Thursday, January 31, 2008

Feel Joy

Pictures tomorrow--I've misplaced my camera!

Today was a splendid surprise! I was all prepared for just a regular day with G (his day off) but it turned out so much better. My son in California sent an email with a link to a flicker slideshow from the Tokyo Quilt Show to start my day off. What a treat.

G and I went out to lunch. Yes, I wrote about not going out so much but my husband loves to eat out and I try to acomodate this love on his day off. We went to the local favorite 111 Maine Street. Delicious. And G had Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake for dessert with Wicked Joe's Big House French Press Coffee. We sat in the front window and the sun warmed my face as we watched the traffic on foot and wheels go past. Small Town Life.

I had dropped off three more large bags of clothing from my closet (how is it possible that there is still that much in there???) for Goodwill and after lunch dropped off the "good stuff" to the local consignment shop. Olive and Laura were so sweet. They said I looked "tiny". I have been dropping off clothes (and weight) during the past year so they have seen me at all my "sizes". We had such a fun conversation.

I was even more surprised and happy later in the day to see I had been made a "Friend of 12 by 12" on their blog site. What a thrill. Now I have to get my chocolate piece finished!!!! I went up into the cold storage area and found my Dandelion quilt and will photograph it and the finished Chocolate tomorrow. I hadn't seen the Dandelion in so long--forgot how nice it is. I USED to do really nice work! LOL

You'll see---tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Think Of Work As Exercise

I have been trying to make little five inch squares using materials that may or may not be in the recycling bin/wastebasket. Nothing new purchased. I like this little one. Some of my painted fabric, a scrap of green, some deli paper, some batik trimmings. I wrote about this in my pen/paper journal. One a week? I may have the time (since I do nothing around here, lately) to make one a day. That would certainly get me down into the workroom.

Riley's new bone. I have heard from the "raw" v ""boiled" pet owners. Yes, there are bone fragments coming off this par-boiled bone. But Riley has had most of his bones for the 5 months he's lived here with us and they are in the same stage of chip as this new bone. He can get just so far and no further. This is the side he loves the best as it is generally filled with a dry sponge of bone tissue which he crunches and licks off the carpet until it's open like this. I dig all the marrow OUT!

I had observed the steak and pork rib bones my father gave to his small dogs and even I could see they were ready to splinter with the first crunch of strong dog jaws. I think bones that have been butchered into people portions are NOT good choices. Now that the crumbly bits have been chewed off this bone--Riley will work on the edges for some weeks and months. Thoroughly entertained.

Another example of a "green" 5 by 5. This time deli paper, fabric scraps and the mesh from an Ohio potato bag. I have enough of all these materials to try and make this several more times and see if I can make it work more effectively. Showcase the materials. So for the week I will set that as my goal. To make and remake this particular combo until I am satisfied I can't make it work any better.

I washed and dried a brown grocery bag and some tan wrapping paper and let it hang to dry. I want to cut it into signatures and make a small book. Rustic. I think I may iron the papers flat and then cut it into rectangles and then fold into signatures.

What's Good Today: I spent Friday to Tuesday eating all kinds of things I would have eaten BEFORE the healthy eating plan. Chicken Gyro with Roasted Lemon Potatoes, Chili Cheese Fries with Sour Cream piled on top, Nachos Grande with cheese, sour cream and guacomole. Yesterday I added up the calories, generously, and found that by not having breakfast some times and skipping dinner (I was really full), my calories were well within the limits. I have strayed but not gone off the edge. Even the Eggplant Parm and Pasta was okay as was yesterday's leftover Pizza. But now I'm done with that. Also walked 4 miles with the pup yesterday. He was happy to have me back out on the streets with him. This week long diet and exercise vacation was good for me. I've faced the devil and it was okay.

What's Not: The weather. Rain which translates into ice. The streets were so dry and safe yesterday I was positively giddy with delight and now it's all gone so wrong. So dangerous for walking. Slipping. Falling. Send whatever cold, windy temps you want but please no more ice.

I'm heading to the attic today. To fill two cartons with stuff for Goodwill. My Wednesday "thing to do" each week this month and then tomorrow G and I will drop it all off. I will be wearing my winter coat and gloves as most of the attic has NO insulation. I think that is the next DYI project for this household. Perhaps we will schedule it for August?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Doggie Day Care

Short post before getting to work. Dog has gone to daycare. G has gone to work. I am up and doing things.

My breakfast was disgusting. Oatmeal which I love plain with sugar and a splash of milk made disgusting with chopped apricots and walnuts which I love but not mixed with oatmeal. My tummy feels all "sicky". I always want to eat my oatmeal with "stuff" when I see it pictured on blogs. Oh, ick.

Of course, it COULD be the dog marrow bone that I am boiling. It got a little "winky" (rhymes with stinky) in the fridge and smelled bad but since I'm boiling it down to just bone--I think it'll be okay. So far I've changed the water three times. I know you are supposed to give it to the dog raw and of course "fresh" not "winky" but I don't. I just give him a plain clean boiled bone. Dry. And he loves them. Chews on them for hours. And has had some of them for months. I interrogated a dog bone buyer in the supermarket and she said Henry and Jake loved the bones straight from the butcher's case. They got to chew them "outdoors" and after 7 to 10 days lost interest in them and then she bought new ones. She cautioned that there could be "tummy" issues. Nope. Not going there.

Reading "without a map" a memoir by Meredith Hall. And, for some reason, I'm reading it from the back forward. This happens to me at times. Reading in reverse.

Mansfield Park was terrible. Fanny was too "now" and not very 1860's even though everyone else was. I may try reading the book just to see if the PBS rendition was awful on it's own. I think they are being shown in order but why then was Persuasion shown first? A & E should be scoring viewers for their station with their versions of Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice which were Very Nicely done.

I made a paper quilt for the Quilting Arts or CPS challenge. I like it but don't LOVE it. I'm going to read the rules again and see what is allowed. So far I've just used paper. No paint. No pencils. No markers. And I may just try all over again.

I also tried making a recycled 5 by 5 for Quilting Arts. I have to re read the rules for that as I used some fabric and perhaps everything must be recycled "trash". Mine has fabric, deli wrap and a potato mesh bag I brought back from Ohio. Ohio has the best mesh potato bags. And batting. I'm going to look for some brown paper bags. I also have some mesh leaves I found in the snow behind Michael's while walking the pup. He found popcorn, spilled coffee and gum.

The thing to remember when using "garbage" is to shop for it the same way you shop for cute fabric. Don't just pull dryer lint, thread and mesh bags out of the trash and expect beauty to emerge. Dryer lint can be "created" by washing and drying big fluffy colored items. And you get to choose the colors. New towels and sweatshirts are most excellent lint providers. When you see dryer lint in art quilts--it was "made", not found, and then carefully saved for future work.

Well, this entire post has been about garbage. Geez.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Junk In The Trunk

No Pictures. Please!

Went shopping with the daughter yesterday and we tried on jeans at the local Gap Outlet. Not much in the way of choices so we moved to the men's jeans. I tried on (squeezed into) a pair of 32 by 32 distressed jeans. I have never been that comfortable with the "wedgie" look in jeans but my daughter says we must "wedgie" to get "lift".

Well, I had "lift". My daughter and the cute teenager in charge of the dressing rooms suggested I try and sit down. I did. They then said I should cross my legs. I did. And the two of them agreed the jeans were "tight enough, but not too tight". In other words, just right.

Whoa, Nelly. "Tight enough"? Yes, that is the way they buy them. Because....... after wearing them for an hour or four, the jeans will loosen up. And I guess fit.

If you buy them already "loosened up", in a few hours they will be baggy. Which is what I have been doing. They fit in the dressing room and after a few hours of wear they bag in the back. I had been thinking they would shrink in the washer and dryer. All my "fat lady" jeans did. But now I'm thinking maybe they didn't. Maybe I just kept getting bigger.

The dressing room teenager reported that the jeans will not shrink. They just return to whatever fit they had when we buy them (pre wear). Again, this is what I have noticed in the new smaller jeans. Each time they come out of the dryer--I'm happy with them -- until I sit down and stretch out the seat.

I did NOT buy the GYN-o jeans. I could feel a yeast infection developing while trying them on.

I was happy to hear how I could achieve "lift' and a nice round bit of "junk in the trunk" without plastic surgery. But, (!) to be honest, what would I be doing, and where would I be doing it, and with whom, that needs "junk in the trunk"? And why at age 61.

What's Good Today: Nachos Grande with guacomole for lunch. It was SO nice to be eating something SO BAD after SO LONG. I kinda wish I'd had a big Margarita with them. Now I have to "degrease" before my blood test for cholesterol. I hope 30 days is enough. Size 10 jeans that fit (before the nachos). The newest Quilting Arts magazine to read. G walking the dog all weekend. Jane Austen's Mansfield Park on PBS tonight.

What's Not: G walking the dog all weekend means I'm not walking at all. Returning "T" is for Trespass without reading the last 20%. I think that means the book wasn't too good. Maybe because Kinsey didn't eat any QP's with Cheese. Is everyone on a diet?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Seven Degrees

But the sun is shining. Riley is ringing the bell on the door--wanting to go for a walk. I am contemplating the level of layers needed to make this walk. Now why didn't we schedule day care for today?

Yesterday G and I took a few bags of things to Goodwill and did NOT go out to lunch. We need to stop eating out as that is the only part of our monthly budget we have any control over. So we returned home and I made homemade pizzas. They were outrageously delicious. In answer to G's question "what did you do different?" Nothing. Who knows what changes from time to time? I don't. Perhaps we were just "ready" to love the pizza.

Today I am trying eggplant again. Hoping to recreate the wonder of the eggplant we had a few months ago. Last week I burnt the slices to a crisp in the oven. Charcoal chips.

I had only a quarter of my whole wheat, onion and Kalamata olive pizza and had a salad of baby spring greens with olive oil and a clementine squeezed over. Fantastic. There may be other stuff in the original recipe but this is enough goodness for me. Toss the leaves in really good olive oil and then squeeze the clementine over. Some salt and pepper. You can also peel and toss the segments of another clementine in with the lettuce. Bitter balanced against sweet.

My daughter wants to drive to Whole Foods tomorrow to get containers of fried/dried green bean and carrot snack chips. I will probably go with her and get some pancetta. G says he saw it in the deli case. It freezes well.

Layering Up!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Start With the Bathrooms

My horoscope for today said "make something beautiful--start with the bathrooms". This is my bathroom sink area. I have hated it for the entire 17 years I have lived here. Hate the tile counter top, the "shell" sink, the cheap faucets, the "brown" vanity. And I neglect it. So today, I didn't make it beautiful but it's clean. And that bar of white soap is moving to the kitchen sink because I'm going to wash my face with that golden bar of orange goodness over to the far left.

Opposite the sink is the tub. No shower. So I keep my orchids in the tub area. This is the yellow orchid and that is the largest of two flower spikes. I am very proud of the flowering of this orchid which came to me last spring with two full type written pages of care and feeding instructions. I sort of felt like it was a Master Gardener Graduate School Exam. Now if I could get the Clivia to flower. And the mystery plant. Sigh!

If I win the lottery, this whole bathroom will be in the dumpster the minute I cash the check. I want a huge tiled walk in shower. In my bathroom. Not down the hall. And I want two white bowls instead of sinks. And Waterworks faucets coming out of the wall above the bowls. And a heated stone floor. There would still be room for the yellow orchid near the window.

I'm ready to swing the sledgehammer.

Only one bitty problem. In the space where the shower should be--is the washer and dryer. And I can't think of anywhere else to put them. I thought about building out a closet in the smallest bedroom and putting them in there but my husband doesn't think future buyers would be happy with that while I don't think most would be wildly happy about a washer and dryer in the master bath. Even if they are stacked.

So where could I put the washer and dryer? Anyone out there have a unique location for the laundry pair?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Goes Around, Doesn't Stay There

I rotated this photo but when I downloaded it--it decided to have a lay down. This big gallon size jar is filled with pretzel sticks dipped in melted white chocolate and then rolled in "jimmies". The more jimmies the better. We have all the food textures here: crunchy, crisp, salty, creamy, sweet. I usually make them for my husband at Christmas but this year I didn't and we were happily surprised to see that our daughter had made alot of them for her dad. He's been working his way through them as lunchtime dessert.

Riley went to "Doggie Day Care" yesterday and I had a wonderful day without him. Laundry, grocery shopping, returning KONGs to Petco, Target looking, Goodwill shopping. All without looking at the clock wondering if I needed to let the dog out, walk the dog, feed the dog. Riley was so happy to see me in the evening and I was so happy to see him.

I was the kind of "good mother" who did a great job with my kids (I'm sure one of them will have something to say about this statement in the comments) but I was counting the days till they turned 5 and could go to school. I lucked out. Both went to school at FOUR! Sort of Pre-kindergarten. When the second child left home for school, I was delirious with my freedom from childcare 24/7. My husband was already traveling for his job and gone alot so it was all ME. And no family nearby to help out. I would NEVER have considered home schooling. There were even years when I thought boarding school sounded like a great idea.

So we are now firmly believing in doggie day care. Tomorrow.

What's Good Today: Sunshine and good walking conditions but very cold. Two friends from the library are going out for Indian food with me tonight. Cheeseburger Tuesday. G vacuumed the entire house. Sigh!

What's Not: Going to snow this evening. Snow covered ice is NOT good for walking. Bill paying. Checkbook mathematics.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday- Misfortune

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday in the forties and today--well, it was very cold and windy out there. Yesterday I also tripped on my YakTrax and fell-- hitting my knees and my eyebrow on the asphalt. I was dusted with road sand and grit. I am SO over this falling down stuff. And on DRY pavement which is insult to injury!!!! I took a pain pill as soon as I got home so no sore muscles after an hour or two. And no trouble sleeping.

I found a street without ice so we are walking there until things melt on our regular walk.

And today when I went to thread my embroidery needle I found it missing. I looked all over, vacuumed and checked the floor as best I could with not being able to kneel on the floor. No needle. So it is safe to assume it fell off the table and the dog swallowed it. He is having no problems eating or swallowing so I will wait 48 hours to see if anything works it's way "out". The website said that the throat was the most serious site of injury. Of course, if he acts like something hurts we'll get him X-rayed. He eats so many sharp objects. Wood shards.

What's Good Today: Chinese Lunch was great today. Very good rice and excellent consistency to the sweet and sour sauce. We brought take out back for G and he is eating his General Tso while watching the Patriots (who may win?). Did WIN!!!!

What's Not: The missing sewing needle. Riley eating frozen dog poop on our walk today (a first). Ick. Why do they do this?????? In fact, he was bouncing around like a rubber ball and eating everything he could find: leaves, sticks, poop, coffee cups, pinecones, mail stuck to the ice, paper bags and chunks of street ice. A chewing machine. And then still had room for lunch and dinner. And he tried to hump the neighbor's dog. Another first. Riley must have entered his teens overnight? Sounds more like a midlife crisis.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Rain- 41 Degrees

Global Warming? Strangest Winter So Far? Today the weather men all mentioned rain/sleet/storm and I believed them and canceled a dinner date. It rained for a bit this morning but by 11 am the sun was shining and the temperature was heating up. Good day for the plows to clean the ice off the secondary streets. Did they? No. So tonight when the temperatures drop all this melted slush will freeze into ruts and dangerous slick spots. Should we believe the reports of the Polar Express coming to freeze us solid in the next day or two?

The above picture is my 8 by 11 fun foam "stamp". I haven't had the free time to print it yet. Yesterday we went "someplace". Just got in the car and drove south to Portland. Whole Foods. Planet Dog. Artist Supply. Macaroni Grill. TJ Maxx. I always like to go "look" at the stuff in the Portland Maxx. Yesterday I found a huge Le Creuset for $138. So I bought it.
And a cashmere sweater on the clearance racks. $30. Wearing it right now. My new favorite sweater. Moss green/wrap/v-neck. I thought it would be too small, but it fits like a glove and looks terrific. Always try things on!

I could write pages on my impressions of Whole Foods. Of course I have to get over the fact that they built their new building about 500 feet from Wild Oats, a perfect WF clone, newly built and very popular. Then they bought the Wild Oats and closed it. WO sits vacant as an example of what's wrong with American business.

I was ready to not like WF but it was so squeaky clean, and had ALL the fruits and vegetables my Hannaford does SO NOT stock. Fresh slices of mango and little tubs of pomegranite seeds for those among us who can't prepare fruit themselves. And "free fruit" to nibble while looking at fruit. I am a people observer and watched a guy have 4-6 tastes of everything that could be "sampled". He also tasted the gelato. The gelato person slowly collected a tiny spoon of each flavor for him to taste. Then the guy moved to the cheeses. Then the deli. When we were leaving he was still trolling-- no shopping cart. I purchased Indian ingredients, spices and organic dry beans and two fantastic cheeses which were fantastically expensive and three Kalamata Olive rolls. Not on the healthy eating plan but I adore good bread. And these are so much better than GOOD.

My favorite WF thing? Why it would be the huge prepared food area. Acres (it seems) of food ready to eat. And trays and bowls. So you (or I) could scoop things into our lunch bowls in what is probably the biggest "potluck" I've ever seen. Of course, you pay at some point. And the eating area could use some "fixing" up decor wise. Pretty lame. But I loved the bowls and would love to own one. Would have loved to fill one.

My 12 by 12 for the chocolate challenge. I'm not a member of 12 by 12. I just like to read their blog and make a square with them. All the colors and textures of chocolate though the bottom looks purple and isn't. I decided to dwell on the tactile, textural qualities of chocolate. This was a difficult subject. I will be very interested in seeing what the 12 members have come up with. I wonder how many other "outsiders" are making blocks along with the 12 regulars?

I've eaten my way through the day and have very little in the way of calories left for dinner. Bread will do that to you. I had planned to have baked eggplant, but left in the oven till it was crispy and black. Carry over heat. I thought turning the oven off would be enough. Nope. So I guess it's salad without dressing for dinner. Well, perhaps a bit of dressing.

Gonna walk the dog!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Living In A Snow Globe

Yesterday it was like a huge snow globe outside--being shaken vigorously so the snow never stopped coming down. Light, fluffy champagne powder. And under all that white fluff an icy slippery surface.

Today the sun is out and shining brightly on all the new fallen snow. The weather reporter says the coldest weather of the season is now beginning. I've done what I can to warm up the interior of my home by hanging insulated drapery over all the doorways which don't have doors. One of the architectural features of my home is a foyer with entrances to the great room and living room which are 4 feet deep by 6 feet wide and have a curved ceiling. Very pretty but the only way to close them off is with very expensive curved top custom French doors. (not happening) In every season BUT winter this situation is lovely. In winter, it's freezing cold.

I had only one drapery on the entrance to the great room/kitchen with a second door which closed off the living room/dining room. That kept the room we use the most, warmest. Of course, we have Tivo in the cold room. So now we have a second drapery over the foyer entrance to the Tivo room. We have to watch our Tivo.

The foyer is COLD and dark now. Drapery over the outside door. Drapery over the great room doorway. Drapery over the living room doorway. French door to the bedroom wing closed. The drapery allows the dog to wander about between the rooms. I don't know if that's actually a good thing since I am forever fussing around closing the drapery back up.

I have been making fun foam sheets into "stamps" and will be slapping paint on them today and printing to see what I can make of it. I'm doing leaves. Lifesize. And these leaves are off one of my houseplants and the leaves are larger than 8 by 11. In the making of the stamps, I managed to stab myself in the hand. So far, I have kept the injury a secret from my husband. It's not much but doesn't stop bleeding so is more of a irritant than anything.

A gardening friend gave me an orchid last spring with two full sheets of instructions for it's care. Not a delicate orchid. Likes 50 degrees. Likes being outdoors all summer. I have been taking care of it in a hit or miss fashion but never neglecting it's care, fully. We noticed it has two flowering branches in bud. Wow. I must have done better than I thought! I sent a letter off to the gardening friend so she will know I managed to do the job.

What's Good Today: Black Bean Soup in the fridge (like money in the bank diet wise). Sunshine. Book to pick up at the library. Try to find some kale at the grocery. Stamps to make, paint, print. A shower.

What's Not: Slippery street on the dog's walk. Dog chewing the legs off his stuffed chicken.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Seven. Piece. Thigh. Bucket.

KFC. Billboard. $7.99.

What's next? The six piece butt bucket?

And I'm sure it includes mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw and biscuits. And perhaps the chocolate chip butt (oops-bundt) cake.

It's snowing, the roads are icy and slick under the snow and the dog wants to go play, and I'm afraid of slipping and falling and since the dog and I are the only living things outside--who would find me? These are my thoughts for the day.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Yesterday a thoughtful friend gave me a ride to our monthly quilt chapter meeting. We have a new meeting place and the road leading to it is dark (no street lights) and my night vision is poor on my best days. The meeting was everything a good chapter meeting should be. Nice to see old friends. Nice to meet new ones. Opportunity for laughter. Beautiful quilts at show and tell.

We always have a table of "castoffs" to rummage through for treasure. I selected three very small pieces of solid colored fabric. Two black and one dark green. This morning I soaked them thoroughly with water (even though they tried to stay dry) and layered everything in the sink and poured bleach over in a random way. I have never discharged anything before and probably this isn't "the proper method" but it's what I did. When they looked weird enough, I poured vinegar over and then rinsed them in soapy water, rinsed again and hung them to dry while Riley and I walked (in the rain and sleet).

One black discharged to a creamy yellow and the other black discharged to red (it looks pink in the photo). The green to a violet and and a lighter green. Very strange and wonderful at the same time. I can see why seasoned "black/bleach/dischargers" buy a quarter yard and run out to the car and drip bleach on the fabric to see what color it turns before making a larger purchase.

Next time I want to use a squirt bottle and make a pattern of bleach dots and circles on the fabric and not just free pour. And I should probably look for the Anti-Clor powder I bought and use that to stop the discharge instead of my "Show Me the Bunny" vinegar (Easter).

Riley in the snow from Tuesday's walk. His head is really that big. No, it isn't. He looks very well behaved doesn't he? Actually, he thinks I have a treat in my hand.

What you see when you look at what the dog is looking at. I would have missed this on my own since I spend all my time looking at the ground in front of me. Ice patrol. I really am tired of falling down. Nice big crow way up there--looking around.

What's Good Today: Pumpkin Cheesecake in the oven. Finally made our Christmas Dinner dessert. Counting calories it's 3470 for the whole thing and 434 for an 8th. My serving will probably be around 217 (16th) and I'll be a happy woman. Kale in the fridge for lunch. A new veg for me and I LOVE it.

What's Not: The stock market seems to be tanking today. My investments are getting hit pretty hard. The weather outside is "cold/rain/sleet". One of our neighbors on the street died yesterday. Never recovered from elective surgery.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Spring Momentarily

Tuesday the weather was positively Spring-like. I walked around town in just a short sleeved tee and pullover sweater. One of my favorite Christmas gifts. A gray cashmere I found at a resale shop. So light, warm and cozy. Yummy. I was tempted to put the convertible top down. But decided to back into another car instead. Yep! No harm done. But for a few moments there I was near tears.

Since it was warm--I turned the furnace OFF at home and opened all the windows to air out the house. Return oxygen to the air and freshen all the surfaces (I also sprayed everything with Febreze) and then Riley and I went out for a walk. I snapped digital pictures of snow boot impressions to use to cut stamps.

Riley has made shredded fabric out of all his toys this month (his Christmas present is a sorry pile of thread). His jaws are getting VERY strong and he has chewed and picked apart fabric with his teeth until he has very little left in the way of toys. Even the Kong toys are giving up. He tried to carry a curbside Christmas tree home. And today he carried a big chunk of asphalt around for most of our morning walk. I have no idea how we will provide him with toys now. He still has the real bone I got from the butcher and chews on it vigorously. I gave him a Ziggy today which promised "hours of chewing and clean teeth" when inserted in a Kong. One minute. Gone. Any advice?

My doctor's visit went very well. All I need to do is knock off another 2 pounds and I will have reached 80 pounds lost . Staple my feet to the floor and call me happy!

Monday, January 07, 2008

One Year

This image from a magazine ad says it all for me. The black pants. The catalyst for one year of change/diet/re-invention. Now, after it's gone by--it seems the work of moments.

I vaguely remember some of the early days. I remember that after I had lost 25 pounds I expected people to be amazed. And then I realized I still weighed over 200 pounds and there was not much for the general public to be amazed about. I realized that this would have to be all about ME and not about THEM. And I had to decide to continue. And I must admit it seemed like so much effort for so little reward at that point--5 months in (May).

But I decided to keep going. July was a plateau month and nothing happened after a loss of 50 pounds. I ate fruit, walked more and struggled. And August was better. October to December has been difficult. I am at a weight and clothes size that seems like a miracle to me and so became complacent. Felt I deserved a slice of bread. A cookie. Some buttercream frosting.

Tomorrow, my annual doctor's visit. Weigh in. I will know what I weigh. Yes, that's right I have no idea what I weigh. I know that my clothes fit. I know that I feel well. I am coming to grips with the sagging skin on my arms, legs and stomach. Better to be wrinkled and sagging or filled with fat? I am hoping time and exercise will improve some of the bagging skin but I am 61. And so is my skin. I have decided not to investigate tummy tucks etc. I don't have the pain tolerance or ego to support it.

One year. Three hundred and sixty five days of effort. Gone by. I will spend the next few moments, weeks, months adjusting to this new reality that is me. Now.

And I won't be blogging about diet or weight any more. I will move on to new topics of conversation and interests.

I have noticed a coincidence on the blogs this month. Simplify. I had written about reducing the amount of "things" I owned and now see on other blogs this theme being considered. I think this is one of those ideas out in the ether and people are open to the "simplify" concept. Of cutting back. Reducing possessions. Using what is already owned. I will follow the progress of this "theme" in 2008 to see what happens.

I have started to weed out the fabrics in my closet, on the floor, in containers. I have decided to eliminate half of the garden pots on my shelf in the garage. Most have been there for years. Recycle. Magazines are going into the car trunk to be "exchanged" at the library. My next area of interest is the attic. So much clutter up there. Goodwill. And the baskets. Going.

But right now, it's warmish outside and the dog and I are off to walk for an hour or two. And I am taking my camera. I saw some very nice boot bottom impressions in the snow yesterday afternoon which would make lovely stamps to press into paint and fabric.