Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taking A Leap Into March

Today was a blur.  I was awake very early (way before 5 am) and then again, at 5:30 and finally for real at 8 am.  Must have been because this is such a weird, extra, day.  After the clothes dryer was repaired (it was squeaking) and the snowblower prepared for the "big storm", G & I ventured out to Lowe's.   I had an idea that I wanted to purchase new things for the hall bath.  New lights.  New faucets.  New medicine cabinet.  And we did.  Koehler brushed nickel.  Nothing shiny.  A nice, mellow matt finish.  Around $600 to revamp a tired bath until we are ready to tear it all up and add tile floors, new toilet and a new sink plus (a taller) cabinet.  All the things we just bought will still be used except, perhaps, the medicine cabinet.  And that could still be returned.  I would prefer a lovely framed mirror, sans cabinet.  And, of course, fresh paint.  The stuff I applied 20 years ago is not my taste now and is heavy duty which means lots and lots of sanding will be necessary to remove the paint.

Our next stop, after driving around in circles looking for an open "handicapped" spot, was Walmart.  I stopped in to purchase my Atkins supplies.  Eggbeaters, sausage patties, yogurt for G, cream and Splenda. The prices are so much lower than at my grocery.  Walmart is the only place where all the handicapped spots are occupied.  All the time.

Then we strapped on the YakTrax and headed into the woods with Riley.  Ice lined paths.  He was delighted with his walk.  So many things to smell.  Then home for lunch (Riley),  laundry for me, and G was doing something and then he had lunch (leftover pasta plus some of my sausage crumbles) and then he left for work.  I still have two loads of wash to finish.  Then it will be time for me to eat my dinner.

I have been wondering if there is anyone else out there who has thought about having the outside of their house repainted a new color, even though the existing paint is still in excellent condition?  My second choice is buying a new house to live in that is the perfect color.  OMG!  There is a cute little grey and white cape on the daily dog walk.  I like the house but would like it on my property.  I've considered showing it to my house painter.  Telling him I want my house to look like that.  The trim, the windows, the doors would all have to be changed.  He would look at me and shake his head and ask "are you crazy?"  Then he would suggest I buy a new house.

No pictures of me wearing any new clothes today.  The light was bad and the repair guy was in the bathroom where I take pictures.  Yes, my washer/dryer is in the master bath.  What a loser house I live in.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Everyday Grey Sweater

With J Crew scarf.  I thought this was the most artistic shot from the morning.  The ever-present grey sweater, getting a bit baggy and needing a wash.  I did wet my hair and make it presentable.

And you also get the Swingy New BLack Sweater (the $7.99) over the grey sweater.  I also have on the dark pewter jeans.  Not the black jeans.  And not the blue jeans.  The Swingy Black Sweater may just have been my favorite purchase so far this year.  Who knew?

I am going to answer a Reader Question.  How does Riley know how to ring the bell?  Well, when he was a mere pup, we had a few dog training books.  One suggested a bell attached to the door used most often for "going out to pee".  The dog would hear the bell each time he went out to do "business" (door opening) and pretty soon the sound would be synonymous with the process.  The book's author even mentions that some dogs will eventually "ring the bell" to go out.  Not all.  Riley figured it out one day when he had been standing by the door waiting to go out and we were not paying attention.  So he pushed his nose against the bell and we came running.  He's used it ever since.  Of course, the breeder who bred Riley is KNOWN for breeding highly intelligent dogs.  Riley has the equivalent of a 2 year old's vocabulary.  He understands words and simple sentences.  He also understands "we will do this after I do this".  As soon as I do "this"  even if hours have gone past, he is ready to the thing he wants.  He waits for me to do that thing I said was before the activity he wants to do (walk).

Anyone else happy that all this Oscar crap is over with?  I watched Downton Abbey and Old Curiosity Shop instead.

I have been reading blogs (this morning) regarding eating way more fat than I have been, less protein and even less carbs.  Fast Fat Fast.  1000 calories a day and the majority of them fat.  It's supposed to get you moving on weight loss after stalling for a long period of time.  Like me.  Not gaining any weight (other than water) but not losing anything either.  I usually have been able to lose at least 1.5 pounds in a month. Not so now.  And, realistically, I would be very happy to just be 5 pounds lighter right now. I got very close, just before the vacation, and wish I hadn't gone (I was 3 pounds away from goal).  Eventually, I want to weigh a total of 15 pounds less than I do now.  Which is one size smaller.   I think ten pounds is a size.  Then I will be happy to just maintain for the rest of my life.

I want to get to the "rest of my life" part by May.  In order for that to happen, I need to get the weight loss part moving again.  I feel like my body is being all crabby and stubborn. Saying "no I won't".  It feels great on the days when I feel "light" and my clothes slip on easily.  Then, while I am busy being happy, the clothes start feeling snug and I start feeling heavy.  I can be the exact same weight on the scale during all this, which is maddening.  My ring is loose today.  That means I am not retaining water.

I'm going to go walk the dog now.  Bundled up against the wind.

My Slogger's Uni Sandals arrived today.  Lovely green.  Fit perfectly.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Morning Attire

Since I decided, somehow, to take pictures of what I am wearing each day, here is what I have on right now.  Pajama pants, a tee and a baggy sweater from Eddie Bauer.  It has fuzzy messes all over the surface and therefore, can never be worn in public.  Lucky for EB, I had wanted it as a robe/sweater.

I just now carried the largest of the Clivia downstairs since the flower stalks are about to open in lovely yellow orange blossoms.  G will enjoy the show.  It's over four feet across.  I also spent considerable time looking for the discharged black fabric with the wide expanses of white for my Winter 12 by 4 block.  Do you think I could find it?  Like my little green scissors (missing for weeks) the fabric will be discovered in plain sight. Somewhere that I walked past ten or twenty times in each of all those days the little scissors went missing.  I just now found both pieces of fabric.  Now, I just need to walk the dog and then try and figure out how to make what I can see in my mind.

I did try to discharge two other pieces of black.  One refused to do anything.  The other discharged immediately but only to a creamy coffee colored "light".  The best was this gauzy black that discharged right down to pure white.  And, it was the very first black I ever tried to discharge with bleach.  Beginner's luck.  I've heard of women who travel with little bottles of bleach and buy quarter yards and run out to the parking lot to test discharge.  Always looking for the black that will discharge to white.

I can't find the black that discharged to rusty orange either.  I wanted to use both.  If I find one, I will find the other.

My cheesecake turned out just fine.  And baking it in the 8 inch springform made it very tall.  Nice presentation.  I had to go to two groceries to find tiny mandarin oranges. No clementines.  I also found bar cloths which I had been looking for at the Walmarts but couldn't find.  Now I know where Target hides them.  I returned the garden clogs.  Too heavy and stiff.  The ones I ordered online will be here someday.

Riley has eaten his lunch and is making plans to annoy me into taking him for his walk, sooner rather than later.  First, he has to watch and see when I go down to my room to put on outside clothing.  I did NOT sleep well last night and am very tired and cranky.  I don't know why I didn't sleep well.  As soon as I climbed into bed, I knew I wasn't going to sleep.  Stuffy nose, restless thoughts.  Just like the week we were in Florida.  I never slept well.  Always tired.  Actually, I was pretty miserable for the entire week in Florida.

Okay, Riley.  I hear you!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday's Uniform

This is the first time this "outfit" has been out of the closet and off the hanger.  As you can see, my jeans are a bit loose in the caboose.  I have a long sleeve tee under the "just right fitting" men's shirt (M) and the sweater is bulky, but it's what I already owned.  I got the hair right.  This seems to be a fashionable look right now.  Shirt tails hanging below a sweater.  Perhaps not for me.  I will see how long I can stand wearing the weight of all these tops.  It feels too bulky.  The sweaters must be lighter weaves.  And I can add a scarf.

I managed to find something to stand on in the only room with a mirror.  So this is as much of me as you will ever get to see, unless I teeter on the top step, which is always a prelude to stepping off into nothing and then hitting the floor.  I forget that I am "up".  Wasn't that a cute movie?  UP.

The black pants and tunic are in the wash.  I will try to get a picture of the new drapey black sweater that cost $8.  I need to move the snap on the right side to a better position.  I think this is why no one else purchased the sweater.  If I was younger, I would wear the sweater (with a swingy fullness at the bottom) over black leggings (the long hem line covers a multitude of hip sins) and ballet flats.  But I can see this new drapey sweater looking okay over the polka dot skirt this Spring.  Now, if I could just get G to start dressing like he used to.  He was quite the peacock when he was corporate.  Well, he still does look very good when he is at work.  Professional.  Spiffy.  I can't really "over dress" if he is wearing jeans and a sweatshirt to dinner. Until then, I will dress up for lunch dates with my lady friends.  Or the grocery store.

My yellow and gray scarf has undergone two transformations since you last saw it.  I removed a section (the turtleneck fabric) and am now going to sew the sleeves (yes, I repurposed the sleeves) to the tee shirt sections.  This is the body of the tee, front and back, cut up the side seams and under the sleeves and then sewn together so the stripes go around the width and not along the width.  These two sections are folded right sides in and the sleeves are slipped in side and sewn at the outside edges and then I closed the long open seam, but not all the way, as I need to turn the scarf right side out.  I can fold the scarf in half and bring the "tails" (sleeves) out.  They look finished and can even be tied into a bow.  I DID prefer the loop of fabric which I got by simply cutting the body of the shirt off under the sleeves.  I think this would work with any solid colored tee.  I was interested in the stripes, so that is why I kept unsewing and remaking the scarf.  My turtle neck tee was also very long in the body and stretchy which gives me lots room to pull an stretch the scarf.  Your results may vary depending on the stretch of your tee.  Now is a great time to check the clearance racks for really cheap winter tees.  Make scarves!

I woke up this morning and (even though I feel lighter) I had gained half a pound.  I have gained half a pound every morning for the past three days.  I am REALLY limiting what I eat and have not had my usual amount of raw almonds for snacks.  And I have eaten only two meals a day.  My rings were loose yesterday, not so much today (restaurant meal yesterday and I could taste the excess amounts of salt in the food) so I am retaining water.  I have added grapefruit and tangerines to my diet.  There could be enough extra carbs in the fruit to screw with the Atkins Fat Burning Thing.  But I intend to eat citrus until the winter citrus season is over.  I love those little "Cuties".  I would LOVE Tangerine scented body scrub. I should just rub myself with the peels.

I gave myself a facial treatment this morning after my shower.  I want to try the serum mask that French Essence recommended but $118 is way more than I am comfortable spending, even if Cate Blanchard does put it on during transcontinental flights.  Who is this new person writing this blog and what have you done with Joanne?

A quick edit:  I have a bell attached to the back door handle for the dog.  He rings the bell and I know he wants to go.  BUT!  Now he rings when he wants his lunch served.  Exactly at 12 noon.  How does he know?

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Well, not that much happened.  I used up the cream cheese and ricotta I had in the fridge to make a lemon ricotta cheesecake.  Ten minutes in the oven I realized I had misread the amount of sugar (I used granulated Splenda but only 1/4 cup, not 1cup plus 1/4 cup), so I had to pull the pan out of the oven, pour whatever batter I could pour out of the pan, mix in the sugar and then pour the batter back into the pan and return to the oven.   The cheesecake is now chilling in the fridge.  I ground up whatever I had in a bag of pecan halves to make the crust with butter and one Splenda packet.

We walked the dog (G & I) and the woods paths are very icy and parts of the paths are under 6 inches of water, visited the library, returned the wrong sized bras I purchased (on what day?), and then visited Sears so I could try (a second time) to spend the Christmas Gift Card I have.  I found a black wrap sweater and thought, "oh, goody"  the card will be used up only to find the $42 sweater was marked down to $7.99.  80% off.  Then we went to eat.  Dinner.  Really early.  Like old people do.

Oh, and G received his handicapped placards.  So, he parked in the handicapped spots.  We were the only ones using any of the spots today.

I bought some garden clogs at Target and now I get to return them.  G finally ordered Slogger's Uni Sandals for me.  $50 including shipping for two identical pairs.  I have an old worn out pair that I love, but they have no traction (left) on the wet cement floors of the greenhouse.  They are perfectly fine on gravel in the perennial yard.  Closed toe so they don't scoop up gravel like the Crocs do.

I'm full of dinner.  And all the glasses of water I drank with dinner.  And I am sleepy and more than a little crabby.  It was gray and cloudy today and snow is forecast for tomorrow.  Six to eight inches.  Ugh! I have my pj bottoms on and I intend to watch tv until I fall asleep.

Change that forecast to ONE INCH of snow.  Yippee!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Picture of the New Scarf

And I seemed to have aged quite a bit in the hours in between pictures.  And my hair is parted on the opposite side.  This is what I always look like in pictures that others take of me (and why I don't like them).  The pictures I take of myself are mirror images.  Must be the difference.

Look at that crepey chin waddle.  OMG.

For this scarf I just cut the top of the turtle neck tee at the point where the sleeves were attached.  Straight across (following one of the stripes.  Then I cut off the bottom hem as it was making it difficult to "stretch" the fabric.  I pulled the loop over my head, then twisted it and over the head again.  Then fiddle with the folds until it looks good to you.  What I am liking, very much, is that my neck is now warm.  I am finding, this winter, that if my neck is warm, I feel warmer.  I think it comes with being 65.

I might have wanted the stripes to be going the other way (up and down) originally, but that would have required sewing seams and multiple cuts.  This was easier for my first try.

Wednesday I Post A Picture Of The Hair Cut

Now, I think it was styled a bit better yesterday but this is the new "more chic" haircut.  I may try working on the eyebrows with the styling paste.  It may look like it's snowing in my bathroom, but it's just poor housekeeping.  The mirror is covered in smudges.  I plan to return with newspaper and Windex after I have a cup of coffee.  Just had my first sip.  Ah!

Yesterday was a whirlwind.  I am trying to catch my breath this morning.  I spent about an hour in front of the closet, trying on some closet items with the new purchases from yesterday.  The purple top is going to the resale shop or to a friend.  The lime green silk tank still isn't playing well with anything.

I chose a new outfit this morning.  Black jeans, dark charcoal thermal tee, threadbare black and grey tweed tunic sweater. (I'll wear this for a few days straight, changing the tee under the sweater) The dark thermal tee makes the sweater look less threadbare.  I had a twin sweater in woodsy green.  I wore it so often that I could see through it.  I layered it over green tees until it got so transparent I had to throw it away.  I still miss it.  It was my "road trip" sweater.  Cozy, warm, cool, comfy.  A great deal of the transparency was due to the car seat belts.  Rubbing the sweater as I moved around.  I was in charge of the books on tape.  That was when G was a good driver.  No more road trips now.  Much too scary.

The charcoal and gold stripe turtleneck is being cut into a scarf.  I have to decide if I want an infinity circle or a short, wide scarf.  The infinity will have bands of color going around the width.  The short, wide scarf, will have the stripes going east and west.  The knit is elastic and stretchy.  So this should be fun.  I wonder what people make out of the sleeves and neck?  Hats?

It snowed last night.  Just enough to coat all the old snow with a thin layer.  The Town jerks even had the snow plows out last night.  What a joke.  Perhaps a quarter inch of snow.  I guess everyone "needed" some overtime?????

Time to think about making breakfast.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And Tuesday I Had My Hair Cut

I asked for a chic French style haircut and I got one.  Plus a $25 tin of some sort of sticky stuff that holds my hair in place and makes it shiny.  I can run my fingers thru my hair and move it all back into place, where it stays.  I even wore my hat and then rearranged my hair.  I seem to have misplaced my French dictionary.  I wanted to type something French. I have to settle for WOW.

I also returned my dress to CC (Coldwater Creek) and succumbed to the spell of 60% off the lowest sale price.  I now own a new white shirt (very nice) and a silvery jacket that can switch from blazer collar to Mandarin (looks fantastic with my hair) and a tweedy black and white jacket I'm not quite sure about (but was so cheap I just went ahead and bought it.  The salesperson said it would look great with a purple top (which I happen to own and only wore once because it goes with nothing) and black jeans.  We'll see. Wearing a color like purple scares me.  I really don't wear much color at all.

At TJ Maxx I shopped for THE item I actually went in there for:  a pink scarf.  I also picked up a black and off white print silk and cashmere scarf which was reduced in price (and looks fantastic with my hair) and a Calvin Klein sheath dress (14) in sterling silver (which looks great with the new slivery jacket).  Fits like it was custom made for me.  And I picked up a size M swimwear coverup which I intend to wear over knee length leggings.  It was so cute that the two women over by swimwear each bought one after seeing me carrying it.  And it looked fantastic on me.  Go figure.  The moon and the planets must be aligned in some weird one time only formation.

I got home in time to walk the dog while it was still sunny.  Then I worked on peeling potatoes and hand cutting cabbage for cole slaw.  Then I mixed some low carb dressing.  We had pot roast which had been slow cooking all day while I was away.  It was delicious. G is enjoying the low carb (high fat) way of life as I add butter and heavy cream to his mashed potatoes.  I don't eat potatoes.  I had pot roast and lots and lots of cole slaw and steamed Brussels sprouts.  I am very full. Only two meals today.

I feel much better with my new hair cut.  I'll try and get a picture for the blog.  The temps tomorrow are supposed to reach 50 degrees.  I know Riley is darned excited about that.  I didn't think it mattered but Maine without winter is a great place to be.  Life is good.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I have pulled this blue and white striped knit out of the Going to Goodwill bag many, many times over the past five years.  It's a very wide 2X with a boat neckline.  Meaning the neckline is the width of my shoulders.  Not a good look.  I pinned the center of the front and back to see how it would look with seams  that narrowed the body of the tee.  It looked okay.  If, in fact, I could manage to sew the knit seam and keep the stripes even.  I don't know how to sew knits.

Then I thought about the fabric itself being a nice scarf.  I had wanted a lovely jersey scarf in grey and gold this winter but never quite was shopping when the stores had such things.  I did manage to find a knit turtle neck tee in the right colors and stripes.  I wanted to make it into a scarf.

So here I am wanting to make two different tees into scarves.  I need advice and how to.  Like how to cut and how wide to cut and how to add seams.  Anyone reading this--feel free to add your two cents.

I have a sewing machine good enough to have a knit stitch on it.  But I think I am supposed to have a special needle.  Or forget about all that for a scarf?  I await your instructions.

Le Black Dress Is Not About Fashion

Now it doesn't look like much.  Just a plain dress.  And it is not the right size, which I realized when I actually put it on without unzipping it.  Le Dress is going back to Coldwater Creek.  The funny, spooky, part is the salesperson ordered me the Medium instead of the Large and I had to call twice to get it changed. And she was right.  The medium would have been perfect.  The large is too large.

Diane doesn't buy this fashion list of clothing.  Well, I don't "buy" into super expensive "fashion" clothing either but I do wish the things in my closet were actually "Good Things", meaning things I actually could wear.  To places and events.  Le Black Dress was purchased as something I will be needing more often as the years pass.  A black dress for funerals.  A dress to wear to the symphony (if I ever go).  A dress to wear to a business cocktail party.  It will just be there in the closet (waiting) and I will reach in and pull it out and wear it.  No wondering "what will I wear", I will just wear "it" and be done with thinking about clothing.  I  can add a jacket or a cardigan or a thin see thru blouse over the dress.  It can be rolled up and packed in my carry on for every (future) trip I make, in case I need it.

 The TRICK here is that everything fits perfectly.  FITS PERFECTLY.  And my black dress does not.

As in everything, the list of ten times is only a list of items.  It's up to you to make it your own.

As I said, my uniform right now is the woodsy green cords (which fit perfectly), the white LS tees and one or the other grey sweater with a shawl collar.   I throw on the down vest with or without the golden yellow scarf.  I can go shopping, run errands or go to a restaurant with my husband.  I look and feel perfectly dressed.  And that is what the Ten Essential Items is all about.

In a few weeks my uniform might be the stainless steel grey jeans with a matching grey sweater and a white cotton shirt.  Or the black jeans with a black tunic sweater over a white tee.  I could add the black tweed vest to either.  Or the black pencil skirt with black tights and either of the sweaters.

The trick here is that I have these three or four wardrobe outfits ready and waiting.  I can practically empty the rest of the closet right now, as I won't be wearing anything else for the next three months. This makes my life so simple and stress free.

I may even adopt the really odd French practice of removing an item from the closet when I buy something new.  One new pair of pants in, one old pair of pants, out.  At this point, I need to be removing a whole lot more than one thing each time I buy something new.  I have to be brutal and get rid of everything I actually never wear (because it goes with nothing) or (doesn't fit).  So very difficult.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Streptocarpus

The day began with a headache.  The kind I often get when the barometric pressure changes from clear and sunny to stormy.  Or it could just be a headache.

Breakfast was just coffee, yogurt (I have added plain, Greek Style into my diet) and a MIM (for the fiber) since I forgot to drink my Milk of Magnesia last night.  I bought the liquid MofM because I was too thick headed to realize it came in pill form.  Duh!!!!  Anyway, it works.  And I don't think the farty cereal had anything to do with the cereal.  It was the soy.  My life is like one continuous chemistry class.

I went along on today's walk in the woods with G & Riley.  It's icy in spots and G almost slipped and fell down.  After we got home, G suggested a trip into Portland for lunch (at Longhorn) and then a visit to Trader Joe's.  We just got back.  Lunch was delicious.  I had one of the special steaks with a Bourbon glaze and G had steak and shrimp skewers. Our salads and side vegetables were delicious.  Even the water was tasty.  Then we skipped over to the Mall and I visited William Sonoma and purchased a refill bottle of grapefruit hand soap, two French skillets and a wee cute heavy cream whipper.  It works like a tiny salad spinner but has a disc with holes in it that goes up and down thru the cream.  Whipping it with little effort on my part.  I've been whipping the cream ( and my SF mousse mixes)  by hand--and I get very tired and cranky.

Trader Joes was where I bought 4 packages of almond meal.  So much less expensive than the health food store.  I am going to make some of the recipes using almond and coconut flour instead of wheat flour.  More chemistry problems (cookies, brownies or scones).  I also bought ruby red grapefruit.  The last time I bought them at TJ's they were SO good.  I got a small bag of lemons and another of limes.  I'm thinking of a ricotta cheesecake with almond meal crust.

It's getting dark outside.  Almost time for Downton Abbey.  I should run into the office and iron the five or six shirts I have waiting.  Then I won't feel so guilty about wasting the day doing no real work.  Why do I always feel guilty when I don't do the things I should do, but don't want to do???

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Top Ten French Wardrobe Essentials

Go here to find the list.  And then follow the links to the next ten items (which are mostly accessories that add to the outfits).   There was a story on another post, or blog (I don't remember), where  the writer remembers a vacation trip with a very poor exchange student au pair.  The young woman had a very spare wardrobe and wore the same pants and shirt each day of the 6 day trip.  And each day looked amazingly DIFFERENT.  Perhaps the link to "packing for a Paris vacation".

That is the essence of French style.  To be able to change the same blouse and pants into something new and different each time you wear the clothing.  Adding a scarf.  Changing the collar (up/ down), rolling the pant cuffs from trouser to capri, wearing a belt or a scarf as a belt, the blouse buttoned and tucked into the pants or open and over the pants with the scarf as a camisole.  I would bet the pants were a classic black pair and the shirt a very stylish white.  And if I have learned anything so far, the young woman packed more than one brightly patterned scarf.

Another interesting piece of information.  A French woman will look into her closet and think: I looked amazing in that skirt and sweater on Tuesday, and will wear it again in the same week.  And feel amazing again, but perhaps changing the jewelry or shoes.

I feel amazingly comfortable in my woodsy green cords, white LS tee and grey sweater.  Just like I did yesterday and the day before.  LOL  When I throw on a dark green down vest to go out shopping, along with the golden yellow scarf,  I have to say, I feel fashionable and good looking.  Who knew it could be this easy?

The temps today are close to 50 degrees.  Riley is reminding me that we need to take our walk.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The View From Here

This was taken yesterday when the sun was shining and the dog had just finished drinking water.  You can't actually see the water drops that he left all over the floor.  Which was why I took this picture.  Usually, Riley is standing somewhere in this area.  Waiting for me to put on shoes.  Take him out.  Not so much this morning, as it is raining.  Yes, rain.  The interior parts of Maine are, perhaps, experiencing snow  which would be strange indeed in this year "without winter".

I pulled on my new "shape wear" and then tried on all my new pencil skirts.  Oo La La!  I love my new shape wear.  It smoothed out all the bumpy, lumpy areas on my silhouette.  I now have a straight, smooth line from waist to knee.  The outcropping of saddlebag at the hip is undetectable.  No tugging to pull the skirts on.  Step in and then step out. And, unlike the Spanx, I didn't have to Wrestle Mania my way into the garment.  I even "think" I could have purchased a size smaller in one or two items.

I have also decided I now have ENOUGH clothing for the remainder of Winter and into Spring.  No more shopping.  Unless, I see a really great wool blazer.  Or take the two I have to see if they can be altered into a wearable new size.  Both of the too large blazers are made of really lovely wool.  100% wool.  The blazers on the internet are not 100% wool.  My future purchases will be some flirty little Summer things to wear with the cute polka dot skirt.  The sales clerk at J Crew mentioned a few items.  I already own a lime green cardigan.  I just need a ruffly white camisole.

I actually have TOO MUCH clothing as I am one of those strange people who alternate between two outfits for months at a time.  Right now I have the new pair of brown cords rotating with the old green cords (my test pants at the beginning of Atkins).  Test pants being pants that are too tight and too small to wear.  They fit now.  So I had to dig up another smaller pair of test pants in my closet.  White LS tees and gray cashmere sweater completes my every day, all the time outfit.  Actually, two grey cashmere sweaters as it takes a long time for them to dry when I hand wash them.

I have a cute outfit all set on a hanger in my closet, but haven't worn it yet.  Long tailed men's shirt (that fits), crew neck cotton sweater and jeans.  The shirt tails hang out below the sweater's hem.  Just like in the magazines.  Perhaps I will wear it in the Spring.  By then I will be back to work and will be back to wearing work clothes by day and pajama bottoms and a sweater (grey cashmere) after my shower.  Every single day of the week.  In the summer it's a white linen shirt instead of the sweater over the pj bottoms.

I could be French.  They have very small wardrobes.  Very few items.  But what they own is all most excellent.  I have lists (from the internet) of the Ten Essential Wardrobe Items in a French closet.  And then the next Ten Items once you have found the first Ten.  Not so easy.  I am working on the list.  Le Trench is on the horizon.  Le Little Black Dress is still not what I want it to be.

I am now going to make my breakfast omelet.  Sausage, egg, kale and onion.  And pour myself a second cup of coffee.  I have to work on my unemployment Work Diary and send it in. Sigh!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Walking The Dog Boots

With the addition of YakTrax for the icy paths in the woods.  The places that have been melting and refreezing on these warm Springlike days.  Today it was in the 40's.  Only my over jacket.  The down under jacket stayed home as did the hat and gloves.  The ground was covered in frozen white snow but the air smelled like spring.  Riley was extra busy sniffing the many tracks the squirrels have been making in the woods.  We haven't seen squirrels in a long time.

G and I went out for a nice long lunch today.  At 1pm.  And then Walmart.  Where two very very overweight women  (huge thighs and rear ends) were walking a very tiny dog to their car.  They had taken the dog into the store.  G said it might have been a service dog.  I said yes, it would bark if they got too close to something low fat.  I was immediately ashamed of myself.  Walmart brings out the worst in me.

Along with some egg beaters and sausage links, I purchased a thigh shaping girdle.  Or "shape wear" as it is now being called.  I hope it is more comfortable than the Spanx, which are more of an aerobic exercise unit than an undergarment.  I even purchased the larger of the two sizes I might fit into.  I just want to compress some of the thigh jiggle and lumpiness.  What I would like to invent is two rubber bands that you use to pull up all the excess skin from the knees to the upper thigh.  Resulting in smooth youthful legs.  Try it with your hands.  Make a circle around one knee and then gently move your circled hands up toward your hip.  Smoothing and tightening your skin.   And then there is the Buddha belly I developed in middle school which just won't go away. Perhaps the "shape wear" will flatten it out.

I finished a Kate Atkinson book last night.  Case Histories.  Now I want to re-watch the Masterpiece Brody episodes (based on this book).  Person of Interest is on tonight.  And the latest Asa Larsson mystery is right here next to me.  Ready and waiting for me to turn to page one.

Survivor has now been relegated to TiVo.  I will only watch if I can fast forward through the tedious and actually stupid parts.  Like most of last night.  The two most obnoxious male contestants are- drum roll please, a banker and a lawyer.  The banker STOLE the girls' supplies.  The lawyer thinks he is running the entire show. Talk about two guys who think they are "entitled" to whatever they want.  And the other two guys (four good looking clones) just walk around half naked. I can visualize them stalking the camera crews, trying to get filmed.  Tedious.  Not interested in air headed boy toys.

Like I said before, Person of Interest tonight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's Wednesday

And the furnace person is scheduled to arrive in an hour or three to clean and check my furnace (actually a boiler) which means I won't have heat while they are here.  And I need to move my car out of the garage. No sunshine today and clouds, snow or rain tomorrow.  Depending on how the north winds blow.

Everyone in Maine is hoping it snows.  We are one of the states that hasn't had "winter".  Very little (natural) snow on the ski slopes and the snow mobiles have been unused this season.  I'm told.  Neither of these activities has ever interested me.  It is certainly cold enough to make snow.  And flood an enclosed area for ice skating.  Or go out on the river to ice fish.  But why would you?  Why would I?  We had a great deal more snow last winter but the temps last February, around this time, were 10 degrees warmer than yesterday was.  So, Maine is warming.  We may actually have spring again this year. Wow.

I am seriously thinking about getting some seeds started.  Some kale, onions, cabbage.  The local Land Trust is offering organic garden plots (for a fee) to anyone interested.  They provide organic compost, water and a tool shed.  This sounds like a fantastic idea.  I remember when I planted the first garden in my "virgin" soil.  Everything was so rambunctious and healthy.  Now, not so much.  I add compost all the time but it must not be enough.  I'd like to experience rambunctious vegetables again.

My grocery had containers of strawberries on special yesterday when I went shopping.  They looked nice and red. They almost tasted like strawberries but not juicy.  I had about 6 of the largest, reddest ones last night, after dinner, for my dessert.  I ate them in the kitchen, standing by the sink, after washing all the pots and pans.  I had planned to slice them and eat them with whipped cream, but lost interest.

G enjoyed his old fashioned spaghetti dinner with garlic bread for his Valentine Dinner.  He had coffee and a few of the candy coated pretzels he got for Christmas.  I found a handmade valentine in the mailbox after walking Riley.  Made by the 4 year old grandson of my walking buddy from years ago.  Glitter, magic marker and stickers.  So very sweet.  Thanking us for the McDonald's truck we gave him.  I removed the Christmas cards from the string over the wood stove and clipped the Valentine there.

Which reminds me--- I HAVE to start work on the Easter Bunny House.  I have to find a fake grass placemat or something for the "yard" around the EBH.  Not Easter Basket Grass.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be My Valentine

One of my salvaged orchids is putting on quite a show this winter.  Big, gorgeous blossoms.  Perfect for today's holiday.  I know I'm supposed to "want" dozens of red roses (advertising hype), but they have no fragrance.  And a rose without scent is a complete waste.  I'll wait for my roses to bloom in June, full of wonderful scent, blown centers, petals showering the table top.  Decadence.

Yesterday's dental appointment was LONG.  Seems the Crest Pro Health rinse that is doing wonderful, healthy things for my gums and tartar has done something terrible to my teeth.  The backs of my front teeth (up and down) were covered in a rough textured stain.  Which had to be scraped, sonically scraped, scraped some more and then more.  My teeth now feel smooth when I rub my tongue over the backs.  But how will I keep my gums healthy now that I can no longer use the Pro Health products?  The Pro Health chemically mixes with my salvia and creates the gritty stain.  I am not alone.  Since the practice has been recommending the products, there have been more and more gritty stained teeth to clean.  The good news, I had hardly any tartar.

My Winter Furlough may be ending sooner than I had anticipated.  Perhaps as early as the first week of March.  I always think I have SO MUCH TIME to get projects done here at home and then, poof, the time is closing down and I have gotten nothing done.  I've had lunch a few times, gone to see one movie (missed the rest that I wanted to see), been on vacation,  worked on some housekeeping tasks, walked the dog and read a few books.  Not much.  I do feel rested and refreshed.  That counts for something.

Watched the pilot for SMASH and thought I would enjoy it.  Episode Two was like a heavy, dull rock thudding to earth.  So bad.  NBC seems to have a death wish.  They promote SMASH and cancel Prime Suspect.  I wish one of the cable networks would pick up Prime Suspect and run with it.  Rub it in NBC's face.  Survivor starts up again this week.  And BBCAmerica has repeats of  The Hour on Wednesday's at 10 pm.  With Tudor episodes at nine.  Sounds like Wednesday will be fun.

G and I will NOT be going out for dinner tonight.  Service on Valentine's Day is terrible.  And we have been served terrible, sloppy food on February 14th, also.  I may have to stop into the grocery and buy supplies for G's dinner.  Last night I made him fried potatoes and onions to go along with some chicken.  He was happy.  It wasn't another panini sandwich and chips.  Some chicken baked in cream sauce would be nice with wild rice.  G will eat chicken every day of the week.  So will my daughter.  Not me.  Or I could make lamb chops.

Riley is snoring.  Since his 9 days at Sleepover Camp, he has been sleeping more hours than usual.  He is also coming up on his fifth birthday on April 4th.  I know nothing about dogs but do they slow down this early?  I know older, large (8 to 12 years) dogs spend 20 hours or so a day "resting" or at least it seems that way.  Rusty would watch the world go by from his dog bed.  Getting up on four legs was hard work for him (he had the bad hips Lab's sometimes get).  But he was awake and good company.  By the time he came to live with us, his days of being walked (farther than the path where he did his business) were long over.  He was 12.  Almost made it to 14 while with us.

One of my February lunch dates has a black cardigan sweater in her closet, with shiny black buttons, which might be excellent with my little black dress.  For funerals and dinner dates.  I often trade clothing with my friends.  I was quite happy to hear she had a sweater she didn't need any longer.  Glad I had mentioned I was looking for one.  I took two of my treasured German outfits to the library to give to a coworker (former) and she sighed and said "I love this color green".  The skirt will look wonderful on her. The two piece smocked and embroidered "dress" will be amazing.  A European 38.  I wore the outfit in Las Vegas to see Seigfried and Roy and then the second time at my first luncheon as President of the Woman's Club of the Taunus in Germany.  Two very special days in my life.  LOL.  I am amazed that this tiny little outfit ever fit my body.  But it did and I have pictures.  It wasn't even tight.  Ooo La La.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Friend Of Twelve By Twelve- Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis.  Painted fabric, commercial printed fabric, paper, ink.  12 by 20 inches.

If I were to have added a title to this piece, it was to have been Artist's Statement.  I had wanted to express how the written statement somehow distorts and changes the art from one thing into another.  Never what you had intended.  Not exactly what you wanted.  Sometimes, outright bull shit.

The art without a statement can be anything the viewer wants to see or interpret.

I took a partially finished segment of something else (how's that for a statement!) and added to it until I had reached 12 by 20 inches.  Really.  The initial segment is perhaps 6 by 8 inches. Then I had to figure out how to make the two sections work together.  I don't think I ever managed to do that over the entire surface. There are places that work much better than expected and others that fail no matter what I try (pen).  The bottom half is layers of prints and ink that resemble text (the statement).  The top half is pure collaged color and texture (the art).

Since I am not a part of the actual Twelve By Twelve group, now that I have "revealed" my work, I think I will give in to the urge to cut this piece up and turn it into something else.  And here you have the changes (none are permanent) I made after walking the dog (18 degrees today).

I am interested in hearing what viewers to this post have to say.  There might be a way to make all this work--something I am too blind to see right now.

I have to go find the URL for  another Friend who is also revealing a piece today.  And then I will link to her.  So, come back later.

Friday, February 10, 2012


The Lindt Shop had a devilishly delicious sale yesterday.  These bars were selling for $3.98 (which I still think is less than anywhere else) in the front of the shop.  I had decided to buy one.  But in the back of the shop, I could buy TEN for $15.  Which I did. They expire in September.  Several of the tempting low carb recipes on Candice's blog over on the right, use a bar of this chocolate, in chunks.  Like the new version of chocolate chunk cookies. I haven't tried any of the recipes as yet--I was still looking for peanut flour and coconut flour.  Now, these dark chocolate bars are higher in carbs ( 9 per 4 squares) than the sugar free ones.  But these won't make you fart like a choo choo train.  No sugar alcohols.  So, perhaps, you limit yourself to 2 squares as a serving?

Now that I own sugar free vanilla syrup (Walmart) I intend to make the single serving warm chocolate cake from another blog site.  In fact, I added a mere teaspoon of the SF vanilla to my 6 ounces of Greek yogurt this morning and it was deliciously vanilla flavored.  I also had my very own frozen raspberries and a few chopped almonds with my yogurt breakfast.  I couldn't face another egg omelet this morning. I have to remember to add heavy cream to the fat free yogurt next time.  I mistakenly bought the fat free instead of the full fat version.  Same amount of carbs in both.  Nine per cup.  Flavored fat free is 38 carbs per 6 ounces.  Read the labels people!!!  Add your own flavors and fresh fruit.

Riley has been sleeping out on the back stoop, in the sun (I should be out there working on my tan).  He is warm and toasty.  Wanting either his lunch or his walk.  It's 10:30.  He'll be getting neither right now.  I am going to be taking a nice long shower, getting dressed and then looking at my 12 by 12 to see what I can do to move it along.  Looking takes so much time.  And I want to work on another project today.  A fact sheet for a class I may get to teach this Spring.  I could also go upstairs and do my Pilates routine.  Get re-started on that practice.  Build up the arm and shoulder muscles for going back to work.

Yesterday I didn't have a plan.  And that was okay.  But today, I think I need to be more focused.  A bit more focused.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Polka Dot Skirt

I saw a J Crew polka dot skirt at the consignment shop for $10.  A 12.   Never going to fit into that anytime soon, so on today's adventure into Freeport I stopped in J Crew before we went into the parking garage.  There was the skirt.  A 14.  I tried it on.  I stood in line to pay--not caring what it cost ($70).  You know I LOVE polka dots.

I also returned one of the two down jackets I bought @ LLBEAN before Christmas.  I picked up two pair of pants. The size that fit best was the 16, even though I was wearing the EXACT SAME style of LLBEAN pants in a 14.  At least the pant legs on my two chosen pairs of pants were the same length.  Another customer asked "Am I crazy or is one leg on these pants longer than the other?  It was.

I don't know what LLBEAN is doing or who is making their clothing, but I think something is very wrong. You can actually try on three items of exactly the same style, color and size and find that all three fit completely different.  In my humble opinion, this is not "good business".  In fact, I would bet that the 16's I now own are actually mislabeled 14's (which is why they were on the sale racks).

And then there is J Crew and Coldwater Creek where I can wear any size 14 I pick out.

I was in Beans because I had a coupon which expires next week.

The Florida House

Seen from the boat as we made our way under the bridge and out into the ocean.  Eventually the Royal Palms will grow tall enough to be above the roof line.  A little one story, four bedroom ranch was here for many, many years.  Our friend stretches a cloth screen between the second and third palms (from left) as a projection screen for football games and movie nights.  Boats line up on the water side to watch (the images project thru the fabric and can be seen from the other side as well.  House guests watch from the patio or pool.

Yesterday was a fun day.  The sun is shining this morning (on my back as I type), G has gone to have his Annual Exam with his doctor, Riley has been in and out,  I have eaten my omelet and almost finished my first cup of coffee.  I don't really have a To Do List for the day.  Not on paper or inside my head.  I think all three of us will be walking the dog in the woods when G returns.

I am not constipated this morning.  I drank lots of water yesterday.  Sigh!  And I dropped 2 pounds overnight.  So, the water works.  It would b e nice to get to the pre vacation weight again and eventually to what I had hoped would be my weight at the the end of 2011.  168.  I am four pounds away.  Yesterday I was 6 pounds away.  I want to reach 160 by May.  The weight loss is very very slow.

I have contemplated a return to 1200 calories a day (a diet that always produced weight loss over the one year period) but the Atkins foods are very high in calories.  I don't even want to think how many calories I eat in one day. Right now, I am following the advice of a gal who has kept weight off for 20 years with WW.  Go to bed every night a little bit hungry.  I have added grapefruit (which has natural sugars) and has slowed my weigh loss to almost nothing.  And I have a glass of red wine occasionally.  I have been on Atkins for nine months now.  I started out at approximately 196 pounds unable to wear any of my size 16 pants.  I am now a size 14.

My daughter and I were discussing our body types and weights.  We tend to be heavier than usual for the size clothing we wear.  Heavy bones?  Who knows.  It would be difficult to guess our weight.  We both sink in water.  We can't float.  I take after my dad.  Until I was 10, I was a thin, rangy looking kid.  Then I became the "chubby one" in the family.  In high school I weighed 134-144 and was called "chubby".  I wore a size 12 or 14.  And a girdle every day.  Forty pounds heavier today and still wearing a 14.

G's doctor's office keeps calling.  First they called because he wasn't there.  Now they called because he had just left and then again to give me an appointment (a referral).  Where is G???

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Beautiful Compost

A lovely combo of roasted spaghetti squash rind, Florida red grapefruit rinds and a philodendron leaf.  I liked the colors so much I just had to get a picture this morning.  I have been running since I woke up this morning.  Some errands in Town before an 11:30 lunch date, then the library, the resale shop (a lovely red turtleneck cashmere for $12), walk with the dog.  A "Big Salad" as I was still hungry after lunch and it was now past 2.  Then Animal Control called to mention Riley's Dog License was overdue so I had to run out to the vet for the rabies certificate and then to the Town Clerk's office downtown and I had to pay a $25 penalty fee for being late.  Oh, and I walked the dog after lunch but before the Big Salad which was just oil and vinegar dressed greens.  Now, I have a message from the library that more books are waiting for pick up.  G is now home and I think he expects a meal.

Last night I watched the four new Fringe episodes for the "new" winter season.  I liked them.  I read somewhere that the producers and writers were creating a "Fringe Valentine" out of this last (unless something happens) season as a thank you to loyal viewers.  It's been that and more.

I purchased 4 more of the dark red grapefruit my grocery has on special this week at 2 for one dollar.  I investigated the Grapefruit Diet that was pretty popular long ago and read that they think it's where Atkins got his diet ideas.  The menu looks strikingly similar and predates Atkins by a number of years.  The only change is that on the Grapefruit Diet you have half a grapefruit after every meal to assist in "fat burning". I am eating one whole grapefruit before eating breakfast.  I am not here to report any fat burning.

I am just eating the grapefruit because I like them VERY much and after so many months without any fruit, I want to eat fruit, specifically, red grapefruit.  Call the Diet Police!!!

I saw a picture of myself taken by G while I was sitting, in my swimsuit, next to the pool in Florida.  I actually was under the impression I looked like I had lost weight.  My clothes are smaller sizes.  I look smaller here in my house.  But the picture of me by the pool?  Fat. Fat. Fat. No wonder no one mentioned any change in my appearance.

I was tempted to just throw in the towel and go back to eating normally.  I didn't.  I am just going to keep slogging along, with little in the way of results, until May.  A whole year.  Then I will decide what to do after that.  I did drink three full glasses of water at lunch.  Yah, me!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Another Placemat

I had a pile of orange fabrics on the work table (and on the floor) so I quickly covered a 14 by 18 piece of felt to make a fourth placemat for everyday usage.  Might as well get four zigzag stitched while I have the walking foot in place on the machine.  The next part, adding binding, is not my favorite activity.  I like the hand stitching finish work but not the making of the binding or quarter inch miter corners.  I have considered the "facing" style which I think was discovered as a way NOT to do the other binding but I don't like the look of it on the backside.  Too much fabric.

Yesterday turned out to be a very good day even though I came into it kicking and fussing a great deal. That's the way it is around here.  I can be quite crabby.  It seems that is my natural fall back position. A regular Lucy from Peanuts.  It didn't help that I kept thinking I was supposed to "do" something or "look up" something and that bit of nagging worry about what it was that I had not done, bothered me.

The books from the library turned out to be for me.  WooHoo!  I must have been on top of things when I reserved books last time. I have the fourth and most current Asa Larsson mystery on order.  Thank you, yet again, to the Reader who recommended I read them.  I plan to note the reader's name on my calendar next time so I can properly thank you.  I have gotten two greatly enjoyed "new" authors from Readers and I am very grateful.

Today is cloudy and colder but not terrible.  A high of 30.  The dog walk will be good.  I find I prefer cold weather as I can add clothing to stay warm.  Hot weather is just not nice if you are active.  Yesterday, on the walk, Riley pulled the leash sharply while it was stretched across my shin.  I now have a painful bruise and bump.  And I didn't drink enough water yesterday, so for the first time since getting back from vacation, my ring is very tight on my finger.  I am going to have to force myself to drink water today.

I roasted a spaghetti squash yesterday (half the time while the oven heated up for G's pizza) and I used the new method of just poking holes all over the whole squash.  While the pizza was baking, I easily cut the half baked big squash in half.  I always have such a trial cutting hard rind squashes in half.  Afraid I will cut my hand or arm off in the process.  This worked out well. the squash halves went back into the oven after the pizza was baked.  Now I have baked spaghetti squash to make into mac and cheese.

The mail person should be delivering my "little black dress" to the house today.  It's just a plain black dress that I can wear to something formal or a funeral.  This will be a first for me.  Actually having something in the closet "just in case".  I want to see how the dress looks with my after Christmas purchased J Jill black sweater.  I haven't had an opportunity to wear my pencil skirt and tights yet, either.  Sigh!  I am not going to worry about how I will look in my skirt and tights.  I followed a 50ish woman into the "other" local grocery last week.  She had heavy legs encased in black tights and a flirty little skirt halfway up her thighs. If she feels good about it--then I can also, in a skirt that ends mid knee. I am always interested in the fact that the two local town groceries have such different people shopping in each.  The grocery I frequent is more earthy, Pilates, vegan soccer moms.  We shop around the perimeter.  The other is full of women in tights and short skirts and all the mysteries of premade, prepackaged and "fun" food with very little perimeter food visible.  I was there to purchase Chili O seasoning packages.  My grocery doesn't stock such things.  I also buy G a carrot snack cake whenever I shop there.  Covered in sweet cream cheese frosting with a big frosting carrot on top.  G LOVES them.  In fact, G would be very comfortable in that grocery store.

I would think if I started eating those carrot snack cakes (G divides the one snack into 2 servings) my tights would be pulled tight over heavy thighs and my pencil skirt would be------ on someone else

Monday, February 06, 2012

Day Turned Out Good

The laundry is nice and clean.  The weather was more like March (the spring side).  The dog walk was very good.  We did half street and half woods (with leash).  Riley wanted no leash, but I wasn't feeling secure enough to let him loose and Riley got to go on my errands with me in the car.

I visited with a friend from work (in the woods) and a friend in town (at library) while doing my errands. The pizza is in the oven.  I have a new book to read (one of the errands was going to the library) and more are coming later this week.  I over ordered.  Again.  I have an appointment for the furnace tune up next week.  Usually we have to wait months.  Was I lucky or what?

I cleaned the kitchen.  G noticed the dishwasher was empty and the sink was scrubbed clean.  There is even one cup of coffee left for G's after dinner candy coated pretzels.

We Have A New Router

After spending WAY too much time trying to fix the old router, g finally saw it my way and went out at 5pm and bought a new router.  It took a bit to hook it up, but now all those new iToys and the iMac are running (and staying up for more than an hour at a time), so Life Is Good.  Except for the Patriots.  What a spectacularly stupid game they played.  Enough said.  Downton Abbey was very good.

So far this morning, I have brushed my teeth, washed my face, gotten dressed and eaten breakfast.  I also prepared Alton Brown's pizza dough for G's dinner tonight.  I've let the dog in and out twice. Cleaned the carpet where the dog threw up his breakfast.  I have a sink full of greasy pans to wash and the dishwasher to start.  I also have a load of whites ready to wash. The sheets need to be changed. The floor needs sweeping.  So, of course, I decided to sit down and write to you!

The sun is shining today and it should reach 40 in a few hours.  February in Maine.  I remember it being like this last February when G had his painful health scare.  Two terrifying weeks, but the weather was quite nice.  I should be thinking about starting some seeds for my garden.  Not actually starting them--just thinking.  Sugar snap peas this year not pod peas.  Lettuce.  And I must go upstairs to get the insecticide to spray on the amaryllis.  Little dirt gnats all over.  My Clivia is about to blossom.  The largest plant has three flower stalks.  This has never happened before.  It's AMAZING.  The little fan in the guest bath is managing to keep the citrus from getting spider mites this winter (so far).  Moving air.

I have written and deleted what I really want to say, twice.  Mostly about not wanting to discuss buying a condo in Florida anymore.  I am NOT going to do it.  And the huge credit card bills G has had in the past three, going on four and five, months.  The vacation.  The truck repairs.  The iToys.  It all makes me sick to my stomach.  And, I wrote about it again!!!

I am going to do something else and hope I feel better about life when next I sit down to write a post. I have the dog to walk and the bank and library to visit.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Continuing Internet Connection Problems

I will be back with regular posts when we get connected (permanently) or buy a new router.  I don't know which. G is still trying to fix the problem.  Right now the computer is hard wired to the cable internet, on a desk at just the right height level to cause major vision problems with my trifocals.

The sun is shining, we had a lovely walk in the snowy woods with Riley and I am now going to finish my household chores.  G got the Christmas tree out of the house and I need to wind the lights up and pack the boxes for transport to the attic until next year.

Went to the movies with my daughter yesterday to see One For The Money.  It was true to the Evanovich book on which it was based.  Ranger isn't hot enough and Lula wasn't as funny.  Can't have everything.

Friday, February 03, 2012

February 4- The Year Of The Dragon Begins

We updated our "lion" system on the iMac Wednesday evening and, thereby, lost the WiFi connection for all of Thursday.  I believe that all our connectivity problems are related to the new operating system updates. Each is supposed to "fix" this problem and only makes it worse it seems.

The good part of the downtime was that I managed to work on the 12 by 12 project for reveal on February 12.  Had to insert a new needle.  Thread the machine with invisible thread.  After working on the 12 by 12 I installed the walking foot (it came separate on the machine I purchased long ago) ready to finish up the topstitching on three new placemats.  I use the scraps in my wastebasket to make the placemat tops.  This is the blue one.  I may add the circle or I may keep it for something else.  I made a black, blue and red version this time.  I might make another if I have enough bits in a nice color way.

Yesterday was also the day I had lunch with my walking buddy/neighbor.  We met at 12 noon and G caught us still talking in the driveway at 4 pm.  Now that is my kind of lunch date.  The wine we had with lunch made it even better.  The dog was happy to see both of us walk into the house, finally, and then expected the usual walk.  So, I walked the dog.  My hands got cold.  Today, we'll go walking while the sun is still shining.  Warmer and I may get to update my facial suntan a bit.

I made dinner for G out of leftover roast turkey, Stovetop and leftover gravy.  I steamed fresh Brussels sprouts and ate most of them myself.  G only wanted "a few".  His mother never fed the family fresh vegetables.  In my previous life (before Atkins) I would enjoy a full plate of vegetables.  I loved all the starchy ones like sweet potatoes or roasted butternut squash alongside the steamed kale, beets and Brussels sprouts. I had roasted beets in January even though they are "forbidden".  Winter beets are so sweet.

The big news yesterday was that SUGAR is now known to be SWEETER than it was when we were kids (meaning people in their 60's now).  SUGAR is being enhanced and made sweeter.  I often read (on the Atkins forums) that sugar is hardest for overweight people to give up.  I started subbing with Splenda about two months in (I try not to use chemicals in my food so this was a difficult decision to make) and have worked on using less and less of it as the months go by.  Sweet is not my favorite food.  Salty is.  But I still like my coffee sweet and a few ounces of sugar free chocolate makes me very happy.

The talk yesterday was of SUGAR being labeled a toxic food that would need to be limited by Food & Drug.  Like you would need a prescription to buy any.  Please consider buying stock in the company that makes Splenda.  The commercial food sweetened with Splenda taste exactly like regular sugar sweetened food.  And, yes, I know Splenda was discovered while they were trying to make an insecticide.

All the biological tinkering the chemists are doing to food is making us all sick.  They should just stop.  Go back to the original recipes and make everything the old fashioned way.  Yes, it will all cost more but then we won't buy as much.  Or eat as much.  Or weigh as much.  Or take as many pills.  Or have so many health problems.  And the CEO of the companies can be paid only one or 2 million a year instead of 400 million a year.  Everyone wins.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Happy February!!!!

February already!  Yes, it is still cold and snowy but March is on the way.  I go back to work in March. Happy Days.  Yesterday I vacuumed and mopped the wood floors in the great room.  Everything looks nice.  I even washed Riley's Moo (a cow pillow) which was damaged at Sleepover Camp.He chewed a large hole in Moo's rear end.

Yesterday, I tried stuffing the feet separately (with new stuffing) and stitching them closed on the sewing machine (breaking yet another needle).  I then decided to do the stitching on the rest of the cow, by hand.  I had removed the cheap balled up stuffing before washing and I filled the cow with good stuff and even stitched down the backbone to keep the new stuffing nicely positioned.  Then I stitched the torn and chewed areas along the bottom seam.  Riley watched all these things with extremely close attention.  The cow was then returned to him and he gently licked the cow's face to welcome her back.  And promptly fell asleep with his head on the cow's side.  All's well in Riley's world.

I was watching the TiVo'ed recordings of three hours of the Good Wife and liking the clothing being worn by Diane.  So I jumped up and got my journal and did a few quick sketches of the items I particularly liked. My new Chinese horoscope for the Year of the Dragon (beginning on Feb 4) mentions wearing more black.  It also requests that I do more work facing north.  Guess what?  I am facing north as I type.  And my sewing machine is facing north.  Sounds good to me.  I wonder which way I face at work?

I have received a tall stack of mail from unemployment.  Why can't they send it all in one envelope and save taxpayer money?  The end result is that I must reimburse the state of Maine for the $72 I got for Christmas pay.  Because Sunday was in a different week.  The good news is that I am still getting my benefit checks.  And not in jail.

I finally gave up on the Cuisinart coffeemaker and unplugged it and opened the carton holding the new Krups coffeemaker.  The Cuisinart started out grinding the coffee beans and then brewing the coffee.  Then, after years of this it stopped grinding but would still brew coffee.  It still does that, but now it shuts itself off whenever it feels like it.  Not keeping the coffee hot.  The coffee from the Krups is very tasty.  I'm using Dunkin Donuts Decaf (like I had in Florida--yes!, in the expensive Italian coffeemaker) and it is very tasty.  Doesn't have the creamy top like in Florida, but just as rich and flavorful.

This morning I ordered a black knit dress from Coldwater Creek.  Boatneck with little capped sleeves.  There was a $25 off coupon which just about covered the tax and shipping.  In the end, I saved $10 on the dress. I figure it will be nice to have a "little black dress" in the closet.  I can wear it with a jacket, filmy blouse or sweater.  I can even wear it with pearls.  The "new" Coldwater Creek sizing chart is interesting.  Large is now just 14.  Large used to be 14-16.  Now 16 is XL.  My recently purchased pencil skirt is a 14 so I chose the 14 in the dress as well.  While watching Project Runway last night (recorded) I heard something interesting.  Celebs on the red carpet are usually wearing "double Spanx" under the clothing.  Two pair of Spanx (and I am sure they are not wearing the appropriate size for their weight--going smaller).  I find wearing one pair to be claustrophobic enough.  I'll use my savings of $10 (on the dress) to purchase a pair of control top pantyhose.

As a note:  My custom made wool skirts from the mid 80's have a 31.5 inch waist band.  Which in those days was really large.  Now it's a size 10.  I believe I was wearing a size 12 or 14 then.  (42 and 44 in European sizes)  I know, because I still have the clothing, that everything is pretty small.  I remember feeling really fat back then.  Now, I dream of being that "small" again.

I have a lunch date set up for tomorrow with my walking buddy (and she will pick me up), a movie date with my daughter on Sunday and another lunch date for next week sometime with my library friend. Hello February!!!