that I think are just fine. I won't list them today because unfortunately, my weight is up a little bit. Less than a pound and it is no surprise with only two perfect food days and several "special" food days this week. I'm not feeling awful but am, once again, re-evaluating.

I also realize that virtually EVERYTHING in my life is fantastic except my weight. I have a fantastic partner, fantastic friends and family, fantastic job, fantastic house, fantastic fun life. Seriously. There is not a single other thing in my life that I think is bad. I am lucky. So I will try not to whine too much...

Past few days have been preoccupied with the fires. Yes, Nearby Town = Santa Barbara and the fires were within 100 feet of DB's family house last night. Everyone was already evacuated, so we don't know for sure what happened, but the fire burned down the canyon past the house and there was a fire truck in their driveway this morning when one of the family managed to walk up the road to see what was what. We suspect that the fire fighters worked all night to save the house (and houses of neighbors). There is still another unburned canyon on the other side of the house so it's not out of the woods yet but the last news we had this morning is that the fire personnel have left so they must think all is ok for now.

The fires are so sad. I love Santa Barbara. If I could live anywhere on earth that is where I would pick. It is so beautiful. But the beauty also makes it dangerous.

Please send good thoughts for less wind, cooler temps and no more houses burned.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ode to DB

There are just some days when I am so full of love and gratitude for this man. This has been one of those WEEKS. :-)

Mostly it's been nothing special...just me super-appreciating things that happen every day: his sweet kiss when I come home after a long day at the office, the goodnight or good morning snuggle or just the THOUGHT of how lucky I am to have him in my life. And I've been thinking that a lot lately. Not sure why...but I feel like I want to write about it a little to honor this special man.

For a big fancy example of how great DB is, you all might remember that for my birthday he got us season tickets to The Mark Taper Forum (professional theatre company at the Music Center downtown where the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Ahmanson Theatre also are). This means that for one whole year, we have a special date every two months. Last night was the latest (third) of these special dates.

On these special Wednesdays, DB picks me up at work and we drive downtown together to a fantastic dinner at a pretty fancy restaurant. This place is delicious and beautiful and we can park there. On nice nights (like last night), we can eat outside and look at the tall buildings. I love it because it feels New-Yorky to me. The restaurant has a shuttle over to the Music Center (and back after the show) which is free (we tip, of course, though). It is really fun. Last night, instead of a van to take us to the Center, they had a stretch limo driven by this amazing guy in a lavender three-piece suit. Fantastic! :-)

The show we saw last night was very heavy (the first two we saw were lighter musicals), but pretty good. Really, it's all just about the experience. And I love it.

Since we drive in DB's car, he has to drive me to work the next day. This is really sweet and fun to pretend we have had a real all-night date. :-)

This gift that he gave to me is so much more precious than any THING. He gave me thoughtfulness (I love going to live theatre and a nice dinner) and his time and attention. He is giving me experiences that we share. And that, my friends, among so many other things, makes me the luckiest woman in the world. :-)

Monday, May 4, 2009


My theme for the weekend and the theme I'm going to try to keep in my mind throughout this summer is Gardening.

On Saturday, I started my hopefully-summer-long gardening project at my friend Zeph's house. Since my "garden" consists of about a 4' by 4' patch of dirt in my front yard and containers, I am very excited to dig into this very large gardening project. The exercise is amazing and the satisfaction is too!

The Microwaves have 3 teenagers and one baby and to say that the garden has gone to pot while they tend the family is a wee understatement. ;-) That smiley-face is because I am so happy that they have agreed to let me work in their garden this summer -- clean it up, maintain, replant in a harmonious and easier-to-maintain way. The front and back yards are totally overgrown and haven't seen water in (my guess) at least months...maybe since baby Sunshine (now 1 1/2) was born. Even the many containers on their huge patio were unwatered, dead, untended.

Saturday around 12:30, I dug in. I started on the driveway. Yes, the driveway. It had incredible huge weeds growing up through every crack. The side of the house had dried weeds over a foot tall (some much bigger). Dave (Zeph's husband) asked why I was doing this since "no one sees this". I explained that it is horrible feng shui to have dead and overgrown stuff all over not to mention that I knew I could get this done in the 3 hours I had allotted on Saturday. was a LOT of work. I weeded the whole driveway, swept up tons of dead leaves, etc., found interesting plants and containers HIDDEN IN THE WEEDS! After about an hour and a half, the driveway and entrance to the patio looked MUCH better.

Then I dug into the patio container plants. Poor babies. They were very unhappy. Many were dead. Many were pot-bound. Many were hanging on to life in the ugly plastic containers they came in. I threw out the dead plants, pruned the ones that were only partly dead, re-potted the ones that were pot bound or in ugly plastic containers (they had plenty of pretty ceramic ones to use). I also had to trim back some dead vines on the patio/arbor area.

The difference when I was done was amazing! I enjoy this kind of work so much that I had to force myself to stop when it was time to go home and get ready for evening festivities (Zeph was getting ordained as second degree Wiccan priestess at Beltane celebration in her garden that night). I could almost feel the plants sigh with relief when I watered them. :-)

Next week, I hope to spend three more hours on Saturday -- starting on the back yard clean-up, hopefully -- and I hope to put in three hours every weekend this summer. This will substitute for one of my usual gym trips on the weekend -- it is certainly amazing exercise -- I am still sore today in all the good places and I was so sweaty afterwards -- it felt great!

Saturday night, we were invited to the ceremony at Zeph's house and we loved it. We have a few Wiccan/pagan friends and we enjoy going to their rituals. This one was very joyous, the Beltane holiday celebrates fertility, fun, summer, sensuality, etc. As you can imagine, this is my new favorite holiday. ;-)

Sunday afternoon we went to yet another Beltane celebration and loved it too. I did a lot of cooking to take for the feasts afterwards and things were a hit (and mostly healthy too): asparagus wrapped with goat cheese and prosciutto, deviled eggs made with low fat mayo and mustard, spicy chicken wings (I removed the skin before eating mine).

We have another week full of social activities so will be challenging again...but my Beltane wish/prayer/meditation is that I remember to cultivate my garden over the coming months...not just the physical garden at the Microwaves home, but also the garden of my life: my partnership with DB, relationships with friends and family, my health, etc.

Thanks to all of you for being beautiful flowers in my garden.

Friday, May 1, 2009


First off, I am wearing "skinny" jeans today that I haven't even dared to try on since January. They are tight, but not too uncomfortable. When I realized they fit, I actually didn't care too much that I gained 0.4 pounds this week. That was a miracle in itself with all the socializing that happened this week. I've maintained in the same neighborhood for the last 3 weeks and need to move down starting NOW! I've got a few months before St. John and at least 10 pounds to lose.

I was thinking about hunger last night and how I react to it. I feel very very uncomfortable with hunger. It makes me feel sick, anxious, angry almost. I realized this as I drove to the gym last night...I was very hungry...I had been perfect all day...I watched my reactions. I felt like I wasn't going to make it through the workout without food. If I would have had some available, I would have eaten (this is one reason I don't generally keep food easily available in places like my car). I was thinking about this reaction to it obsesses me until it is fed...and I felt almost angry. I felt angry that I had to think about all this. I felt angry that I couldn't just eat any old thing any old time like I perceive other people do. I felt angry that I have to deal with my issues about this!! Grrrrrrrr

But, miracle of miracles, as I knew would happen, I forgot about hunger at the gym. I remembered when I left the gym, but the hunger wasn't as nagging. I went home, had my usual salad then popsicle and that was it. I can do it, but it's a struggle. I hate that it's a struggle.

Hunger sucks.