Saturday, March 31, 2012

Walking In The Woods

This is a view of the bridge we cross before entering the Commons.  Things do look this ratty in the woods. No one owns the space (the Town) so hardly anyone cleans up deadwood etc.  There is someone who hauled wood and built this bridge over the wetland.  They even came back and repaired it this fall.  Thank you.

Today is EOM (end of month) for G at work so he was home with Riley and me for the morning and early afternoon.  After breakfast we did errands.  The post office for much needed stamps (I got the Bonsai Tree stamps), which I promptly stuck onto the large pile of bill envelopes.  Then the library to drop off and pick up.  Then Walmart.  I hate Walmart but after checking prices--I really have to shop there.  Sometimes my regular grocery is 50 cents to a whole dollar more expensive for just one item.  That is stunning.  Multiply by 20 or more items and it gets expensive.  Fast.  My eggbeaters are $3.88 at Walmart and $5.19 at the other grocery.  I still have to go to the regular grocery because Walmart just doesn't stock certain items I need.  Like full fat yogurt and the "on sale" tuna that I realized is better than Chicken of the Sea.

I also refuse to buy fresh meat at Walmart.  I refuse.

My daughter was pushed into visiting Target with me this afternoon.  And then into having dinner with me at a real restaurant.  She is always  1. too busy  2. too tired  3. in her pajamas  4. all of the above to go anywhere with me.  She scored some Converse sneakers in her favorite aqua blue.  I got some huge spa towels to try.  Big for me and "cushy" for G.  I am also trying out a new kind of undies.  My idea for wearing capri tights under my shorts at work was given the thumbs down by my daughter a "fashion policewoman".  I wanted to cover up my chubby old lady knees.  She said she's seen worse.  Somehow I don't feel all bouncy and pleased by that.

We sat in our booth at the restaurant and chatted for quite a while.  Then I drove her home and then drove myself home where I was exuberantly greeted by a happy black dog.  He had missed getting his dinner on time.  I had promised G meatballs in marinara for tomorrow's dinner and since I will be at work from 8:30 to 5:30 tomorrow, I had to start in on the meatballs right then and there.  It's now almost midnight.  The meatballs are packed and chilling in the fridge.  I also ironed all G's work shirts and even a shirt of my own.  Folded laundry and set a load of white to washing.  I hand washed some dishes.

The purchase of those books of stamps set my tiny world in order.  Not having stamps for my bill paying had really made me anxious and rather unsettled.  I sort of stopped doing house hold chores when I ran out of stamps.  Isn't that the weirdest thing?  I didn't realize it until I had the stamps in my hands and felt so peppy and clear headed, renewed if you will --hence all the work and time spent with the daughter.  Plus the bills are in the mail.

Do you know if sugar free, fat free jello comes in banana pudding flavor?  I have been enjoying the SF/FF vanilla pudding mix in my FF Greek yogurt very much.  My daughter suggested the banana pudding when I mentioned that I won't ever be able to eat bananas again.  I love bananas and I triple love banana pudding (with vanilla pudding, sugar wafers and banana slices -- A Southern treat I won't ever be eating again).  Now I will have to be on the hunt for it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

You Just Never Know

When you will "see" something that gets you thinking.  This scrap of woven blue "something" was picked up on a dog walk in the past few weeks or even months and has been stuck in my parka pocket.  I was looking for something the other day, took this out and dropped it on the Winter 12 by 12 block.  this morning I "saw" it and thought.  This looks like Early Spring.  I can work with this.

I know, from the Painter's Key this morning, that silence is best and talking about what you plan to do is like doing nothing.  But since I still have no idea what I am going to do--I guess it won't hurt to give you a peek into how things happen around here.

The sun is shining this morning. I was up early, had a good breakfast, one cup of coffee, mixed up two cans of tuna with mayo for lunch and made a quart of green tea and lemonade to take to work, along with the 6 cups of water that is now becoming my daily habit in the greenhouse.  Down another half pound.  Actually, down 1.5 overnight because yesterday I went up one.  My ring is loose this morning so no water retention.  I think the ring is a better indication of how the new menu is going than the scale.

My fridge and the cupboards are turning into magical items.  I think there is nothing in there to eat and there is.  It seems like I have needed to do grocery shopping for days, so it's a mystery to me.

So, I was eager to share the new quilt idea with you, I know you love it when I actually produce some art. I kinda enjoy it too.  Perhaps I have "turned the corner" and can now be more productive in the art department again after this long lapse in desire and interest.  Art can be that way.  Mysterious.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ranunculus & Forsythia

Meet in a miniature milk bottle.  The forsythia is from my yard and the Ranunculus broke in a cart moving accident at work.  I wasn't involved.  But I hated to even think about tossing the pretty flower, not yet opened fully, into the trash.  I knew I needed a pretty picture for you, dear Readers.

It didn't snow today.  But it was cold, gray and drizzly.  Enough that the customers found warmer places to spend their cash today.  I am hoping it's better tomorrow.

G and I began the day having breakfast together and then driving to our bank for an early meeting with an investment counselor.  He asked questions and we answered.  The kinds of questions people don't ask. How much do you spend.  How much money do you need to live comfortably. How little could you live on.  Do you have parents or siblings to be financially responsible for.  Children.  Grandchildren. How much money do you have to invest in your retirement.  Will you get a pension.  How long will you work.  How old are you.  What is your health situation.  Do you have a will.  Health power of attorney. A mortgage.  Would you consider moving to a smaller, less expensive house or condo.  How do you see retirement.  How will you spend your days.

G and I are pretty much "in touch with reality" so it was easy (easier) to answer these questions and we had tried to guess what we would be asked and thought about a few things before the meeting.  I mentioned that I see "going to work" as time off from the grueling household work load. G sees being home as a time to rest up.  No wonder we are rarely happy on his or my days off when we are both home together.  I want help with household chores and G wants to sleep.

I also mentioned that if G is retired and at home all day, I will be at work.  Outside the house.  The counselor described that as "half the income and twice the husband".  Something few wives are happy with.  When G was ill last winter, I got a taste of "retirement" with the two of us at home.  Making him breakfast. Finding his book.  Giving him his pills. Walking the dog while he napped.  Making lunch.  Driving him to the doctor's appointments.  Giving him pills.  Making him dinner.  etc.  I didn't like it.  The only time I had to myself was at Walmart waiting the 30 minutes for his prescriptions.  G mentioned all the "old timers" who show up at his McD's several times a day for coffee and to talk to each other.  He didn't want to spend his life like that, either.  We both need our retirement years to be more productive than that.

Not having a mortgage and working as long as possible are excellent ways to make the money you have last longer than you do.  Unless you draw a pension.  Which is why my dad always worked for the city. Bus driver and then policeman.  And a lovely pension he collected for nearly 40 years.

G dropped me off at work after the meeting and then filled my car up with gas.  When he came back to get me at closing time he suggested we get some local BBQ for dinner.  Good thought.  The cupboards here at home are quite bare (for me).  G still has one meal of leftovers in the fridge.  I've had a good long, hot shower and plan to watch some television.  Work again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Not What I Was Expecting This Morning

I may not have paid as much attention as usual to the weather report last night.  Because I was actually surprised by the "whiteness" outside my bedroom window this morning.  My little daffodils look bedraggled and cold out there.  No sun.  Yesterday, on my drive to work, the wind chill was 13 degrees.  Wasn't it just 80?  I have no idea how to dress for work.

Things are going along.  I am trying to see how much fat I can cram into every meal.  And how few carbs. It's fun. And I no longer have to worry about being "irregular".  My breakfast eggs, sausage and cheese is topped with a whole avocado with lime and salt.  A party on a plate.  I have checked the cupboards and freezer.  My only protein source for lunch is another large can of tuna.  I had that yesterday with a ton of mayo.  Without the green salad.  Dinner was full fat yogurt with heavy cream whipped in until the yogurt was thick and mousse-like.  I sweetened with sugar free vanilla syrup.  One cup of full fat (10%) yogurt has 12 carbs (4 usable) and my husband's yogurt which is 6 ounces and low fat had 33 carbs.  27 from sugar.

I am down four pounds since Sunday. It would have been more but I ate 1/2 cup of pistachios after my yogurt yesterday.  Salt.  Holds water.  I have to stay away from the nuts.

Work was long and hard yesterday.  I watered plants, mostly over my head, from 8:30 to noon when I decided to just sit down and eat my lunch.  After that, I ordered houseplants and herbs and finally at the end of my shift, did something sweet, just for myself.  I used the leftover moss from the open house display to "pretty" up the bonsai we have for sale.  Now they have "hills" of moss mosaic surrounding the little trees.  NOW they look like something you would pay $80 to $90 for.  That's the kind of "work" I enjoy doing. After work, I walked the dog for an hour.

Today I am working the afternoon shift. All the Easter flowers are coming in today.  The whole greenhouse will be full of Easter lilies.  And my hands will be golden yellow from the pollen as I remove all the messy pollen covered stamen.  The lilies last longer if the pollen is removed.  My holiday garden tip. G brought a forsythia branch in and it has started to bloom.  Reminds me of the Easter trees I decorated when we lived in Germany.  Hanging all sorts of tiny eggs, chicks and bunnies in the flowering branches.  A long time ago but still a sweet memory.  When did I stop doing that?  Why?  Have I changed that much?

Monday, March 26, 2012

While I Was Away

Blogger and iPhoto changed the way I do things.  This is happening so often now, that I have no sense of balance and "normal" any longer.  I am comforted by the ordinary-ness of my surroundings.  I don't like change.  I do like "new" but only when I am in control of anything "new" coming into my life.

I am being STRONGLY encouraged to join Facebook (as a means) to getting PinInterest so I can "pin" my quilt pictures out into the blogosphere and gain readers.  Re-pinners.  This is now "the way" to increase your presence on the blogs.  My readership has gone up 25% in the past five months without any changes.  I have no idea how or why.  But there are more of you reading, from more countries.  Welcome!!

This amaryllis was a surprise.  Where did it come from?  Did I buy it or rescue it?  And when did that happen.  Is this one of the bulbs that has refused to bloom for several years?  I just don't know, but I am surprised and delighted.  It's really beautiful.  All those petals and brightness on such a cold, damp day. Spring in Maine is back to normal. Cold. Dark. Wet.

Yesterday, at work, they had one door to the greenhouse open all day (to encourage customers to walk out to the plastic house and look at perennials).  So the entire big greenhouse house got chilly.  Which meant I got cold and stayed cold.  My class went well.  Not the huge turnout of years past (with warmer weather) but a decent enough Sunday crowd.  I heard Saturday was better.  It also was raining on Sunday which limits the crowds.

I am struggling with my perception of how my diet is working, should be working etc.  It is really hard right now.  To be continually limiting more and more of the already limited food choices, trying to get the weight to go down.  So, I won't be making you laugh today.  I was writing in my paper journal last night, with tears running down my face.  I was also very tired.  What I forced myself to eat for dinner was truly terrible.  But I was not hungry after and I am still not hungry now.  I must be one of the few who are metabolically resistant to losing weight.  Don't worry.  I won't bore you with the trial this is going to be for me.  I will suffer in silence.

Editor's Comment: So much for silence. I have noted your concerns.  I WAS once in the OBESE category and had a great deal of difficulty tying my shoes and getting in the car behind the steering wheel.  Which is why I went on the 1200 calories a day diet for a full year (I should not have stopped but I had huge food cravings) with a huge shove from my doctor.  I am NOW considered to be OVERWEIGHT.  Yes, dear readers, overweight.  Clearly not as "healthy" as some of you assume. While not AS overweight as I was 10 months ago (20 pounds is gone) I weigh at least 20 to 30 pounds MORE than I should. My Atkins diet is not working because I have never actually entered ketosis which is what this "new menu" is trying to do.  If I am thinking about this correctly, and I have done my research, I have managed my food cravings simply by eating low carb.  I have NOT, EVER, actually been burning fat.  I never had the massive weight loss I should have experienced, even if for only a few weeks. So, I am trying this again, from the very beginning and hoping that THIS time I can get it right.  I cried because I had worked so hard to break lifelong eating habits all these months.  I really needed to see some results.  I needed a "gold star sticker" to help me continue for another 10 months.  I need a reward.  And all I have gotten is an ever increasing number on the scale.  Instead of going down, my weight has been going up ever since the vacation to Florida in January.  Clothing that fit is now getting snug.  I am sad beyond tears.  Bear with me.  

Mad Men returned last night.  Different.  The Killing returns next Sunday.  Fringe has started up again. My television therapy is looking good.  G has his Dancing with The Stars.  I actually have two books on my shelf to read.  And I may just do that today.  After I clean the kitchen and take half the stuff off the long table.  Declutter my home and, hopefully, declutter my mind.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Starry, Starry Night

When G and I returned from our Friday Night dinner, I spotted Venus and Jupiter in the night sky. So we ventured into the back yard before going into the house and the night sky was full of bright stars.  I found Orion (always the first constellation I can recognize) and G found the Big Dipper.  I think everything was so clear and bright that we could have found nearly every thing if we had a Star Map.  I tried to take a picture of the stars (my daughter wished me "good luck" with that).  No luck.

I love a starry night.  It's like a reality check.  Hey, you live on a planet.  In a solar system.  Out in space.

I watered everything at work.  Some things-- twice.  The wind was really strong today and the greenhouse was taking a pounding.  It was worse in the plastic house.  Woop!  Boom!  As the walls went in and out. Today was supposed (like I always say, being a weather man is the perfect job as you never have to get it right) to be colder and cloudier.  It was sunny and even nicer than the previous two summer days.  Today was in the 70's.  Like last night.  At midnight last night the temperature, in Maine, in March was 70 degrees.  What is going on?

Everyone has their summer clothing out of storage and I saw so many flip flops today.  I wore one of the fitted white blouses my daughter gave me when we went to dinner.  With jeans that fit close and a black lightweight down vest.  I felt beautiful and stylish.  Thanks to my daughter.  She knew just what I needed to move from frumpy to fashionable.  I have, rarely, if ever, worn a fitted blouse.  No extra room.  No fullness.  It followed the curve of my spine over the back of my jeans.  Daring.  For me.  And I didn't get any marinara sauce on it.

Tomorrow G and I share a day off.  He was trying to discover what I had on my "personal" agenda for the day.  I thought -- bank, library, Target or Loew's, walk the dog, vacuum the floors and slow roast the pork butts I bought on Monday.  Southern Pulled Pork in an apple cider marinade.  Yum.  That will be my day off.  And I have to prep for the Vegetable Gardening Class on Sunday.  It has to be outstanding.  It's Open House Weekend.  Talk to you Monday.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good Morning

Work is all consuming.  This weekend is the Open House.  New tables are being built as the work of bringing in plants continues.  And the heat.  It was terrible yesterday.  All the tiny baby plants are suffering in 80 and 90 degrees in the big greenhouse.  The smaller plastic house is usually cold this time of year (holding perennials) but it was incredibly hot in there yesterday as I watered.  Hotter today. Customers are buying everything as soon as we put it out, which is good for business.

My underwear was moist all day yesterday. You know I wasn't happy or comfortable.  Taking pain meds each night so I can fall asleep.  I am wearing lighter pants, with the legs rolled up to capri length and I have a very loose pair of shorts in my bag (I cut the belt out of the waistband) if it does go up to 80 degrees outside (100 inside).  Getting my haircut before work.  Got to run.

Yes, my work pants and shorts are looser than they were last year at this time.  My legs, on the other hand, are just as old and wrinkly as they were last year.  I'll keep the capris on as long as possible.

Oops! I wanted to thank you for the wonderful comments regarding the Winter piece.  Check back here the day before spring ends to see part two.  My challenge is to make the four seasons work together as a 24 inch square.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Winter Quilt Reveal

12 by 12.  Bleach discharged fabrics.  Needle turn reverse applique.  Couched thread.  I was trying to give the impression of ice covered ground.  The pine needles and leaf clutter showing through the cracks in the ice. Bird tracks in the snow.

Go over here to see another quilter's impression of winter.  At one time there were 3 or 4 of us doing this little mini challenge but I didn't do a very good job of setting it up or people just weren't all that interested.  I have greater appreciation of the original Twelve by Twelve group.  They stayed organized!

Last Remaining Evidence Of Winter

Tomorrow is the astronomic start of Spring.  The Maine start of Spring is the day the Dairy Queen opens. Yesterday G wanted to have his first Blizzard of the Season.  We drove to the Queen and the lines and crowds were stretched from the service windows to the curb.  G decided he'd wait till next weekend. Mainers were out in shorts and flip flops it was that warm (to us but maybe not to you).

We also had dinner at the SeaDog on the river and they had opened the outside deck for seating.  G didn't want to wait for a table, he thought it was too cold at 68 degrees, but it was sunny and everyone else was sitting outside.  It would have been nice.  Earlier we had walked the dog and neither of us wore a coat.  In March.  In Maine.

Today is also the day to reveal the Winter block that myself and a few friends are making.  My block is not finished yet so my reveal will be later today.  Not now.  And my block, which was based on the picture at the top of this post, is not turning out as I had pictured it in my head.  Now sometimes that is a good thing, but not this time.  I could still "pull it out" but I won't know until I get comments.  Later today.

The crazy kitchen staff at the SeaDog prepared a plate of Nachos for me without the chips.  Now it wasn't perfect but now I can see that this is actually something I can make for myself.  I wasn't SEEING the potential ( I am obviously not as crazy as the kitchen staff).  Some nice, melted in the oven, cheese topped with sour cream, avocado, olives, jalapeño, and crispy fried sausage or  taco seasoned ground beef is going to be super delicious in my Spring menu rotation.  I even watched a YouTube video on how to make cheese crisps which I can serve with my nachos.  But a "serving" of cheese crisps is 2.  So more of a garnish than a meal. I also intend to start making the zucchini pizza crusts more often.  I stopped during the winter.  Zucchini was too expensive.

Yesterday was a miserable diet day for me.  My weight was up again and I actually FELT larger than I have in months. This morning I had "lost" two pounds.  It'll be back.  I don't know if drinking all this water is a good thing.  I have increased water consumption by 300% and feel like I am retaining a lot of it.

I started today with two 8 ounce cups of water already.  I try and drink 24 ounces of water before I have any coffee or breakfast.  And I have 16 to 24 ounces before lunch at work.  Another 16 to 24 ounces with dinner and I always have a glass of water on the table next to me while watching evening television.  You would think I would be running to the bathroom all day.  But I'm really not. I am visiting the bathroom more often, but not 300% more. Where is all the water going? Perhaps my body is just getting used to having more water available.  Or perhaps I am not meant to be drinking so much water.  I have never been a water (or anything else) drinker.  I actually am having to FORCE myself to drink the water.  It would be easier if I could eat a handful of salty peanuts before each cup of water.  But, salty peanuts are forbidden.

I will be having an egg omelet with sausage, onion and spinach for breakfast.  I ran out of avocados.  They were wonderful diced on top of the omelet with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt.  I had some cheese on yesterday's omelet, breaking my no cheese rule.  And then broke it further with the restaurant half order of veggie nachos.  At least I was full and not hungry.

I have things to do.  Places to go.  Dogs to walk.  Better get started.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Today"s Horoscope For March 17, 2012

I found this on my Google page when I got home from work just a few minutes ago.  What a long day. I am out of practice for working on my feet for 8.5 hours.

"So much has happened in your life over the past couple of months, yet you might not be able to see the changes yet.  Although progress continues to be slower than you wish, your life is undergoing a subtle transformation.

Instead of thinking about what has gone wrong, direct your energy towards small tasks that you can finish. Instead of working harder, use your brain and work smarter.  You have more time than you realize, so don't let self-criticism get in the way of your ultimate success."

Wow, when the Universe sends a message, (I needed a pep talk), it can be right to the point.

Oh, today I wore the men's cargo pants I purchased in the early summer of 2008, when I first started working at the greenhouse and when I hadn't started eating a ham and double cheese Yumbo for lunch every day.  It wasn't long before the pants ended up in my husband's closet.  He soon "outgrew them".  Lucky for me, G never clears out his closet.  Even new, the pants created a "severe wedgie situation" whenever I sat down or bent over.  I did both of those things today and never had to grab the back seam of the pants and pull.  I was wedgie free and it was hard not to spend the day smiling.  My weight may be UP by my pants aren't.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Interesting Day At Work

For a very few moments today, I was close to being angry and unhappy with my job.  But, I snapped out of it and refused to go down that road (the road I traveled on last year) and just decided to "do what I could with the work I was asked to do".   So I watered and hummed a little tune.  I snipped dead blossoms and talked to the plant.  I scrubbed large planter pots with Simple Green and hosed them off while standing outside in 45 degree rain and wind with a high school senior discussing career options.  But my biggest challenge came just as the last hour of the work day began.  I was walking to the bathroom (drinking water all day) and passed a customer looking at the cut flower coolers.  I asked if she needed help.  She said she needed a bouquet.  We had lovely Market Bouquets.  No.  She needed a Wedding Bouquet.  Now.  Not tomorrow when the regular Floral Dept. staff would be working.   Now. When I was working, alone.  And had never made a real Wedding Bouquet.

But we did.  We chose white flowers with a touch of green, French roses.  Filler flowers, baby's breath, ferns, in a circle which I tied with ribbon and then cut and wrapped the stems in white satin ribbon.  Everything worked out like a charm.  Like some higher power was making it work.

Because, as Paul Harvey used to say, here's the rest of the story.  The wedding was being held at the groom's deathbed. They had been partners for 20 plus years but the groom had decided it was time to make his love, his wife.  The customer at the cooler was the groom's daughter.  She wasn't sure, but she thought the bride should have a bouquet.

I was so glad that hours earlier I had decided to be happy at work instead of grumpy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Other Side Of The Computer Screen

Is cluttered with all my recipe cards, notes, plant lists cords, bills etc.  Quite the mess.  But it just shows that I do stuff.  Read things. Collect new recipes.  I wrote most of this last night.  And then, with dinner prep, never got back.  Yesterday I worked, I shopped at Wally World, I came home and butterflied and pounded chicken breasts, breaded them with butter, Parmesan cheese and the smallest amount of bread crumbs I could use.  While they baked, I took my shower.   I served the chicken to G with rice and steamed asparagus.  I had asparagus and chicken with a small salad.  In the ten months of Atkins I had forgotten how to make rice, a staple menu item in the years (so many) before Atkins.  Forgotten how to make rice. Wow.

I have limited my diet to the very basic Atkins items.  No cheese.  No nuts.  No whipped cream.  I am drinking water. So very much water.  I may have even had 10 glasses yesterday.  I lost count.  This morning I weight 2.5 pounds less.  Still not where I used to be, just a week ago.  Miles to go. It seems.  I am not in a "happy place" right now with my food choices.  I won't bore you with it.

My co workers are all a "Twitter" over PinInterest.  At lunch they show each other pictures of stuff they have pinned overnight.  They want me to join in the fun.  Yesterday, all day long, I was handed iPhones to look at pinned pictures.  And I was expected to express joy and amazement over the shared pictures.  Some of them were actually interesting.  I did spend an hour (at home on Tuesday) looking at someone else's Pinned Items on different  blogs.  It's a really big time waster.  Some guy actually uses Borax to wash his hair and face.  Makes his hair shiny and his face smooth and wrinkle free.  I read the labels on my box of Borax and it mentions not getting the Borax in your eyes.  I think you could get it in your eyes with shampooing or face washing. And people have "re-pinned" this helpful hint many times.

We just discovered we have no phone service.  G called me yesterday and the phone rang and rang and I never answered and he thought I had died or fallen and gotten hurt etc.  Turns out the phone doesn't work. The helpful local phone company has G going outside to plug something into the box (attached to the house) to see if we actually have service or if the house phone is not working.  Do It Yourself Phone Repair.  What a concept.  And he was worried he wouldn't have anything to do today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Something That Worked

This is the fragment of black cotton that I bleach discharged in the sink, was it two weeks ago?  Seems like.  I have it hanging on the towel bar over the tub in my bathroom.  I like the way it looks.  This is about 18 by 24 inches.  It has the look of an abstract X-ray.  It will be even more mysterious when cut up and sewn to other, more normal (even commercial), fabrics.

I weighed myself this morning and started to cry.  Sobbing.  I have no idea what I am doing wrong, as I am just doing what I always do, and have done for 10 months now, I even gave up nuts. Mysteriously, I feel lighter and smaller. My clothing is not getting tighter. But.  The number on the scale continues to inch upwards and not down. Well, at times it goes down.  Then bounces right back up, plus some, like a good swift gut punch.  I am trying to stay positive.  Today's exercise is drinking a cup of water every hour.  I know I don't drink enough water.  So, I intend to force myself to drink water.  Even if I gag.  Two cups so far.  I have set the oven timer to remind me.

It is supposed to be overcast and raining.  Instead the sun is shining and the sky is clear blue.  I have the day off.  Riley is out on the deck.  So are the citrus trees.  I moved everyone from the upstair bathroom to the porch.  Later today, I will move them onto the enclosed porch for the night.  I also gave them fertilizer. And a huge drink of water.  I had intended for the rain to wash and hydrate the little trees.  Lemon, oranges and now a lime.  The gardenia is also outdoors.  It didn't die over the winter.  I've had it for a year now, which is amazing.  My overwintered (indoors) lavender plants have sent up flower spikes.  The Lily of the Nile (agapanthus) are growing exuberantly in the upstairs bedroom (50 degrees and skylights).  I must be treating everything with the correct mixture of care and neglect.

I will be working everyday for the next four.  I need to plan ahead for my lunches and for G's dinners.  So a visit to the grocery.  I can go today or wait and stop on the way home from work tomorrow (at 3).  I have things I can use to make a lovely Ragu I read about on FOOD52 Digest.  It was in the post regarding freezer food.  G would like a nice porky ragu.  I also have a huge bag (2.5 pounds) of chicken breasts in the freezer than I should be using.  Where are they hiding?  I was going to make "Not Rabbit With Mustard Sauce".  Well, I found the chicken and set it in the fridge portion of the fridge to thaw slowly.  I think I will wait until tomorrow to buy eggs, cereal and yogurt.

I want to do something.  Something that isn't on my To Do List.  Something that I will enjoy.  Been so long since I did that, that I have no idea what it would be.  I'll let you know.

Monday, March 12, 2012

And They Opened The Doors

And took down the plastic and the greenhouse was ready for plants.  And it was HOT.  I had to put sunscreen on my ears.  I also learned how to coil hose in the most interesting way by one of the owners of the business, "walk the hose" to get all the water out of it (and hang the hose ends up so they don't fill with gravel) in case of an overnight frost, and other interesting tidbits.  I was happy all day.  And I have tomorrow off before working four days in a row.

The Nursery staff is working on the big plant display for the Open House on the 24th and 25th.  All sorts of ready to flower shrubs and trees.  A golden rain tree and a fringe tree.  I was thinking about what I would bid on during the plant auction.  They plan to have me set up in the center of the garden for my Vegetable Gardening Class during Open House.  Won't that be interesting.  Giving a lecture while standing in "landscaping".

Riley was happy to be back with his friends at Doggie Day Care.  I picked him up at 5 and then we rushed home to see G.  Riley ate his dinner and then expected a walk.  So we did the short (30 minute) walk which was just enough to do all sorts of dog business.  Now he's sleeping.

G had left over pizza and so did I.  I also had a large mixed salad with a whole carrot.  Carrots are excellent for your eyesight and I always ate lots of raw carrots before Atkins and had good eyes.  Now, I seem to always be rubbing my eyes.  So, I intend to eat carrots again.  Usually with a salad.  But perhaps with tofu based hummus.  The things you find in low carb cookbooks!!!   I took the second bag of mandarin oranges to work as a "table snack".  I noticed lots of employees eating them.  How easy is that; to bring a bag of fruit for the bowl every week?  We'll see what happens.

I've had my shower and I think I will be falling asleep while watching television this evening.  I need to make a large glass of ice water with lemon to drink before bed.  G is having coffee and carrot cake.  I could make more sugar free vanilla pudding flavored whipped cream.  It certainly was delicious.  No more wheat free chocolate cake.  The caffeine in the unsweetened cocoa kept me up for too many hours last night.  Which is why I am so sleepy.  Dark chocolate must have a great deal of caffeine.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pizza Eggs For Breakfast

I made the zucchini pizza crust last night (using garden zucchini I had shredded and packed for the freezer) and the frozen shreds really reduced a lot.  So my pizza was very small.  And I still wanted pizza for breakfast.  This was pretty good.  I added two eggs and a small handful of shredded mozzarella.  I have enough onion and mushroom to make another pizza egg breakfast tomorrow--- before I go to work.

G is working on writing an email to his banker.  I am sneezing.  Riley was so exhausted from waking up and eating breakfast that he is sleeping.

I have new, and fascinating, low carb recipes to transfer to my diet notebooks. Last night I made "whipped topping" out of one cup heavy cream and one tablespoon sugar free instant vanilla pudding.  It is WAY better than Cool Whip and fewer carbs.  Next time, I am putting the mixture in the freezer.  Ice Cream. I also have packages of chocolate and cheesecake sugar free pudding mix.  I requested three cookbooks from my library and two of them are quite good.  I found recipes for cooking sauces such as a low carb Stir Fry Sauce which will expand my choices for meals considerably.  And I watched a YouTube video on how to make Orange Chicken using sugar free orange soda as the base for the sauce.  How cool is that? Can Sweet and Sour Chicken be far behind?  That was my Cheat Day meal while I was on the 365 Day 1200 calorie diet.  I haven't actually had a Cheat Day on this diet.  I may eat more than I should of some low carb food, but I haven't cheated and eaten anything on the "do not eat" list unless you count the breading on fried chicken.  I eat that.  Because that is the ONLY way I am going to eat chicken.  So I have cheated.  Good for me!

Next time we go to the local Chinese restaurant I am having the Sesame Fried Tofu with Broccoli.  I saw someone eating it and it looked wonderful.  When I started eating low carb it was all "no, you can't" and now I am seeing so many possibilities that make this a lifetime way of eating.  I can always have something delicious and filling to eat.  I just need to plan and cook.  And learn to make a few "take out" things I actually love, here at home.  Like crispy fried or baked chicken wings.   And chocolate (wheat free low carb) cake with that whipped topping. OMG!  Special occasion only.

The clocks sprang ahead today and it's almost noon.  I have to get dressed, load the whites into the dryer, make the bed, clean up the kitchen, finish my coffee, clear off the dining room table, start on my Winter 12 by 12 for my little group reveal on the 19th (last day of winter), by the way, I found both fabrics I was looking for, decide what I am taking to work tomorrow, clean up the living room etc etc.  I already filed for my very last week of unemployment and read all my blogs.  People just aren't writing posts as much as usual this winter.  It's like running to the mailbox and hoping for a good letter and finding the box empty. My reading book situation is similar.  Nothing tempting me to read.  No more Tudor Hunchback and no more Asa Larsson.  I finished both series.  Readers?  What now?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

So What Should I Write?

Yesterday a comment that "enough on the diet, my wardrobe etc".  More art.  The art isn't going to happen. There are periods in each year, in my life, when no art is made.  No art is interesting.  You, my Readers, are lucky I participate in the 12 by 12 challenges.  That is the ONLY art I make these days.  And even that brings little joy into my days.  It is WORK.  Meaning it doesn't come without great effort on my part.

Terry wonders on her blog, "how did we end up in this house?" and I feel the same.  How, after so many years and so many places we called "home" did we end up here and for so long?  Before this house, we never stayed anywhere more than 6 years.  We have called 12 different places "home", but, have lived here over 20 years.  I never intended to.

We did mention "retiring" here when we moved here at 45.  We did select a home with single floor living and wide open spaces to accommodate a wheelchair (now a scooter is possible also).  We have yet to remodel the master bath and have a walk in (drive in) shower.  The odds were that one of us will need it.  There is a lovely master suite on the second floor for guests or a caregiver.  We thought of everything.  We just didn't plan on one of us (me) not actually wanting to live here this long.  I am tired of this house and it's unadaptable design.

Only one place for the washer and dryer (the master bath) and who actually wants to do laundry in the master bath????  Only one place for the fridge (and only the smallest size fridge) and what woman wants a tiny apartment sized fridge in a house this large???.  Drafts from the entryway that make the whole house cold (and we can't figure out why it's so cold).  No insulation under the floors (this is an easy fix with spray foam insulation but it NEVER OCCURRED TO US IN 20 YEARS).  G managed to put insulation in most of the second floor "attic" space.  It's a huge space and unheated.  But we haven't added the plastic barrier and drywall yet.  That will be done professionally someday, and probably not by us, now that G is handicapped by only one working lung.  But first, we need an electrician to add wiring and outlets.  We have never CARED enough to fix any of these things.  Sad but brutally true.  Now, after 20 years  of putting up with the design flaws of the house, I just don't care about any of it anymore.  I really don't want to spend the tens of thousands of dollars to "fix" things that are so very difficult to fix.   Demolition is the first item on any "fix".

 But how do we pay for it if we decided to "fix" a few things? The investment banker will probably have some input when we meet up with him.  The money needed to upgrade the house would be coming from the same investments needed to fund our retirement.  Even I know it's not going to work.  We don't have pensions.  We're on our own. G doesn't want to work anymore and he definitely doesn't want to move.  He loves this house.  Actually, he loves the land this house sits on.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Three Days Before Returning To Work

Yesterday, G's day off, was spent doing "not much of anything".  I started the day by dressing in my tan corduroy pencil skirt, brown tights, white LS tee, lime green tank top and brown zip front cardigan.  The skirt is too big and didn't look right. (baggy)  So, it is going into the Goodwill bag.  I would have felt better about the rest of the outfit if I had worn the new brown cords from LLBean.  But I wanted to wear tights.  The brand and the size of the new tights was perfect.  Now I can go find a navy pair.  No picture because I didn't feel like it, since the skirt was baggy.

I dressed up for the meeting we had at the bank with G's IRA banker and an invited guest.  A lawyer who is a retirement/investment consultant.  He manages your assets so you can retire and still live.  They seem to think the assets we have will give us a nice income once we start using it.  I want to delay "using it" as long as possible.  It won't last long if we are remodeling bathrooms and the kitchen.  And I am going back to work on Monday.  Did I mention that?  LOL.  Screw the unemployment Work Search Log!

Then we visited Staples and I purchased the MS chalk ($4 for 4 sticks) and the chalkboard labels to use on my storage jars.  The instructions say "reusable" meaning I can erase what I wrote on the label and fill the jar with something new.  Cereal instead of clothespins for an example.  I can't wait to write something on my homemade chalkboard with this new expensive chalk.  I have a Vegetable Starting class on March 24th and want to use my new chalkboard to list "important points".

I also received a "contract" in the mail for a Rose Growing Class that I reluctantly agreed to teach next February.  Lord, I have never had a contract for anything and it just feels so claustrophobic.  It's from a well known Garden Club.  I gave them names and numbers of "other people they could call" and none of those contacts paid off and one of their members had seen me teach and they wanted me.  I keep thinking they were in N's Rose class last year.  I didn't teach Roses in 2011.  I am feeling cornered and don't like that feeling at all.  A real Introvert.

After the bank, Staples, reading the mail and then walking the dog in the woods (the paths alternated between soggy wet and ice covered) G and I ventured out to the Sea Dog for lunch.  It's Maine restaurant Week so there was a special $20 menu of your choice of starter, main dish and dessert.  I ordered for G.  He had fried cheese filled Italian rice balls on marinara, short rib ragu over gnocchi (not as good as my homemade gnocchi) and then, to finish his high carb meal, fried Italian donuts and chocolate sauce to dunk them in.  He has finally decided to let me order his food for him.  I had my favorite chicken topped with ham and cheese and a side salad with the most delicious Ranch dressing I have ever tasted.  My food arrived with his main course so I got to sit and watch him eat the appetizer and then the dessert with no food of my own.

Which brings me to the central point of my "Great Unhappiness".  When I am doing low carb correctly, I am rarely, if ever, really hungry.  So, I must be doing something wrong.  But, for the life of me, I can't figure out what it is.  I have analyzed my menus in my journal entries.  Nothing has changed.  I even stopped snacking on raw almonds during the day.  Then, I realized I was eating grapefruit.  And tiny mandarin oranges.  I intend to finish off the fruit I still have and then not buy anymore.  And I will stop weighing myself and then crying.  And I promise not to try on the yellow orange "test pants" any more.  They did fit. And now they fit (sort of) but I would never wear them out of the house.  My diet life is off the rails and, as I get closer to May (which will be a whole year of eating lowcarb) I am more and more frustrated not to be getting any closer to my goal weight.  I am stuck.  Stalled.

My alternatives are 1.  To just wait and keep eating the stuff I have always eaten (and lost weight before).  2.  Try the "eat only meat" three day fast.   3.  Try the eat only 1000 calories of Fat three day fast.  I have decided against the Meat Fast or Fat Fast as, in the comments, yes, they lost 4 to 8 pounds in three days, but all or most came back once they stopped.  Why be miserable eating stuff for three days and then have it be for nothing???   I don't think I have any readers with low carb stall experience, so no chance of advice.  I have heard of these stalls to last months and months.  So. Very. Difficult.  I am results driven.  I don't do well with "Waiting".

I have shirts and pants to iron.  The living room to straighten up.  We are having grilled burgers tonight with bacon, cheese and caramelized onions.  Delicious

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Happy Days Are Back Again

I just got the call.  I am going BACK TO WORK!!!  Last year I was ambivalent.  This year I am eager to get back to work.  I start back on Monday for the afternoon shift.  No more unemployment frustration. And I have a handful of classes to teach in the next few months.  Now, to get the house ship shape.

Today and tomorrow are going to be really WARM.  High 50's today and 60"s tomorrow so I will be opening windows (turning off the furnace first of all) and airing out the house.  Freshening things up.  Yesterday, after walking Riley, I visited the grocery and bought all the ingredients for those three dinners G suggested.  But then I was too "tired" to cook, so we went to our local favorite, a nice Italian place and had a lovely dinner.  Tonight I am cooking the boneless pork rib steaks and making an extra large dish of sautéed sauerkraut to go along.  Sauerkraut has lots of fiber and hardly any carbs and it adds a sour saltiness to otherwise bland low carb meals.  Yes, I said it.  The meals are bland.  I am not a user of hot sauces and jalapeño to liven up my food.  That seems to be the way others make dinner more exciting.

Todays omelet was bare bones.  Egg, sausage, onion and cheese.  I may have a bowl of full fat yogurt  sweetened with sugar free vanilla syrup later.  Right now I am enjoying the sunshine and my second cup of coffee.  I think I will sign off and finish my coffee on the back stoop with the dog.  Celebrate going back to work.  I was, well and truly, bored to tears this winter at home.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Every Day Is A Gift

This day is very cold and very bright.  The sun is out.  Tomorrow will be warm enough for me to open windows and air out the house.  The ground is still covered in snow, but not much.  In fact, we have usually had snow cover most of this mild winter.  Just not much.

I stayed up last night, very late, because I became interested in an old Barbra Streisand movie about a Mirror With Two Faces.  It wasn't what I thought it would be, and while the beginning was promising, the last 45 minutes was not.  I also watched episode 5 of SMASH.  I admit to watching to see the set design of the apartments and the dancer's clothing.  I DREAM of being able to sing and dance.  I bet you would never believe that of me.  Even as a child I dreamed of not being tone deaf and rhythm deaf.  I like a great, emotional song, belted out all the way to the cheap seats.  My next life?

I discovered that I could actually eat cold, leftover roast turkey.  If I covered it in enough spicy mustard. I used up half the leftover turkey for a turkey/swiss panini for G's supper and then decided, since I had nothing for my own meal--to eat the remainder of the turkey.  The mustard was out (G likes it on everything) so I tried it, liked it, ate it.  Then finished with a large green salad.  I am trying to eat "clean" as they say on the Atkins Forum. Not that I am seeing any "results" but I feel better when I eat this way.

I am going to the grocery today.  G suggested hamburgers, pork steaks and pizza for the next three days.  Sounds okay to me. I have come to love the "bun less"  bacon cheeseburger.  And I really love the crispy fried pork steaks with sautéed sauerkraut and onion.  I haven't had a zucchini crusted pizza in a long time, so that should be nice as well.  So, he picked good things.

The hall bath looks different now, with the new light sconces and the new medicine cabinet.  G still has the new faucets and shower hardware to work on.  We'll see.  May need a plumber.  I need to shop for towel bars and hooks for the back of the door.  And drawer pulls.  A new rug would be sweet.

I have the week's shirts to iron, the dog vomit stain to remove from the sisal carpet, the dining room table to clear off, the grocery shopping and the dog walk on the schedule for today.  I managed to write checks for the bills after dinner last night.  The floor needs sweeping.  I have a load of whites to fold and a load of darks in the washer.  The sheets need changing.  Gosh, "not working" is so restful and relaxing.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sunshine & Gratitude Lessons

I watched a TED video on gratitude.  I think we all should look at life this way.  The blue sky today should be observed as the first blue sky we ever see or the last one we will ever see.  That's paraphrasing.  The tip is to look with new eyes at what we see in an ordinary day.  I especially liked seeing images of people smiling into the camera.  There was such warmth and humanity radiating from their eyes.  I'd like to be showing that to the people who look into my eyes.  Today and every day.  The look I see in Riley's eyes when we look at each other.  Kind, loving acceptance.  Oh, and the possibility of food and /or a walk.

The skies here in Maine are so very blue.  Bluer than seems possible.  I am always stunned when I take the time to observe and relate to the sky.  And the trees.  It's very quiet here in Maine and it is possible, if I sit quietly, to hear the trees creaking and groaning in the wind.  I find that very interesting and calming.  I am almost always calmed by simplicity.  Like the image of lemons at the top of this post.  This is a magazine image I thought I might, at some point in life, translate into a painting or a fabric piece.  As usual, I pumped up the saturation, which flattens the image a bit and simplifies it even further.  Making it more painterly.

Fibermania had high waisted dresses on her blog this morning (or yesterday) and I, too, have wanted to wear things like this. Hemmed just above the knee. With capri tights and flats.  I saw women dressed like this all of last summer and fall. But I could not find a dress.  And I don't have the skill set for dressmaking (thought I WISH I did).  I think Melody might have been happier with her dress if it had been made of something drapey and slippery.  Then the fullness would slide over the body and not tent around the body's outline (making her/me look wider).  I am ready to buy ONE of the light blouses with the elastic at the waist.  Deborah wears her's with a belt (at the elastic) and a long sweater over a skirt.  I like the way it
looks on Deborah.  I will try and do links if I can find the images.

I spent as much time as I had yesterday visiting new blog sites, looking for low carb or no carb recipes and reading the diet stories of others.  The stories are comforting, in a way.  I don't feel so alone in the struggle. I found two wonderful dinner recipes and an excellent bok choy stir fry.  The lesson learned in the past few days on the internet:  I need to cook in order to eat well.  Too many of the recipes on most of the sites are for desserts.  I don't really crave dessert.  I'd just enjoy a really good dinner.  I wonder if you can "pin" recipes into pin interest?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Things Are Looking Up

Life is slowly being controlled.  I feel more in charge of things.  More.  Not completely.  I never really feel completely in charge of anything.  Life is too variable no matter how hard we try to "be in charge".  I think I will be recalled to work in the next 10 days.  This morning, for some odd reason, I was denied the ability to file for the week's benefits.  See?  Life is unpredictable.  At least my morning on the internet hasn't been a complete waste.  Two great articles to read and a low carb dieter wrote about how he is continuing to "suck" at the low carb diet.

I am not losing weight.  And I am sticking to the low carb diet.  I am even upping the percentage of fat in relation to protein and carbs.  10% fat whole milk yogurt with added heavy cream.  Tuna and real mayo. Lots of olive oil with my omelet and good Jarlsberg cheese.  Only, ever, really hungry in the morning.  Because I finally STOPPED snacking on raw almonds while watching television.  I need to return to hand sewing while watching television.  Keeping the hands busy.  I think about eating a lovely baked sweet potato drenched in butter.  That is my food craving.

I purchased a box of white chalk at the grocery.  When I got home, opened the box and tried to remove one stick, I discovered all the sticks were broken.  Someone had dropped the box on the floor at the grocery.  Then returned it to the display.  I was disappointed.  Really.  But I didn't drive all the way back into town to return the chalk.  I used the broken pieces.  And I will be following a reader's suggestion and looking for MS chalk at Staples.

I'm going to make my morning omelet right now, with patty sausage (the kind I now think is the best), kale, onion, red pepper flakes and some cheese.   I might make a MIM for eating later in the afternoon.  I have been wanting chicken wings so I intend to go buy some from somewhere.  Possibly a Chinese restaurant.  Poo Poo Platter wings.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Real Or Imagined

I woke this morning with a number of problems (real or imagined).  Well, "troubles" more than problems.  Things I am troubled by, things I feel I must address, deal with as best I can, "fix" in some way.  Today's photo worked itself out quite nicely ( I am in love with the color saturation button in iPhoto).  Let's hope everything else does also.  I refuse to bore you with details.

It snowed.  All day yesterday.  G had to use the snowblower twice.  I had to shovel.  My finger tips (wore the wrong gloves) suffered frost bite.  Long ago, as I child, my brothers and I spent way too long outside in the cold and my fingers and toes were often painful and bitten by the frost.  As I get older, the bite returns to my fingers, most often.  I need to be more careful.  Wear proper, warm gloves (if such a thing exists).  I was born with ice cold hands and feet.  My mother often mentioned that she was never able to keep my extremities warm.  I, also, rarely slept as a baby.  I am supposing the following three siblings were all accidents.

My chalkboard painting is finished (two coats sanded in-between) and the surface is smooth.  Best of all, I did not get paint on my clothes. Now, I realize, I do not have chalk.  Where does one buy chalk?  I think the best, creamy, high quality chalk is no longer made because dry erase boards are now the standard in schools.  I'd like that really good, dense stuff the French restaurants use on the menu boards outside bistros.  I'd love to be able to write in the script the French use. I think it is possible to learn how.  I should add that to my "bucket" list.  IF I had a bucket list.  Someday, soon, I intend to cover an entire wall with chalkboard paint and scribble all over it.  Just as I intend to deconstruct my kitchen and make it all concrete counters and stainless steel.  Industrial. To hell with "resale values".  Oh, I have lots of dreams chasing my waking hours.

G installed the two new light sconces in the hall bath (late last evening).  Let there be light.  I, happily, took the original sconces and tossed them in the garbage can along with their ratty little shades.  I admit to being rather forceful with the tossing and should be more honest and say I smashed them into the garbage can.  Spell check wants them to be scones.  Which I have a recipe for (Smitten Kitchen) with subs of almond and coconut flours.  But I digress.

I never got around to visiting the grocery yesterday.  I need something for dinner tonight and Saturday. Hopefully, I can make something today and be able to serve it both days.  It would be great if only minimal cooking was involved.  And, if the grocery has chalk for sale, my visit would be perfection.

I hope I feel better soon.  Sooner.  Soonest.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

March First Snowstorm

It is snowing.  It has been snowing.  It will continue to snow.  March arrives with a vengeance, which is good because then it will depart like a sweet baby lamb.  I hope.  My picture for today is one of the blossoms on my Clivia.  A pretty yellow throat and orange edges.  A Ray of saturated sunshine on a cold, white day.

I did a few loads of laundry (minus the squeaky dryer) and then painted the plywood board G found for me in the attic with chalkboard paint.  I have classes to teach this Spring when I return to work and I wanted a blackboard with the lecture points to keep me on topic.  I can, so easily, go off topic these days.  I have the painted wood on the kitchen island.  This first coat takes 4 hours to dry.  Then I will add a second coat for overnight drying.  Then four days to "cure".

G has done the snowplowing and is now walking the dog.  I skipped the walk today as my hip is not doing too well.  Needs a bit of rest.  And I do want to take a shower.  G also will need to cut my PVC pipes for my seed starting "stand" which will hold the shop light and grow bulbs.  Also, for a class I am teaching.  I like to have new stuff each time I teach, since I have the same students (mostly) and they enjoy new information.  This year we'll discuss planting seeds by the phases of the moon.  I feel like I should wear tie dyed clothing for the class.  So Hippy Dippy.

Tonight is the premiere of AWAKE on NBC.  I am so excited about this new show and the handsome lead actor.  He played Jackson Brodie in the PBS mystery Case Histories last fall.  I realize that my excitement and the excitement of the TV reviewers will only lead to great disappointment.  Shows I love get cancelled. I wish I could LOVE some of the crap that stays on television for years and years.  But I can't.

G and TiVo Support have been exchanging emails and I think we have finally solved our problem with BBC America.  It now sports episode updates and I can get Season's Passes to the stuff I enjoy watching.  Right now that is the Tudors and The Hour.  I found, quite by accident, that I even enjoy Top Gear.  The three car nuts are quite funny and they do amusing things.  Like ride old, battered motorcycles up the coast of Vietnam or build boats out of old, beater cars and (try to) cross the English Channel.  Last week they pitted three extremely luxurious cars against each other in Albania (known for it's excellent highways---not!).  One dealer, Bentley, refused to give them a car so they subbed a Lada (made of plywood) and referred to it as a Bentley throughout the program.  So, the images of a Rolls Royce Ghost, A huge Mercedes and the battered red "Bentley" driving on to a rotting wood "ferry" and nearly into the water, will be permanently etched on my brain.  As will the "Bentley" rolling backwards (at quite a clip), along a highway wall, without brakes. Favorite so far:  One of the guys was helping another fix his motorbike ( no replacement parts allowed) and the bike tipped over, causing the smaller guy to "headbutt the other in his man parts" caused me to laugh out loud.  Not an easy task and much enjoyed for the health benefits laughter causes.  I don't watch everyday (it's always on) but when I do watch, I am never disappointed.

Well. enough aimless chatter.  Time for my shower.