Sunday, April 29, 2012

Anger Management

I am having some problems with "being angry" which could actually be frustration or annoyance.  I find my behavior to be less than what I would hope it could be.  Finding fault and criticizing are the hallmarks of my negative personality.  Which I have been made aware of, over the years, and struggle to control "one day at a time".  The negative is my fall back personality position.  Always has been.  Too much time on my hands (to think) and too little "happy" work to do and I become progressively more negative.

Yesterday, at work, was so very, very bad.  We had someone in the building most of the day who was corrosive when in close proximity to me.  If this person is ever here again, in the months to come, I will use one of my sick days, and stay away.  It is going to take quite awhile for this much negativity (from this person) to clear out of my system. Sigh!

I plan on making the Southern Pulled Pork from Martha Stewart for tonight's dinner.  A good warm meal should help cheer me up.  I also need to visit the grocery store as we are "out" of a few necessary supplies.  I have two or three loads of laundry to do, a general idea of what I want to try for the Maps 12 by 20 due on Tuesday, May 1, and some general gardening to do outside.  Overnight temps were very cold but the sun is shining right now.  G is cutting the grass.  Riley is resting in the sun on the back porch.

I stayed up way longer than necessary last night (replaying the corrosive comments) and trying, unsuccessfully to disengage my own negativity, when I happened on QVC and the new VitaMixer.  The host was demoing the ease of making ice cream (sugar free), natural peanut butters (sugar free), almond milk and fresh, hot soups in the new VitaMixer.  I have always wanted one but they cost too much.  Not last night. And the new machine is smaller. I dialed and purchased.  They make it so easy.  The phone was answered by a nice woman who said "hello, Joanne".

 I had been sort of depressed thinking of another whole summer without ice cream (due to the sugar content).  Then the host made peach ice cream with frozen peaches and soy milk.  I would use heavy cream and frozen strawberries for my favorite strawberry ice cream.  Starbucks uses the VitaMixer to make their drinks.  And, I could make a smoothie using whole foods. I can also grind up raw almonds, coconut and flax seeds into flours to use in grain free baked goods.  I haven't actually progressed to actually baking and eating " grain and sugar free baked goods" yet.  I really am afraid of gaining weight. I'll have 30 days to try the new mixer and then decide if I want to keep it or return it.  Easy.

My thoughts on my new way of eating is not to replace or substitute the forbidden with replicas.  I would prefer to keep it "clean" and just not eat that particular food item.  I mean, really, why try and fool myself into thinking my food choices are "normal"?  They aren't. Easier said than done. A fellow employee saw my ham and cheese roll ups the other day at lunch and said "wow, what a great idea for my kid's lunchbox"  After watching me dip radish slices in salt and chew them, she asked  "does that satisfy the "chip" desire?"  And she and her husband tried it that night and both were surprised that it did, indeed, satisfy the need for "chips".  I guess I can be the vehicle for change, one radish at a time.  LOL

To those readers who suggested books, I have ordered The Crown and have the Sister Fidelma books on my list.  Thank You!

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Week Of Cheating On My Low Carb Diet

Yes, I cheated.  I ate cereal for three days, then had a thin slice of well buttered bread on the fourth day (which was totally not worth it). I've also eaten fresh pineapple (it was overripe and I had to toss it) and organic mango with my yogurt which is also a "cheat" of sorts but allowed in the "new"Atkins.  I held the line at pasta which would be a huge cheat I am not willing to make.

Since my scale is permanently set on "zero" I can't weigh myself.  My clothes fit as usual everywhere but the waistband.  That seems a touch tight at different times of the day.  I have been spectacularly "regular" all week and that is like the best gift in the world to me right now.  No cravings. I did mix a drink flavoring (not Splenda) into my water at work and I felt instantly "hungry" so I won't make that mistake again.  It's the sweetener Coke puts into it's diet products.  Makes you want to eat more food.

In the world of diet cheating, this doesn't even begin to seem interesting.  There are people gorging on pizza, cake and potato chips when they cheat.  I wanted to see what would happen.  I wanted to test the waters with my toes and see how "safe" I was from temptation.

This is the genius of Atkins.  The lack of temptation when you eat the foods allowed.  I explained to a friend that I am rarely hungry, rarely if ever, tempted to eat the forbidden foods and that is such a revaluation to me.  I was always hungry before (65 years of being hungry).  I could eat anything and never be satisfied.  I always wanted more.  Always prowling around looking for something to eat.

The things I eat now, satisfy me.  A chemical miracle.

I just thought I would share that this morning.  I've returned to the egg, sausage breakfast.  I added kale. I have no idea what to pack for lunch today--it's cold/raining.  I don't like to eat cold food on cold days.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Diary of Samuel Pepys'

Samuel Johnson wrote the first English Dictionary.  I was thinking of the first diary writer in 1630 or some where close to that and that would be Samuel Pepys.  I guess my English education wasn't all that "smart".  I wonder that none of you corrected my mistake.  LOL You probably didn't know WHAT I was referencing.

Today began with an overnight frost (32) and then it got warm, then the wind picked up and it got cold, then warm for a very short period and then, as Mainers say "bone chilling" cold.  For people who live way up here in Maine, we certainly do feel the cold.  Love the sun and heat, but take a chill pretty damned quick.

I got seven shirts ironed after work today.  I was moving thru the pile and then G says, "get dressed" (I had showered and put on my jammies) we are going out to dinner. Well, I tried to get him to change his mind and let me finish the shirts.  Really.  I have nearly every shirt he owns on the back of the office chair waiting to be ironed.  And the steam iron was working so good.  No snorting and sticking.  G said, "I only need two shirts and then I have the next three days off".  Well, I don't.  Have the next three days off. Which is how the pile of clean washed, but not ironed, shirts happened in the first place.

I am changing back into my jammies and getting back to ironing those damned shirts.

G had the electricians here to put in a new panel so his upstairs workshop wouldn't be pulling electricity from the kitchen and living room (and blowing circuits) when he does work up there with all his power tools.  He and the dog helped.  Riley is exhausted from all the helping he did today plus his walk.  Our next improvement project will be seeing how much it costs to have the driveway resurfaced and flattened out where the tree roots (from three trees we had taken down last June) have bumped up the asphalt.  And top coated and sealed.  New roof, new furnace, some new windows and now a refurbished driveway.  What a way to prepare for retirement.

Any recommendations on new murder mysteries for me to read?  I had meant to read the Roman Zen books but never got there.  I really do like the Scandanavian ones or the Medieval.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm No Samuel Johnson

I think that was the name of the guy who wrote the first published "diary".  I read it back in freshman English in college.  Do they still do that?  Today was Site Meter report day and I followed one of the reader's intake links back to a September 2010 post where I discussed ratatouille and further back grape jelly.  The main themes of my writing, fascinating as it isn't, were food preparation and disliking my work. At least I am consistent over the years.  I actually found my writing style to be pleasing and I would have continued reading backwards but I was hungry and wanted my breakfast.

My breakfast this morning is the same as the past two days.  A bowl of forbidden cereal (made from wheat) with half and half.  This cereal has kept me full until 2.30 each afternoon and sometimes, if I am busy, until dinnertime.  And I feel better.  I was so very very tired of eating eggs.  And, like Seinfeld, I could eat nothing but cereal all day long.  I love it that much.  This morning I am eating the last of the cereal in the cupboard.  So, I have to decide to buy more or stop and return to the egg omelet.  This is a big decision. (I decided NOT to buy more cereal)

G decided to take a nap after work and his dentist appointment yesterday.  And he slept right thru the time to pick up the dog at day care.  By the time he woke up, the vet was closed for business for the day.  Lucky for G and Riley, someone was still there and Riley got to come home for his dinner and sleep in his own bed.  A cat that had been dropped off for grooming wasn't so lucky.  She was having to stay.  Forgotten by her owners.   G has to have root canal on the tooth that was getting a new crown.  They found spots on the tips of all three roots.  Not a good thing.  And G had to drive back to work (after going to get the dog) to open the uniform closet for a new employee.  He didn't get to eat the lovely homemade meatball sub and onion rings until 8pm.  I didn't get to eat my bowl of all meat chili until 9.  I was talking on the phone with a friend (which was such a treat!).

Finished my book, finally.

I discovered that I am happiest at work when I don't think about it too much.  Yesterday I laughed, agreed and otherwise didn't engage with my boss over the directions he was giving me.  It's pointless.  So why do I do it? (first born bossy) It's really so much easier to have someone else telling you what to do all day, step by step.  And, as long as I am always doing something, he has hardly anything to say to me.  I watered plants for the entire first four hours of my work day.  The last two, I was repotting things.  I noticed that a new repotting rate sheet has been posted and I need to start charging more for my services.  Which will cut down on said services.  Many new employees started work this week.  And we got new tee shirts.  Mine are size medium (mens) since I am now that size again.  I am, in fact, the size I was when I was first hired. Wearing the same cargo pants I bought for my "new" job in April, 2008.  Let's see if I can manage to STAY this size and not increase in size over the next five to 8 months, like I did in 2008.

Well, I used up an entire hour on this post and now have to get dressed for work and make my ham and cheese roll ups and bag of radish "chips" for today's lunch.  See you later.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I woke at eight.  Another night of waiting too long to finally go to bed, then not being able to sleep as my mind just kept adding things to the "what to worry about" file box in my head.  G's alarm went off at 3 I think and that's when I fell asleep.

I have been visited at work (like a Christmas Carol) by friends from my past here in Maine.  Good friends that I haven't seen in years, from my quilting days.  Sweet friends from my years at the library.  If I was a fatalist, I would feel like they were arriving to say farewell.  Or, perhaps, they are coming to say "remember".  It is oddly worrying.  Why have I let them go?  Where was I going when I decided I no longer needed to see them on a regular basis?  They have all said they miss me.  After each visit, I wondered why I never missed them.

I no longer feel great anticipation for the blog and my, now, daily posting.  I don't read many blogs, perhaps 15 to 20, and they hardly post on a daily basis.  So, not much to read each morning.  The bloggers who began their blogs at about the same to time I did, years and years ago (about the same time I let all those friendships slide), also seem to have lost interest in daily writing.  But they do advertise the classes and products they are offering.  Blogging has led to commerce for most.  Most of my reading is now in regard to Mad Men episodes.  Have we outgrown the internet?

It's raining here in Maine.  And it is also cold.  I am very happy to be home today and not at work.  Yesterday was sad enough.  Yes, sad but not bad.  The plants all looked bedraggled.  Either too wet or too dry.  Nothing "fresh" is being delivered by the daily trucks.  I had help watering the dry baskets.  I got to lift the newly watered plants back up into their spots.  And I got cold, dirt filled water poured on my clothes.  Nothing in the world like wet clothing on a cold rainy day.

I have a long list of things that I have put off doing.  Paying bills, ironing shirts, buying groceries.  Finally reading the last quarter of the overdue book I am enjoying.  G made himself dinner last night.  Pasta with butter and cheese.  There is nothing else.  Well, there is yogurt and cereal.  I had deli ham rolled around cheddar cheese.  I continue to lack interest in preparing a cooked dinner for the two of us.  Or for the one of us still eating a normal dinner.

I have an approaching deadline for the new 12 by 20 art quilt.  Maps.  May 1.  June 19th I have the Spring 12 by 12 due for my own little project.  I can't think of a thing for Maps.  Zero.  The rain has stopped thundering down on the skylights.  Perhaps Riley will now consider going outside to do his morning "business".   Or not.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Work As Meditation

There are times, at work, when I feel like I am meditating.  It's as if I am alone in the moment.  Adding gravel to a pot, a sprinkle of charcoal to sweeten the soil if the plant is overwatered, the soil, then the plant, with it's roots gently loosened and the final scoops of soft, moist potting soil.  The last thing I do is wash off the pot and dry it on the towels I bring from home.  Then I walk to the front to present, deliver, the plant to it's new owner.  The selected plant and pot are always more than the new owner had anticipated.  They usually say "oh" in a pleasant, happy way.  I had my camera at work but failed to photograph the new bonsai I planted for a customer.  It was my best work so far this season.

I think, yesterday, I even said to another employee, that all was right in my world at that moment.  That's a lovely feeling.  I know it won't last.  But to even feel that way, momentarily, is a gift.

I have been out of sync with my environment for quite awhile.  This cold is wearing my defenses down and opening me up to other things.  I am too tired to fight back.  Which is good.  I can relax in the moment and not be thinking ahead three or four steps.

I am also finding it difficult to eat enough.  I am not interested in the food I have been eating.  Not that I am interested in any sort of food right now.  Eating is a forced activity when I am feeling weak and hungry.  Nothing tastes good.  I didn't sleep well last night and woke this morning feeling exhausted.  My day off.  So many plans for today.  Things to check off the housekeeping list.  The landscaping list. The grocery shopping list.  The dog keeping list.

I'm struggling, this morning, with responsibility versus self.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Dog Knows

What he likes.  He likes meals served on time.  Fresh water in his bowl.  A nice walk in the woods. Best of all, he likes it when a deer walks right up to him on the path and everyone stays real still and then the deer books it and the dog does too.  A dog knows when to cut off the chase and return to his owner for a treat.  Riley is a good dog.  G was glad he came back.  I'll have to rub his ears extra hard tonight before bedtime.

The day started cold.  31.  Smoke was rising off the ocean and the rivers.  I couldn't see the cars coming towards me on the way to work.  When I stopped at the big intersection, it looked like I had stopped the car in a cloud.  By the time I walked across the road to get my haircut at 9, the sun was out and everything was clear and warm.  And my hair looks great.  All spiky.

Good day at work.  I did lots of things I like doing.  My new coworker took pictures of a cabbage moth that flew in just moments after we set the new cabbage seedlings out in the sunshine.  R is keeping a journal of her internship.  R also took home a leaf from a foliage plant and looked up the sort of diseases that kind of plant gets.  The brown spots on the leaves were certainly caused by water dripping from the pots overhead onto the plant.  So we moved the three plants to the wall shelving.  She is learning from me and I am learning from her.

I've decided to rename my chicken salad.  Chicken Crack.  I had to go and buy another roaster breast from the deli on my way home from work.  They are on sale this week.  I also purchased two ripe organic mangoes.  I have to check out how many carbs in a mango and how much fiber.  I plan to eat the fruit with my yogurt no matter what the numbers say.  The mangoes were also on sale.

My scale is broken.  I weigh zero.  My mango colored "test pants" fit.  The pockets are flat.  Nothing is tight.  So I looked in the clothing container and found a new pair of "test pants".  Some capri pants my daughter gave me a few weeks ago.  I couldn't even zip them when I received them.  I can zip them but they are too tight.  So, I will use them to judge how I am doing weight wise.  I think "test pants" work better than the scale.  My rings aren't as loose as they should be.  I didn't drink enough water.  Have to do better at work.

I didn't want to finish my egg omelet at breakfast.  I don't know if it's the cold, the Walmart eggs, the bland sausage or what.  But I need to figure out a new breakfast.  I have been eating the same thing for nearly 12 months.  Like 300 times at least.  It's getting old.  And it doesn't taste good anymore.  Which is why I think it might be the Walmart brand of egg beaters.  Or just a bad carton of egg liquid. I'm too tired to even think about it.  I'm hitting the couch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Still coming up after all these years.  G's brother gave us a gift of some daffodil bulbs, tulips and snowdrops when we moved here in 1991.  A few of the snow drops still appear but the daffodils have multiplied and been moved all around the property.  Thank you R!

2012 is a fantastic year for Forsythia here in Maine.  The neighborhoods are a blaze of yellow flowers. My walking buddy has a huge hedge of forsythia and her house is at the end of the street where our street meets the road into town.  It is so nice to see all that bright yellow as I turn it at the end of my day.  Later in the year, her maple tree just glows with bright orange and red leaf color.  Like it's been lit up by electricity. Over way too quickly for me.  Even the two skinny sprouts out front have yellow flowers this year.

I didn't take enough cold medicine to work with me.  I was mostly miserable and unable to breath thru my nose from about 2 on.  I just got out of the shower and plan to take my medicine now and just slump down on the couch and fall asleep.  G is already asleep on the couch.  No one has had dinner except for Riley, who is also asleep, on his dog bed, with Moo tucked under his chin.  We, three, are such exciting people.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Antique Shades of Pansy

On my deck.  Yes, the deck is wet but not from rain.  We are in the midst of a "heatwave" and it hit 80 degrees today (the greenhouse was close to 100 or it just felt that way).  Not a welcoming drop of rain in sight.  These pansies make me smile each and every time I see them.  My grandmother loved pansies as much as I do.  But she grew them from seed.

My skin feels dry and parched after a day of unseasonal heat.  Yesterday my walking buddy and I had lunch and conversation on the deck of the Seadog overlooking the river.  I had the sun on my face.  So, I am getting brown as a walnut and it is only April 17.  Income Tax Day.

I took some Airbourne yesterday and my cold is significantly better.  I did get a few mosquito bites and a strange rash on my arm, at work, just to keep me on my toes, healthwise.  I would have given anything for a very large McD's iced coffee today at around 2 pm.  Instead I was asked if I had good handwriting and if I could spell.  And that's how I ended up using a Sharpie marker and writing the names of the seed potatoes on the potato bags.  Then rolling down the top of the bags into a neat "cuff".  Can an employer actually ask a person those questions? It was a pleasant diversion from my usual work.  And I was sitting right in the middle of the garden center--easily available for questions.  I even got to figure out the cubic volume of a garden bed that was 4 feet by 8 feet by 20 inches.  Does this even come up in today's high schools?  I am beginning to worry about the "premier" education being delivered at my local schools.  Which I pay taxes to support.

G picked up the dog today and I picked up a Quick Dinner at the grocery.  G got a container of chicken wings from the Wing Bar and a cup of Summer Slaw which he likes.  Also a wedge of carrot cake.  I got a half pound of thinly sliced ham to roll up around a slab of cheddar from Ireland and a roasted chicken breast which I shredded and mixed with mayo (lots) and honey.  Not supposed to have honey but I adore the taste of chicken salad with honey.  Dreamy.  And you know I don't really like chicken so this has to be GOOD.

As an added attraction at the Deli Counter was a brand new employee.   He was just personality plus.  A real Hoot.  A definite improvement to the personality deficit (serial killer type) former Deli employees. He was nervous and was over explaining why he was taking so long--but everyone has a first day/week in a new job.  And I wasn't complaining.  A new friendly, animated person at the deli counter is good news.  Last time I was there, I asked the young, pierced and tattooed clerk to read the carb count off the the ham packaging.  I should have waited and asked the new guy.  We could have bonded over carbs.  Now I am looking forward to future visits to the Deli.  And I never thought I would be saying that.  You just never know when life will surprise you with a little treat.

I am now going to reheat some breakfast coffee and watch television.  G is completely involved with his iPad.  Riley is fast asleep.  He gets really tired in the summer when it's hot.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's 70 Degrees Outside And I Have A Cold

I thought, at first, that it was an allergy.  But by the time I got home from work, I knew it was a cold.  The inside of only one side of my nose was raw and burning.  I had trouble breathing during Masterpiece Theater.  So I took one green Night Quil  and went to bed.  This morning things are blocking my nasal passages and clogging my brain.  I had HUGE plans for the day.  Planting things in the garden that I bought yesterday.  I also have a lunch date.  The first rule of life.  Never make plans.

The timer on the dryer just went off.  The whites are dry and need folding.  The darks are probably ready for the dryer.  So many work clothes. Thank goodness they are all in dark colors.  G was very busy in the garden yesterday and picked up the yard of compost I bought yesterday.  Nice dark brown stuff.  No smell.  He also picked up the piles of leaves and rubbish I had raked out of the front garden bed on Saturday.  A huge job and I nearly got a blister on my hand (forgot to wear gloves) which would have made work yesterday even more tedious than it was.  We were short a few people (or it seemed that way) as I was running here and there plus trying to get my watering and straightening up done.  I did my best with the customers as that is more important in the long run. One blew me a kiss as she drove away.  Odd.

I am gulping down coffee.  It tastes so good.  I didn't have eggs for breakfast even though I was hungry. Yesterday, while making G a totally weird (and disgusting to me) dinner, I left the Tupperware scraper in the frying pan and it melted onto the pan.  Two items I can no longer use.  G actually LIKED the mess I served him.  He said it was very strange but amazingly tasty (leftover pasta, crispy ham bits, two egg yolks, cream and parmesan cheese with loads of fresh ground pepper).  I had crispy fried ham (from Easter) a few ounces of Irish cheddar and a handful of radishes.  The ham should be finished in the next day or two.  My breakfast was ham rolled up around two ounces of cheddar.  I ate it cold.  I wasn't planning to eat breakfast but I felt hungry and I really should eat breakfast.  Skipping dinner is okay.  Not breakfast.

I have no idea where my friend and I are eating lunch.  Last time we had lunch we didn't get back home until 4 pm.  And we started out at noon.  So much to talk about.  We hardly get to see one another since her grandson was born in August of 2007.  Before that, we walked nearly every morning at 8 am.  Things changed for both of us that August.  Grandbaby for her and Riley for me.  I lost my library job soon after. And then death took so many friends.  2007 will always be a momentous year in my life.  In one spectacularly significant weekend, I had my first one woman quilt show open and my father died suddenly.  How's that for bad timing?

It has been over a year, I think, since my friend K decided she no longer wanted to be friends with me.  I still refer to her when I speak to people (referencing her gardens in Georgia) but I realize that our relationship was over.  After so many years (40), you feel you will be with this person until the end of time. We see the world differently.  We have different values.  Different priorities.  Neither better or worse than what the other believes.  Just incompatible.  I think it's called "rubbing each other the wrong way".  I think internet email made it too easy to irritate each other.  We would have done better with the occasionally visit and a Christmas card.  So I have stopped being hurt and sad.  I remember the good times and have begun to ignore the things I couldn't change.  K was brave to just call an end to "us".

Has anyone ever removed or sanded flat a gloss paint in a bathroom?  Twenty years ago I painted the walls with a paint recommended for bathrooms.  I had just removed and scraped off the original wallpaper.  I know I can't just paint over the shiny surface.  The paint won't stick.  I need to rough things up and get a good surface.  There are also places where we are now down to bare drywall (different shape medicine cabinet).  I hate working in bathrooms.  The space is so small and everything is in the way.  Eventually, we will be putting the master bath tub into this bathroom, along with a new toilet and vanity, plus a tile floor.  So, this interim paint job, while not the end product, needs to be done well and correctly to save time later. Any hints and tips will be welcome.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Is Here.

This is last year's Spring planting for the porch planter.  The impatients aren't in the greenhouse yet.  And no coleus either.  We seem to be "behind".   I set my two in house geraniums outside in the sun and plan to clip cuttings from them for summer usage.  My one flat of pansies are the antique shades I enjoy.  Roses and golden yellows with a faint touch of orange.  The warm side of the pansy family.

Riley is wanting his walk.  I am still busy with the internet.  Dr Oz.  I am a Pitta body type.  I should eat juicy foods with a high water content.  No nuts.  Avocado, mango and pineapple in the fruit category. All the high fat dairy.  No egg yolks.  Leafy vegetables and no starchy ones.  Pretty much what I like to eat.  I even had the 30 grams of protein in my first meal of the day for some other diet Dr Oz talked about.  Everything points the way to my eating a proper diet for my body type.  Except.  This diet says okay to cane sugar, wheat, rice and couscous.  No. No. No.

I stopped at the hospital book sale and got a lovely low carb cookbook with a recipe for mock kahlua the coffee drink I love to add to chocolate cakes.  I could add it to cream and have a lovely cocktail.  Or not.

My breakfast eggs (egg beaters) was MUCH better today with Jimmy Dean sausage and sautéed kale.  I just don't like the other sausage or the wilted spinach.  It all feels too soft and squishy.  Now, I think that means I don't LIKE soft juicy things.  Pitta body type things.  Sorry Dr Oz.

My IRA investment person called me (on Saturday) to discuss my choices for funds for my IRA contribution.  We decided on a fund that buys stocks with good dividends.  I like dividends.  She mentioned that ATT has the best dividends.  I replied that I own ATT stock and wasn't at all impressed with it.  I like that she's a woman.  The guys that call (from the same company) are so aggressive and pushy.  I usually listen for awhile and then hang up on them.

That's about all that is happening here.  I plan to make pizzas for dinner.  And retain a great deal of water tomorrow and probably the rest of next week.  I may even have a third cup of coffee.  It's decaf and it tastes good, so why not.

Friday, April 13, 2012

That Damned To Do List Is Finished

Yes, indeed.  The taxes are done and mailed.  All the dirty clothes have been washed.  All the shirts that aren't in the washer or dryer are ironed.  The bills are paid.  Overdue books have been taken to the library. My paychecks have been deposited.  I treated myself to frozen Cool Whip.  I pretend it's ice cream.

I have tomorrow OFF.  Working four days straight is just about as bad as working five days straight was last week.  Because the days start an hour earlier and end an hour later.  G has helped out by picking up Riley at day care when I work until 6.  He's also helped out this week, the first where I have to get up between 5:30 and 6 am, by taking me out to dinner three days in a row.  See, I like it, but I complained about just this sort of thing to the investment banker.

Today was in the 60's (sort of) and tomorrow is supposed to be warmer.  I think I will try and plant my onions and peas in the garden and start my tomato and pepper seeds in the house.  G has asked that I exercise restraint when planting the tomato seeds.  He thinks I overdo it.  If only other people had willingly accepted the gift of started tomatoes, I wouldn't have had 26 tomato plants.  It wasn't MY fault.

I got to work with the new hire yesterday and today.  She's studying horticulture at a local college and this is her summer internship.  R has to keep a journal of her internship experiences and so far she has taken pictures of some bugs on a basil leaf and the gunk we picked off the Venus flytrap plants to make them look nicer.  None of the floor drains clogged, so she missed out on pictures of that.  Always pleasant to be the one unclogging the drains.

It could be worse.  D told us that they couldn't order something on the Taco Bell menu because the "meat hose" was clogged.  Really.  That's a pretty image, isn't it?  What menu item do you think it could be? We forgot to ask, as we were so gobsmacked by the words "meat hose" and "clogged".

I ate four of my hard boiled eggs with mayo (egg salad) and an avocado.  It was pretty good considering it was eggs.  Very high fat.  But, still.  It was eggs.  My Banquet sausage patties are terrible.  I bought Jimmy Dean replacement sausages today after work.  My breakfast needs to taste good.

I warned G that I might do some "chemistry set" baking tomorrow.  Make a cake or something using non-traditional ingredients.  Meaning no sugar or grain based flours.  I am leaning toward the Wheat Belly Carrot Cake, mainly so I can make SF instant pudding frosting with cream cheese.  The recipe makes a 9 inch square "cake" which is way too much for me to eat.  So, it has to be tasty and edible enough for G to eat.   I used to look forward to eating but no more.  I get hungry, but I have lost my appetite for food.  Which is why I haven't made any baked goods (for myself) in almost a year. I bake for G all the time. I'm thinking the Cool Whip in the freezer is good enough for the occasional dessert.  A legal baked good could be way too dangerous at this point in the weight stall.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Happens At Work

Here's a little drama for you.  HSK stands for High School Kid. Me stands for Me.

HSK-- (coming in from Nursery) Hey, do we have apple, peach and banana trees?

Me -- You mean the Smoothie Trees?

HSK -- Really!!! We have Smoothie Trees?

Me -- No, they haven't come in yet.

More HSKs-- No kidding!!!! We sell Smoothie Trees!???

Yes, they all graduate in June.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Three Dollar, After Easter Lily

I returned to work this morning.  Up before 6 am and in the car by 7.  The long days of the "season" are upon us.  The "new" hires are being trained.  The fertilizer pump got hooked up today so now all my lovelies will be fed blue water.  I had just finished watering everything when the guy showed up to set up the fertilizer.  Oh, well.

The perennials are going out.  The tables are filling up nicely.  Before long I will be spending my days outside from morning to evening.  I'm looking forward to it.  My socks were very wet today, as wet as my pant legs from the knees down, but when I stopped to notice them after lunch, they were bone dry.  Amazingly dry for April.  The woods should be squishy with mud, but the paths are dry and dusty.  What has happened to a wet, damp Spring?

G is getting his pasta ready.  We are having the last container of meatballs and marinara for dinner tonight.  Mine with zucchini noodles.  I finished the taxes yesterday.  It was uneventful and I printed off two copies for ours and my daughter's returns.  Today my investment agent sent me an prepaid overnight envelope for my IRA contribution.  Nice service.  Nice agent.  I told her so.

Got to go.  Got to julienne my zucchini noodles.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Lets Just Start Over, From The Beginning

A reader included this sign in an email she sent me.  Is this a good thing or not? LOL.  I like it.  It sounds like me.  Or the me I want to be.

I have spent the morning grilling the red and yellow peppers I purchased at Walmart along with two very large yellow onions.  I have been enjoying the grilled onions and peppers I buy frozen at Trader Joes, and thought that I could do it "myself".  The ingredients on the TJ packaging was onions, red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers.  Wally World didn't have any green peppers.  My grilled vegetables tastes good.

The little teflon frying pan I have been using to make breakfast eggs in for the past 11 plus months has lost it's non stickiness.  I like to let the eggs and sausage and onion get nice and brown on the bottom and not runny at all on top and then flip it over, turn off the heat and let it finish up.  Not happening now.  The eggs get all scrambled (which I don't like) and my breakfasts have been less than happy for weeks now.  I think I need to buy a new pan.

My diet is going nowhere.  Same four pound range for so long that I can't even remember other numbers on the scale.  Up four pounds.  Down four pounds.  Over and over.  No matter what I try.  More protein. More fat.  Less carbs.  No diet soda.  Green tea. Less cheese.  The only thing I do KNOW is that the third of a cup of bran buds I sometimes add to my yogurt makes me fart.  I must actually BE intolerant of wheat. So that mystery (if it was one) is solved.  I also don't really MISS sugar.  Amazing, yet true.

I checked out a few sites and now have FOOL proof recipes for  1. Poached eggs (which require buttered toast)  2. Soft boiled eggs (which also require toast or buttered grits)  3. Hard boiled eggs.  None of these eggs are actually BOILED at all.  The water is brought to 80 degrees for the poached eggs and brought to a boil and then immediately removed from the heat, to continue sitting in the hot water (covered) for 6 minutes (soft boiled egg) to 12 minutes for a fully cooked yolk.   Old eggs are best for boiled eggs (easier to peel).  If you place your eggs in a bowl of water, the older eggs will float.  I am eager to find out if my eggs float or sink.  A "hard boiled egg" (which is never boiled) is a very high protein/high fat food item, excellent for the Atkins diet.  But, extremely difficult for me to choke down.  I actually am craving XC Kentucky Fried Wings today.  Four to six of them.

I brought home two past issues of Harper's magazine.  One had a very long article on fasting.  I fasted once for 6 weeks, I think.  Lost over 50 pounds and felt generally okay except when I felt woozy.  My teeth felt loose and my hair fell out (so gradually that only the person cutting my hair noticed) but in an amazing period of 6 weeks I went from a size 18 to a size 6 or 8.  I was tempted, by the serendipity of finding the article in a random magazine, to try it again.  For only 10 days to 2 weeks.   It's still just a thought and it may be extremely difficult to do while working.  But I am considering it.

Right now I am considering folding the white load of wash , drying the darks and ironing the shirts.  I may even change the bedsheets.  Cloudy, chilly and damp here in Maine.  Feel like I should have a sweater on over my sweater.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Saturday @ Work

I forgot we opened an hour earlier.  Rolled in and no one had started the coffee for the 10 am class.  Playing catchup on a busy holiday Saturday with two classes to teach isn't fun.  I finally just let it go. What could I do to change anything?  All I could do was change my attitude.  The two classes went very well, I think.  Perennials and Annuals. What can you say?  So, I switched it up and discussed garden design and choosing a "color story" of three or four colors for your perennial and annual plants.  Changing up the leaf shapes.  Using the the Fibonacci sequence of numbers.  Yes, I talk about mathematics in my plant classes. I DID manage to acquire an excellent education in my lifetime.  And I can count change back.

G seems to have taken the dog for a walk.  I think I should be using this time to myself to actually take a nice hot shower.  But, I miss talking to you.  So, I am doing this instead.

We still have leftover ham in the fridge for tonight's dinner.  I may decide to surprise myself with a dessert. Either the tofu chocolate mousse recipe or just heavy cream whipped with instant SF pudding.  I was momentarily tempted by the snack cake served for the classes.  The Killing and Mad Men tonight and I have to watch this week's episode of Smash on the internet.  I missed it on Monday.

I have two days off in a row.  Sunday and Monday.  I plan on catching up with laundry and finally starting on our taxes.  Last year it took all of two or three hours to do our daughter's and our taxes.  Why do I procrastinate?  Crazy.  And SO typical of my behavior.  I do it with my reading books also.  Wait until they are due the next day and THEN start reading them.  I have just such a book.

Now, it's time for hot shower and my cozy jammies.  Sigh.  Happy Easter!  If you make deviled eggs with your leftover Easter eggs-- add a tablespoon or two of soft butter to the mayo, mustard, yolks mixture.  Makes the eggs or egg salad creamy and extra delicious.  I've been doing it that way for over 40 years.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Roses Are Pink Today

These are from work.  They are beautiful but have no fragrance.  So, not as wonderful as they could be. I watered over my head again and also out in the cold annual house.  I end up with wet socks and wet pant legs (up to the knee today) from the drips off the hoses.  I saved more pollen.  I got to eat lunch with the "popular" employees.  I remember when they wouldn't speak to me.  Time, is always on your side.  Now they talk to me.

Tomorrow is payday again.  I've been back to work for four weeks now.  It doesn't seem possible.  The time just seems to be rushing by.  Is that what happens when you get older?  I always thought time would slow down as we got older--less to do.

I found sugar free/fat free instant banana cream pudding mix.  Can't wait until it's dessert time and I get to whip up some pudding mix with my heavy cream.  I had cheesecake flavor last night and plan on throwing the remainder of that box away.  Had a strange tangy taste which wasn't quite "cheesecake".  The plain vanilla is the best so far.  With heavy cream or with Greek style yogurt (it thickens the yogurt and gives it a sweet vanilla taste).  I start with a teaspoon of powder and then adjust until I like the taste.  When I use the mixer to whip the cream I use I T powder to one cup cream and then divide it into portions.  LOL Usually 2.  Yes, this has a lot of calories (from fat) but very few carbs.  I only count carbs.

G said he was going to run out to the grocery for pasta that I forgot to buy.  He's still here.  He seems to only have one speed today--slow.  He's going to take Riley for a ride in the car but is having trouble getting Riley to decide to "go".  Riley is very tired.  He's five now and I guess just being five makes a dog very sleepy.

Now that the man and the dog have left the house--with a hand written list of the TWO things they are buying-- I will head for a hot shower and my pajama pants and slippers.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Woods Are Where We Walk

I took a giant leap of faith, that the dog loved me, and started walking him, off leash, in the woods. Off leash is a scary place to be.  The dog runs off and your heart jumps into your throat until he circles back to "check" on me.  I think we both might have been nervous that first time.  Neither trusting the other to not get lost.  We have gone out twice now.  I like it better.  It hurts less.  We each get to look at our own things. I make sure Riley sees me fill my coat pocket with treats. G says that is half the battle.

Today is Riley's Fifth Birthday.  No special gifts.  No dog cake.  A heart worm pill and Frontline.  A good way to say "we love you".  Doggie day care today and then we have to remember to stop at the Toyota dealership to pick up G.  Another something has gone wrong with the pick up.  It never ends.  They'll fix it tomorrow.

Watered plants for another four hours yesterday. Wonder all the while if they are left to fend for themselves when I have a day off.  There is evidence that they are neglected.  But neglect is better than being flooded with water.  I had pollen stained fingers again from the Easter lilies.  Still wonder what I could do if I rubbed the pollen over a piece of painted fabric.  Would it stain?  Be permanent?

Baked our Easter ham yesterday while Riley and I walked (after I worked all day) and made some potatoes au gratin and steamed broccoli to serve with it.  The ham was very good.  I now have two large containers of sliced ham in the fridge alongside two containers of potatoes.  I forgot only one of us is eating potatoes these days. My next day off is Sunday.  In the five years I have worked at the greenhouse, this is the first Easter Sunday I have not worked.  Amazing.  I am teaching a class on Saturday.

I had better get my breakfast in the frying pan and start mixing up my tuna for lunch.  See you later.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Twice In One Day

I read the 60 Minute report on Sugar, followed the comments to a site called with lists of sugar free foods and the strangest "chicken soup" diet.  You can eat other foods "when the diarrhea stops".

I've come to the (belated) conclusion that the Internet allows us to post and then visit sites that demonize everything and anything and opposing sites that glorify the exact same things.  Unless you read both sides, you could be well on your way to La La Land.  Sugar is Evil.  Sugar is Delicious.  Insert your favorites. Chocolate. Bacon. Tofu. Bread. Peanut Butter. Oatmeal. Pasta. Sex. Drugs. Alcohol. Television. Gin.

I have had enough internet reading for one day.  The laundry and the dog await my attention.  After my second cup of coffee.  I probably should get dressed.

My True Self Image

Taken from the this morning.  Yes, she seems too thin but the way she looks and is dressed is exactly who I am.  I looked like this until I was 10 years old.  This is the way my father looked and my brother (the family I resemble the most).  This is the woman who resides, hidden, inside my body. I managed this again in the mid 70's when I lost 50 pounds and weighed 134. ( that is 40 pounds less than I weigh right this minute) I looked and felt like "myself".  This is how I would dress.  It is how I have dressed even at 238 pounds.  Nearly one hundred pounds more than my "perfect weight".

Have you ever glimpsed a picture and felt an instant, guttural, response?  I won't bedevil the point, I just wanted you to see who I REALLY am.  To know me.  This picture speaks to my soul. My heart.

Edit here: Read this and then finish reading.

My breakfast this morning included REAL whole eggs.  I bought two dozen in a moment of sheer lunacy. I scrambled two this morning (I had to dispose of the third as it had "things" attached to the yolk) and I nearly vomited while eating them.  Whole eggs, scrambled, equals the most disgusting thing I have eaten in awhile.  I will try soft boiling.  Or frying them.  But I can see that nothing good is going to come of buying two dozen eggs.  Some with tiny feathers sticking to the shells.

After work yesterday, I added the precooked meatballs to a large casserole and dumped in two cans of Trader Joe's marinara sauce, some tomato paste and a few sprigs of fresh basil.  I let it simmer while I helped G with the bathroom faucet installation and then I took my shower.  G had been working all day on removing the old faucets (our daughter was enlisted when she dropped some tax stuff off) and then I was called to serve just as I walked in the door from work.  It's all done now.  I think he added the water connections just before 9:30 pm last night.  The guys at the Loew's said the job would take 30 minutes, which is both hilarious and very sad. I was responsible for lining up the faucet handles and for reporting when the drain lever was up or down and therefore when the drain closure was up or down.

I am going on line to search for any additional items in the faucet design.  Like drawer pulls, towel bars and a small glass shelf to fit under the medicine cabinet.  Eventually, we will be trading the fixtures (bath, vanity and toilet) for newer models but not until we add a new tile floor.  We are thinking of getting a professional to do the heavy lifting on those projects.  Everything will stay in it's original spot.  The master bath involves removing walls and putting the toilet where the tub is now.  And a walk in shower where the toilet is now.   More complicated but still "do it yourself" able.  Not.  I still have to get the power sander and sand the walls down in the hall bath to get ready for the new paint.  Just to make the space presentable.

Remember when I was so pleased to report the 4.5 pound weight loss.  Well, it's all back.  Nothing is working.  Not the change in food.  Not the increased water.  This is all I am going to say about this, here.