Thursday, June 30, 2011

Roses From My Garden

G cut roses for me before he went to work today.  What a delightful sight when I walked into the house this evening.  I finally figured out the Portrait setting on the camera and the flowers came out nice and clear, even in twilight.  All sorts of pink roses and my favorite yellow.

Today at work I potted up a large, flat pot with pink lupine and yellow daylilies (the Stellas). There was a pink Gaura in the middle and I added a few pink and yellow pansies for an understory.  For a funeral.  I found just enough sheet moss to cover the soil.  Lots of ooh's and ah's as the pot was brought up front to the cash registers.  And later my boss asked me to "do up" a few more baskets "for sale".

A good day at work.  It was supposed to be hot, but there was a breeze and some cloud cover.

I lost FIVE pounds overnight.  Really.  All the water drinking must be working to flush fat out of my body. I wonder how much I will weigh tomorrow???  ROFLOL This is a semi-regular event.  Lose weight (on scale) and do happy dance and next day gain it all back plus more.  But when I do loose weight it always is lower than the last time.  This time it was a full pound less than the last "recorded loss".  And to be fair, if I subtract this morning's number from the starting number, it's a 13 pound difference (or more--I actually was heavier this Spring than the starting weight).  Which is about a 2 pound per week average.  Exactly like the 365 Day 1200 calories a day diet I did in 2007.  Only this time I am not always wanting to eat something and cheating every few days.  Instead of wanting to cheat, I put the "wrong" food items down the disposal.  It was the disposal or my hips.  I made the right choice.

The floor in front of the fridge is dry.  The repair to the water tubing must be working.  The ice cubes are still not completely solid but the ice maker IS 20 years old.  Can't expect perfection. We are just pleased to still be getting some ice.

Riley is sitting by the front door watching the street.  We have a glass storm door than goes almost to the floor, so he has a very good view while reclining.  Riley finally ate something when I got home from work.  His breakfast plus an additional cup of food.  I sprinkled the food with a tiny bit of water and shook the little biscuits around a bit and he came over and started eating.  Licked the bowl clean.  He actually prefers to eat tree limbs and is more than likely full of wood chips. I don't understand dogs.

I had my glasses adjusted this morning after we went to the bank and got me included on the safety deposit box.  Some crazy stuff in that box.  I brought some of it home to shred.  I plan to do some gardening tomorrow unless G wants to do something "special" together on our joint day off.  We'll see.

Thursday, June 30

No picture.  Yesterday was a 50% success.  A friend called at 9 am asking if I would color her hair after she worked out at the gym.  I said yes.  Then set to cutting up the pot roast I bought on Monday (marked down for quick sale) and turning it into Induction Chili with a few additions to make it more like Longhorn Chili (I didn't succeed).  It's fine, packed in serving sizes and in the freezer, but not the "taste" I was looking for.

The hair coloring went well and while the color processed I made a luncheon salad for the two of us.  We chatted and I began slicing vegetables for a summer squash Mexican casserole.  I made it, baked it and then shoved it down the disposal.  It was delicious, but too many carbs.  Not worth the stress of having as a temptation.  I also added the roasted beets to the compost bucket.  It's best not to have things in the fridge that I shouldn't be eating.

I did manage to clean off the stove countertops, empty and wash the silverware drawer, do laundry, make the bed, water the deck plants, wash and dry the cooking pots and pans, empty the dishwasher.

My new lenses are a bit off and I am having problems with reading and watching television.  Rubbing my eyes which is NEVER a good thing as I have some sort of "bumpy lining" in my eyes and the rubbing makes it ever so much worse. So no reading yesterday and I just got the new Wallander from the library.

We did purchase a wrist wrap and I wore it all evening on Tuesday.  Woke up yesterday morning with no pain.  I don't plan to lift anything heavy at work today.

G had a very long, hard day at work yesterday (his 49 year old helper went home early feeling "sick") and then G had the added "amusement" of the ice maker hose leaking again. (If your ice cubes are only shells of ice, you have a clog or a leak) Water all over.  He had to "make" a new hose.  The good part of this was that the refrigerator ice maker works just like the equipment at McD's so he felt very comfortable doing the repairs and he had plenty of spare hose and connectors in the workshop. I was sitting next to him and reading comments on an Atkins blog.  Handing him tools.

I am drinking lots and lots of water.  So much water that I feel bilious.

G and I have to go to the bank and change the safe deposit card to say I "am allowed" to look inside and retrieve our daughter's birth certificate so she can renew her driver's license.  It didn't matter that I have always had my own key to the box.  So that's what we will be doing this morning before I go to work.

It's hot already and it will be terrible at work.  I already feel sick to my stomach.  Heat makes me ill.  I have eaten some breakfast and plan to take two quarts of sweet (fake) tea with me to work.  I have some lunch packed and will make a MIM to take in case I need a snack.   11:30 to 6 today.   Why didn't I retire?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mary, A David Austin Rose

I love the English roses.  This one especially.  It was always named Mary, perhaps after a Queen?  Who knows.  But this is the rose I use when making a bouquet.  I usually add Lady's Mantle for the green and catmint for the blue.  And if the yarrow is in flower at the time, I add it for the yellow.  My favorite color combination for the garden.  Pink, blue, chartreuse and yellow. All purpose for hospital visits, new neighbors and birthday gifts.

It was hot at work today.  And I was retaining water.  So my energy was being double teamed and I was tired, as was every other employee.  Not many customers, so more "cleaning".  We were all hoping her would send us home early.  I was miffed to see that no one had refilled the potting soil container.  I seem to be the only person who "knows" how to put dry soilless mix in the container and add water.

Our schedules now have us coming in at 7:30.  I left the house at 7, dropped the dog off at daycare and still was the first one to get to work.  That meant trying to remember the security code to shut off the alarm.  Third time worked.  Of course, having the police arrive and call the boss to say the alarm was going off would have ensured I never was asked to show up at 7:30 again.  I also had to open the safe. I felt so "important".  LOL

I also injured my right wrist while trying to pick up a surprisingly heavy daylily for a landscaper.  G took me to the drugstore to buy a wrist wrap to keep my wrist unbent.  It feels better and I am reminded not to use it for lifting, opening doors, or anything else.  G wants me to file a workman's comp report in case it's really something that will need medical attention.  I did this once before and it was a nerve thing and my thumb went numb on and off.  My doctor said the numbness would move up along the entire length of the nerve before it was gone.  And it did.  All the way into my neck.  Months later.

We are having leftover lasagna again.  It's pretty salty and not the best thing for me to be eating.  That's all I have to write about today.  Hope tomorrow is more interesting.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Almost Gave Up

On this little Gloxinia.  I brought the pot and two leaves home, at some point when we were selling them. A long time ago. The books all said it was "easy" to start a new plant from a leaf.  I was just about to throw the pot away, an experiment that didn't work. G was the first to notice a leaf the size of a baby mouse's ear.  Look at it now. Still pretty small but it actually LOOKS like a Gloxinia. I had used whole leaves and the one that sprouted had gotten broken at some point.  So, if you try this, cut the leaf like the one on the left from the beginning.  I am hoping this is the leaf from the purple and white Gloxinia.  Very pretty.

I haven't given up on the Atkins diet, either.  I "weighed" the pros and cons and decided that I like not having cravings for food.  I like not wanting a snack 24/7.  I like having my clothes fit.  I like feeling good. I don't think I have mentioned that I feel good while on this diet.  I feel happier.  Perhaps it's an anti depressant?

I came away from a couple of close encounters with South Beach advocates reassured that I was on the right diet.  SB uses "diet" foods like non fat, low fat, sugar free.  I have never liked that stuff and the carb count is always higher on the low fat, non fat varieties, which always makes me hungry after eating them.  I have to use sugar free on Atkins.  I don't like it, but it's one of the trade offs I had to make.

I am trying to drink more water. I am retaining water and can't get my wedding ring on or off my finger easily. It had been too loose to wear for awhile there, but now it's too tight.  96 ounces (12 - 8 ounce glasses) every day.  Not all water.  Just 12 glasses of some liquid.  Today I had 8 ounces of unsweetened soy milk with my breakfast.  I also had 1/2 cup of Fiber One.

Lunch was a slice of Swiss and a HB egg. Not the best lunch and I am very hungry right now. This is what usually happens when I eat too many carbs.  I am having my homemade eggplant lasagna (no noodles) with some leftover squash.  G is having regular lasagna and two dinner rolls.  I could also make myself a small salad.  Dessert is strawberries and heavy cream.  Tomorrow is 21 days counting carbs.

Time to eat.  And read.  We worked in the garden today and I got everything I have purchased in the past few weeks into the ground or window boxes.  The deck is getting cleared off.  Laundry is done.  A good day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Not Mine

"Rapt in Reverie" by Alison Goodwin.  Oil pastel on acrylic on paper.  23 by 23.  Greenhut Galleries, ME.

This art work is on the cover of the Bowdoin International Music Festival booklet.  I saw it when G and I went out to dinner one night on our Staycation.  He thought it was something I had made.  I thought it was definitely something I could have made.  The circles.  The black at the bottom with the little points.  Not so much in the multitude of little green "leaf" dots at the top.  The colors are ones I use all the time.  Fascinating, no?

I don't know what is going on in my "snowflake" (each one is unique) body but I'll take it.  I slept until 11 this morning.  I am wearing size 14 jeans (go figure, huh?).  I did drink a quart of extra liquids yesterday (which had an interesting laxative effect) and intend to do the same thing today.  I managed my food poorly yesterday.  Not that I overate--it's just that I ate things that didn't satisfy my idea of a "meal".  Scattered, piecemeal.  Strawberries.  Two steamed artichokes with butter.  Cheese rolled up with cold sliced roast beef (ugh! disgusting!!!) and covered in horseradish sauce because it was so disgusting and I couldn't eat it plain.  And the half a jar of tea.  Then coffee.

This morning: my new favorite way to eat egg beaters.  Onion, sliced deli ham, spinach, 1 oz grated cheddar and eggs.  Fried into a pancake sort of affair and then turned over to crisp up that side also.  My coffee has cream and one eighth of a teaspoon of Splenda.  I'm just going to have to get used to that taste.  I like my coffee sweeter.

It's cold today and raining.  My new lenses are in and I should call and see if they can insert them into my frames today.  It will take about an hour and I will be without glasses for that hour.  What will I do?  I can wear my old glasses, like I am right now, as a test.  Wow.  Like being sea sick.  Wow.  I think I will call and see if I can get the lenses exchanged while I go down the street and browse the Health Food store looking for strange, new sweeteners, flours (soy, almond), and sugar free things.  Chocolate would be nice. Let's hope I don't throw up.  It's disturbing to see how much my vision has deteriorated in just 15 months.

I noticed my level of ability at the book sale set up had slowed some also in the past year.  I usually was finished with my tasks before 2 pm leaving me time to do other things.  I was "just" done at the closing bell of 4:30.  No time for any extra tasks at all.  This might be a good indicator of why my full time status at work was so exhausting this year.  I am going to be 65 in September.  I have to learn to pace myself more efficiently.  Not that I ever want a job that involves sitting at a desk all day (though I do spend quite a bit of time here, sitting and typing) but I think standing all day, lifting heavy objects, and bending over low display tables to water or straighten plants is more strenuous than it was 4 years ago when I began.

As to becoming 65:  Any advice on the whole "Choose Your Medicare" thing?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

Lordy, what a few days I have had.  Work.  Library Book Sale Set Up.  Work.  But, on the way home today, the Strawberry Flag was still out and the Strawberry Ladies had "just" one box of fresh picked Maine berries left and it was mine!!!  I intend to buy a box every day that the flag is out.  I always say I will, and then forget.  Not this year.

I worked (as a volunteer) from 7:30 to 4:30 yesterday, lifting 187 boxes of books off the floor and unloading them onto tables, loading boxes on a cart for two women, answering questions (making so many decisions) and reprimanding the help.  Do it my way.  Period.  I had a hard boiled egg, a few radishes and a chocolate MIM with a Thermos of coffee all day.  I gained a pound.  I still am doing Induction.  I now weigh what I did before I even started the Atkins Diet.  Well, actually, I weigh one pound more than what I weighed before I started.  I wonder about the futility of all this. Today my pants didn't seem to even fit looser.  My horoscope for the day said not to dwell on things that haven't gone as planned. How true.  My bra was very loose.

It rained all day today and my work sweatshirt wasn't in my car or my locker, so I was cold all day and it's supposed to be 50 or less overnight.  Short summer we had last week.  I spent my day at (real) work picking dead leaves and dried up flowers off of the fuchsias.  Yes, I did that all day, having water pour down on my clothes (overwatered pots), when I wasn't answering questions about insects and plant diseases.  My lunch was a cold salad of Romaine, Feta cheese, 5 Greek olives and ranch dressing and the window in the lunch room was open so I could have a cold draft chilling me even more.  I'm working on finishing off the quart of sugar free iced tea I took to work.  And then I will drink a second quart of plain water.  I am trying to drink more liquids.

I found a used copy of the Atkins book I have been borrowing from the library plus a cookbook and an Atkins For Life book.  If I ever get to "Life" there is occasional cereal (Fiber One) with soy milk and yogurt with fruit.  There was only ONE of each Atkins book in the entire book sale.  How's that for Karma?

I'm going to take a shower now.  And read.  And put on wool socks.  And a sweater.  Hey, it's a fantastic SUMMER here in Maine.  My Cool Whip has high fructose corn syrup in it.  So I guess I shouldn't be eating it even with a carb count of 2 for the 2 T I was going to have on my strawberries. Rats.  I'll whip some unsweetened heavy cream instead.

Monday, June 20, 2011

News Bulletin: Riley Gets Skunked!!

It wasn't a complete skunking but Riley smelled bad.  Now that he's been shampooed, only his nose smells. G went behind the shed and found two holes going under the shed.  An entrance and exit.  And it smells nice and skunky. So that will be something we need to take care of before we let Riley out into the back yard. Again.

No amount of good groundskeeping goes unpunished.  We clear the trees from around the shed and find a skunk.  Or skunks.  G lived his whole life in the country and says each of his dogs got skunked at least once.  Hopefully, Riley will learn a lesson.  He's really "miss-ish" about a lot of things and I hope the shed is now one of those "I don't go there" items on his list of things to stay away from.  We can hope.

Now, the fun of finding a way to get rid of the skunk or skunks.  We decided we do NOT want to live trap the little stinker.  Definitely don't want to do that.

I have to change clothes.  Feeling stinky.

June Roses And Atkins Issues

I usually get one nice crop of roses before the Japanese Beetles arrive and chew everything to bits. G brought this one in yesterday for the Father's Day Table.   We (Sam came for dinner) had grilled cheeseburgers with bacon, grilled onion, tomato, lettuce, pickles, mayo yesterday.   Very delicious.  Then G and Sam had ice cream and Riley and I chilled in the backseat of the car enjoying the summer breezes. Later, at home, I had some rhubarb sauce and Cool Whip.  3.7 net carbs.

This morning I felt fine, but now, the two HB eggs I had for breakfast don't seem to be doing good things to my system.  It feels like low blood pressure or low blood sugar.  Dizzy.  I have a MIM in the micro and hope that eating it (with cream cheese) helps.  I had planned to do a number of chores today before returning to work tomorrow.  I really can't walk the dog or go grocery shopping if I think I may faint.  I get this way pretty often in the summer when it's hot and muggy outside.  Even on regular food.  I have even blogged of worrying if I would pass out while walking the dog in past summers.  I just don't do well in hot weather.

Riley is trying very hard to be patient.  He also is not doing very well on this hot sunny day.  We have much more sun in the backyard now so it's hard for him to find a shady spot.

One of my Readers is also at the same point in Atkins as I am and it was very nice to get an email from her.  We have some of the same problems and hope we can be supportive of each other as we work our way thru the Phases.  I am thinking about moving into Phase 2.  Out of Induction. (four weeks and I have NOT lost a single pound but my clothes all fit better) Not a big step away but one that can add fresh cheeses or berries to what I have been eating.  I get to choose which step of the carb ladder to try first.  More Salad or Nuts or Berries or Dairy  My son says each of us is unique (like snowflakes) and one diet isn't going to be perfect for everyone.  So, some tweaking is necessary.

I admit to having Fiber One cereal with soy milk yesterday.  I was feeling very "relieved" a few hours later. LOL I am not getting enough fiber in my diet and will just have to adapt the food choices as best I can to continue to be regular.  This is my most serious problem with Atkins, so far.  I also need to start making more normal meals for myself.  Meat and salad is nice, but I really would like something that looks and feels like a regular dinner.

I really have been reluctant to resume regular meal preparation.  Even though most meat preparations are perfectly fine with Atkins.  I would just need to skip any sauces or the starches served alongside.

1. roast pork or sausages with fried sauerkraut (mashed potatoes or potato dumplings for G)
2. fried chicken, fried yellow summer squash, tomatoes (rice for G)
3. meatballs and marinara sauce (pasta for G)
4. Fried chicken with mixed greens and vinaigrette
5. pizza.  I know G wants this but there is no alternative for me.  My son said this was the hardest thing for him to reintroduce into his diet after Atkins.  He really has to plan for it.  The Atkins Forum had a "crust" made from melted, browned cheese.  12 ounces.  Then you add toppings.  I may try it.
6. lasagna.  One for G with noodles and one for me with slices of zucchini standing in for the noodles.

I'm looking for "TASTE".  For something that is familiar but still legal.  Wish me luck.  The Flax Muffin seems to have leveled off the sensors in my system.  I am going to try a few chores here at home before going out to the grocery or dog walk.  Just to make sure.  I have shirts to iron, dishwasher to unload, and a couch slipcover to wrangle over a couch.  Lunch will be tuna and mayo and a big salad.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happiness Is....

Bright golden Coreopsis on the back deck.  The Tree Guys grinding down the stumps in the yard.  Even old stumps.  The Tree Loader playing "throw the stick" with Riley out in the back yard.  Working only three days next week.  Getting my haircut on Tuesday.  Having Rhubarb Sauce with Cool Whip in the evening as a once a week treat for having survived another day of dieting, even though I gained 3 pounds overnight.

I survive the diet by trying on clothes in the "Does Not Fit" box in the closet.  All the Spring and Summer work pants from a few months ago (remember they were all too tight) are now just fine and even a bit baggy in the rear/hip sections. I zipped the size 14 jeans this morning and could do deep knee bends and pick things up off the floor.  Only one pair of cotton capris that are too snug and they will now be my "Test Pants" for the coming weeks.

I also chart my progress by the clothes I purchased the summer of the 365 Diet in 2007 when I lost 80 pounds.  I am now wearing August of 2007.  The clothing I purchased then, now fits as it did then.  The next challenge will be Fall of 2007 (the size 10 dotted dress and the skirts) and then Spring of 2008 when I reached my lowest weight.  The blazer.  Buttoned. And the size 12 jeans.  They are the only things I have from that time.  Everything else was donated to Goodwill.  I never thought I would be able to return to that size.

Wouldn't it be amusing if all these things fit and I still haven't lost any weight on the scale?

I was telling Dee this morning, that my "Test Pants" had been a green corduroy pair of pants (I had re-gained weight by this time) that I wore the weekend we drove to Ohio and my Dad died. My dad was always sort of disgusted with me for having gained so much weight.  He didn't like heavy women.  He was so happy when I lost weight in 2007 and kept pictures of me on the wall near his chair.  I wore those "test pants" and looked thin on the last night of his life.  He thought I was beautiful.  I was so happy that was his last vision of me.  The pants fit this morning.  I had a good cry.  The karma isn't lost on me.  I finally finished the very last bit of his estate this month.  The bank sent my daughter a check and all accounts are closed.  And the pants fit.  October of 2008.  Now, I just have to return to March 2008 and stay there.  The Blazer.

G has gone to our daughter's house to take the rest of the cut lilac branches to the town recycling center. He spent most of yesterday there thinning out the bushes, cutting down trees and clearing up messy areas. He filled the truck yesterday but had another full load for today.  Sam helped him load this morning and borrowed our mower to do her grass cutting.  Riley is spending the day with me again.  And barking at the workers.

I have things to do but I am feeling sleepy and lazy.  It's almost Summer.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday & I'm Tired Of Everything

 This is the "new" view from the driveway with the former tree stumps in the lower left foreground, the dog in the upper left and my garden in the background.  Five pine trees would have been in the picture on Monday.  Now, they are being chopped into two foot chunks and loaded into a wheelbarrow.  They were, but suddenly there are no workers here.  Everyone is gone.  And I just noticed that I did a better job raking the wood chips off the lawn than they did.  No going barefoot in the back grass until I rake.

You deserve a pretty picture after suffering through all these tree pictures.  My Weigelia is blooming for the last time.  It's the pink stuff.  The blue stuff is Lupine.  These plants are in the bed behind the garage. My choices: to cut the weigelia back very hard (like to 12 to 15 inches from the earth (it's now over 6 feet) or have G try and pull the plants out with the Jeep and a heavy chain.  This garden is over grown.  Unsightly.  A haven for mice and ants.  The dog has dug some very nice "cooling" pits all around the roots of one weigelia.

Back on the diet today.  Yesterday is just going to go down as a huge mistake.  We all have days like that.  I just have to forgive myself and move forward.  It's not like I ate things that were totally wrong all day.  Yes, the cereal was a mistake.  And the chicken at lunch did have breading on it but I skipped the bread and had salad and no fries.  And I didn't need the no sugar, no fat fudge bar at DQ.  Eating all these carb things made me very hungry at about 8 pm (no dinner) so I had some meat and cheese.  See, I haven't been hungry.  But when I ate the carbs--wow, it started coming back.  The wanting to eat more because the food I was eating didn't satisfy me.  Didn't fill me up.  Lesson learned.

I am getting VERY bored with the food I am eating and need to find a few more things to add to the menu.  I have hard boiled eggs this week and the Longhorn chili.  The avocados I bought are finally getting soft enough to eat.  I'm going to have a half sliced over my breakfast omelet in a few minutes.

G has gone off with Riley to cut lilac branches at our daughter's house.  He'll bring them home and have the tree guys chip them with the other stuff they still need to chip.  I have clothes in the washer.  I have been working on the Book Sale table layouts.  Yes, Book Sale next week.  Already.  My hair is wild and needs to be cut.  Tuesday at 11am.   I had to order new lenses for my glasses.  I scratched them at work cleaning them with a rough paper towel.  Now everything looks hazy.  My bad.  They were only 15 months old.  Out of warrantee.

I finally got my account with Borders fixed, I think.  I did manage to get 30% off  on each of two books that I bought this week.  I have a new medieval romance to read.  Time travel.  Love!  Been looking all over for gray fabric for the next 12 by 12 challenge.  I know I painted some but can't find it.  I may just use the "brayer over everything with white gesso" technique from QA on an older piece with lots of gray in it.  I need to add edges to make it 12 inches square.  And I may add a chair to it.  I found my paper chair pattern.  Happy!

Riley has just come back home.  Didn't like being at Sam's house with G.  I'm going to eat breakfast, fill out my food diary and then decide which, of the many dirty things in my house, to clean.  I still have five tomatoes to plant.  And perennials.  Never ending.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday Morning Sunshine

As you can see, the trees are gone.  Well, in reality they are laying on their sides waiting to be cut into chunks and carried to the truck.  This part of the operation, sans gas powered, noisy machines, is less interesting to the work crew.  They (the two that are here) are moving at the speed of molasses.  It's hot.  It's sunny.  There are biting bugs. The four foot tree chunks are heavy.

We have a lot more sun in the back yard and don't the hardwoods look nice?  Better than looking at pine trees.  I am imagining an enlarged perennial bed in front of the shed and possibly an apple tree.  Do any self pollinate?  But right now I should be filling the shed window boxes with flowers. I have to go get "sunny" flowers now.  Petunias.

G has enough wood chips to last a few years now.  We can layer them into nice paths from the garage to the shed and then to the garden.  And G can take down any really small trees to give us more "air" circulation which keeps down the bugs.

Three full days of vacation and I am DONE.  I don't want to go anywhere, I don't want to shop. I don't want to do anything but finish neglected household chores and get my garden planted.  I managed to get my Pilates/yoga into the morning so far.  After eating cereal for breakfast.  I wanted it.  I ate it.  I poured the remainder into the compost bucket.  Sometimes you have to give in, to learn a lesson.  I also ate a hardboiled egg to compensate for all the forbidden carbs in the cereal (40).  My real motivation was the half gallon of soy milk with an expiration date in the fridge.  I should have just had a glass of milk with a MIM or had Fiber One cereal.  It doesn't matter now.  It's in the compost and won't bother me any more. G won't eat it because my shredded wheat biscuits aren't coated in sugar.  His are.

G vacuumed the floors and carpets, made the bed and is now walking the dog.  I mopped the floors and have some wash in the washer.  I repotted the gardenia.  We have books (and book sale paperwork) to pick up at the library, my eyeglasses need an adjustment and we were going to the bank but it can wait until Monday.  I'm tired.  And hungry.  See what happens when I eat carbs?????

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Morning Chainsaw

The Tree Man is back this morning and they are taking down the big oak tree out front (the triple), very carefully, because of the power lines.  That's G in the light colored shirt.  Almost everything in back has been chipped.  The headless trees are still standing and they may come back later to cut them into 4 foot chunks and carry them to waiting trucks.  This is getting to be quite an operation.

The rain has stopped.  Yesterday was cold and later in the day it started raining quite hard.  At the Mall, in Portland, everyone was bundled up in fleece.  June.  The Farmer's Almanac was correct.  A cold, wet June. I have seedlings to plant once all the work in the back is finished.  I don't want to get in the way.

I wore black cotton pants that I bought in August (I think) of 2007.  The year of the Diet.  They are size 14 and I remember wanting to buy the size 12 because I thought the 14 was a bit too big.  They fit just as they did in 2007.  A bit of extra room in the hip and thigh.  Not form fitting as is usually the case with cotton mixed with spandex.  I wore two half zip tops.  One red and white stripe cotton knit and the other a solid red sweatshirt.  And my red flats.  I looked "dressed".

The size 14 Eddie Bauer jeans still do not fit.  I COULD get them zipped if I tried very hard.  But I don't think I would be comfortable.  So clothes from that time period are fitting and the weight is still NOT coming off.  I had lost most of my weight from my rear end in 2007.  Which, I think, is why clothes, especially pants, don't fit now.  When the jeans fit, the blazer jacket will button.  These are my two "weight loss" indicators right now.

Yesterday we shopped.  I couldn't find anything I wanted at the Art Supply.  I did buy an Indigo Tie Dye Kit at the last minute which will dye up to 15 tee shirts.  I want to use it on my faded blue work shirts and a few stained white long sleeve tees.  I want to make dots on the top and sleeves of the tees.

At William Sonoma I got cutting board cream.  This is the same recipe as Spoon Oil.  Beeswax and food grade mineral oil.  I will be rubbing it into my cutting boards and wooden spoons.  I also got a Good Grips salad spinner to replace my old, not so good, one.

At Home Goods I bought extra hot Dijon mustard from France.  You know I love French stuff.  And I bought an All Clad pan on sale.  Same size as the last three I have purchased in the past two years.  They look larger in the store.  Now, I have to give one of them to EACH of my children.  Even though they don't want them.  Well, my son might.  He does have a small collection of All Clad.

Lunch was at Longhorn and I had a small Caesar salad and the Longhorn all beef chili.  I wasn't sure I was going to be happy with my choice.  But I was.  I asked for sour cream.  The chili was super delicious and just right in the spicy department.  Best of all it was hot.  I have been eating mostly cold foods.  Salads, tuna salad, ham and cheese roll ups and cold egg omelets.  Hot food has been in short supply.  When we got our check I asked if I could have another serving of chili  "to go".  Our server thought this was wonderfully amusing.  I have chili in the fridge.

Whole Foods and Trader Joes was next.  Whole Foods didn't have anything I could eat.  Too many carbs, so we left with very large beets (roasting in the oven right now) and two very nice fat artichokes.
We did better at Joes.  G got the mushroom rice bowls he liked so much, I got marinara sauce, olive oil. reduced salt pistachios (for G) and one sugar free chocolate bar with 1 effective gram of carbs.  If I had read the package label carefully, I would have bought a dozen bars.  Dinner was some sugar free rhubarb sauce I had in the fridge with original Cool Whip (1 carb per T).

Regular Cool Whip has a significantly lower number of carbs than the reduced Lite Cool Whip.  They lower the calories and increase the carbs.  Totally WRONG for anyone with a carb problem.  Whole milk yogurt has 10 grams of carb and the low fat or non fat has from 38 to 70 grams of carbs.  Check it out yourself.  We would all do better to eat the full fat stuff.  Less will keep you satisfied longer.  Perhaps that is why we were never hungry as kids.  We drank whole milk with every meal.

Whole Foods had no "ingredient list" for their Gelato.  And the guys in the fake chef coats assured me the stuff was FULL of sugar.  Why can't they make a no sugar/full fat gelato?  All I wanted was a sample scoop of chocolate.  I will be asking the local guys (Gelato Fiasco) if they can attempt an Atkins friendly gelato which will also be Diabetic friendly.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Topless Trees

The chain saw was in use all day today as limbs and tops were cut from the 15 trees in the backyard.  The yard is littered with cut branches and 16 foot tall topless trees.  It looks like a war zone.  Ugly.

Tomorrow they will chip all day and then cut the topless trees into 4 foot segments and carry everything off to a local meat cutting plant.  They use a wood fired boiler to heat water and accept any wood--even pine for the boiler.

Things always have to look worse before they can look better.  G feels that I won't like all the newfound "sun" and open look to this side of the yard.  But I can already see the hardwoods (maples and oaks) perking up a bit and enjoying the front row after so many years of standing in the wings.  The little shed even looks cuter now that it is out in the open.

The shredder is out front waiting for morning.  It's the huge kind that they use in horror movies to shred bodies.  Shiver!

We are "vacationing" by eating out and I had a bacon cheeseburger (no bun) at Applebee's today for lunch with steamed veggies instead of fries.  It didn't really fill me up so I needed to have some cheese and ham 2 hours later.  Dinner was salmon, oven roasted with lemon butter sauce and broccoli.  This is the third time in my life I ate salmon and it was good.  G had Saltimbocca ala Roma.  I stayed with the diet. Today made 3 weeks on Induction.  Tomorrow, I begin week four with coffee cream, avocados, radishes and 5 turnips which I intend to make into "turnip fries".  I hope they taste better than the MIM do.

I finished the Icelandic mystery book today.  And I have been dreaming of ways to make the French fabric circles appliqued to squares more "exciting".  By adding more hand appliqued parts to some of the squares.  They were too simple.  I like complicated things.  Tomorrow is Flag Day.  Fly Old Glory if you have one.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where Will It End

Clipped from the New York Times Opinion Pages:

I think this is all part of the me generation's march to self-absorption. It started long before MySpace and Facebook entered the picture. That social network stuff is just the result of and the raison d'etre of this same group of people. Me, myself and I. That's all that matters anymore and now they have a way of documenting it in living color. Who cares what these people are doing? Why would I be interested? However, they think that everything they do is interesting.

This makes me, ever so slightly, ashamed of even posting on a blog.  But, I don't think everything I do is interesting to anyone but me, I don't "collect" Friends and I enjoy reading my own blog words.  This is Social Interaction Lite without too much narcissism.   I wish there was a spelling that put the "me" in "narcissism".

Before The Tree Cutting

I will be taking another set of pictures when these scruffy pines are gone.  The team is here working.  I can hear the chain saw.  The Tree Man is getting the big chipper into position.  My husband and the dog are outside watching.  G now wants the shoe spikes so he can climb trees like the professionals.  I wonder if I should get my tourniquet first aid kit ready?

These pictures are the only proof I have that the sun has shone this month.  Today is cool, overcast and damp.  My perennials are growing like weeds.  G's poppy (I purchase plants I know he will enjoy) is blooming--a very large, very red flower  on a plant that should be PINK.  It was pink when I bought it last year. Pink with a black center.  The light here in the house just shifted.  And I see a shade on the wall.  SUN.  Perhaps we can get the grass cut today after all.

I finally had time (and G) to get the king mattress rotated so I could add the wool mattress pad.  So now the bed is topped with this luxuriously fluffy wool layer, smooth real linen sheets and the new down blanket.  Heavenly.  I haven't asked G what he thought but I hope it was pleasant.

G worked all afternoon cleaning up his office.  I scrubbed the hall bathroom (his) clean and only need to mop the floors today.  I did about five loads of laundry and just about have the bathtub in my bathroom empty.  I use it as a big laundry basket.

I had soup with corn (a no- no vegetable) yesterday and ended the day with a sugar free jello.  This morning I was back down having "lost" the pound I "gained" yesterday.  I am just going to keep going and stop weighing myself (or weighing myself and ignoring the result, unless it's a good thing).  I started the morning with a MIM topped with a sausage patty and a slice of American cheese. (an Atkins sausage biscuit with cheese) Now I have to count the carbs.  I find I am happier with the addition of the fiber in the Flax meal. I added more cinnamon and a pinch of salt to make it taste sort of better.  I also microwaved the batter in a square container and it seemed like a "sandwich" after I cut the MIM in half.  Sometimes appearances can make you think you are having something you like, when you aren't.

G is shredding the papers he removed from his office.  Riley is monitoring the tree guys from inside the house.  I am going upstairs to do my Pilates.  See you later.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I was contemplating a picture of the trash strewn hallway (I am deep cleaning the hall bath) for this post but, thought better of that idea, and walked past the collage scrap box in the dining room and took a photo of this magazine picture.  We have all these sedum at work and wouldn't this make a lovely display on a table?  I would need that adorable bowl to build this.

I slept very well, indeed, last night, post mouse, and woke up relaxed and rested.  Then I weighed myself and my world tumbled back into the duldrums.  I need support.  I need diet buddies.

Three weeks of strictly following Atkins Induction and I have not, repeat NOT, lost any weight.  I am counting calories (even though Atkins says we don't have to if we count carbs) and am around and under 1200 a day (even eating all that fat).  I should be losing weight on that alone.  I WAS losing weight when I was "cheating" on Atkins (still 1200 a day) and having a small serving of cereal with soy milk,  or a banana, or yogurt and fruit or even a slice of toast with my bacon and eggs.  I never cheated by having pasta, rice or potatoes.  Whoa, I did have mashed potatoes with my meat loaf, way back a month ago.  The problem with the cheating is the carbs and sugar in them, made me hungry.

The "Muffin in a Minute" with 1.7 carbs and the texture (and taste) of a dish sponge, isn't going to win points with me as a bread substitute, but it does work to "regulate" my digestive tract.  My Ahem, digestive tract, has been functioning the past few days, which is very nice.

Another "good thing" or better still, a "very good thing" is my lack of appetite and/or cravings for food. Yesterday we had a class at work (grasses) and we served the "cake" that I love so much.  They had the chocolate one with the chocolate chips and I looked at the platter of cake and walked right past.  I was not "haunted" by the thought of that cake-- in fact, I forgot about it completely.  Like that donut a few weeks ago.  You know how I feel about a donut.  Love!

And, instead of two 5 ounce cans of tuna for my lunchtime salad, I had only one and it was plenty with a good amount of mayo and a large green salad with olive oil and vinegar.  The ham and cheese roll up is still tasty and I have a tub of radishes (dipped in salt) as my vegetable.  Salty and crunchy like chips.  I plan to try the Turnip Fries from the Atkins book with our next round of burgers.

The food choices are no longer a problem.  I can always find something to eat or buy something to eat as every restaurant serves meat and salad.  I even have treats that I haven't tried yet to reward myself with if I stay on track.  Flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream and bacon pizza (just eating the cheese and bacon off the pizza).  Not on the same day or even in the same week!

What do I do?  Just keep going and forget about the weight?  I am not being rewarded by fitting into smaller clothes, either.  And no one is remarking that I have lost weight, which would be a tremendous motivator.  I sleep better than usual.  I have no food cravings.  I have plenty of energy.  I don't seem to be retaining fluids.

Help me.  Please.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mouse In The House

Yes, Dear Readers, we had a mouse in the house!  I was in the bathroom and something caught my eye--a little movement.  Nothing.  Then it happened again and this time I saw it was a small grey mouse.  I screamed.  G came running and he and Riley tried to catch the little rodent.  No luck.  We lost him in my closet.

I suggested a hotel.

G suggested a mousetrap in the closet and another in the bathroom.  I was sent to gather cheese for the traps.  We placed the traps and I spent a long time (not sleeping) listening for a nice, final "snap".  Nothing.  This morning G checked the traps and found both empty. I was very tired.

I went to work (it was so cold today that I wore my shirt, sweatshirt and my rain jacket to stay warm) and hoped that Riley would find the mouse and shake it to death.  He didn't.

I have been expecting to see the mouse running around, everywhere, and have been postponing bedtime for that reason.  Shaking my clothing out, in case, the mouse was in them. Checking my shoes before slipping my feet inside.

It's 11 pm, G just walked by.  He had the trap and the mouse.  From my closet.  Goodbye mouse.  Good night. I think I will sleep like a rock.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


How brave do you have to be to just start ripping out the cabinets in your kitchen?  Or would it be called stupid?  I am so tired of things being where they are.  I want a new, different, bare kitchen with open shelving, hardwood floors, the sink, fridge and stove I REALLY want to own and USE.

At this point, I don't think I would even care if it stayed a construction zone for months on end (or years).  As long as it was OPEN, Streamlined, and ME.  Think German Industrial.

I am like the buds of the Stephanotis.  READY TO OPEN and perfume the room with my being.  Armed with a crowbar.  I, am woman, hear me DEMO!  Are you laughing or crying?

It's MY kitchen.  You would hope that at some point in the 20 to 30 (or more) years I live here that it would, at some point, be what I wanted and not just what was here when we bought the house.

This rant brought on by the third straight morning to find a big, juicy black Carpenter ant crawling up my leg as I type these posts.  Somewhere, nearby, is a wet wood nest of the damned things.  And the fridge ice maker was the last thing to leak around here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Where Has This Smile Gone?

This was me, happy, at 238 pounds give or take.  Huge Flax linen shirts and baggy 20 or 22W pants.  I thought I looked nice and was pleased to be wearing a belt at the waist.  I found this photo upstairs while watering the plants that remain up in the "new" art room and getting ready to do my Pilates.  The arm around me belongs to my son.  We might have just left the See's candy store out in California, full of free  candy samples.

I hardly ever smile like this anymore.  Isn't that a sad realization?

An email arrived with this comment:  " You may not be smiling as much but you are laughing. Note the many times you have added LOL to a post and made me laugh along with you!"  Right you are Marianne. I DO laugh quite a bit these days.

Seed Planting & Aleve

I took two Aleve yesterday after my shower and my dinner of a ham and cheese roll up and sliced crisp radishes.  That's the last I remember.  Then I woke up on the couch and it was 2 am.  It's now close to 10 and I just finished my breakfast eggs, drinking coffee and getting ready for the day in the garden.  I have seeds to plant, tomato cages to arrange, a dog to walk.  Plus I promised to make G an actual meal.  Last night he had my "go to" easy fast solo dinner.  Marinara and cheese tortellini.  It's something he can make for himself.  I got home from work at about 7:40.  Tonight, Chicken Marsala.

I wish I could have had the time (back) I wasted at work yesterday.  Customers were few and far between and everyone was stretching and trying to ease sore back muscles.  Standing around on cement is a back killer.  I also want to find an hour to return to my exercises.  The days seem to go by so quickly when you have a list of "enjoyable" things to do.  Tedious things and the day just drags as it does at work.

I wish to correct impressions as to the "inexpensive" tree removal.  I AM spending thousands of dollars. The amount of money I am spending amazes me.  I am reluctant to part with $20 or $40 dollars but get the number into the thousands and it seems easy enough for me to write a check.  THAT is how MUCH I want those trees GONE!!!!  The trees behind these ugly pines are very thin and light deprived.  Some maples and oaks.  A few birch.  Nothing I would call a "nice" tree.  No specimen trees like horse chestnut.  In the front yard, I have several delightful crab trees and an assortment of flowering shrubs like Viburnum, Beauty Bush, lilac and rhododendrons.  In back I have roses, hydrangea, weigelia, forsythia, and a few Christmas tree type pines G found in the woods and moved into the yard.  I like those.  I think having more "good" maples would be nice, especially in the fall when they change color.  No sugar maples, sad to say, as this land has never been lived on in all the years it has existed.  Until now.  Always a woodland.

A new Juddii viburnum I purchased (flowering and very fragrant) is nearly dead.  It has only 6 viable leaves at this time and date.  All the flowers dried up and died.  The root ball was solid, hard packed clay.  A coworker thinks it's from the same nursery that her dogwood came from.  Solid clay and as soon as she planted it in good soil, it died.  This is what we are selling at work.  We each bought these specific items because they were NOT the ordinary stuff we always have for sale.  They were different and when we did research (yes, we looked them up) the varieties were considered to be excellent choices.  Still are.  Just not from the nursery we got them from.  Is it any wonder sales are down in the nursery part of the business???

The greenhouse/business down the road is closing on July 3rd.  Their prices have always been high.  They never had a sale.  And in the end, they lost business to anyone with a sale.  I am thinking of going over and asking if they plan to sell any of their smaller greenhouses.  They are old fashioned wood and glass affairs and those are the kind I like.  When we first moved here, I would visit two or three times in the season and usually spend $100 each time.  Once I started working at my own greenhouse, I stopped shopping there.  They had terrible perennials but lovely zinnias.  Every rose I bought there, died.  I don't remember the seedlings doing very well in the vegetable garden, as they are usually overtall. (buy the short stocky seedlings!) I always wanted a hanging basket, but at close to $60 each, they were too expensive.  I enjoyed wandering around with a Radio Flyer wagon to carry my purchases, looking at everything, visiting the old glass houses in early Spring. I often wish we had wagons where I work. Their mulch was good, I think.  Anyway, they, like most Mainers, think their land and business is worth more than anyone wants to pay.  So, it will sit.  Vacant and decaying as the months and years go by.  The property has been for sale for over a year.

The coworker who bought the (dead) dogwood asked me to consider buying the business and she would come work for me.  I asked HER to buy the business and G & I would come work for HER.  Both of us would entirely change the business to more of a "boutique" service oriented greenhouse.  Buy it and we would install it (taking the best of the guys from our present employer).  My town has more people over the age of 60 living here than any other age group.  And they retired from lucrative careers.  There is money here.  Lots of it.  And people with money want SERVICE.  Original, creative, service.  Why else would they ask ME to fill their window boxes.   AND, we have people over the age of 60 who never left the state of Maine, never saved  money for retirement and want everything "on sale" as cheap as possible.  Those seniors can continue to shop at Walmart.

As a side note:  G has been enjoying a good laugh on the People of Walmart website.  And the other day he had an actual Person of Walmart sitting in his restaurant.  In low cut pants and a skimpy tee, with the wide expanse of her entire naked,  rear end exposed.  I have heavy, female, coworkers who wear these low rider jeans and everytime they bend over we all see their butt crack.  Worse than any plumber.  The  loader boys wear low slung pants but their rears are covered with boxers.  So, when their pants slip off their hips, we only get to see plaid.

 G's favorite on the website was the 500 pound (or more) guy on a motorized scooter, dressed in several red plastic bags shopping in a Walmart.  The best states are Texas and Georgia.  The worst was a woman in shorts with her urine bag taped to her leg.  Really.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Dirt, Mosquitos & Black Flies

Yesterday I was doing okay.  Watered the garden. Walked the dog.  Planted all the tomatoes.  Planted all the peppers. Called the Tree Guy.  I never got around to planting my zucchini, yellow squash, radishes or cucumbers because by the time I got around to them, the black flies had found me and were feasting on my blood.   First Vegetable Garden Lesson: Get work done before the late afternoon.

The Tree Guy. Sigh! He still has the most beautiful eyes. And a cute haircut.  But I think he was in much better shape the first time he came to cut down trees, of course it was March when I called the first time.  He had on a pea coat and the snow and the winter sun made him look like the most handsome guy I had ever seen.  He's put on weight. Gotten older. And he was wearing a tank top.  Never attractive on a man, in my humble opinion.  And I am still 20 years older than he is.

A significant number of trees are being cut down next week.  Twenty or more.  And a big area was chosen for bark chips.  Pine in one area and oak chips in a separate area for mulching blueberries. And.  Big News--everything is being hauled away.  The cut trees, the junk around the yard and even the 20 year old wood pile on the driveway pad.  What can't be hauled will be ground down or chipped.  The Tree Guy and I agreed that any "collateral" damage or loss of even more trees is "okay" with me.  It's not like I don't have over 200 trees growing up close to the house.

The two very tall oaks that are 6 to 8 feet from the front of my house are coming down.  Insurance won't pay enough to rebuild the house if they fall during a storm.  And the angle of growth says they will fall on the house.   Three huge oak triplets at the end of the driveway have roots that are "humping" up the asphalt on the driveway, causing cracks, which encourage ants to set up housekeeping.  They are coming down and the stumps will be ground down to 6 inches below the surface.  This isn't inexpensive.  The original 15 trees came in at $950 and will take less than a full day to be taken out.  And then we started adding more.  They will be here working Monday thru Saturday.  Next week.

When they leave, it's as if the trees never existed.  There is no evidence of the tree even being where it was.  It's like magic.  No branches, no leaves.  Just a pile of wood chips and they would even haul that away if we didn't want the chips.

G will call a driveway guy he knows (from when he owned the McD's) and we'll get the driveway repaired and resurfaced after all the tree work is done.  Shiny, smooth and black.  Good as new.

New roof, new furnace and hot water storage tank, less trees (more sun) and a resurfaced driveway.  I am spending my inheritance to invigorate my home and property.  I want my home to look good.  Well cared for because it is a valuable asset.  And G says we should enjoy living here.

I am embarking on an additional 8 days of Induction.  My test strips show an increase (to small) in my ketosis.  I'm still in the light pink areas and need to move into the purple areas of the strips.  Yesterday I sat in the car, happily, while G had an ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles.  In all honesty, I wasn't even interested in having ice cream for myself.  It felt odd.  The "not wanting".  But good.  I don't think I have ever been in control of my appetite before, in my whole life.  Never, not been "hungry".  So I will continue and perhaps be doing this for the remainder of my life.  Who knows.  Eight Days.  Small steps.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Why Me? Topics that Shock & Dismay Riley

Riley may have looked like this a few years ago but the expression now is the same, only more adult, when caught doing something naughty.  "This hole?"  You think I dug "this hole"?   In order to stay cool, Riley has been digging dirt holes in shady areas next to trees and shrubs.  Close to the house so he can monitor my activities.  The holes themselves don't bother me, but the dirt he tracks into the house does.  I like smooth, clean floors in the summer.  Barefoot floors.  I have "dog dirt" floors. Ugh!

I found the stinky thing in the fridge.  Who knew beans could develop such a smell all on their own in a closed container?  No wonder they give us gas.

I also went to Target, yet again, to find undergarments that fit.  I even used a measuring tape to assure a good fit.  A 38D is wasted on a 64 year old woman.  At 20 I was a 34B wearing push ups.  Riley's facial expression was the above when I discussed this with him this morning.  OMG why didn't she take me to Doggie Day Care today!!!

Riley is also distressed by the red tape tied around 13 trees in the backyard.  I am waiting for a return call from Mr. Driscoll the Tree Man.  These trees convey squirrels into the yard where Riley is under the impression he will someday catch one in his teeth and shake it to death.  Riley sits and watches the tape flutter in the breeze and I can almost see him shutter.

Today is day 14 of Induction, done by the rules.  I am in a vague ketosis state (burning fat).  My body HAS changed.  You never can see this yourself.  Other people notice before I do.  But yesterday I went back to doing Pilates and let me just say, WOW, what a difference.  Less of me everywhere and the exercises felt good, not like I was struggling to lift heavy folds of fat.

 G is "Shocked and Amazed" to see me eating MEAT.  Yesterday we grilled burgers (our favorite summertime meal and I usually have a veggie burger) and I had two well done beef burgers with bacon, cheese, mayo, pickles, tomato and lettuce.  No bun, no ketchup and no onions. And it was DELICIOUS.  Yum!!!  Any vague cravings I was having have now gone away completely since I started putting Splenda (1/3 of a packet is plenty sweet for me) and cream in my coffee.  I do dream of eating bread, but that isn't too often, because I fall right to sleep now.  Not much time for dreaming. I thought I would have more of a problem giving up pasta.

I planted three more perennials into the bed by the stoop ( where we sit most evenings after work) so I want us to have lovely things to look at.  I added a hollyhock, a salvia, and a mallow.  Purple, dark blue, and purple /white stripe. The perennials I had planted in the stoop containers last summer have come back (I transplanted them into the ground in October- waste not) so I have scabiosa, gaura and penstemon returning.  Blue, pink and red.  Patty gave me a veronica or hyssop.  A lovely blue.  And I bought a strawberry jar and planted wild strawberries in it for G.  We have them growing all over in the back peony bed.  Tiny, tiny berries.  Very sweet.  Nothing shocking in this paragraph.

G finished replacing the woven plastic webbing on our two aluminum lawn chairs yesterday.  Used up every last bit of the webbing he had found at yard sales when we lived in Chicago.  Now we have to look for more.  G usually buys partially used bags.  If you see any--think of us.  I'll pay postage and everything.  We don't care what color the webbing is.  Just needs to be 2 and a quarter inches wide.  The more colors on the chair, the merrier.

Tree Man just called.  He'll be here at three.  Riley won't eat his breakfast and wants a walk so I think we'll get that out of the way.  I want to work in the garden in the afternoon when it's cooler and transplant my tomatoes and peppers into the earth and set in some seeds for zucchini, yellow squash and cukes.  A busy, dirty day.  I love having a day to myself to work in the garden.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

So Many Things To Tell You

And not all of them very interesting.  Ha!  this picture is from the dictionary where I was looking for a picture of a snake and instead found this flower I had pressed into the pages nearby.  I think it's very "artistic" with the text behind.

Remember the compost pile that needed turning?  Well, I turned it, AFTER figuring out how to get the LIVE snake out of it.  I have been feeling all "snake-ie" ever since. I wasn't even thinking about snakes and then I noticed a slither and looked closer and almost screamed.  It was looking right at me, whipping it's tongue in and out, in anticipation of biting me.  G says it's a garden snake and not much of a threat.  Riley likes chasing them across the lawn when he gets a chance.  Me? Not so interested in seeing a snake.  I threw rocks at it until it slithered off.  But, I had to stay alert.  It did return while I was working on the pile.   I managed to sift a nice pile of compost out of bin #3 to use when planting the new blueberry "Elliott".   And I gave all the other blueberries some compost also.  I then lifted and turned the stuff in #2 and #1 (putting it in the now empty #3) and added straw, smelly grass and shredded junk mail.  Now I have to dig and sift the "good" stuff out of #2 (where the snake lives) and use the compost to plant my tomatoes.

Sam came over and while she was waiting for me to do something, she found a patch of four leaf clover in the front garden bed.  Right under my nose.  I found two by myself and she took the SIXTEEN she found home with her.  Sam says I will always be able to find four leaf clover in that spot as they are "predisposed" to make that many leaves.  The daily (local) paper showed a young girl with 6 and 7 leaf clover that she found.  Are they luckier???

Yesterday, Saturday, the new schedule for the coming week was posted and my employer had to go around and say to employees "did you look at the schedule?" and then discuss why their names were not on the schedule anymore and thank them for doing a good job, promising a call back in the fall, etc.  He discussed the reduction of days and hours with others.  Five days became three and sometimes two.  In an interesting twist, my three days became four (with no discussion).  Friday is back on my dance card.  One Friday without me was more than enough, I guess.  The college kid that had the dubious honor of Friday greenhouse said it was "awful" and is happy I am back on the Friday schedule.  I think I'm okay with it.   My greenhouse coworker has turned in her notice but will not work the two weeks as she was reduced from five days to three.  She has a farm job that pays much better.  7 am to 4 everyday.  60 hours a week if she wants.

I am reading a book.  But losing interest.  So I may give up on it and try another.  TiVo XL isn't recording anything but is offering us a free month's trial of with old episodes of television shows etc.  There are shows I missed in the past few years and it would be entertaining to watch them.  Life, season two of Fringe,  Life on Mars (all the episodes),  EZ Streets (all the episodes) and even old movies.  Perhaps, episodes of Becker.  My dad's favorite.

Today I am going back to Pilates and Yoga because my back feels much better.  And I miss it.  My omelet is made (sausage, red peppers, kale, cheese) but it can wait until I have done my exercises.  Counting net carbs is really a pain.  Adding, subtracting.  Tedious. But I now realize that I wasn't eating enough net carbs and this may have stalled the weight loss. Only 2 more days and the two weeks is done.  I don't know if I will stay in Induction for a third week.  If the scale was showing a weight loss I would be more motivated. If I stay I get to eat something extra.  I forget what it is. Yes, my clothes are still looser and I feel more energetic.  And yes, I have no food cravings other than wanting ICE CREAM!!!!.  What I need is a HIGH FAT low sugar ice cream.  Is there such a thing?  Please?  I have been whipping heavy cream and eating that unsweetened.  So divine.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Too Much, Too Little, Not Enough

This is the way I am feeling today.  I have already deleted a written post.  My bathroom scale finally posted a weight loss.  For the "entire" time I have been dieting (this included the "sort of Atkins" I tried early on), I have managed to lose 10 pounds.  Today I had a 2 pound loss for the entire 10 days of Induction (6 pounds for the 14 days is "normal").  I have been reading the Atkins forum comments and I am quite normal here.  Either something is different in today's food or humans have changed molecularly, but Atkins no longer works as it had in the 70's and 80's. I think it's the added vegetables or my age.  I'm no scientist.  I'm staying on it because for the FIRST time in my life, I am not hungry.  I eat.  It's good.  But I don't want more.  No cravings.

I just polished off a protein shake made with unsweetened, unflavored soy milk.  I can have soy products because they are NOT dairy and have few carbs.  It was very good.  With four (forbidden) frozen strawberries it came to 12 net carbs.  I have 6 carbs left for the remainder of the day.  I, obviously, have not been eating enough carbs.  

The picture at the top is the in progress 12 by 12 Chartreuse piece where I missed the deadline.  My concept is the mixture of yellow and black that produces chartreuse.  This is what I came up with in the 15 minutes I had before having to go do something else.  These ideas of mine would be easier to do if I painted them, on paper, but I am intrigued by this piece.  There is good stuff here.

The weather outside is: sunny, cloudy, warm and cold.  Riley & I walked the full 3 miles today. Now that I have the time away from work--I will get back to walking the dog. Riley asked for only 3 treats along the walk (in comparison to 20 before).  G & I think Riley's new holistic/natural food is doing a better job of making him feel "full".  Like me.  Riley is even skipping his lunch because he just isn't hungry.  I don't skip lunch.  I have skipped dinner, though.

I bought marigolds to plant between my tomato plants (but it's too chilly to plant tomatoes) and a new blueberry bush (Elliott) a late season producer which may even self pollinate.  And the compost piles need to be rotated (with the grass clippings and straw added).   I guess I could go get that done.  Riley is chewing on the new marrow bone I gave him after his walk.  I should give him a bowl of water.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Friend Of Twelve By Twelve- Spice

I can't believe I got this finished by the deadline.  Instead of the literal interpretation of the selected spice colors I did more of a "spicy" hot sauce vibe.  I used hand painted fabric (my own and Sonji Hunt's), slivers of an African print blouse and commercial cotton.  I set myself the parameters of using what still remained in the workroom and didn't go upstairs and use any of the 75% I moved up there this winter.  The red print looks much sharper in person.  I may also paint over the top of some portions.  Can you tell I have been watching Quilting Arts on PBS.  Nothing's finished until you add some " advertised product".  I did not use any fusibles.

G and I went out to the Freeport Cafe for breakfast and I had the scrambled egg "bowl" with onion, peppers, ham and cheese.  I skipped the home fries that came in the regular bowl that G ordered and the toast.  I also tried the little packet of Splenda in my coffee and 1/3 of a packet was a good amount to sweeten my coffee.

Working only three days now.  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week.  And the weekdays I work till 7 or 7:15.  Promised the Thursday crew a blueberry cake.  For some reason, baking for the boys makes the diet seem less restrictive.

On the way home, G & I did some shopping at the Freeport outlets.  I purchased a new down blanket for our bed.  The winter down comforter was getting too heavy and hot now that summer has arrived in Maine.  G & I don't like the cotton quilt on the bed--it doesn't feel cozy enough. I also purchased a wool bed topper to put on our bed to make it more luxurious.  50% off the $500 price tag. Then we stopped at the Gap outlet and I bought 50% off long sleeve tees, tank tops and v neck tees.  The v neck tees have to go back--I want them looser.

Riley and G just got back from their walk in the woods.  Riley went swimming (to get all the mud off himself) and is now wet and doggy.  But VERY happy.  G is getting the stoop chairs and the little table down from the attic and I want to plant flowers into my stoop container boxes (they now have sturdy new bottoms).  I bought a fragrant varigated leaf lantana (yellow flowers) to add to the Scabiosa (blue) and petunias white and purple with a white stripe). I also have a flat of pink snapdragons.  All my favorite colors.  Sky blue, yellow, pink and white.  Add some lime green and I'm happy.  I did want to buy some paint for the boxes as I don't think the green I used is "pow" enough.

And I have to do the weekly grocery shopping.  The fridge is almost bare.  I really should empty it and wash all the shelves today.  I do like a squeaky clean fridge.  So much for a "day off" huh?