Monday, May 30, 2011

Rolling Thunder, Back Pain, Diet

A big thunder storm rolled thru this morning and has crossed one item off my "To Do" list--- watering the garden.  The "overstretched" muscle in my back/hip will cross off an additional bit of the list as any bending over, hurts like burning hell.  Even getting out of bed (or turning over) was a slow, painful process.  I "worked" with pain yesterday, at work, and that was a big mistake.  One college kid (raised well by his mother) watched over me and would lift trays off the floor for me so I could fill tables with new stock and he delivered a bottle of Tylenol to the lunchroom while I was in there eating.  Watering the greenhouse was terrible as I had to help customers and move the hose and each of those things meant putting the hose "down" and then slowly, trying to pick the hose up again.  Bending and reaching.  I imagine this "overstretched" muscle will cause me anguish for a long while.  I will try using one of G's many canes today and see if that helps with the bending.

Yesterday I spent an hour reading the Atkins book I got from the library this week.  Same info as on the website, but I just like holding the book in my hands.  There is a re-occurring theme in the book of not checking the scale for weight loss.  But trying on clothing that has never fit before.  I am wearing clothing I could not button at the beginning of May.  In fact, on some items there was a good 4 or 5 inch gap between the button and the button hole.  That particular item now buttons but I still wouldn't wear it anywhere as it follows the lumpy contours of my hips-- snuggly.  At 64, I more interested in loose.

Everything I purchased and wore in May of 2007 (the year of the diet) now fits exactly as it did then.  I was only halfway into the diet at that point and had many more pounds to go. I remember how VERY happy I was then, to fit into these clothes.  Delighted to be "so tiny" in comparison to the size 22 clothing I had been wearing for so many years.  I remember that feeling each and every time I wear the clothes. Today I have on the size large linen pants my daughter gave me last summer.  They fit like loose pajama pants and I have the legs rolled up to capri length.  Light and cool and perfect for the summer days ahead. I am also wearing a tiny (for me) bra I pulled out of the Goodwill bag.  It fit, once  upon a time but never again until yesterday.

According to the bathroom scale, I have not only NOT lost any weight, I have gained one pound this week on Induction.  I think I have done everything correctly, as I have lost my appetite for enjoyable eating.  I now eat when I feel so hungry my stomach feels pressed to my backbone.  This can be either two to five hours after my previous meal.  And then I eat.  I am still calorie counting and range from 800 to 1200 calories a day.  Oddly, I am full of food on the 800 days.

Yesterday I had the deconstructed nachos and look forward to having that same meal again today, for lunch.  The spicy Induction chili beef, lettuce, avocado with diced tomato, cheese, sour cream, onion and  a squeeze of lime.  Imagine, looking forward to a diet meal.  And I do look forward to the tuna salad with mixed greens, the ham and swiss roll up, the omelet and now the chili nachos.  How odd.  None of these things EVER appeared to be things I liked before as they are all very "meaty".  I think the 365 Day Diet would have been easier to follow with all these foods included.  I wouldn't have been hungry nor would I have had to skip meals to stay within 1200 calories a day.

I am drinking lots of liquids and have to be careful on hot days at work.  One of the reasons I don't walk the dog in the summer (after work) is that I get light headed in the heat and feel like I may faint.  This is nothing new.  I do much better in cooler temps.  I think it is related to always having had low blood pressure and the lack of real sugar in the Induction Diet.  My "First Aid" kit for the fainting is usually one or two packets of sugar melted on my tongue.  I certainly do not want to faint at work but I am not allowed the sugar packets.

G just called from work.  He, also, is exhausted by the job.  Too much stress not enough rest or "fun".  He is not as bad today as another store manager is having a worse time of it and working 6 days a week to G's five,  Funny, how a worse situation makes us feel "better"?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Riley Doing What He Does Best

Riley woke me up the very second that G closed the door and left for work this morning.  Probably 6.30.  Riley wanted to go outside but he also wanted me to go outside with him.

It was cool and damp and I was cold and in pain (my back was threatening to seize up), caused I think by lifting trays of plants and leaning forward over a table to place them (the tables are a little higher than knee level).  I have been taking the "Big Orange" pain pills at work for the past two days and really don't want to have to do that today.  The Tomatoes & Peppers are out in the wagon.  The little pepper plants already have tiny pepper buds. No harm done yesterday.

I have a new cookbook to read "Around My French Table" so I was planning to drive to the Laundromat and bleach my white slipcovers in super hot water so they would be blinding white for the summer.  I wish they were made of white linen instead of "duck".  If wishes were horses....  I wish everything was made of linen.

I had planned to make the chicken in mustard sauce today but we have so much unfinished business in the fridge right now--- turkey breast, Induction chili, grilled marinated pork, that I think we will have to find creative uses for these items in the next few days.  Or tuck the stuff in the freezer.  Or into corn tortillas.

I did remove the "on sale" chicken from it's store packaging, trimming off over a pound of "icky bits" and wet wrapping that is included in the packaged weight.  I have one freezer bag with three pounds of chicken for my recipe and a second bag with 1.4 pounds of chicken for a future Chicken Marsala.   I also noticed I have a container of mushrooms going bad.  I may give then a very quick and hot saute tonight perhaps with heavy cream and lemon for a pasta.  For G.  Touching the chicken has put me off food for the moment.  Chicken is so disgusting.

I will have a second cup of coffee.  I bought half and half to go in the coffee and stopped using the powdered creamer.  The turbinado sugar has made a big difference in how much sugar I need in the coffee.  Less.  I wonder if granulated sugar has more sweetness in the same way that table salt is more salty than kosher salt?  I may or may not make up the box of sugar free jello so I can have a dessert (served with whipped cream, no less).

Yesterday, I looked at the diet food section of the grocery, specifically the Atkins "bars" and "shakes" which (some) are okay to have during Induction.  The list of chemicals included in these items is impressive. In fact, the list if ingredients is entirely made up of chemicals. If you are on a diet, do you really need to eat a "crunchy peanut fudge" bar instead of breakfast or lunch???? Especially a "crunchy peanut fudge bar" that isn't any of these things, actually.

So, coffee.  And then two fried eggs with (hopefully) runny yolks and the final slice of bacon.  A good sweep of the floors and then a good mopping with Murphy's Oil Soap.  And the slipcovers.  Washed, bleached and dried.  And then maybe a visit to Target.  Sounds like the best of days, I hope.  Tomorrow work and then Monday off.  With my "new" lighter work schedule unveiled on Sunday.  See you Monday.  Have a Happy Memorial Day and fly the FLAG!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Worried About My Wagon Of Tomatoes All Day

This morning it was cool, foggy and the sky was gray so I moved my tomato and pepper seedlings out of the house and into the wagon.  The weather forecast was "cloudy with 50% chance of rain" but my intuition (that thing I am supposed to be working on paying attention to more often) said--better move them to the shady part of the lawn.  I didn't.  And we had a very hot, sunny day (the greenhouse was in the 80 to 90 degree range) and it was "shake & bake" outside.  As I got hotter and more sunburned, I worried about those little plants.  I got home at 3 and they were a bit wilted (but not dead) and dry so I gave them a good drink of water after pushing the wagon off into the cool shade.

My boss says I have Monday off.  So, I can rest up.  Whatever he means by that, is a mystery, but I'll take the day off.

Riley spent the entire day outside at Doggie Daycare and he was hot and panting when I picked him up.  He was actually panting so hard that the Fit was shaking.  He also was given a nice drink of water and some shady grass to roll in when we got home.  He is actively trying to catch and eat a big fat bumblebee.

The second (or perhaps third) day of doing absolutely "By The Rules" Atkins Induction is going beautifully.  Omelet for breakfast.   Tuna mixed with mayo with a green salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar for lunch.  Thin sliced ham and cheese rolled up and eaten when I feel hungry or as dinner.  Today I had the roll up for lunch along with a container of radishes.  I had to force myself to finish the meal.  I'm not hungry.  I have now lost 10 pounds or one year.  Each year since the 365 day diet, I have gained exactly 10 pounds.  And never gotten rid of it permanently. I lose it and then gain it back: it's like a constantly increasing set point. Working on losing the second year now.

I have a very spicy (hot) Induction Chili in the fridge (New Mexican Chili is hot) to eat in a deconstructed Nacho as soon as the avocados ripen.  Meat, cheese, avocado and sour cream.  No chips. Tonight we are having pork with a ginger, soy and sherry marinade.  On the grill I think.

Recipe: Makes 2 cups of marinade.  2 cloves minced garlic, 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger minced, 1 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup dry sherry, 1/2 cup ketchup.  Mix in plastic bag and coat meat with marinade for a few hours.  I save the marinade, strain it into a saucepan and heat it to boiling (while pork is grilling) and then simmer gently and serve it on the grilled pork.  Center cut chops, tenderloin or tonight; Southern Style boneless ribs.  I am making rice for G and asparagus for both of us.

I never have eaten this much protein.  I relied on whole grains and fresh vegetables for the largest part of my diet AND I was always hungry.  I was tempted by whatever the others at work were eating. Always looking for something to snack on.  Now I don't give a fig what anyone is eating, right in front of me.  So this is new for me and a lesson that I need to add more protein to the whole grains and vegetables as I move through Atkins. I was also fascinated to learn that I could enjoy a roll of meat and cheese instead of having (wanting) it incased in a section of French Baguette.

I'm sorry if this post is less witty or profound than the usual posts.  I am on a journey of discovery and I am spending time "navel gazing" with regard to diet, exercise and contemplation.  It feels right.  It feels good.  It is making me calmer and happier as each day dawns.  And the past few days have been "wedgie free".  Good times.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Back To Work

I really enjoyed my day off but now it's back to work.  The afternoon shift asked for another loaf of Soda Bread so that is mixed and baking as I type.   Riley went to the vet to get his nails clipped and be weighed. He hasn't lost any weight.  Still 91 pounds.  I guess I need to go back to the daily 3 mile walks.  I really can't do them after working all day.  My life just is one thing after another and no time to get anything done the way I want it done.

I have decided to devote myself, completely, to Atkins Induction without any cheating.  I started doing that yesterday and decided to purchase thin sliced ham and cheese to make roll ups for when I need something to eat.  I made one yesterday for lunch and it was good.  I also bought large packages of meat.  I cooked the pieces of chuck I bought and made Induction Chili.  It's spicy hot.  Wowza!  I also plan to marinate pork for Chinese Pork on the grill and Mustard (not Rabbit) Chicken.  Really.  That's the recipe's name.  The mustard chicken has lots of mustard (plus dry powdered mustard to add more heat) and cream and bacon.  It's a French recipe.  Has all the ingredients for Atkins.  Meat, fat, bacon, heavy cream.  I now remember I forgot to buy Dijon mustard yesterday.

I used one of my morning hours to sort thru my clothes deciding what fits now and what doesn't.  I did this because I can't trust my bathroom scale.  My weight (by the scale) goes up or down by 3 to 5 pounds in a day.  Who knows what I actually weigh?  But my clothes are looser and I can fit into things that were tight a few weeks ago.  I'm going to go by that and put the scale in the closet.

I spent a few hours last night trying to find an affidavit template to use for the very last bit of work on my dad's estate.  Procrastinated!!!!   I found nothing but companies wanting me to sign over $13.95 for "something" but with no way to look at it I wasn't going to buy anything.  I just need to write something that lets the bank know my daughter is the new owner of a POD and what she wants done with the account.   I guess I could just write a letter.  But I wanted it to be more professional since it needs to be notarized.  And, most of all, I wanted to include everything that needs to be included so we get it right the first time.   I did mine in person.  Sigh!

G wants me to drive him to the Toyota dealer BEFORE I go to work and that means two trips through the main section of our town in the middle of the day (traffic).  It's nearly 10 now so we should be on our way pretty soon if I need to be at work by 11.30.  I have a half hour to make the pork marinade or do it tomorrow.  I have seven window boxes to put together which is the only reason I am even going to work today.  I hope all the greenhouse watering is done.  I am so over this job right now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

And On This Day The Sun Returned

Yes, indeed.  And the earth warmed.  And I shed layers and actually felt "too warm".  Not complaining, just happy.  I can only hope for a repeat of today, tomorrow.

We were very busy and the plant tables look like they have been ransacked.  Tomorrow will be a flurry of work to restock everything when the trucks arrive.  I am happy to not have to participate.  I was busy enough to have missed the moments when I could eat lunch.  Once the day crew leaves, we are short staffed and not one of us can leave to eat.  Finally at 5.30 I ate my salad at my potting bench, standing up and still waiting on customers.  And today someone gave me a tip.  Really.  Five Dollars.

I also heard that Big Lots had Crocs for sale again.  Only they started selling them last week so the choices were slim and none today after work.  I managed to find three pairs.  One ballerina flat style to wear barefoot with pants this summer (for dressy occasions---snort).  The acid green and purple ones are work shoes.  For the summer.  Fifteen dollars each.  Still no red ones.  I did find red at Reny's but they wanted full price for them.  And Reny's is a discount store.

I bought bags of Red's Flax Meal at Big Lots just in case I ever get to Phase 2 of Atkins and can have a Muffin in a Minute.  MIM.  Which is as much like bread as Atkins gets.  I have permission to slather as much cream cheese on it as I want.  In Phase 2.  Not now.  It "bakes" in a coffee mug in the microwave.

I also stopped using table sugar in my coffee.  That's what they call white sugar.  And today I started using the Turbinado sugar I buy for G at the health food store.  That sugar is on the "okay" list as it is natural.  I used my tip money to buy a Stevia plant and make my own natural sweetener.  I chewed a leaf and it was very sweet and didn't have the nasty aftertaste you get from the commercial stuff.  A Tablespoon of leaves can be crushed and simmered with water to make a sweetener to use in coffee.  I have my plant ready to go into the garden tomorrow.

My tomatoes and peppers were out on the stoop all day today and they looked very perky when I carried them back inside for the evening.  Very perky.  Just like me.  I'm going to take a shower now and have something to eat.  I was hungry today, but I think that was due to not eating from 10.30 (when I ate a crispy browned 1/3 pound beef patty) to 5.30.   I ate my usual breakfast omelet but was hungry again at 10 so I ate the beef.  Next time I am adding mayo, lettuce, pickles, onion and cheese.  Whopperish.

Monday, May 23, 2011

When Will It Stop Raining?

Today I spent a great deal of time outside in the perennial yard.  Putting the soaking wet herbs in order on the tables, adding the newly ordered herbs (that I ordered yesterday) and then attacking the trays of soaking wet (heavy) perennials I had also ordered yesterday.  I had to put them away on their tables also.  Well.  I had to find room for them on their tables.  And organize the rows.  And during all this lifting, carrying, tugging, sorting etc I was getting colder and damper.  It wasn't actually raining.  It was more like the humidity was 90% and the temperature was 50.  With drizzle.

And no matter where I was: it wasn't where I needed to be.

I feel much better after a nice, long, hot shower.  I think I will be eating my last container of Tomato Kale soup for dinner (I could add a precooked sausage patty for protein).  I want a hot dinner and that's about all there is since I haven't investigated a new dinner choice yet.  I did purchase 1/3 pound burgers which I can cook into charred goodness, mix into a fast chili, or do something with but I lack the incentive (energy) to work these ideas thru.  I can make my own version of a low carb (bunless) Whopper or just go to BK and buy one.  Or two.  220 calories each.  This Atkins diet is like a weird science experiment.  I think soup, tonight.

Our lawn looks like an emerald green carpet (G found a rainless 90 minutes to mow it yesterday) and the perennials are growing so fast you can practically watch them.  But there is no sun.  And the sun charges my internal batteries like nothing else.  I worship the sun.

I am thankful we are on the cold/wet side of this weather pattern and not in Joplin.  I have no idea what is happening across the country; with terrible dry conditions, flooding, tornados, snow.  The world didn't end yesterday but it certainly has gotten VERY strange.  The misery felt by so many fellow Americans is right here, with me.

Frustration & Fatique

Yesterday was a foul follow up to my gloriously warm and sunny Saturday.  Cold.  Cold. Cold. and Damp. Today it is raining.  The rest of the week has rain in the forecast.  Every single day of the week.

Add to that the return of the work pants wedgie yesterday.  I seem to have "regained" three pounds.  Which seems very odd as I am following a 1200 calorie diet (exactly with no fudging) and doing lots of physical labor/activity everyday.  G thinks it's water retention.

My day was spent shrivering in the cold at work, wiping my nose and digging my pants out of the crack of my butt.  I was tempted by the deep fried peanuts at work, but I said NO and kept to my diet plan.  I switched from my sausage patties to bacon in the breakfast omelet and I think the bacon is way more salty--therefore the water retention.  Not peeing as much.

Anyway, not much to report from the epicenter of the "Return Of The Ice Age" here in Maine.  Last time this happened (1992) it was 54 and wet on the 4th of July.  I had the furnace and woodstove running.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Sunshine

I have on shorts and a sleeveless tee.  Catching those rays because tomorrow the rain may return.  My tomato seedlings are riding around the yard in the garden wagon, following the "dappled" sun so they don't get heat stroke.

I am planting, digging, slapping at mosquitos and black flies.  A good day here in Maine.  Riley has already dug two cooling pits in the yard.  Too bad they aren't where I want to plant things. LOL.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fuchsia Friday

All day today I found these particular blossoms in front of my feet as I walked across the greenhouse.  After the birth of our first child G (who was working in a production greenhouse at the time) brought a huge Fuchsia (a hanging plant) to the hospital.  I was embarrassed; it was too big.  I said take it away.  I hurt his feelings.  And my own feelings for this flower have been soured ever since.  This year I enjoyed watering the hundreds of fuchsia in the greenhouse for the first time in four years.  I was even tempted to buy a fuchsia but wondered how to explain this to G.  I think this is another message.  Let go of past mistakes.

Today is day ten of my diet and today was the first day of wearing non corduroy work pants.  I wore a cotton pair of cargo pants that usually give me a constant panty wedgie.  Today!  No wedgies.  At all and I bent, walked, sat and did everything I could think of to provoke a wedgie.  The pants just are no longer so tight thru the butt.  Thrilling.  Loose pants are the bomb!

And today I shopped at Loews and got my annual $48 worth of plants for my planter box on the back stoop.  Scabiosa in blue,  wave petunias in white and a purple and white stripe, and two Blue Fescue grasses to add to the front garden bed.  From work I purchased, white Gaura,  red coreopsis, and a dark blue Centaura, a blue verbena bonariensara, and a soapwort.  Tomorrow is my day off and the sun is supposed to be shining and I will be in the garden planting things and being happy.

Last, but certainly not least, I got my hair cut in a new salon by a new stylist.  G says it looks good.  It's short but in a "new" way.  Fresh and not frumpy is what I requested.  And it was less expensive that the previous haircut.  We discovered a whole section at the back of my head where the hair was longer than it should have been.  This is the spot where the hair was standing out from my head no matter what I tried to do to get it to lay flat.  I was also told that I have "hamster hair" as my hair grows is swirls all over my head.  But I have LOTS of hair.  Very thick and healthy.  Hamster Hair.  Wowza!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eleven P.M.

Spent the morning with G & Riley. Too cold and the rain was coming down too hard for the tomato seedlings to be outside.  Perhaps, tomorrow?  We are supposed to see the sun this weekend.

I worked from noon to 7.30 today. The boys devoured the banana bread and raved about how good it was.

The senior retirement residence finally got their very large pots to me. The center plant I wanted (had planned) to use fell apart as I tried to remove it from the pot it was in.  No roots. So I had to change lanes and go with a Mandavilla.  One white and one pink because I really wanted the pink and there was only one.  Later I added a taller bent bamboo hoop to hold the wandering (future) vines.  I managed to use $100 worth of plants (plus taxes) for each pot.  They look like something I would love to have at my house.  That's what I do.  Make things I love and give them away. If I remember in the morning I will take my camera and get a picture of the two pots.

Instead of using my expensive Pro Mix soil-less mix, I went behind the Annual House and searched the pile of broken bags and found potting soils.  Several brands.  I filled the pots with that.  Already marked off as damaged.  If I had added soil into the price it would have been closer to $150 each.  If I had found more styrofoam packing I could have made the pots lighter--they are way too heavy.  But they are always too heavy.

My scale showed a 7 pound weight loss in 9 days this morning ( and I believe it is realistic as some of my spring work pants now fit loosely enough to be comfortable).  The Atkins diet/1200 calories is working. We even went to Ruby Tuesday last night for dinner and I had a small steak and two helpings of salad from their reduced in size salad bar (and we had a coupon).  Man, were people grumbling about the limited salad bar!!!  RT removed 20 popular items from the salad bar.  When I went thru they were out of several items (empty containers) and the delicious croutons.  G loves the croutons and he asked the kitchen to bring some out.  They gave us another coupon because we had to wait so long for our food.  I don't think I want to dine there again, actually, unless we get the ribs.  The steak wasn't very good.  Chewy.

Work again at 7.30 am.  I don't have anything prepared for breakfast so will need to get up with time to make my omelet or at least fry the last two eggs.  I may do that and eat them with reheated bacon and some Tuscan bread toasted until it is very dry and crisp.  Lunch will be a green salad with tuna.

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut by a new stylist.  I am nervous about it.  Nothing ruins my feelings of self worth more than a bad haircut.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


A nerve running from the right side of my neck down into my right shoulder must have gotten "pinched" during the night.  Even holding a cup of coffee in my right hand is painful (to a degree), so I think I will bake loaves of banana bread with the bananas I have not been allowed to eat on my "diet".  And tuck one into the freezer and the second take to work for the crew of boys to eat.

One loaf of bread and four little mini loaves to go in the freezer for G.  Later.  After he finishes the pie. G just got home and told me a customer complained that the flag was flying (in front of the McD's) in this drippy weather.  He wanted G to "take it down".  Working with the public isn't for the faint of heart.

I have decided to remove all the partially eaten items in the fridge and freeze the items that can be used for future meals and dispose of those that can't.  G has this quirk of never using up anything.  He will leave 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes in the container.  Either decide to eat the potatoes or throw them away. Finding 1/4 cup of pasta sauce when you thought there was enough for dinner, makes me crazy.

I also want to remove a great deal of stuff from my closet and bring the wire storage cart down from the attic.  I think it would be nice to have my tee shirts and summer things folded into the wire basket drawers instead of piled up in the "shoe" closet.  They are continually jumbled up in there, making choosing a tee for the day a lengthy and annoying procedure.  G and I have way too many tee shirts.  G likes to have all the available colors and then tends to wear the two tees on the top of his piles.  Red and black this winter.

My "intention" is to remove, fold and bag everything I have not worn in the past two years.  This should (but may not) include things I have tried on and then returned to the closet.  I don't think 30 seconds of trying on is "wearing" in the truest sense of the word.  I also need to make the "new" bras I purchased fit better.  Where would you place tucks if the band wasn't snug enough.

Here's the recipe for Incredible Banana Bread

4 Tablespoons soft butter mixed with 1/2 cup sugar, 3 dead bananas, 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup of ONE of these things (yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream).

2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt and optional 2/3 cup raisins or nuts (I do walnuts).   Mix wet with dry and scoop into a greased 9" loaf pan.  350 for one hour. Cool on rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely.

HotNews From Work Yesterday:  The French Teacher once emailed all her students with nude photos of herself instead of the anticipated homework assignment.  The students said she "almost got fired".  Really????  So now I wonder if she is the French Fart (cabbage) or the French Tart (possessing nude photos of herself).  Isn't high school interesting these days. Almost got fired.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Caladium Leaf

No worries about keeping this plant in the "shade" as we haven't seen the sun in a very long time.  I just finished shredding the pork picnic which simmered in the crock pot overnight.  Now, it is slow cooking in BBQ sauce and a handful of brown sugar.  Riley is keeping a close watch on the pork.  Hoping some may drop onto the floor.  Dogs are the real optimists among us.

I can't decide what I want for breakfast today.  It's so cold, that a nice warm breakfast would be very nice. I will climb up on the step ladder to reach the oatmeal box in a few minutes to see how many carbs there are in one serving.  There are 40 grams in a serving of 46 tiny biscuits of my shredded wheat (not counting the soy milk).  My index card gives me permission to have 15 grams per meal.   There are 16 total grams in the 1 cup of Greek yogurt and the scoop of protein powder combined minus the fruit.

I obviously was consuming great quantities of carbohydrates with the Whole Foods approach.  Even though they were all whole grains without any added sugar.

I have time to decide as I woke up this morning and wasn't ravenous.  I am satisfied, right now, with my coffee.  I don't have to be at work until 12 noon, so I have plenty of time for a few loads of laundry and my exercise routine.  I should prepare and cook the "omelet" to have whenever I get hungry.

I worry about the greenhouse business.  This long stretch of chilly weather is good for transplanting but I am not seeing much activity in the perennial yard even though I try and stay out there "just in case" anyone needs help.  All they ever want is cucumber seedlings.  Everyone's lawn is looking like a golf course.  Emerald green carpets dotted with golden dandelions.  Tomorrow (day off) I will be using the little dandelion "puller" we purchased at Cracker Barrel a few years back.  Works like a charm.  Most of my existing dandelions are in the perennial beds.

That's it for today.  I am cold.  Unenthusiastic about work.  Eager to return home at 7.30 tonight and have a nice serving of BBQ on top of a mixed green salad.  My only decision is whether to shower first or eat first.  I guess it will depend on how cold and damp I get at work today.  I'm betting on the shower first.   Hope the sun is shining where you are today!

Monday, May 16, 2011

What, Exactly, Is Happening?

This evening I found myself standing next to the roasted turkey breast I had purchased for G to use in a grilled turkey and cheese panini.  I noticed I was eating the turkey.  I don't like turkey unless it is covered in gravy and nestled against a forkful of cranberry sauce.  A big forkful of cranberry sauce.  Eventually, I ingested 7 ounces of plain turkey along with steamed broccoli.

I started the day with two eggs (still didn't get the frying thing right), 2 strips of the precooked bacon (which is too smokey for my tastes) and a toasted piece of whole wheat bread.  I think the bread may be the reason I was hungry all day long but I am allowed one slice a day. When I have the "omelet" for breakfast I am not hungry until after 1.30. The Atkins Plan I am using allows a small amount of carbs each day, if needed.  I guess I do better without.  Or it was the soup. Today I was hungry all day.  I even had to eat my emergency banana at 10 am.  Yes, I know I am not supposed to eat bananas.  Or pineapple.

The soup included allowed Atkins vegetables.  Onion, tomato, celery, kale.  Their own website has the Power Diet Soup which is exactly what I made.  Sort of.  I didn't add the one pound of chicken. Which is probably why I needed to eat all that turkey.  What is happening to me?  I actually WANT to eat meat.  I stood next to the meat counter where the steaks are sold.  Thinking I wanted one.

Everyone else I know who did this diet mentioned craving pasta, bread, rice or rhubarb pie.  Not meat.

I go to sleep feeling full and wake up starving.  I am trying to drink more liquids as I may just be very thirsty.  My energy levels were low today for the first time.  Did any of you (who have done Atkins) find this to be true?  I plan to make the "omelet" tomorrow and just keep that in the fridge to eat for breakfast.  The tuna and salad is good for dinner or lunch.  And tomorrow I plan to return to eating my yogurt with fruit (verboten) and a scoop of protein powder.  I never said I was going to be completely Atkins.

My butt seems smaller.

Rob won Survivor.  Now he can stop playing, I hope.  A million dollars doesn't last long.  I think he just needed to even things up with his wife since she beat him the first time he played and he seems like the kind of guy who needs to be at least as good, if not better, than his wife.  She won a million and he won a million plus 100K.

I got all the laundry done yesterday, the shirts ironed and G & I watched a good chunk of the TiVo backlog.  I never got to the book reading but there is always tonight while DWTS is on.  I bought two new mint plants today and repotted them in much larger pots for the summer.  Mojitos.  I also got Sungold tomato plants.  Tiny, infants.  So small I had to bundle them up with newspaper so they didn't roll around on the drive home.  Twenty days until I plant them in the garden.

It was cold and wet again today at work.  Drizzle.  Seattle weather.  We may not see the sun until Friday.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Making Hot Soup on May 15th

Yes, Hot Soup.  It is cold and wet around here and I have time to make soup because my boss decided I could go home 4 hours early today.  I don't know if it was a "passive-aggressive" retaliation, but whatever it was: I took the suggestion and ran.  G says employers can't actually send people home early, if they are scheduled for a certain number of hours, without their consent.  So, I could have refused.  I was tired of wearing the heavy yellow rain gear.  I think he was just being nice.

I made the Tomato Kale soup from Love Soup.  It has vegetables in it that are Atkins friendly, except for the potato and optional beans.  I added the potato but not the beans (which have protein so they may go in later).  I had "the" omelet this morning and tuna (with mayo) and a large green salad for lunch.

I have lost 4 pounds.  The only time I am really hungry is in the morning.  And.  While G is eating a large wedge of the absolutely delicious Rhubarb Custard Pie I baked yesterday with homemade crust.  I tasted about 2 teaspoons of it.  Very, very good.  I made some rhubarb sauce with Splenda and orange juice to spoon over yogurt for one of my lunches or to have with whipped heavy cream.  Heavy cream is on the YES list of foods.  (the Splenda in the packets tasted good but the loose stuff for cooking is nasty)

Yesterday I also cooked a pound of good bacon on the panini grill.  The house smells like bacon but the strips came out flat and crispy in less than 15 minutes.  That's three sets of strips in 15 minutes. I managed to eat three fried eggs and 6 slices of bacon for breakfast yesterday and wasn't hungry (really) until 7 pm.  I gardened, cleaned and visited a friend who kept offering me crackers and cheese.  I said no several times.  I said yes to gin and seltzer with lemon juice.  At seven, I had meat loaf and the tops  off the over wintered kale in my garden which were thinking about going to seed.  I steamed them in one of those Glad steam bags.  Delicious.  I will NOT be having that much bacon again.  I will limit myself to two strips, warmed up, with 2 eggs.  It's so difficult to get the eggs just right.  I like the whites completely cooked with runny yolks.  I had to throw away eggs that were too cooked in the middle.

G and I noticed a female cardinal at the birdbath today and then saw the male.  He was under the birdfeeder getting seeds and then he joined her in the oak tree and and fed her some seeds.  G's uncle told us they mate for life.  It looked like "love" from where we were standing.

My garden is enjoying the rain today.  I planted beet seeds, kale seedlings, bok choy seedlings, calendula seeds and seedlings.  I had intended to plant more onions but I kept forgetting that I "intended" to do that.  I also repotted 12 Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes into larger pots.  I gifted my friend with 4 Mortgage Lifters, 4 Early Girls and three Ace green pepper seedlings. (She gave me a Pilates book to read (and return), Yoga cards, a Veronica plant (we dug it out of the front yard) and a baby violet she started for me.  We were project buddies in our Master Gardening Class in 2002.  We enjoy gardening, laughing and drinking gin and vodka.  Together.

G is watching TiVoed shows and I am going to iron the five shirts he wore last week.  I am starching them with liquid starch that I am mixing with water and shaking up in a spray bottle.  Working great.  G doesn't look wrinkled at the end of a long workday.  Then I am going to read my book as it is seriously overdue.  This going home early is pretty fantastic.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Repeat Daily Until You Learn

I didn't have a picture and wanted to post so I went into the files and found this from May 22 of last year.  I remember I was taking an on line class at the time: using text in fabric art.  I had wanted to use this image for the 12 by 12 but forgot where I put the original pieces.  I recently found them again.

Today was busy.  D and I went out on an "installation visit" to a medical building.  It was lovely to leave work and go visiting in our company work clothing.  It would have been more fun if we had brought our radios and they worked.  We would have felt so geeky answering the radio out in public.

The messengers from the Universe just keep coming.  This afternoon, at 5 minutes to the time my work day ended, I started working with a couple on the two window boxes they needed for their home (because the other employees disappeared).  The couple was uncertain about their plant choices. So I showed them how easy it actually was.  I held up a few items, asking this one or this one?  They quickly chose a magenta geranium.  Some vinca.  And I added a fragrant blue Nemesia that the wife had liked.  We were done.  And then, because I couldn't find any of the people who are supposed to cover the greenhouse when I go home (typical)--I stayed and potted the plants into the boxes.  (45 minutes without seeing another employee in the greenhouse)

The husband said all the neighbors would be jealous because the windowbox was so pretty.  I said send them in.  The wife asked if she could take pictures for her Facebook page.  We talked and laughed while I worked and guess what?  The wife (the Messenger) is a Pilates instructor right here in town. Can you believe it!!!!  She gave me some tips for my exercises and asked that I please come to her for a class.  Two of the tips were EXACTLY what I needed.  I need to flatten the pelvic triangle in one exercise and work a certain way on another exercise that doesn't feel right.  I can't wait to try both tips.

This is day four of the new diet and while I do get hungry, it is at an appropriate time (lunch) and then I am satisfied for the day.  Tonight we went out for dinner and by luck I had enough calories left for deep fried ribs, beef brisket and cole slaw.  A perfect Atkins meal. Meat, Fat, Meat & Cabbage.  Yes, I know we don't count calories in Atkins.  I feel lighter.  Better.  And I even like eating eggs for breakfast (I purchased cage free eggs and applewood smoked bacon for tomorrow's breakfast).  I made another Eggbeaters omelet with onion, peppers, precooked sausage patties, cheese and kale.  Less calories in half the omelet than in my normal bowl of cereal.  And I wasn't hungry until 1.30.  Amazing.  Obviously, I need to eat more protein.

I am feeling happy, healthy and well balanced.  And 1.5 pounds lighter.  LOL

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Transitional Confusion

I am not from HERE but not THERE yet.  Moving in my heart and mind but still feeling my way in the dark.  Some moments are clear and I know where the new path is leading me; but it is new and different and I sometimes move backwards instead of forward.  Change scares me.

The Universe is sending messengers to speak to me at work and on my days off.  At first, I thought they had come to just talk but, now, after thinking about what they had to say, I think they spoke to a specific purpose.

One reminds me of the Zen moments watching him unscrew the top of his tea thermos, pour the tea into a cup, and then slowly put the cap back on the thermos.  My friend Patty and I would wait, during the class lecture, for those moments and watch.  Purposeful.  Thoughtful.  Peaceful.  I had forgotten this lesson in taking the time to enjoy the simple gestures, the simple movements.

Another speaks of the beauty of the quilts I made and the quality of my stitches.  She is saddened to learn that I no longer make quilts.  She mentions that if I ever do, again, she would love to buy one, to own such beauty.  How did I not hear her?  Yes, with my ears but not with my heart.  I need to listen with my heart.

Yesterday the messenger told me not to be afraid to let go of "work".  That there is great joy and freedom to be had once you let go.  Let go of everything but a few cherished possessions, let go of cares and worries related to work, and joy to be found in the serendipity of letting the Universe know what you want and being ready to accept the gifts offered.  Our final lunch date was filled with happiness and joy.  And eggplant parm.

My son has been sending me this same message as he let go of work almost three years ago.  He lives frugally and works on projects that interest him.  Retired in his youth rather than in old age.  He can always return to work.  Now I can hear what he is trying to tell me.  You can always go back.  But try letting go first.

Today, I have rested, eaten breakfast, packed my lunch, dressed for work and then sat down to write to you.  I don't want to go to work.  I would prefer to walk in the woods with G and Riley, dig in the dirt of my garden beds and eat my lunch with them.  Instead, I will go to work.  Who knows, another messenger could be waiting for me there.  Or here, in the comments.  And, I believe it is good manners to leave on positive terms: two weeks notice at least.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why Is It Raining?

Riley and Pook are asking me this question on this cold and wet morning in mid May.  I turned up the furnace for the two of them.  As you can see, Pook didn't get as close to the vents as Riley, who is managing the yard from inside the house right now.  From this most excellent dog view point he can see any deer coming out of the woods, any passing walkers or joggers trespassing on private property (a concept Mainers do not understand at all), any squirrels, wild turkeys or passing ducks.  The crows who visit, stand in the trees calling down to him.  Or perhaps they are just trying to say "good morning".  The back yard is a very busy place from Riley's viewpoint and he has to divide his attention every hour to what may be happening in the front yard.  Garbage pick up or the neighbor coming and going.  He has gone out to chase crows off the lawn.

I slept until 8 and am now enjoying my first cup of coffee before going upstairs to do my pilates/yoga exercises.  I have a new yoga mat and hope that helps to stabilize my feet.

Yesterday was another personally challenging day for me at work.  More perennials to unload in the rain and wind (five full carts and then a sixth later) with D.  Sand and dirt blowing into our eyes.  Additions to tables we thought were complete.  Limited space left on the retaining wall for extras.  Weeds growing up thru the trays we already have on the wall. These are not conditions I would choose if I owned the business.

I am using the delete button.  I managed by 3 pm to separate my personal beliefs from my work situation.  This is my biggest challenge in LIFE when working.  This is what makes me miserable. The continual stress of working against what I know to be a "better solution".  And the World's Laziest Boy has been rehired for the summer.  I had hoped to never see him again after last summer.  (delete button used)

Yesterday was the first day of the Atkins-ish type diet.  I had an omelet made with sausage, onion and kale for breakfast, yogurt with protein powder, mango and raspberries for lunch (yes, I know Atkins is dairy free) and no dinner because by the time I got home, in the shower to warm up etc. it was past 8.  The 365 Day Diet specified no eating after 8 so I didn't.  I went to bed hungry but when I woke up this morning, I wasn't.  I am just happy to have something low carb to eat for breakfast.  That I like eating.  I have a lunch date today so that will be stressful. Choosing a low carb meal at an Italian restaurant.  I can always get a salad.  It's amazing how full you feel when eating so much protein.  I now wish I had added more protein to my diet in 2007.  I am counting calories (1200).

I have my shopping list ready.  After lunch I will be buying a pork shoulder for the crock pot and a chuck roast to cube for Texas chili if I can find the recipe I wrote down.  More lettuce. More tuna.  I have meat loaf (with broccoli) on the menu for tonight.  I don't think I can do this for very long, but it will get the scale moving downward, I hope.

I need to get upstairs and work out.  I hope it isn't raining or cold where you are today.

Monday, May 09, 2011

My Favorite Things

1.    Wrinkled brown, textured wrapping paper from work.  I like to think it will be excellent used with paint or dye to freckle an interesting texture in my journal or on fabric.  At this moment, it is still coiled in the vase I used for my paperwhites in December.  Yes, the paper has been there for months.

2.    Seeing interesting people at work.  People I have met in other times of my life and enjoy seeing while I am at work.  Today I saw a charming woman from my quilting days.  A friend from my 2002 Master Gardener class.  And a friend and coworker from my days at the library.  This might be my very favorite part of working at the greenhouse.

3.    Creating a very beautiful dish garden for a Mother's Day gift (phone order) using a green Bonsai planter, several ferns, an African Violet and a carpet of Baby's Tears to cover the soil.  I sent it off to be delivered and an hour later the new Mom called to ask how to care for her new lovely garden.  It isn't often I get to speak to the person who received the gift I made.

4.    New flats of baby Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, Kale and Leeks have appeared in the open area between the big greenhouse and the annual house.  We haven't had these items before but they are often requested.  And we have little 3 packs for the gardener with a small garden (or small family).  All indicate a willingness to accommodate the individual interests of our customers.  And not just do "what has always been done".

5.    A phone message from my daughter with an indication that the lovely woman who cuts our hair (and whose place of business burned to the ground last month) is getting past the shock of her loss and may be able to cut our hair next week.  She has finally been able to go out and buy replacement supplies.  I think she is having trouble losing the wonderful old painted table that was her desk, the very large pot filled with exuberant asparagus fern (I think the loss of a beloved plant can be devastating) and the art that decorated the room.  You can buy more combs and scissors but you can't replace these things.

6.    A lunch date with a friend from my library days.  She has retired (leading the way into uncharted territory), plans to move and house sit near one of her favorite cousins.  Auspicious start to this new part of her life.  We will celebrate her retirement and her new life.  I am ever so happy for her good fortune!!!

&.    I am happy that my "plan" for my days at work is going better than expected.  I stay busy and away from the other employees.  There were some "issues" today that got me very cranky but it was my own fault for getting involved with coworkers.  Learning curve!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Working Mother's Day Eve

We could barely squeeze the cash bags into the bigger bank bag today.  The greenhouse looked like it had been ransacked.  A very auspicious beginning to the greenhouse season.  And a great many mothers got lovely living gifts from their children and husbands.  I chose an absolutely gorgeous white orchid for one lucky Mom.  I envied her the gift.  As I did the perfect little basket filled with cellophane, yellow roses and blue campanula.

The day lasted way too long.  I thought it was 1 or 2 when it was only 11.30.  The hours from 3 to 5.30 were endless.  And after work, I did my annual "good deed" and drove a coworker home.  All the way to Land's End.  If I had driven any further I would have been in the Atlantic Ocean.  She has been taking a taxi to and from work ($22 each way) since her ex boyfriend asked for his car back and I thought I would drive her home to save her the $22.  I don't think I will volunteer to do it again. The road surface is pretty bumpy and narrow.  Country roads and drivers going too fast.

I've had my shower and my box of Kraft Mac & Cheese is ready to be cooked.  Then television and a good night's sleep.  I may need an Aleeve for my back.  Happy Mother's Day!!!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Quite A Dream Last Night

A surreal alternate universe almost.  Everyone sort of lived together.  No bright colors. And there was a game/or television show that everyone, but me, was involved in.  A reality, live show.  Clay based clothing that you wore only once. Paper that dissolved in water.  Doors with massive locks.  Winds that blew at night.Security cameras watching everything.  I woke up several times because I was disturbed by the "game" but when I fell back to sleep I was involved again.  I am hoping it all falls away as the day goes on.

I went to Target on my day off and bought storage jars, new undies, and work boots that will keep my feet and socks dry.  I wore them yesterday.  Good.  They are brown and green which I like much, much better than the pink flowered ones I see in all the shops.  I can't see myself wearing pink flower covered boots. Or purple ones.

Mother's Day orders are coming in.  So many lucky moms are being remembered and the sentiments I write on the gift cards makes my heart swell.  How lucky for the child to feel such love for their mother.  And for the mother to receive these thoughtfully ordered flowers.  Really.  They know exactly what she would like.  I am pleased when I can give them the exact item.  Except for Bay Laurel.  I don't have the 12 to 18 inch tall standards that are being requested.  2011 is the year of the Bay.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Rainy Day & Language Lessons

Which is just what the garden needs.  The red shoots are peonies with their loopy cages dancing overhead. The daffodils are standing tall next to the already bloomed out hyacinth.  All the brown is recently weeded area.  Yes, I did that.  And I tossed all the weeds (mostly grasses) out into the area around the vernal pool. Some of it "takes" and grows.

I have been trolling the internet for garden construction ideas (for a class I want to add to the line up).  I found a shade lath house on the Martha Stewart site and (duh!) finally figured out how to get "print ready" documents.  I also printed out two terrarium to do's and a plant stick craft.  Now I need maple branches.  Wish I had had that plant stick craft last weekend for my class.  They would have LOVED it.  Instead I made cutworm collars from cereal boxes. Also, fun and worthwhile but not as cute as the sticks.

Last night, while watching DWTS, I realized today was a day off and I could indulge in Farty Cereal for my breakfast.  That thought made me deliriously happy.  Not the farting.  That isn't all that wonderful but the cereal is very good.  And I plan to go to the grocery store for fresh pineapple to eat with my yogurt.  And the library for books to read.  I think one on yoga, one on gardening and one mystery.  I hope I can get in and out without embarrassing myself.

Yesterday at work, the French Teacher stopped and chatted with me regarding vegetable gardening.  The French Teacher is beautiful, blonde (30's) and rude in a way only the French have perfected.  The last time I was helping her, a young MALE coworker walked by and she waved me off with her hand and cooed to him "help me, please?".  Oh, yes, indeed.  Yesterday we were alone and shared gardening tips and I promised her a recipe for pickles.  She shared by mentioning that she ate 3 cabbages a week (cole slaw).  Could that be how she stays so slim?  Who knows.  

I also helped some other foreigners.  There are many, many very wealthy people living in Maine for the spring and summer (or perhaps all year) who have few, if any, English language skills.  They migrate my way because of my talent for not speaking any foreign languages but giving the impression that I do, indeed, understand them.  Oddly enough, they are correct.  Yesterday I think we were doing Spanish or another romance language.  Last week, Greek.  The Germans are easiest as that is the language I almost, actually, understand.  But the French.  oo, la, la.  You know I love it!  Give me a tall French guy of a certain age to chat with regarding gardening?  Yes, please.

Two summers ago I had a fascinating half hour with a lovely Spanish woman with the Barcelona lisp wearing a silk slip dress with tiny threadlike straps and, my guess, absolutely no undies.  We were buying sweet red peppers for our vegetable garden.  The loader boys didn't know what to do with themselves.

On that note: I am getting dressed (with undies and a rain jacket), going forth into the rain.

Plans A, B and C

Today I arrived at work just as Plan A was starting.  It had been decided that we would take a certain size of perennial (by container) and set them up in a new area.  In alphabetical order.  We had to lift them off carts, onto other carts, push them across the gravel yard and then set them down in muddy dirt. In alphabetical order.  In Latin.  After I got done unloading all the new herbs I started in on Plan A.

Halfway done and the Plan A author realized we didn't have enough room for all the plants.  We stood around and looked for somewhere with enough room.

Plan B involved taking all the plant material (X) displayed on the gravel in front of the retaining wall and loading it onto carts and putting the Plan A containers in the new area.  Loader boys were requested to shove the loaded carts (X) off to another area (not in the Perennial Yard).

I started work on my own Plan, lets call it "C".  Remember the Astilbe story that made me cry?  Today I did more A, lots of B, some C, lots of D.  I stopped at 2 pm to eat lunch.  Then got back to it. I was outside lifting, hauling and shoving things around (as I added new things to already full tables) all day.  For most of the morning I had no radio so was left alone to just work.  I made the mistake of answering a call on someone else's radio (admitting I had no radio of my own) and licketty split, I had my own radio.

Then I got to run and answer the phone.  Most of my radio calls tell me I have a phone call. (I answer plant, bug, disease and availability questions)

I'm not complaining.  I can't fix any of this.  I can't fight any of this. I can only do the work.  G says the good part of all this moving stuff is that I have 100% job security.  They are always going to be moving the plant material from one spot to another.  Always.  And I know the alphabet.  In English and Latin. (this is a joke since the kids think the alphabet is different in foreign languages)

This is the biggest advantage of being 64.  My high school education is deeper and better than most 4 year college degrees for today's youth.  Don't even get me started on their high school educations.  Today the only good thing would have been wrapping all the loader boys in pallet wrap and attaching them to a pole on the loading dock.

 Here's a question for you.  How long will a Loader Boy let the business phone ring while he stands next to it doing nothing?  Answer: Forever.  They make 50 cents less per hour than I make.  And their job security is better than mine as they can lift everything and I can only lift some things.  LOL.

Monday, May 02, 2011

And So Shall You Reap

I have planted seeds of unhappiness in a friendship that has spanned 39 years.  It  ended with today's email from her. We met by accident.  Across the hall neighbors in an apartment complex.  G and I had lived there for a few days or possibly 2 weeks when I miscarried and needed someone to watch over a 2 year old and 6 month old (sleeping as it was 3 am) while G drove me to the ER.  G knocked on her door and she agreed to sleep on our couch until he returned.  We have spent time together, off and on, for all the years in between.  Even vacationing together at times.  There have been periods as long as 6 years when we haven't communicated at all.  But never because we had hurt each other. We shared our enjoyment of quilting and always made something on my annual visits to her home.

We have grown apart in the past two years since my friend's dad passed away.  She has suffered from depression and a deep sadness. No longer interested in quilting, so we lost that common interest. Her family is her rock and comfort.  I have never had that sort of family, so it feels foreign to me and I am not all that comfortable when I see too much of them on the yearly visits I make to see my friend.  I haven't visited in two years.  I just didn't want to go. She came here once, many years ago. We both were feeling the same irritation and unfriendliness.  We are going to give each other space and time and see what happens.  It's difficult to be long time friends when you have to second guess every comment you make. This is the second "forever" friend I have said good bye to.  I wonder if it's me changing or them? Of course, you have to be a friend in order to have a friend.

Work was one big blur today.  I remember sitting down to eat lunch and then it was 4 and I was supposed to have gone home at three.  I am tired.  I am enjoying the Greek yogurt with a scoop of protein powder mixed into it as my lunch.  I had it today with half a small can of pineapple chunks and 1/4 cup of Fiber One for crunch.  It's filling and even now, almost 6 hours later, I am not feeling hungry.  But I am thirsty. I think fresh pineapple will be even better.

Life changes so much in 24 hours doesn't it?   I am still seriously considering not working at all or working less over the summer. Even though my boss called me by name and actually treated me like a thinking person today. My new coworker is looking around already for another job.  She is spending lots of time alone at work and it isn't that interesting (customers aren't asking her to identify sticks or resurrect root rotted orchids). I had hoped to spend the next 28 days training her to take over.

I think it may be time to make supper.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Sunday Redux

Most of my garden (the part I worked on) is in order.  I dug, I planted, I mixed, I fertilized, I made K's special work drink (green tea and lemonade), I repotted seedlings into newer, more spacious pots and G and I sat out on the back stoop and discussed plans for future days in the garden.  He wants to build a pergola. Today he trimmed raspberries, raked leaves and hauled the hoses out of the crawlspace and watered the garden.  Half the fennel perked up a bit.

April commented that I am hard on myself.  You need to know that I don't plan ahead what I will write about in these posts.  You read exactly what I am thinking and feeling at the time I type the words.  Everything can change moments after I hit "publish".  I can sit here being ridiculously happy moments after writing about being "heavy" of heart, mind and body.

I used to be able to say, with complete honesty, that I was happy almost all the time.  I woke up happy for the start of a new day and went to bed happy about how I spent the day.

Yes, April, I can't say that now.  G just said I should stop working.  And I said he was probably right.  I don't work for the money and someone, who does need to work for the money, could have my hours.  I work so I don't get lonely.  But I seem to be spending significant amounts of time, at work, by myself.  You, dear readers, are more of a social event than 7 hours at work.

Eating shredded wheat for breakfast makes me happy and the thought of not eating it makes me sad. Having to eat meat makes me sad.  Eating a plate of vegetables and grains makes me happy.  I want to be the right weight for my height. Weighing 35 pounds more makes me sad. I want to have upper body strength so I can stand tall into my 80's. The Pilates exercises make me very happy.  Skipping them due to work makes me grumpy.  Having a dirty house makes me sad and even just cleaning the counters this morning made me very, very happy.

April, today was a good day.  I just needed to get outside and dig holes into some dirt.

We both know what I have decided to do.  I think it's the right thing to do.

Whistle While You Clean & Gravity

My theme for today.  I was up at 7.30 and sat quietly watching Law&Order reruns, writing in my journal and finally drawing this pear.  I like drawing.  I'm out of touch with the finer points right now, but once I was pretty good at drawing.  Not good enough.  We are never really good enough.  Always room for improvement.  I want this year's journal to have a great many pencil and pen drawings in it.  As a side note: the entry in the journal right before this morning's May first entry, was April 4th.  That says something about the way my life is going.

So far, I have one load of wash ready to go into the drier, emptied the dishwasher, scrubbed the sink, cleaned the counter around the coffee bean grinder (so messy) and coffee maker, have the cream and sugar waiting to go into the sink (sticky), mixed and baked some good looking baking powder biscuits using buttermilk, and now I'm going to repot my pepper and tomato seedlings.

I am having issues with my body mass.  Everything feels huge right now and very heavy and solid.  G thinks it's muscle but I think (fear) it is fat.  Pure and simply:  solid fat. (I have neither gained nor lost any weight in the past 2 months) I can't cross one leg over another. Something has gone very wrong.  Last night I kept dreaming that I was too close to the "edge" and slipping over (to fall from a height and get killed) and begging for someone (and the bystanders were usually the teen loader boys from work) to grab me and keep me from going over.  When I started my exercises I felt light and fit.  My pants were loose.  Now I feel heavy, lumbering and all my clothes are binding and making me feel like I am being suffocated.

Perhaps THIS is what made me want to cry at work.  That my body was so heavy and unable to push the carts over the gravel and that bending to set down or lift trays from the ground was such a struggle. This is how I felt when I weighed too much back in 2007.  Unable to do much because my weight was a significant factor in WHAT I was ABLE to DO.

Here I am back to 2007.  Unable to bend over.  Yes, I am still 40 pounds less than I was at my heaviest at the end of 2006.  But 40 pounds more than when I began working at the greenhouse.

If I was a scientist, I would be researching gravity to see if too much gravitational pull is located in my general area.  Like being stuck to a big magnet.

In other news, I stepped on an old board in the garden and it had two nails which went thru my shoe but not into my foot.  Everything seems to be falling apart around here. G didn't water my fennel seedlings and they were pressed flat into the dirt (dead or nearly) as was the borage plant.  He says when he checked them, they were fine.  I am going to continue to clean the house, garden and iron.  I would like to continue pulling weeds and grass out of the center island.  Perhaps plant a shrub or two.  Dig up the catmint and move it.  Fertilize my roses.  Whistle.