Tuesday, April 30, 2013
It will come to no surprise to any that know us that we are celebrating tonight with a bottle of bubbles ;-)
The camper has been de-winterized so is now just an hour (or six ) away from being on the road - maybe Wednesday (fingers crossed).
Friday, April 26, 2013
We are potentially negotiating for a new car - we think it will be a Subaru Impreza. Our old faithful Suby now has 424,000+ kilometres and is almost 15 years old. It doesn't owe us a thing and has been running reasonably well, but it is getting close to time to replace it. The whole process is a bit stressful for me though.
Speaking of stressful, last night I took the extra meds and slept really well, but woke up groggy and irritable. Oh. That's the other incantation of hypomanic. I prefer the euphoric option! I tried soothing my mood with a DQ smoothie - it worked for a bit. I'm hoping that another good night sleep will set things right. I can hope can't I!
I was watching the news about the factory collapse in Bangladesh - it was like suddenly having a periscope looking back to the working conditions of the 1800s. How would those poor people feel if they could look forward into our lives. Would it seem an impossible dream? I can only hope that our safety standards become adopted by even the most backwards of countries.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Sometimes it is just euphoria, but just as easily that euphoria can turn into hypomanic irritability and even rage. Not so fun. For me or Carm. And then there is the inevidable letdown as it can't go on forever. Sometimes I just return to "normal", but it is more likely that depression will follow. I don't want to have depression looming on the horizon as we turn the calendar over to May. Tonight I'll do the smart thing.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I never felt a connection to our first trailer, but as soon as I stepped into our second one I loved it. We would still have that one if it were just a bit bigger - with 3 dogs and a parrot, it can seem like close quarters. So, here we are, new camper - still missing the old one.
I haven't always have a connection to my home. From the time I moved out of my parents house, until we built this house, I was unhappy with my living quarters. I moved from apartment to apartment trying to find a sense of home. When we found our land I knew I had found it. I love my home - the land and the house. We designed the house and it and fits us to a T. The main living space is 24x38' - a huge open space surrounded by acres of windows overlooking our land. When we situated the house on the land we were careful to position it facing south, with a tweak to the west. How could I not love it.
Windows are one of the most wonderful thing about this house. No matter where I stand I can see outside. Even my treadmill has its own window. My bathtub has a 5' wide picture window on the south, and another one the same size on the west. At the right time of day the sun shines right into the tub and reflects against the wall. I can see tree branches silhouetted against the blue sky. It is wonderful.
The kitchen also has two 5' picture windows on the north east corner. The sink is under them, and the counter where I do most of the meal prep - it is a miracle that I haven't cut off a finger as I'm always gawking out. The pond is just down the hill from the north window - today I watched a pair of mallards glide smoothly across the surface.
We had another beautiful spring day today. Oh bliss - summer is sure to come.
Monday, April 22, 2013
I'm pretty sure I saw the first swallow today. I didn't get a good look at it, but there is no other bird around here that flies like that. I felt a thrill in my heart as they are perhaps my favorite bird (aside from Grace of course).
We've had a busy few days socially - Friday Jo Ellen and Don came by for a visit that extended into the evening ; Saturday we had friends Trudie and Leo over for supper (vegan fare) ; and Sunday I had a visit with my parents and brother Graham. What fun!
This morning I spent a bit of time writing up the blog post for my other blog (weekly weigh-in today - down 6lbs in 3 weeks!), then I did the treadmill (55 min), and finally, I started loading up the freezable stuff onto the camper. It went fairly well. I think I have the majority loaded, and I still have room in a few more places. There's no where to store a case of beer though - who the heck designed that! The other crazy thing is that all the storage is on one side of the trailer. That side (drivers side) also has a heavy slide with cabinetry in it. The rig is going to be seriously out of balance, but I really don't know what to do to change it.
We are tracking the weather for an opportunity to have our shake down cruise - I can hardly wait!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
I think I’m only going to write about my successes, as it seems that the failures are mounting up. It seems I’ll take any excuse to indulge, and yesterday was one of them. At least we were with friends and had a good time.
I have great admiration for the people to stick to it and loose 100+ pounds (or any large amount of weight for that matter) – how do they keep their resolve?
I think I’ll go through our old photo albums and get a few photos from around when we got married (my target weight) to post around the house – will they inspire or discourage? (on edit – looked, but not very many of me as I was always the photographer – and those with me in it I’m wearing baggy clothes – so I’ll just have to have an image in my head).
That’s it for today – I’m going to curl up in a corner and wallow in my guilt and misery. Or maybe I’ll get on the treadmill and chalk it up to experience.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I started the day off with low feelings and a head full of cotton. And it didn't really get better from there.
We found a tick today so we had to get the last of the dogs bathed before we could put the "stuff" on them. That last dog was Spike. I picked him up to carry him into the bathroom - as soon as he saw where we were heading he started to shake - he must have been remembering the last bath and the days of painful, swollen eye after it. Once we go to the bathroom I set him on the floor - he stood still, visibly shaking. Carm opened the door to the shower, and before we even said anything, he hung his head and walked in on his own. I've gotta tell you, even telling you about it has the tears pricking at my eyes. To make matters worse, when he was out and being towel dried (the part he loves), I could see how much clipper burn I had given him yesterday. How can I do all this to the little dog that I love so much? I feel unqualified to have a pet.
So that was my afternoon, on the verge of choking up... then Carm sits down and puts on CNN where they seem to take particular delight on cataloguing all the horror of the injuries of the people in Boston. I feel so bad for everyone there, what a horror to live through, or worse, not live through...
Monday, April 15, 2013
Saturday night we went to Mom & Dad's for supper, and as usual we brought Spike. He starts to dance around with expectation as soon as I mention we are going to Grandma's house - I have to be careful to not mention it too early in the day or he'll drive us crazy! He likes going for a few reasons - firstly because the kids are there - he loves the kids! And then there's Papa - in Spike's eyes he is the best person to play with. Spike enjoys his visit greatly... for a while... then he's had enough and wants to go home. He's a pretty good boy though and usually waits fairly patiently.
Yesterday when I was on the treadmill Grace gave a complete musical concert. I don't know if it is the treadmill noise, or because Carm wasn't there, but she whistled on and on and on. And not just any old whistle, no, she is not like regular birds with just one tune - Grace creates her own original scores. She is actually really good and doesn't just string together a bunch of discordant notes, but instead creates music. She's like a jazz band jamming! She has so many of her own works that I'm not even sure if she repeats them, I'll have to pay closer attention. I wish I could get a video to share with you, but as soon as I stop everything to get my camera she stops. I don't know if her tonal register is naturally like ours (she doesn't do Indian music), or if she learned her skills from listening to our music. Either way she is an incredible bird :-)
Sunday, April 14, 2013
I knew we were having supper at my Mom’s last night so I planned ahead. I made sure to have a proper breakfast (smoothie) and a good lunch (salad, and I remembered the chick peas). I even did 50 minutes on the treadmill!
Since mom was serving prime rib with all the trimmings I knew I better come prepared so I made a big salad… which I forgot…
We did stop at Costco to pick up a box of mixed greens so I felt a bit prepared.
My initial plan was to eat my salad and forgo all the other stuff. I’m afraid I’m just not that strong. I stared at those baguettes with cream cheese and smoked salmon (in fact I made them) – they were in my face for ages – but I held out. I was weakening though. As supper preparations were underway my plan started evolving to just having a tiny piece of beef, and just 1 Yorkshire pudding. The sweet potato and steamed broccoli were of course a go (thanks Mom for not adding a cheese sauce to the broccoli, and pulling out my sweet potato before adding the sugar).
I tried to resist it all, but the idea of moderation seemed more and more attractive. And then there’s the fact that my Mom’s a good cook and surely I didn’t want to insult her (well, that is a bit of a stretch cause Mom is not that petty, but it seemed like a good excuse). Plus there were Yorkshire puddings and the package said just 30 calories each (not including the 1/2 tsp of butter). Yorkshire pudding is one of my favourite foods.
So I did it. I loaded my plate up with salad, squeezed on some broccoli and sweet potato, added a tiny piece of meat and one Yorkshire pudding. And enjoyed.
When I logged the meal I saw that it stayed within reason and aside from the high fat and cholesterol it wasn’t all bad. Except for the ice cream and cake. They made the meal topped out with around 48 grams sugar, most of it added (that’s 12 teaspoons gag).
You know how everyone thinks red meat is the best source of iron – compare 4oz of prime rib with the mixed baby greens. Also compare calories and fat. Which is the healthier choice?
Thankfully I had my smoothie and salad to keep the daily totals in reasonable ranges (except for calcium and potassium). I did go over calories for the day, but not much (assuming my estimates were good).
You can see the problem I have with sticking to a diet – there is always something to foil me. I should make a chart to track which days I stay on course – it might motivate me? (I love charts and graphs!)
Friday, April 12, 2013
The temptation was there to skip my time on the treadmill today, but I told myself I only had to get on for 10 minutes - 45 minutes later I was finished! I often find that once I overcome the inertia, there is lots of energy to be had. I always have my mp3 player blasting out tunes to propel my workout - the music is like jet fuel. Some songs are super powered and cause me to ratchet up the speed and intensity. The last song I added to my playlist, 'Party Rock Anthem' (slightly embarrassed to admit to it) is one of them - it really moves my feet. Other favorites include songs from the B52s, Annie Lennox, and others that I can't think of now. I went online to look at some more songs to download, but couldn't find much. What do I look for?
Carm on the other hand doesn't need music to power his workout. The thoughts in his head do just fine - but I wonder if he has as much fun as I do? One thing I always notice, is that when I am on the treadmill the minutes seem to drag, whereas when Carm is on time seems to flash by (for me!).Time must be elastic.
I've been wearing layers these days. Between the hot flashes, the cold flashes (yes, there is such a thing), and just feeling normal (rarely), I'm going crazy rearranging the layers! When will it end?
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Most of the snow is off the field, but enough remained for Kabira to go zooming from snowy island to snowy island, stretching her legs and having a seemingly joyous time. When she was finished she pranced over to me with joy in her step and happiness in her face. How wonderful to be so in the moment and so easy in her own skin. I have to remember to capture those feelings myself whenever I can.
With so much of the snow gone there is nothing but drab surroundings. Say what you may about snow, but it is a bright mantle over the dead ground. It is hard to imagine, but within a month the whole property will be a brilliant emerald green - so green it almost hurts the eyes. The birds will be actively nesting by then - mornings will be a cacophony of birdsong.
Ah yes, spring is on its way.
I've been slowly getting the trailer ready for its first outing (whenever that might be). So far I haven't added any food nor anything that might freeze, but I've been going through clothes and linens, dishes and cookware, paring down where needed. It is fun to play house! Yesterday Carm fixed a speaker that wasn't working (all trailers these days have surround sound!), and then we sat and listened to music while we talked about our upcoming trips. We can hardly wait! (but don't want to freeze so we'll hold off a bit yet).
I was listening to Grace chatter away and I realized that many of her phrases have the word 'girl' in them, for example 'what is it girl' , 'whatcha doing girl', 'good girl'. I thought about it for a moment and realized we often use the same term when talking to the dogs. Why is that? We don't talk to people like that - 'whatcha doing boy/man' would sound weird if I spoke it to Carm. So what's up with that girl (or boy)!
We were watching golf this afternoon (for those lucky people who don't know, it is 'Masters' weekend), and I couldn't help but notice the banks and banks of rhododendron and azaleas. They were beautiful and reminded me of my trip to England all those years ago (39 years!!!!) when we visited Wordsworth's house in the Lakes District. The trees were in bloom then too and even as a 12 year old they made an impression on me. I have only little snippets of memory from that trip, mainly picnicking beside some lake where we skipped stones. I remember thinking how unpopulated the area was - it wasn't difficult to find a spot with no homes in view. The strange (to me) thing is that there were few fences and the sheep roamed at will.
by William Wordsworth
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:--
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Before I forget - Dorothy asked me about Spike's eye. It is fine (whew). The little guy has been giving us some heart attacks lately, my fingers are crossed that now he'll stay out of trouble.
I'm trying to think about what we've been up to lately and can come up with nothing other than the treadmill, cooking, and of course eating! I wimped out on the cooking tonight and sent Carm for a chicken shwarma sandwich (naughty, naughty). Some days I can stay on track on my diet, and other days, not so much. I find that if I have the tiniest deviation then I'm done for - cravings return with a vengeance.
As you might guess, my thoughts these days are obsessively on eating/diet/my other blog, leaving little thought processes for this one! I have to get my brain revved up to do both.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
I realized after I posted yesterday that it sounded like I always knew how to eat a healthy diet. I did not! In fact I had a diet much like the ones I was criticising – lots of processed foods and sugary treats.
When I worked I’d eat my breakfast once I got to work. Which meant a choice of big fatty muffin, bagel piled with cream cheese, toast with peanut butter (this one wasn’t too bad). Whew – nothing like starting the day with tons of fat and sugar!
I rarely brought my lunch to work, so again it would be takeout. I can’t recall choosing a salad very often, but instead had a fatty pasta (white pasta of course), or hamburger, sometimes even cookies and chocolate milk, or some other unhealthy choice.
Since I’d had a big lunch supper would be a simpler affair of just kraft dinner, popcorn (with butter of course), porridge, canned spaghetti, or goodness knows what else (I honestly can’t remember).
It was BAD, really BAD!
Of course I gained weight, and of course I tried to lose some of it, but I was never successful for long. I did a low fat diet for a while (hence the magazine hanging around from 1994) – I lost weight, but it wasn’t in a healthy way (low fat cookies laden with sugar, angel food cake, etc.), and certainly not sustainable. I tried ‘The Zone’, I tried ‘The Fat Flush‘. They were complicated combinations of food that I was never completely convinced were healthy. Not to mention that I couldn’t stick with them. I was clueless.
Then came a blood test that showed my blood sugar was in the pre-diabetic range and I had high cholesterol. I ignored it. Then another, and another. Finally one of my doctors gave me a lecture and also recommended reading ‘Eat to Live’. That was a turning point for me. It was simple and seemed to make sense in a health sense. Several years ago I stuck with the program and lost a bunch of weight. Then I fell back into my old ways of eating out at work. I was too lazy.
When we retired my blood work was off again, so this time I really stuck with it. I lost weight, but more importantly I developed a sheaf of recipes that fit with the plan. Unfortunately I let some bad food seep back into my diet, but thankfully at least kept with cooking healthy meals at home. So here I am again, still with some weight to lose, but this time I’m going to be more scientific when I move into maintenance (which won’t be for a while…).
The book has been a god-send as it has taught me a healthy, and reasonably sustainable way to eat and cook.
Yesterday was another successful day. I managed to fend off the cake that Carm brought home from his mom’s, and (this was a bit tougher), freshly baked bread.
Breakfast and lunch were the usual smoothie and salad. For supper we had grilled zucchini (1lb weighed raw), sautéed red peppers, some sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), onions (2), garlic, and fresh basil ; and a cooked sweet potato (1). All of this was tossed together and divided between Carm and I. It was served over a bed of mixed brown rice (brown, red, wild) and some white kidney beans. There were no complaints about the taste and it was totally filling.
My only red box yesterday was because I was slightly under my target calories – and it isn’t because I was trying – I couldn’t eat all the allocated food as it was.
Monday, April 8, 2013
I updated the settings on my blog to disallow comments from anonymous. I have been getting spam for a while, but since it was only a few at a time they were just amusing. After today's onslaught of 20+ I got fed up and shut it down. I hope anyone that normally comments can still do so - if not head over to my other blog as I haven't shut out anonymous (yet).
I've been posting long blabbish posts on my other blog everyday. I feel like I'm doing everyone who reads this one a big favour by keeping all the diet babble to the other blog! It is my obsession right now so I'm happy to have an outlet.
The sun is shining today but it is not super warm, just around 10C but at least the wind has died down somewhat. The forecast is calling for possibility of snow in a few nights so spring isn't fully here yet. Usually we get a little teaser by now - warm, sunny, shirtsleeves weather that gives us hope. Not this year though. The first campground to open locally does so in just 1 1/2 weeks. I hope the weather will warm up enough to tempt us to go (and it seriously would not take much to get us out on the road to test out the new digs!).
I watched two robins locked in combat this morning - they rolled on the ground fighting for territory. I guess in some ways they are no different from us. Although they don't carry the battle on once the winner has been declared. There is a big window in front of my treadmill, so when I'm marching along I can watch Nature take her course. Last year there were a pair of robins in the tree right outside the window - I wonder if they will return.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
I wrote in my other blog that I was foiled again in my attempt to keep up with healthy living. It was fun though! We went to the Bierstube with Trudie & Leo to enjoy (yet again) a perfectly prepared schnitzel. Yum. And of course the company was good. On the drive down there we saw two fields with herds of deer - each one must have had 6 or more deer. They were in the cornfields looking for leftover kernels.
The day was sunny yesterday, as was today - perhaps spring is really here. Nope - checked the weather forecast and snow or freezing rain is in the agenda for tonight. Later in the week it is calling for weather in the teens, but they haven't exactly been accurate this "spring" so I'll believe it when it happens. We still have scads of snow in the fields so we aren't going for our little tramp around the property yet. Hopefully soon.
I went to visit my brother Graham today and had a lovely visit. There was a DQ just around the corner from his place which I resisted! Mmmmm... Skor blizzard... so hard to pass by. Then I drove by three Tim Hortons... a chocolate covered donut would have tasted so good... I might have even had to have 2 of them. But I passed them by as well. Once I got home I had a snack of 4 stalks of celery - not as tasty as the DQ or Tims - but better!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
I had to shut all the blinds as the sun was shining strongly - it was above freezing, but the wind still wailed. So even though it was bright, it wasn't nice enough to spend much time outside (and come to think of it I didn't make it outside at all today).
Before the movie I installed an Ikea wardrobe cupboard down in the basement. We had a pile of coats just lumped on a box and thought it would be good to hang them all up. Carm often harasses me about all my jackets and coats, and you probably remember that I bought 2 more last week... Well... once I hung up all the coats that were in the pile I had to laugh as there was only one of Carms! And the rack was full... I see a trip to Salvation Army in my future.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I spent a long time staring out the kitchen window at all the birds going about their business. The heron was fishing in the pond, geese were floating in the creek and resting on the land (there were geese every which way), flocks and flocks of geese flew overhead, sideways in the wind. I saw robins, blackbirds, gulls and sparrows. Crows were seen in the flyways as well. So much life waiting for spring.
I think I mentioned that I started another blog - well, it is a bit hard to split my time between the two, I'll just have to practice. For now I'm in an obsessive mood about losing weight and my diet, so I guess the other blog will take up more of my time, and leave me with less other stuff to say. Today's blog entry.
We shopped at both Costco and T&T yesterday - my fridge is STUFFED with produce. I actually keep a list of what I have in a file on my tablet. Otherwise I'll forget what we have until someday when I find something unidentifiable at the back of the fridge. (note to self: remember parsley in tomorrows smoothie).
There was an article on the news tonight about the 40th anniversary of the cell phone. I remember when my parents had a 'brick' about 30 years ago - they were pretty avante garde! The phone was huge, but we were all so amazed - I remember commenting about Maxwell Smart and his shoe phone (remember that?). One girl they interviewed wondered why they would make something so big -huh? Because the technology wasn't there yet? Ah, youth!
Spike's eye looks even better today. He is still so trusting.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Today we were back below freezing, not to mention the wild wind that was blowing. NOT spring like at all. That didn't keep us from taking a drive to see our accountant though. I guess that is a true sign of spring :-(
When I was making supper tonight (Asian soup - yum), I saw a Great Blue Heron and a pair of mallard ducks on the pond. I watched for quite a while and finally saw the heron with a bright orange goldfish in his mouth. Not to worry - there are plenty more fish in that pond.