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Friday, March 30, 2012

Cat Tales ~ Sassy

Ernie didn't handle the loss of her buddy very well.  She would sit at the door and cry.  I really, really wish she had cried like that the night Spooky broke out.  We might have realized he was missing in time to find him.  I kept thinking Ernie would settle down, but she didn't.   A few months after Spooky went missing, I impulsively stopped at the animal shelter and filled out an adoption application.  A few days later, I brought Sassy home. 

It so happened that Ernie was due for her annual physical the same week I brought Sassy home.  While at the vet with Ernie, I mentioned our new kitten, and that he must have allergies because he kept sneezing.  The vet told me to leave immediately and go get Sassy.  It turned out that Sassy had an upper respiratory infection and was severely dehydrated.  The vet told me that kittens as young as Sassy usually didn't survive this particular type of infection.  He warned me to keep Sassy away from Ernie for a couple days, until the antibiotics had a chance to work.  I had a pretty small apartment, but the closet was huge - bigger than the kitchen - and had a big, sunny window.  So Sassy lived in the closet for three days, and I spent most of my time in there, too, playing with him.

Sassy was a good boy.  My biggest issue with him was that he would not stop digging up my houseplants.  He dug out the roots, and when the plant would fall he'd drag it around the apartment until it fell apart.  I lost most of my plants the first few months I had Sassy, and I spent a fortune buying filters for my vacuum cleaner. Eventually I covered the remaining plants' soil with pea gravel, which Sassy did not enjoy digging up.  He also liked to knock over trash cans.  All the trash cans.  I ended up getting rid of the wastebasket in my bedroom, but had to put up with the mess he'd make in the kitchen and bathroom.  I didn't have a vanity or cupboard to hide them in, either.  I finally found a mini trash can with a snap on lid - a perfect replica of the garbage cans that go outside - and that kept Sassy out, so long as the lid was snapped tight.  The bathroom waste basket was always a problem. I considered it a small price to pay for such a sweet kitty.

Eventually we all moved to a pretty apartment on a high bank over the Mississippi sloughs.  About that time, Ernie went into overdrive defending her territory.  She had always been feisty, but suddenly she became an attack cat of sorts.  She sat on the steps inside our front door and God help anyone who came inside without me or my boyfriend for  an escort.  She literally attacked, leaping for the face and hanging on with all her might.  It's a wonder I didn't get sued.  Honestly, I warned people not to go in the house, and if you see the gray kitty, leave her alone.  Ernie was so pretty with her silvery fur and big eyes, nobody listened.  The attitude continued.  Eventually we were asked to find another vet, due to Ernie's, ahem, personality.  We moved out of the river apartment, and I bought my first house.  Walker and I ran into each other at a friend's wedding, and we've been together ever since. 

Walker never had pets before living with me and the kitties.  He did well with them, but he isn't in a hurry to adopt another fuzzy kid.  We lost Sassy to kidney failure a couple years ago, and of course, we lost Ernie this last January.  I was pretty devastated both times.  Walker isn't in a hurry to go through that again, either.

Walker would prefer a baby kitty, if we do get another one.  I'm leaning toward an older cat, one that has finished with the kitten chaos and just loves to curl up in a sunbeam or on a lap.  Walker is afraid we'd end up with a cat who has developed all kinds of bad habits. I think it's the luck of the draw, no matter what you do.  So: will we get another kitty?  Maybe. I want to wait at least until I can give up my second job.  I think one of the reasons Ernie was such a handful might be because I wasn't home enough. She was probably bored, and probably acted out for attention, just like a kid. Or maybe she was just a brat.

For now, we're considering volunteering at the local animal shelter.  That would give me my kitty fix, and we'd be doing something useful.  We'll see about signing up when we get back from Florida.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cat Tales ~ Three Little Kittens

So here I was with Ernie and three newborn kittens, living in an apartment that did not allow pets.  I took care of those kittens, feeding them with the syringe every three or four hours.  I worked, I went to school.  I know one weekend, my sister and her husband were visiting at my mom's and they babysat the kitties for me while I was at work.  My mom helped me, too, when she wasn't working.  The rest of the time?  I have no idea. It's all a blur. I put the kitties in a box lined with towels, wiped them down morning and night with a damp wash cloth, fed them, cleaned them. I raced home on my lunch break to feed them.  The little orange guy, the one who got stuck, didnt grow as fast as the other two.  When their eyes opened and his didnt, the vet told me to wipe his eyes with saline until they opened.  His eyes were gray, no defined pupils, and the vet said he was blind.  He was three weeks old when he died.

About this time, my relationship started to fall apart.  Things had been heading south for a while, so when my boyfriend made noise about staying with some friends in another town, I helped him pack.  He wanted to take the little girl kitty, but I said no.  A couple days later, he came into my work during the lunch rush and told me, in front of my coworkers and customers, that hed accidentally stepped on the girl kitty and she died.  I think he lied to me.  When I got home that night I asked him what he did with her body, and he said he couldnt remember.  Not only that, but if hed really hurt that kitty I know he would have been much more upset.  Im pretty sure she went with him to his new place.  I hope he gave her a good life.

So that left me with Ernie and one more baby, a little boy with beautiful black fur and big green eyes.  I named my little guy Spooky. Eventually I moved to a bigger place.  The landlord there didnt have a problem with kitties.  Spooky grew into a great big bear of a kitty.   I started a new job and a new relationship, and things were pretty sweet.  Spooky was about two years old, Ernie was four, I think, when we lost Spooky.  My sweetie and I were standing in the open doorway, talking, and somehow, Spooky got out of the apartment without our noticing.  I honestly do not know how he could walk right past us, but that's what must have happened.  My sweetie left, I went to bed, and in the morning, when Spooky wasn't waiting at his food bowl for breakfast, I knew something was wrong.  I searched not only my apartment but the rest of the house, too.  We lived in a big Victorian home that had been divided into six apartments, and there was a back hall that nobody used, along with a dusty old attic and an empty basement.  He was nowhere to be found.  What baffles me still is that not only would Spooky have had to get by both of us at the door to my apartment, but he also would have had to get out of the big, heavy door at the bottom of the stairs.  None of my neighbors fessed up to letting him out.  I doubt they would lie to me, so they must not have seen him.  Being all black, if they didn't turn the lights on in the hall, I guess it could happen.  I ran ads in the paper, searched the neighborhood, called the pound and all the vet clinics, but I never found my Spooky.  

Come back tomorrow to meet Sassy ~

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cat Tales ~ Bert

One night I was walking home past a gas station when I saw some teenage boys chunking rocks into the bushes.  I got closer, and realized that hiding under the bushes was a terrified little tiger kitty.  I do not have words to describe how angry I was.  I ran the boys off, coaxed the kitty out, and carried her up to my not-pet-friendly apartment.  Since I didnt know anything about her, and since my apartment was just one big room, I had to put her in the bathroom to keep her separate from Ernie until I could have her checked out.  In the bright lights of the bathroom, I could see she was as many weeks pregnant as a kitty would be a week before having babies. 

My boyfriend was not thrilled. He had been around animals much more than I had and knew that a litter of kittens was more than we could handle.  And bywe, I meanI, because his job kept him traveling three weeks out of every month. We called the new kitty Bert and set about trying to find her owner.  We were unsuccessful. The vet told us to put out rags, a large box, old towels, etc, and Bert would make a nest for the kittens.  We did, but she didnt.  I wasnt sure what to make of that, but I figured shes do it when she was ready.  Bert went into labor a week later.  I sat up with her most of the night, waiting for kitties.  I think I made her uncomfortable, because she kept moving to new spots around the apartment.  Finally, I went to bed so Bert could have some privacy.  In the morning, it took me a long time to find Bert.  She was still pregnant, and she wasnt acting normal.  I called the vet.  It took some doing to convince the vet that, yes, I know Ive never seen a cat in labor before but this one was in labor, yes I am sure, and will you PLEASE just let me bring her in?  Finally the vet agreed to see us. Ten minutes later, we were at the clinic.  Yes, Bert was in labor, but the vet could not get any signs of fetal movement on her fancy machines.  She told me the kittens had likely died.  Bert was much too small to be pregnant.  The vet was very kind, but I still felt like I had done something wrong.  I knew in my head it wasnt my fault but my heart about broke.  The vet gently explained that the dead kittens needed to come out or Bert would get an infection that would likely kill her.  I dont remember what I asked her, but her answer was,They do not come out intact.  Well, that was more than I could handle.  I told the vet she had to do alittle kitty c-section unless she was absolutely, 100% sure those kittens had died.  The vet thought I was nuts, but I think because I was so upset she agreed.  I went to work, and Bert went to surgery.

Two hours later, the vet called: two boys and a girl.  Alive. 

The first kitty Bert tried to deliver naturally was the biggest, and he got stuck.  The vet warned me that being stuck like that had likely caused him some damage, and that he might not survive.  She also told me that Bert woke up from surgery and didnt seem to understand that these kitties nursing on her were hers.  She kept trying to nudge them away from her.  The vet told me they wanted to sedate Bert, so the kitties would be able to nurse. She thought that after a good sleep Bert would feel better and be able to mother her kittens.  She gave me a can of kitten formula and a syringe, just in case, then she gave Bert the sedation.  Sadly, it was all too much for little Bert.  She died in the car on the way home.  I wonder if Bert knew, somehow, that she was dying.  If she had not pushed the babies away, I would not have had the formula to feed them.  She saved them by not taking care of them.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the babies ~

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cat Tales ~ Ernie

A while back DD asked if were getting a kitten.  The short answer is, maybe at some point but not right away.  The long answer is more complicated. I started thinking about all the "stuff" I've gone through with my kitties and I'm not sure I have it in me to go through all that again.  Normal people go to the pound or the pet store and pick out a cute little fur ball, take it home, and love it for fifteen or twenty years.  My kitty chronicles are a bit more dramatic.  Sitting here, writing this out, the story got pretty long.  I broke it down so y'all wouldn't be nodding off before we got to the end. 

Ernie was my first kitten.  I got her for my 21st birthday, a gift from my then-boyfriend.  I was not, technically, allowed to have pets in the apartment I lived it.  Okay, technically, I was not supposed to be living in the apartment I was living in.  Two of my besties took me in after a very bad fight with my mother (my fault).  I crashed on their couch for three months, but I never went back to my moms to live.  My roommates had a kitten already, a pretty gray and white girl named Sophie.  They didnt mind me bringing home another kitty, so long as we called it Ernie, after a Bette Midler bit they were both partial to.  So thats what we did.

Sophie was not thrilled with the new addition to the family and batted Ernie around like a stuffed mouse.  For Ernies safety, I kept her crated when I was at work.  At night, she slept with me on the sofa.  When I was home, she had the run of the place, but I made sure to keep a close eye when Sophie was in the room.  Ernie was just a baby when I got my own apartment.  I wasnt allowed pets at that place, either, but I figured I wouldnt be there long.  The landlord had offices in Minneapolis, hours away, so I knew we wouldnt see much of him.  In fact, in three years I never once saw him.  

At that point, I worked as a waitress in a diner that served breakfast and lunch.  I often left the house at 4 or 5 am.  And I often came home to a mess.  Ernie would shred toilet paper, dig up house plants, climb boyfriend was the type to send flowers, which Ernie regarded as a salad bar.  She ate pretty much any flower, but roses were her favorite.  It didnt matter where I put them.  Shed knock the vase over, spilling all the water, and munch away.  The most interesting Ernie habit started when she was about six months old.  She would jump up onto my dresser, bat at the drawer handle until she got it open, and flick all my underwear onto the floor.  She loved to chew the elastic out.  Seriously, peeps, I took this picture of her tossing my skivvies. During that time I took classes at the community college, too, and I can remember coming home dog tired only to find the apartment trashed and Ernie stuck at the top of a drapery rod, yowling her fool head off.  It was a miracle that we didn't get booted out of that apartment.

Come back tomorrow to meet Bert ~



Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekly Spark

Is anyone else finding these updates redundant?  I am, a bit.  I do think the accountability does me some good.  Having said that, I lost .8 pounds this week, bringing my total to 13.6 pounds since the beginning of the year.  I had set a goal of 20 pounds by our Disney trip, but with the vacation coming up fast, that just isn't going to happen.  I'm okay with that, as the changes I've made are changes I can live with long term, rather than a quick fix type of diet.  I'll take the slow and steady path if it means I won't have to go through this every couple years.

We're getting excited for the trip.  The community we're staying in has a nice workout room and I have arranged a buddy to exercise with me.  Just one problem:  I work out at home in my jammy pants and a sports bra.  I don't want to do that on vacation, LOL. They will kick me out for sure.  So this morning, I shopped for workout wear on eBay. I'm afraid I got a little carried away.  I just got so many great deals!  Looks like I hit it at the right time, because one woman listed half a dozen new items, in my size, for about half of what I'd have to pay from the vendor.  I bought them all.  Yeah, I got carried away.  I was pretty happy about not having to schlep out to the mall and hunt for bargains, until an hour later when I bent over and felt the underwire in my bra go "snap".  I only have two bras.  Looks like I'll be going to the mall after all.  Sigh.

Bright and early this morning, the roofers will start the tear off on our tornado damages shingles.  Being us, naturally, there's an issue.  The contractor has not provided the written contract we (meaning "I") asked for.  We've used this guy before, so Walker isn't hung up on having a contract, but there is no way I will allow anyone to work on my home without a contract.  We called him and he assured us he'll have the paperwork in hand when they get here this morning.  Cross your fingers for us.  I'd really like something to go smoothly ~

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Outside My Window

I had to take these photos through the patio door, so the quality is not the best, but I really enjoyed watching this sweet couple build their nest.  It was amazing to me, the way they worked together.  They collected twigs into a pile on the roof, then one of the birds passed twigs, one at a time, to the other bird, who created the nest.  It was really cool to watch.  Unfortunately, we had to evict them later that day.  Why?  Well, the roofer stopped by to let us know that due to the unseasonably warm weather, we will be getting our new roof on Monday.  There were no eggs in the nest, so we felt it best to remove it and force the birds to relocate for their own protection. 

Monday, March 19, 2012


Daffodils have joined my crocus to welcome spring.  Did someone forget to tell me I moved south?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekly Spark

This week all I lost was the pound I gained last week, making my grand total 12.8 pounds and my total for the month of March .8 pounds.  I don't know what's going on, because I did lots of exercise this week and stayed under my calorie limit every day except Saturday.  We spent Saturday cleaning the garage and Walker ran for fast food when we took a break.  I thought I was pretty safe with a breakfast burrito of scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa on a tortilla (from which I pulled off all the bits that overlapped, so I would guess I ate maybe 2/3 of the tortilla part).  When I entered it into SparkPeople, it came up at 480 calories.  Really?  I would have guessed it around 300.  There looks to be maybe 2 eggs, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, and a plop of salsa on the tortilla.  I didn't think the calories would be so high.  Of course, that wasn't what put me over.  The Thin Mints I found in the pantry are what put me over.  Even so, my calories for the day equaled what I should have burned for the day, so I should have broken even on Saturday.  The rest of the week should have been more of a loss, if you just look at the math.

When I logged my exercise on Saturday, a warning popped up on my screen in red lettering:  *The number of calories you should eat to manage your weight depends on many factors, including how many calories you burn through exercise. It may seem counterintuitive, but eating too little while burning too much can actually hurt your weight-management goals and the outcome of your fitness program. If you are consistently burning more calories than recommended here, please update your fitness settings as soon as possible. This may adjust your calorie ranges (if necessary) so you can reach your goals in a timely and healthy manner.

Okay, so apparently SparkPeople is telling me that I did too much exercise for what I ate last week. My weekly goal is to burn 550 calories through exercise, and instead I burned 1,914. Love that bike trail.  But still, not much progress at the scale.  

Walker's theory is that I'm toning and building muscle.  He says that I look thinner, regardless of what the scale says.  I did have to pull a couple clothing pieces from the closet.  One of my tops is so gappy in the neckline that I run the risk of flashing my girls every time I reach for something.  And the Capris I've been wearing around the house are too loose.  The other night I put my keys in my pocket so I could take my walk and the pants fell down.  My key ring isn't all that heavy, maybe four keys and the fob for my car.  So the pants went into the rummage sale box. 

My goal for this week is pretty much the same as last week:  keep up the exercise, no matter what.  I'm going to tell Walker no more fast food, too.  There's just no telling how that stuff is prepared.  I can do my own cooking, and I think I'll be better for it. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

LOL, Y'all!

So Thursday, I'm in bed, waiting for sleep, watching TV.  I kept flipping channels, looking for something that would not spark my interest to the point that I'd stay awake.  As I went past the shopping channels, the presentation on HSN caught my eye.  They were showing a set that included shampoo, conditioner, and a hairbrush for under $20.  The list of botanicals included things like rosemary extract and argan oil, great for your hair and usually pretty expensive.  I'm loyal to my brand of hair stuff, but I'm thinking this set might be good for Walker.  I'm trying to decided if I'll remember to check it out when I wake up or should I write myself a note when the camera pulls back and there's a dog in the shot, getting groomed.  Yes, peeps, Royal Treatment Haircare is a line of dog shampoo.  And I almost bought it for Walker.  And when I told him about it, he asked if I ordered it anyway.  Sigh.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 14

Seventy degrees.  Sunny.  Bicycle trails open.  Bike tires pumped up.  Water bottle chilled.  Off we go.  If I'm dreaming, please don't wake me up!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Welcome, Spring!

I don't care what the calendar says, Spring is HERE!  Look - here's some evidence:

Look at the color saturation!  Very vibrant this year ~

Funny how something so small can bring so many smiles ~

This cluster looks like a family to me:  mama, daddy, and two babies.

Everywhere I look, more color ~

I caught this little beauty trying to make a break for it.  She's growing in the grass, not the flowerbed.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekly Spark

So I gained a pound this week.  There, I said it.  I wasn't happy to see the scale tick up, but I know it happens.  I'm not going to sweat it.  I do need to find a way to either log my foods in Spark People throughout the day, or make a full-day menu so I stay within my limits.  What happened a couple of times this week was, I wrote down everything I ate and entered it all into Spark People at once, at the end of the day, only to discover I went over my calorie goal.  At that point, all I can do is more exercise.  There were a couple nights when, honestly, I didn't have it in me to get on the elliptical that late in the day.

The truth is, I've been doing the same workouts and eating the same food since the beginning of the year and it's getting a little tired.  I need to start shaking things up.  Warmer weather will help.  I spent most of the afternoon outside, working in the yard.  I know I'll be sore tomorrow, but it's a good kind of sore.  Walker is off tomorrow and I've asked him to get out my bicycle and check the tires.  They usually need air after the winter.  I love bike riding outside.  I can't wait to hit the trails.

I consider this whole process to be a learning experience.  I just need to figure out what works for me, as far as my eating habits.  Growing up, my mom fed us carefully balanced meal with a protein, a starch, and a veggie.  We always had milk with supper and we always had dessert, even if it was just canned fruit.  We didn't have formal exercise but we were sent outside to play pretty much all the time, though that might be just because there were five of us, we were loud, and my mom would have sold her soul for peace and quiet.  None of us were overweight as kids.  As adults?  All five of us have had some degree of overweight.

These days, who knows what you're supposed to eat?  I remember when eggs were bad for you, so no more than two per week.  Now?  Not so much.  Eggs are a great source of protein!  There are the folks who encourage whole grain, but they are offset by the folks who say not to eat grain at all.  Ever.  Red meat?  Depends on who you ask.  I even had a doctor tell me not to eat fruit more than occasionally, since it had so much fructose.  Spark People gives daily menu suggestions, which I didn't follow at first because we had lots of food in the freezer and the pantry.  Now, though, I think I'll at least consult the menus when I make out the weekly grocery list.

My plan for this week is set a daily goal each night.  I'm going to think about the goal, what I need to do to accomplish it, and what obstacles may be in my way.  For tomorrow's goal, I am going to make sure I get in more than my required 10,000 steps.  I hate walking in the rain, so if the weather is wet, I'll go to the big warehouse grocery store after work and walk the aisles.  I'm usually the only one shopping at that time of night, so who cares if I go down every aisle, twice? 


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tales from the Dressing Room

I consider myself lucky to be able to wear blue jeans to work.  I work in an office, but at night the dress code is much more relaxed than during the day. Since I wear jeans on my days off, too, I only need to maintain one wardrobe, rather than the separate "professional", "business casual", and "casual" wardrobes that I had during my years at the bank.  When I decided the time had come to get serious about losing weight, I decided no more clothes shopping until I had dropped at least one size.  It didn't matter that I only had two pair of jeans in my closet, since everybody knows ten pounds is a size and I could do that in a month.

Except I didn't.  I lost eight pounds the first month, and four the second.  My clothes are loose, but I haven't dropped a size.  I thought, okay, maybe fifteen pounds.  Well, I'm down thirteen and not even close to a smaller size.  So on Wednesday, when I tore one of my two pair of jeans, I knew I had to bite the bullet and go shopping.

I decided to go to Kohl's, because they carry the jeans I like (Lee Comfort Waist) and they have pretty good prices.  Kohl's is close to my office, so I went during my dinner break on Friday.  I tried on all kinds of jeans, not just the ones I usually get, and some of the brands were too big in my size.  But when I tried the same ones in a smaller size, I could not get them zipped up.  I don't mean they were uncomfortable, I mean I literally could not get them zipped up.  They were that much too small.  Heaven help me when these pants get looser, as it will be a long time until I can fit into anything smaller.  In the end, I got one pair of jeans that were identical to the ones I tore.  I also got a pair of Capri pants that are a perfect fit and a couple of $6 tee shirts for our trip to Florida.  Originally I was planning to just wear what I have, but honestly?  I got the clothes out and the tops have seen better days.  I realized that I bought them when I had the ginormous fibroid tumor, and that was a couple years ago.  I don't feel bad about picking up some new tops, especially at that price. 

On the subject of Kohl's, I just want to mention, I have been in many, many dressing rooms over the years but the mess I saw at Kohl's on Friday was easily the worst I have ever seen.  The dressing rooms were dirty.  Not just cluttered, but dirty.  Dirty mirrors, dust bunnies that were more like dust kangaroos all over the floor.  I was trying on pants, but I hated to take my shoes off on that filthy floor.  My socks got grimy in the fifteen minutes I was hopping around in there.   And dust wads weren't the only problem.  There were hangers and pins on the floor.  The first dressing room I went in had a pile of clothes on the floor that could double as a crash pad.  The second room wasn't so bad, only maybe a dozen pieces on the hooks and the floor.  I cleaned it out before I tried my stuff on.  The "back on the rack" rack, where you're supposed to put the things you don't want to purchase, was crammed full.  I had to put my rejects into a wire basket on the floor. I feel bad about that.  I'm sure they got dirty.  But I was on my lunch break and couldn't go around the store trying to figure out where I found all those pants.

After work I stopped at Walmart, and a really cute top that I've had my eye on was marked down to $3.  Score!  I was so happy to find my size that I picked up a much smaller one for Diva.  She was thrilled beyond words to be "shirt twins". 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Holy Crow, Y'All, I Did It!!

Remember my quest to shoot the moon?  The moon was full and bright, so I decided to give it another go.  I love the cloud formations, but the moon didn't come out so well.

I got a few that looked like this......

And a few that look like this.

I got a lot that look like this.  

And then I made this one.  I call this success!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bread Bag Weather

Tell me if any of y'all did this:  When I was a kid, we got our snow boots from Kmart.  At the time, that was the only affordable option for a family with five kids and not a lot of money.  So we got these cheap boots, and if we were lucky they lasted two years.  Sort of.  About this time of year, when the snow turned to slush and spring rains came, those cheap plastic boots that were on their second season started to split.  Little cracks along the sides, cracks in the soles, once in a while a heel coming apart.  Well, with just a couple weeks left of winter, there was no way my mom would be buying new boots.  Out came the bread bags.

My mom would save the plastic bags from long loaves of bread, turned inside out and brushed clean of bread crumbs, until one of us kids would start showing up with damp socks.  Then she'd have us slide the bread bags over our socks, pull on the boots, and turn the tops of the bread bag down like a cuff over the top of the boot so it wouldn't slip down.  The bread bags got us through til spring, and they made it a heck of a lot easier to get the boots on.

Sitting here, typing this out, I can just about smell that row of damp plastic boots by our front door.  I wonder if kids still do that, wear bread bags inside their boots.  Of course, these days I don't know a whole lot of kids who walk to school.  Most of my friends drive their kids.  I bet they don't know the fun they're missing, walking those five or six blocks to school.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Am Such an 80's Dork!

I was watching TV yesterday when a commercial came on that had me literally bouncing in my seat. TNT is bringing back one of my all time favorite shows - Dallas!!!  

I know, I need a hobby.

Dallas was the first soap of any kind that I actually watched.  I had alternating crushes on both Bobby and Ray.  I loved how they were rugged and tender at the same time.  I wanted to live at Southfork and go to the Ewing barbeque and learn to ride horses and dress for dinner in fabulous outfits.  Oh, I cannot wait for summer, when the new episodes will air.  Looks like they got several of the original cast members.  Never mind that I work nights - I have a VCR.  Hopefully I can find some VCR tapes somewhere, LOL. Bring on the drama, TNT!  I'll be waiting.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


It is absolutely gorgeous outside right now.  I got up early so I could spend some time outdoors.  I decided to clean up the garden, which gets just trashed with leaves and debris over the winter.  I got out a large bucket for the trash and got to work.  An hour later, I had the front of the house done.  I was surprised at how much green there was this early in the season.

A big surprise was this cluster of daffodils, with buds already showing.  

 And a bright purple crocus bud, just about ready to burst into bloom.

 And this little beauty, already fully opened:

Moving around the yard, I found our river birch shedding it's bark. 

And then I noticed  something that I did not want to see.  It's not easy to spot from this photo, but you can see the dark, meandering lines in the grass.  These are mouse trails, made under the snow.  They go right up to the house, to the dryer vent.  Which does not have a screen.  I bought a screen, but Walker didn't think we needed to use it.  It's on now.  I just hope Mickey Jr has not taken up residence in our basement.

Tomorrow, the warm temps are expected to continue, but we're also expecting rain.  I am very grateful for the sciences that make it possible to know, in advance, what to expect.  I am so happy to have been able to enjoy this day.  It will be a while until we get another one.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekly Spark

My official Sunday weigh in didn't happen, because I forgot about it and drank a large glass of water when I took my morning meds followed by a Coke Zero half an hour later.  Coke Zero is my morning coffee.   But I'm a bad dieter who weighs nearly every day, so I'm just going to use Saturday's number, which means my unofficial loss this week is 1.8 pounds.  Wahoo!  I believe my total is now 12.8 pounds. 

I'm having a hard time keeping up with Spark People.  I don't have a smart phone or any of those nifty tablets that would allow me to record my meals in real time.  So I carry around a little notepad and write all my foods down, intending to input the info when I get home.  Which works if I don't forget my notepad at the office.  Sigh.  It's not so bad on normal weeks but last week was especially busy.  I think I got everything entered in, eventually.  Entering everything at the end of the day has one big drawback:  it's very easy to go over the calorie limit when you aren't monitoring it through the day.  To get around that I pretty much eat the same couple of things every day.  So far, that's working, but I'm going to have to come up with more options at some point.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blink and You'll Miss It

When I was a kid, the adults always talked about how time was moving so fast.  I never understood that.  It seemed like forever, waiting for a holiday or the first snow or school to let out for the summer.  The days were long and deep, and I didn't appreciate it.  I do now, but now it's rare that I have those long, lazy days.

It was another one of those manic weeks where I went in to the office early, stayed late, and did very little else.  By the time Friday rolled around I was wiped out, but it still didn't feel like a whole week was in the can already. The weekends go just as fast, leaving me shaking my head in disbelief once again come Monday.

I did my taxes a couple weeks ago, but I couldn't finalize them because I needed a stock form that wasn't ready until mid February.  When I logged back into Turbo Tax and added the info from that ONE form, something went wonky and now my taxes show half a dozen errors.  I've been through them literally a dozen times, but I can't figure out what happened, and I can't file them like this.  Sigh.  Nothing comes easy, that's for sure.  I'm seriously thinking I'll have to go back to paper and pen.

Walker and Diva went out for breakfast Saturday morning so I could sleep in.  They followed breakfast with some errands, including grocery shopping.  I'm trying to "lighten" some of our favorite treat recipes, so Diva and I experimented with a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe using yogurt instead of shortening and whole wheat flour.  They turned out okay, less sweet than regular cookies, with more of a "granola bar" type flavor.  We also made a pizza, with turkey pepperoni, part skim mozzarella, and lots of veggies.  Turkey pepperoni has been around for a long time, and it tastes really good, but I don't know of any pizza places around here that use it.  I wish they would - it's much less greasy that regular pepperoni, but honestly tastes just as good.  I don't mind making pizza homemade, but once in a while it would be nice to order it in and still get a "lighter" version.