Friday, February 9, 2018


My firm has never, in the nearly 14 years I've worked there, had a snow day.

Hot Dog!!!

It snowed all night and it's going to snow all day today.

My work is cut out for me, and now I have an extra day in which to do it!!!

Yes, that's the Christmas tree peeking through over on the left, and yes the bar is a wreck.  Some of that, however, is from my grocery run last night, which was an adventure in itself (more later on that).

For now, however, the cooking/freezing weekend begins early, and I have the GIFT of this day to get so much accomplished.

I'm off to put EWF on the stereo and start my engines!



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Catching it Up . . .

So . . . um . . . tune in tomorrow turned in to weeks, but I was given the unexpected gift of time this morning when my trainer called off.

The chicken in the Instant Pot turned out quite well, and the mini size is perfect for one or two people.  I even made space for it on my counter - which says a lot - I don't leave much out on the kitchen counter.  I haven't used it since, but I'm sure I will be  :-)

I did end up having to take a second day off from that cold/flu combo, and I'm still pretty tired from it - been getting as much extra sleep as possible these past weeks.

No progress on the Weight Watchers front, but Freestyle is still My style for sure.  I had a 4 pound gain the first week of January (probably backlash from the tail end of holiday eating as well as weird eating from being so ill), and I have been losing it again ever since.  So progress has slowed a bit there, but it's still progress.  :-) 

The weather has been pretty awful here in Chicagoland.  We were in the deep freeze again for weeks.  It snowed at Christmas and then it was so cold that, for the first time in probably a decade, I just couldn't get out there and clear my driveway.  I drove on it, snow and all, for days, and finally when the temps got up to 18 degrees, I was able to get out there.  But I had to do it by shovel because I hadn't gotten the snow blower prepped for winter. 

I've been thinking about trying to find someone to do my driveway.  My lawn guys come out from the city, so having them do it isn't practical - I really was at  loss to find someone local.  Lo and behold, a guy in a red pickup stopped right as I was nearing the end of the driveway.  Long story short, I now have a local guy to do my driveway for what I think is a very reasonable price.  Answered prayer for sure.  He even does the sidewalk in front of my house!  Yay!!!  I'm so grateful - even with the snow blower I have it takes at least 45 minutes to do the driveway.  I'm just thrilled to give up this outdoor chore!  And, interestingly enough, this guy used to do the driveway and the lawns for the former resident - you'd think she could have left me that info a million years ago, wouldn't you?? 

Most importantly in the weeks since my last post - I participated in the second Women's March Chicago - March to the Polls.

More on that soon  :-)

Should be a little warmer again today - yesterday I was extremely grateful for the cleats I have for my hiking boots because it was a skating rink with black ice everywhere. 

I'll leave you with a new one from Katy Perry . . .

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ghost in the Machine . . .

So, um, I picked up my Fitbit this morning to toss it in the bag with all the dead batteries.  And it turned on and was fully charged.

I'm like Really?!

So, I guess I'll be ready with the Zip when my One finally does croak, but you know I put it right back on, all conspiracy theories gone  ;-D

It was 12 below this morning.

I stayed home another day, but tomorrow I'm going in (unless this brutal cough is still ridiculous) - it won't matter how cold it is.  I made a quick run to the PO in my pj's with sweats over and all my regular outside gear this morning.  The windchill is awful.  I really hope it warms up before January 20th - which is the Women's March in Chicago

Here's my project for dinner.

Tune in tomorrow . . .

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

2018 is here.  I'm glad of it  :-)

I'm also glad to have had these days off - it's very likely that will take a day and stay home tomorrow for one more day - that will be the last dose of the Z-Pac, and while I have the side-effects from the Tamiflu  under control now, there's no controlling my intestinal tract until I've finished taking the Z-Pac.  I'm still coughing like a fiend, so there's that, too.

This happened today:

That's the carcass of my Fitbit One.  It gave up the ghost this morning.  Ever since Fitbit's most recent software update my One had been requiring charging every few days rather than its former every couple of weeks.  I thought maybe mine was just old, but I started hearing the same thing from other One users.  Coincidentally (I think NOT) when I went out to the website to buy another, I found that Fitbit had discontinued the One.


As long as I charged mine up, it kept going - but as ill as I've been the past week, I neglected to get it in to the charger until this morning.  It wouldn't charge.  The conspiracy theorist part of my mind is wondering if Fitbit caused it to not recharge.  You know, like it would keep going unless you let it run down completely (or unless you cancelled your premium account which I did a few weeks ago).  Maybe letting run down all the way would trigger it not to recharge at all.  All just guesses and conjecture on my part, but since we all know what Apple just did to some of its older iPhones it really doesn't seem that far-fetched, does it??

In any case, it's dead as a door nail and I'm going to miss it terribly.  I went out an ordered a Zip from the Fitbit website - which OF COURSE is back-ordered for weeks because all the people who can no longer get a One ordered a Zip.  How does Fitbit not get that not everyone wants a tracker on their wrist????  I have a Bellabeat that I'm wearing in the meantime, but it doesn't sync with my WW app so I'll be glad to get the Zip when it eventually shows up.

Why is change so hard?

I think I'm whinier than usual because I still feel pretty punk.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it  ;-) )

Tonight's dinner was going to be an experiment with my new Instant Pot.  I ended up giving the big one to my cousins and buying the smaller size for myself.  However, I decided that today was not actually a good day to experiment with a new appliance.  So, I put a potato in the oven and had some comfort food for dinner.  :-)  High points.  Super worth it.

This Neil Gaiman quote rolled across my FB feed yesterday:

And this song has been in my head for days (I love these guys), so I'll leave you with them  :-)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

And Now it's New Year's Eve . . .

December is a busy time of year for everyone, I think.  I've been laid low with what Urgent Care thought was probably the flu, even though I didn't have a fever.  The chills and aches led them to treat me with Tamiflu and also a Z-Pac.  The side effects of these drugs are really the No-Fun Plan, but at least I'm vertical today, and I have tomorrow off, so I'm hopeful that I will have the energy to go back to work on Tuesday.

The Tamiflu causes nausea unless I take it with food, and the Z-Pac, being a pretty strong antibiotic gives me diarrhea.  TMI?  So it goes around this joint  ;-D

I'm going to attempt to recap everything that I think needs a recap as we close the books on this very difficult year.

Here's a tune to listen to while you read:

My Health

As they say (whoever they are), when humans make plans, God laughs.  Back on January 8, 2017 I blithely pronounced that after about two years of wonky health issues, that 2017 was going to be my year to take charge of my health and the size of my ass.

Ahem . . .

February's Kidney Stone Incident and my torn retina in March dominated 2017 for me.  I'm fine now (other than the flu), though, so that's great.  Again, if you want to know how to prevent kidney stones, catch up with Jill Harris.  She's made such a difference for me.  I still have a follow-up 24-hour Urine Collection that I need to do (that I should have done in October . . .).  It's going to have to wait a little longer until I'm off all these flu drugs.

So - 2017 was all about me, but not quite in the way I had hoped. 

The Size of My Ass

I still haven't figured out an easy way to make a table in blogger, so I don't have a chart to show, but I can tell you that Weight Watchers' Freestyle is working really, really well for me.  It took me all year to get through two emergency surgeries early on, but since I returned to WW on December 7th, I'm down 16.2 pounds.  Yay Me!  I'm not strictly ovo-pescetarian again after all for a variety of reasons - one of which is that I found out that eggs cause me severe intestinal distress (see above for the description of what happens to me when I have to take a Z-Pac . . . need I repeat?  I think not.).  I've clearly developed a sensitivity to eggs.

Tai Chi

I'm still studying it, and I'm also now studying Tai Chi Sword.  One thing I would like to do in 2018 is more of both of these forms.  It's time for me to build practice time in to my days rather than just relying on the time I get to spend in class learning from Sensei Joe.

Clearing my Space

I've done better with this this year.  It's not perfect, and, as usual, I still have a bag going for the Second Chance Shop, but I was able to continue to divest stuff throughout this year.

The House in General

Had to have a few repairs last month, but nothing major - just general maintenance.  There are a few things that I probably should look at getting accomplished in 2018 . . . I'm not keen on it, though, and unless something major occurs, things will likely wait for another year. The weather has been so brutal here since Christmas that I have not shoveled the driveway.  I've just continued to drive on it - which is never a very good plan, but it's just been too cold to get things going.  It's still too cold.  Once it gets back up into the teens on a semi-regular basis, I'll think about getting the snowblower fired up and clearing it.  For now, however, I'm staying in  :-D


If you check my post from February 4, 2017, you'll see that I am not in any danger of eating my hat.   I've been pretty much right on every single point I made back then.  Watching things go from bad to worse this year definitely played a role in my health - it has been exceptionally stressful for me, but I've been working a lot on getting my stress under control and have made good strides in this area - it's such a relief to be sleeping all night again (nearly every night).  Please remember how important the 2018 mid-term elections are.

Run/Walk the Year

I made it!!  Well, I made my half of it  :-)  My trainer and I split the miles, and I reached my 1,009 miles about a week and a half ago!  Yay ME!!  It's not something I will repeat in 2018, but the group I moderate on Ravelry will be virtually walking the Triple Crown of hiking in 2018.  We have a team of about 21 people, and all our miles will be pooled as we virtually walk first, the Appalachian Trail, then the Pacific Crest Trail, and finally the Continental Divide Trail. 


I managed a jaunt to Wisconsin Sheep & Wool this year, but I haven't done any real travel in too many years - looking to change that in 2018.  Not sure to where or when, but I need a change of scenery for a bit.

So that's the Field Report and the end of the year recap of what's been going on here - I am grateful for another year - and I'm grateful that this one is over.  Once again I say to you that 2018 is my year.  I've gotten a jump on it by going back to WW early this month.  The first week on any sort of weight loss program usually has a higher loss, but never would I have expected to lose more than 16 pounds in one month.  And I don't expect that that will continue, however, if it does, I'll gladly take it!

The timer just went off, which hopefully means that my dinner is ready, so I'll close now.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year - I'm so grateful that you are reading what I am writing.  Thank you very much.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

It's Christmas Eve . . .

I'm just waiting for my shirt to dry and then I'll be off to my cousin's for a quick visit.  Tomorrow I'll go to another cousin's for Christmas dinner. 

It started snowing this morning and has continued throughout the day.  I'm waiting for it to stop before I head out to shovel.  The lack of snow lulled me into a false sense of security - I have neglected to get gas for the snowblower.  I'll check and see if there's any leftover from last season and go from there.  It certainly won't kill me to shovel a bit - and it warms up by the end of the week, it will melt . . .  ;-)

Weight Watchers is going well.  I really, really like Freestyle.  Since I started on December 7th, I'm down 10 pounds.  This is great and very quick.  I don't know that the rest of the journey will go as quickly, but however it goes, is how it goes  :-)  There were quite a few people at my meeting this morning - more than I thought would be there! 

Next Sunday is another "Eve," so it will likely be a similar situation.  And then it will be the first of the year and the meeting rooms will be swamped with everyone and their New Year's resolutions.  I'm glad I started again when I did. 

I hope you can celebrate with family today and tomorrow - family of origin or family of choice  :-)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Shields Up!

I had number of friends contact me privately about "how difficult it must have been" for me to post my photos last week. 

It wasn't.  It is what it is.  I have walked this road so many times - never learning to truly maintain one size.  I think it's difficult to explain to anyone who has not struggled with the size of their body.  It's one of those things that, unless you've experienced it yourself, you really have no concept of what it's like. And the journey has already been interesting.  :-D  I'm laughing because once again, it just is what it is.

A lot of stuff transpired yesterday - all of which was a week or two in the making. 

Interestingly enough, I felt nervous about the day yesterday morning.  My friend, T, reminded me to put my shields up.  If you are a Star Trek fan, you'll get that reference immediately.  In practice, for me, it's setting an intention and focusing my energy on creating a shield around myself so that I don't take on other people's negative energy - other people's "stuff."  It's also a way for me to know that I can remain calm in any situation - my shields are up  :-)  It was a good plan. 

Nothing major went sideways, but there is a ton of negative energy surrounding Weight Watchers' shift from Beyond the Scale (it's former program) to Freestyle, the new program.  I get that.  I'm thrilled with Freestyle, but Beyond the Scale was the reason I left the WW program two years ago - I found it to be extremely restrictive and punitive.  Very much a "diet."  Change is nearly always hard, even when it's good change, but this particular change to Freestyle seems like exactly what I need.

Anyway - I digress.   :-D

If you've been following along at home, you know that I did sign up for WW about a week ago.  There aren't a lot of meetings that I can go to at my local center - the timing is poor - so I decided I'd go for an Online membership this time.  I found it confusing to not have booklets - all the stuff you get in the meeting room, so I asked a few questions online and was told I could definitely go to a meeting to get the orientation to the new program.  So I did, last Wednesday.  I was late to the meeting (poor timing), but there was a receptionist who was extremely kind and helped me with everything.  I sat down to hear the remainder of the orientation - which was the full meeting topic - and was reminded why I didn't always care for my local center.  It was a nightmare.  The people next to me carried on a side-conversation the entire time (I was like Really???).  I didn't say anything to them because it wasn't my meeting, although I did say something to the Kind Receptionist about it.  And the general tenor of the meeting itself was one of negativity and unhappiness at the change in the program.

On my way out, the Kind Receptionist gave me a schedule of meetings and suggested the Sunday morning meeting might work for me timewise if I changed my mind about online.

And after a few days of being online only, I did.  Change my mind.  I knew that I wanted to be back in a meeting room - I just needed to find the right fit.  And so, I went online to attempt to upgrade my online membership to a Monthly Pass.  I was denied!  But I figured that the meeting room could do this change for me.  So, on Sunday morning I toddled on over to that meeting.  Well, actually, I drove.  ;-D  I was hoping the meeting wouldn't be too crowded, and as I pulled in to the parking lot, there were not all that many cars!  Score!  And as I walked from my car, I thought to myself that wouldn't it be nice if that Kind Receptionist worked at this meeting?  Score!

She does!  There she was!  It's her regular meeting - she was only helping out on Wednesday evening.  I thanked her again for having been so kind to me last week and told her that as I was driving over I had hoped she would be a receptionist at this meeting - and she said that something had come up for her on her computer that made her think of me and that she'd hoped I would come to the Sunday meeting.  So that's the Universe validating me and my choices in a very big way.  Yay! 

The leader was excellent and the group was not huge.  Score!  Score!  These are both huge pluses for me.  In fact the leader spent a little more time with me after the orientation, which I really appreciated. 

I ended up having to buy a monthly pass there in the meeting room, and knew I would need to call to have WW cancel the Online membership on Monday morning.  So that's what I did.  It was a call that lasted an hour and 15 minutes. 


Had both the people I dealt with on the phone not been so kind, and had I not put my shields up on the way in to the city, my hair would have been standing on end.  Long story short: In order to keep my existing screen name/login both memberships had to be cancelled and a new Monthly Pass had to be purchased yesterday.  What an ordeal!  But all was well in the end, I remained calm, and I have what I need. 

Bonus:  At the end of November I decided to let my Fitbit premium membership expire.  I wasn't using it.  I decided to go to MyFitnessPal, so I ponied up the $50 bucks there - and the next week I heard about Freestyle and I knew that I needed and wanted to return to WW, rendering MyFitnessPal useless.  I figured it couldn't hurt to ask - so I emailed them yesterday and they refunded my $50 bucks.  Immediately!  Yay!! 

So, I'm on my way with the tools and support I wanted. 

I will continue to weigh myself on Thursday mornings, but the weight that WW tracks will be the one that happens in the meeting room on Sunday mornings. 

I'm trying to figure out how best to make a table in Blogger so I can track my progress here.  I'll let you know what I discover  :-)

I'll leave you with an oldie for this chilly Tuesday morning . . .