Sunday, May 30, 2010

45 in 45

In 45 days I'll be 45. This is the thought I awoke to yesterday. It roused me from a hazy dream and as I laid there trying to go back to sleep because I could tell from the dim light seeping through my eyelids that it was way to early to get up on a Saturday, a disturbing thought hit me like a tsunami. In just 15 years I'll be 60.
I opened my eyes. 60. That's considered elderly. Old age is approaching like a fast train with no brakes.  But I'm not even 45 yet, so why am I thinking about 60? The answer is that, as eventful as the past 15 years have been, they've flown by. I know the next 15 will fly too and I'll be 60. I'll be old.
It doesn't help that the synonyms for "aging" are "decline," "deteriorate," and "ferment." I'm fermenting. Perfect.
It's not the physical aging that disturbs me, although I'm sure that's no picnic. What disturbs me is the question of what have I done with my life and if I haven't done what I've wanted is there enough time left to do it in?
What have I done in 45 years on this planet? I've tried to "do unto others."  I've tried to not cause anyone pain or suffering. But...have I ever uttered a word, or expression, that hurt someone and caused irreparable damage to the outcome of their life? I don't know. I hope not. Words are powerful and people have defining moments and some of those moments are caused by strangers that don't even remember uttering words that changed someone's life. It's such a fragile thing, our human existence. Every moment matters.
45. Where did I think I would be at 45? When I was 10 I wanted to be a teacher or an artist. Today, I'm not a teacher and I can't draw. Have I failed? My parents didn't encourage higher education because the world was going to end before I would reach adulthood and I wouldn't need it. Have they failed? The world didn't end. Has God failed?
What have I done that's good? I stayed in a heart breaking marriage for 12 years because I thought it would disappoint God and my family and friends if I didn't. I wanted my kids to grow up with a mom and a dad in the same house. Was that the right choice? I don't know. They were 7, 9, and 10 when we divorced - old enough to be tramatized by it. Had I been less of a people pleaser I would have done it sooner. Maybe it wouldn't have hurt them as much.
My biggest worry, at almost 45, is how I have affected my kids' lives. I volunteered at their schools, I enrolled them in extracurricular actiivities that I thought would enrich them. I left my full time job when they started middle school so I could work from home. I tried to be there for them. I struggled daily with my own inadequacies, but I tried to be there for them. Have I been a good mom? If I've failed at that, then I've failed at life.
I see my kids' great qualities and I'm so proud of them. I see them struggling with their shortcomings and I wonder - are those my fault? What could I have done differently to make their lives easier now?
I do know for sure that my second marriage was to the right man. By his example, he has shown my son how to treat a woman and has shown my girls how a woman should be treated. That's a very good thing. He's a positive role model and a good husband and I love him very much. Thank you, hubby, for being a part of my life that I know I will never look back on and regret or question. I'm glad we'll be fermenting together.
This is becoming more of a ramble then I intended. I'm going to end this on a positive note. Dolly Parton. She's 64. She's sweet, simple, kind, honest, accomplished, loved, and beautiful inside and out. Granted, some of the outside beauty may have been helped by some plastic surgery. But, still...I mean, just look at her. 64.

How I got from parental failures to Dolly Parton, I'm not quite sure.
I do know that the present becomes the past in a heartbeat and the future is affected by that decision we made just a moment ago. So every moment counts.
And I'm fermenting daily.

Aged Bottle, signing off.

Friday, May 28, 2010

It Is A Good Day For My Internet To Die

I was excitedly putting the finishing touches on my "1200 calories is going to kill me"  blog post when suddenly I had no Internet.

"It is a good day to die." (Source)
When I say "excitedly," I'm not kidding.

I was so thrilled that I actually had the wherewithal to prepare a post ahead of time for a fitness and health blog hop I was participating in, that I was wriggling in my seat with joy at the opportunity to post it.*

All that wriggling apparently jostled a wire loose from the router.


And just as I was about to add a funny picture of a fat gorilla too.

I re-attached the wire. Still no Internet.

Whenever I have any kind of computer problem, hubby (our household's resident tech guy) always says, "When was the last time you rebooted?"

And I say, "Well I bought a cute pair 2 winters ago but I can't wear them anymore because my calves are too fat. Oh. You mean the computer."

So before I woke him up to take a look-see, I rebooted. The computer, I mean (although purple suede boots are the solution to some problems, they wouldn't help in this particular situation).

Still no internet. I woke up hubby.

I whispered, "Honey, it's 5 minutes before you normally have to get up so before you get in the shower can you look at my computer because I have no internet and I don't know why and I'm right in the middle of something very important for work that I need internet for." (Sometimes desperation calls for itsy-bitsy white lies.)

"Hmmmm?" He looked at me sleepily (no doubt from being up to late playing our bedroom games), then from somewhere in the back of his groggy brain managed to pull his stock question, "When was the last time you rebooted?"

I wanted to ask him the same thing because he was not moving nearly quick enough to restore my link with the world so I could share my carefully crafted post.

I refrained however, since I didn't think sarcasm would bode well for me at that moment.

He finally got up and tinkered and fussed over the pile of wires and gizmos under and around my computer and after 20 minutes or so declared our router, and our internet...dead.

Furthermore it would remain dead until he could install a new router when he got home from work.

*Blink blink followed by blank stare*

"So, none of the computers in the house have internet?" I asked, incredulously.

"No, sorry hon."

*Blink blink followed by blank stare* Yes, I do this a lot.

"What about the laptop? I can get it on the laptop, right?"

He gave me this look:

The look my husband gives me when I say something utterly stupid

"Honey, it's like a car with no engine. No matter where you want to go, the car can't take you there." (My hubby is a veritable fountain of sayings such as this.)


The one time I had a post all ready to go ahead of time for my very first blog hop participation, my flippin' Internet dies.

I did manage later to run over to a friend's house and use her computer for a few minutes, just so I could publish my post. It was gorilla-picture-less, but published nonetheless.

But what was I going to do all day with no Internet? I don't just blog with it, I mess around on facebook, shop online, read and comment on blogs do my work on it too.

How was I going to spend my day without Internet?

Well, let me just tell you:

1.  I plucked my eyebrows.
2.  Cleaned off my desk
3.  Made a dent in my "file pile"
4.  Resolved a dispute with our insurance company that I had been procrastinating for weeks
5.  Bought the new router we needed plus a cute tablecloth for our patio table to cover up the craft paint that is permanently stuck to the top of it (which had been bugging me for months)
6.  Cleaned 2 bathrooms
7.  Swept the hall and stairs
8.  Did 4 loads of laundry
     Son-Of-A-Gun. Turns out I can be pretty productive when I'm not on the Internet.

In the end, it was a good day for my Internet to die. I had gone where no blogging obsessed blogger had gone before. I was kick-ass productive, like Worf, only minus the butt-head.

Then hubby came home, fixed my Internet, and I haven't had a productive day since.

Thank you to my hubby, Fred, for were it not for his technical savvy and expertise I would not have my link with the world restored. This is why he's at the helm of our household's technical spacecraft.
My husband posed for a picture in the Captains chair of the Star Trek Enterprise
Hubby in Command
What would you do with a day of no Internet?

Engaged, (Sorry, couldn't resist another Star Trek reference)

*To Lucy, the lovely hostess of the Fitness blog hop I was participating in - If you check your google stats thingy and it shows 30 hits to your blog from my blog in the past couple days - that was probably me. I thought your blog hop started on Aussie Thursday which would be Yankee Wednesday, but I didn't see the new linky Wednesday - not once in the 25 times I checked. When I saw it on Yankee Thursday (which maybe you put it up in the middle of Yankee Wednesday night, or Aussie Thursday morning), I got very excited - hence, the wriggling.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

1200 Calories is Gonna Kill Me and That's Why It's Called a DIEt

     When I write about diet and exercise, it's mostly about my failed attempts at them, but I need to get positive if I want to put on a bathing suit without drinking heavily curling up into a fetal position until Summer is over needing therapy afterwards.

     As part of my new, more positive approach, I saw a dietician last week. My doctor recommended her to help me with a weight loss program. I wasn't there to see him for a weight loss program, but it came up because...well...obviously. Anyway, it was last November when I first saw the doctor and he perscribed some diet pills.
     Now, I'm not a pill popping kind of person (alcohol - yes, pills - no) and I was hesitant to try diet pills because I know that the best and healthiest way to lose weight is to change my eating habits and get off my ass and exercise - yada, yada.  But, oh how tempting a little kickstart was! So I took them. I didn't go too crazy with them though. The first month I took them every day, but when the 30 day supply ran out I finished most of the next month without them and I still lost some weight. All told, between November and now, I've lost 16 pounds and only took the diet pills for about two months - on and off. I don't want to go back on them and I need to lose 30 20 30 more pounds.
     Although most of the weight loss occurred while I was taking the pills, I have managed to maintain the loss and haven't gained anything back. Which brings me to the reason I saw a dietician. At my follow up visit with the doctor a month ago, he said he has found that most people who take the drug gain much of their weight back after they stop taking it. Hmm, that would have been helpful information before I started taking it.  But then again, it's common sense that if you don't change your eating habits, you're not going to maintain the weight loss. Duh.
     The doc went on to say that one thing that has helped his patients keep the weight off is seeing this dietician because she gives practical, personal advice on weight loss and exercise. Sure, I can get that by googling, but seeing someone face to face meant more of a commitment to the process on my part and that's what I needed. So I made an appointment. The chic must be good because I had to wait a month to get in, which was last week. So here's what I learned.
     I learned 3500 calories equals 1 pound. If I want to lose a pound a week I need to either work off 3500 calories or take in 3500 fewer calories in a week. Broken down, that's 500 calories a day. I asked what do I have to do to burn 500 calories in a day. She said about 45 minutes of rigorous exercise.
    *blink blink followed by blank stare*
     Not gonna happen.
     Maybe when I get further along in my fitness journey I can commit to that, but right now, I know my limits and what I can do without whining. 20 minutes. 20 minutes of exercise I can do. So I'm going to meet in the middle and burn 250 more calories a day by exercising and take in 250 calories less by eating better.
     I also learned that if I wanted to just keep my "status quo" and not lose or gain, I need to take in about 1700 calories a day. That's called my BMR (basal metabolic rate). Why it's basil and not oregano I don't know.
     Heh. Just checking to see if you were paying attention.
     At this point, I don't think the dietician believed me when I said I would do my 20 minutes of exercise every day. I know this because she gave me a meal plan that cut my calories by 500 a day. The bee-atch* cheated me out of 250 calories. But I'm okay with that because in case my little exercise routine isn't actually burning 250 calories, or I eat a tidge more than my 1200 calories, I can still meet my goal of losing at least a pound a week. I call it the "ish" factor.  1200ish calories, 250ish calories, 20ish minutes...that's the "ish" factor. As good as our intentions are, life is full of "ish".
     Anyhoo, the meal plan is a little like weight watchers, I think. I haven't done weight watchers in years, but if I remember right, it's an exchange sort of thing. You're allowed so many carb servings, so many protein servings, fruit, dairy, etc. That's how my plan works. That's alot easier then counting calories.
     And guess what? 4 ounces of red wine counts as a fruit serving! Score! Who knew I've been getting 300% of the USDA recommended allowance of fruit all this time?
     The worst part of my visit was when she measured my percentage of body fat. Who wants to be pinched in all the fattest parts of your body? Hell, I don't even want hubby doing that.  And all to be told by way of a percentage exactly how much of you looks like this:

Yeah, it's a picture of fat
     Mine is 40.8% in case you were wondering. The ideal percentage for women apparantly is
20 - 30%, but I'm not discouraged.
     All in all, my little dietician visit was quite productive. It got me motivated, helped me set clear goals, and I learned a thing or two. I have to go back in 4 weeks, and I really want the fat pinchy test to show less body fat, in addition to weight loss. I just need to keep the momentum and stay motivated and focused.
     I know reading about other people's struggles with the same thing is going to help so this blog hop is a great idea. Thanks lovely Lucy!  Next week tune in for my adventures in exercise and the link to the free online exercise videos I've been using for my 20 minute work out.

* I'm being playful and endearing when using bee-atch. I'm being snarky when using bitch. There's a difference.  Oh and bitch plural, as in, "Happy almost Friday all you bitches!" is playful too. 


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things That Make Me Grumpy - I Was Tagged!

I've been tagged!
Tree, over at Mother of Pearl, tagged me for "Things That Make Me Grumpy"

You asked, so here goes:

1.  People in customer service who don't give a crap about customer service. I'd really like my whole problem listened to before you transfer me to someone that can't help me. M'kay?

2.  Sitting down to put on my make-up an hour before I have to leave for an appointment with a client and finding my blush and mascara gone. Then after not finding it in my daughter's room because, of course, she took it to school with her, having to use lipstick for blush and black powdered eyeliner mixed with water for mascara, like I'm some kind of freakin Egyptian woman applying makeup that she made herself by grinding lava rock.*
*This one's still fresh, as you can see

3.  Getting in the car, late for an appointment (see #2 above), and realizing I have to drive across town and I have no gas.

4.  Slow internet, or blogger, or Explorer or Chrome, or whatever the hell it is that's causing the damn slowness right now! You're bustin my groove!

5.  Arguing with anybody. I don't like to argue. A healthy debate over opinions is one thing, but arguing over whose right is just too draining.

6.  Being accused by hubby of "goose chasing" him. K, hubby - if you ask me where an item is, and I tell you where I saw it last, that is me attempting to be helpful. That is not me purposely sending you on a wild goose chase for said item. And may I remind you of all the times I tell you correctly where something is because (and I say this with adoration and respect) you lose things...frequently? Please stop singing me your little made up goose chase song. It's just hurtful.

7.  Mondays.

Tag, you're it girls (If you want to):
Aussie Lori
Sandbox Gems
Anything Fits A Naked Man

That's it because American Idol is on...gotta go!

Grumpily Yours,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My First Tasty Tuesday!

     Tree, over at Mother of Pearl  has her Tasty Tuesday thing going on so I thought I'd give it a whirl this week. If you want some new recipes hop on over to her site and check them out. She posted a sinful looking banana split with grilled fruit recipe that would be a perfect dessert for a barbeque!

Tasty Tuesday

I thought I'd keep with Tree's idea and post something that would be good at a barbeque. I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens a couple years ago and it must have been a favorite because they've reposted it at their site in March. We made it as a side dish for a July 4th barbeque and it was a big hit! It's super simple to make because you just throw everything in a pot and let it boil, make the easy sauce and you're done. It looks beautiful and colorful on a platter too. Martha Stewart would be proud!

Shrimp and Sausage Boil

1 (one)  3-oz bag shrimp or crab boil (you find this near the seafood, usually)
3 Tbspns Old Bay Seasoning
2-1/4 to 3 lbs. small new potatoes (red potatoes work well too)
4 or 5 ears corn, husked and cut in 1-1/2 to 3 inch pieces
1 2-lb spicy smoked link sausage (kielbasa or andouille), diagonally sliced in 1-inch pieces
3 to 4 lb. medium to large unpeeled shrimp (preferable heads on)
3 to 4 lemons, halved (actually, the more lemon the better!)
Snipped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
Garlic Mayonnaise and Cocktail sauce for dipping (recipes  below)

In a 12 to 16 quart pot bring 2 gallons water to boiling. Add shrimp or crab boil and Old Bay Seasoning; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Add potatoes, a few at a time, allowing water to continue simmering. Simmer 7 to 10 minutes, until nearly tender. Add corn; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Add sausage and shrimp. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes., until shrimp are opaque (do not overcook shrimp) and sausage is heated through; drain.

Transfer to large platter. Squeeze lemon all over the top and sprinkle with parsley. Add lots of lemon wedges for garnish. Serve hot or within 1 hour of cooking. Serve the Garlic mayonnaise and the Cocktail Sauce on the side. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Cocktail Sauce

1 cup bottled chili sauce (This is usually where the catsup is)
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1 Tbspn fresh lemon juice
1 tspn bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

In small bowl combine chili sauce, horseradish, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Can be refrigerated and stored up to 1 week. Makes about 1 and 1/4 cups.

Garlic Mayonnaise

It's been 2 years since I made this, but I'm quite sure I did NOT make my own mayonnaise like their recipe says. It was way too time consuming. I used regular mayo and added some already diced garlic that you can buy in a jar in the produce section. I just added to taste and it was delicious. 


Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hodge Podge of Headers, Witches, and Ex's

I just love the weekends. I get to do stuff I just can't seem to find the time to do during the week. Productive stuff like working on my blog and staying up till 2 AM watching a Sex and The City marathon cleaning and organizing.
Ok, I didn't organize anything, I really did work on my blog. Do you like my new header? It was high time I put something up there. I originally wanted a cartoony me with a cocktail in one hand and typing on the computer with the other. Cause that's how I roll in real life.

I snagged a sexy looking cartoony girl then had hubby put my caricature head on it because he still hasn't put photo shop on my computer and wanted to use it but then couldn't figure out what to do with the rest of the header.

I like cartoon me. She's cuter than real me. And skinnier. In the end, I decided on the  empty chair on the beach header because I love the beach and somewhere there's one waiting for me to go sit on it. Maybe I'll stick cartoon me in my sidebar.
Speaking of sidebars, I made myself a new blog button too, so if you fancy to, feel free to snag it. I also finally actually have some links on my "links" page. I'd like to add a recipe page, but I thought I better write a post instead since my last one was....Wednesday, I think. 
Speaking of lack of posts - I  *gasp*  lost a follower. I don't have too many and I love you all and I'm kind of depressed I lost one. Maybe it wasn't lack of posting, but rather what I posted. Maybe I just wasn't funny enough, or relevant enough, or maybe my blog is too pink. 
 don't know, but whoever you are I hope you find another blog that makes you happy. Hope you don't go through too many transition blogs before you settle down with "the one" blog.
Hope your computer crashes.
Not really. I didn't mean that.
I'll try to move on and accept that we just weren't meant to be.

This is sort of a hodge podge post, so bear with me, dear reader, if you're still here (not you, ex-follower, I wasn't talking to you).

My 16 year old daughter worked on a school project this weekend that I just had to share because she is so clever and creative and resourceful which she gets from me.

Her English class is reading The Crucible and they had to illustrate scenes from the book in any way they wanted. If you didn't know (I didn't) - The Crucible is a play about the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692 and 1693. So she decided to illustrate the hangings.

It's morbid which she gets from her father but see how she made a little cut-out under their feet? When you pull it, the little hand-crafted accused witch drops down and is hanged by the twine noose. Clever, right? The writing behind them in red is The Lord's Prayer because witches were thought incapable of reciting it- yet many accused did recite it as they awaited their fate.
What I was most impressed by in her handiwork was how she fashioned the little people. Here's a close-up of the back of one of them. Sorry it's a little blurry.

She used beads! I have this basket of beads from past craft projects and she glued several long ones together to make the body. The she used short strands of plastic pearls and shaped them for the arms. The head and feet are wooden beads. She used scraps of fabric for the clothes. Here's a close up of the front.

I thought she did a pretty terrific job!

Aside from headers and witches, I babysat my nephews for several hours Saturday night. They're 6 and 12 and after playing X-box and a couple card games we decided to find a movie to watch. Hubby got involved in the decision and our conversation went like this:

Me (saying to hubby while I was in the kitchen and he was on the couch with the remote in hand): Can you check Starz and see if there's a good movie on?
Hubby: I'll look for Up - that's supposed to be good.
Me:     Check to see if it's on a free channel
Hubby: It's on a pay channel
Me:      You already checked the free channel?
Hubby:  It wasn't on a free channel. It's on the pay channel.

Hubby goes into the kitchen while I debate between paying $4.99 for a movie or playing another hand of Go Fish. I pick up the remote to start the movie. My nephews tell me, for the fourth time, that they've already seen Up and they want to see Area 51.

Me: Here's Area 51 on the pay channel.
Hubby: Area 51 isn't as good as Up.
Me: But they've seen Up.
Hubby: Kids don't care if they see movies twice. I want to see Up. Stop pushing Area 51.
Me: I'm not pushing it. It's just that they've seen it and Up isn't in here. Up In the Air is here, but that's not the same as Up. Maybe you thought Up in the Air was Up.
Hubby: No, I know Up In the Air isn't Up. You're not in the right menu.
Me: I'm in the pay menu. You said it was in the pay menu.
Hubby: You need to go to the Starz menu
Me: That's the free channel!
Hubby: Well that's where it is.
At this point my daughter suggests marriage counseling. As it turns out, hubby was right - Up was a good movie and the boys didn't seem to mind watching it twice.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Apologies

     I have to apologize to y'all for a couple things.
Impish Hubby
Firstly, my hubby. It seems he has been popping in on some of your blogs and leaving comments. Although we all welcome comments, I'm not sure Tree, over at Mother of Pearl, welcomed his opinion on the lentil sloppy joe recipe that one of her readers was kind enough to leave. His comment started with, "Lentil sloppy Joe's....seriously??" And ended with complaints of an estrogen headache and a visit to Mc Donald's.
Tree was only the first victim. Aussie Lori and Aladdinsane, you're on the list. So I'd like to apologize now for any mischief hubby may cause on your blogs. He's harmless....really. He's just filled with so many witty remarks and amusing anecdotes and clever puns (oh, he loves the puns) that he's run out of venues in which to spew them.
I've tried to get him to blog as an outlet, but he stubbornly refuses. I've even named my crusade "Get Fred To Blog". It's catchy, right? The fact that the acronym - GFTB - sounds like goof purely coincidental.
Probably the thing that will annoy you the most about his comments is the fact that he has no blog and no email in his google profile, for you to respond to. In an effort to remain on everyone's good side and so any disgruntled retaliation doesn't come down on moi, I've set up an email for him. Your welcome. It's So please, direct any complaints there.
A plumber fixing a kitchen sink with butt crack showing.
As a side note, I'm not immune to his cheeky comments either. He was rather miffed at my post-it Tuesday post about the broken toilet and commented accordingly. In the end, my brother ended up repairing it successfully.  Honey, if you're reading, and it's any consolation, your plumber butt crack is waaaay more appealing then my bros.
Now that that little business is taken care of, here's the second thing I need to apologize for. I've been sorely lacking in promptness with my American Idol posts. I'm supposed to blog about Tuesday's show on Wednesday and for the past two weeks, I haven't. Last week I was just too busy Wednesday and Thursday and by the time Friday came, well, what's the point?
It's hard for me to commit to posting on a specific topic at a specific time. I guess I could post at night, but my work can be so stressful that my brain is just fried at night and all I want to do is veg out. I guess I just can't commit to my blog. I have blog commitment issues. It's not you, it's me.
So, I apologize for being a flakey blogger. That's all I have to say about that.
It's only Thursday, so let's talk Idol for a minute. Big Mike is gone. I'm sad. I liked Big Mike. If I had to pick someone to leave, it would have been a tough choice, but I wouldn't have picked Mike. I think I would have picked Casey, as cute as he is. For me, he hasn't been as consistently good as Mike.
It's a moot point now - they'll all have CDs out in the near future and then no matter who wins, their success is up to themselves.
The best performances last night were the duets. (Videos were here but they are gone from You Tube now.)

Ok, forget what I said above about Casey - I can look at him for a few more shows.
So we're down to Crystal, Lee, and Casey. If Lee and Casey bring it with good song choices, unique twists, and strong connections to their songs, the talented Miss Crystal may have some stiff competition.

Either way, next week promises to be a good show. have a great weekend y'all!

*Butt crack photo courtesy of badbootywear

Tuesday, May 11, 2010