Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Give It Away

I know I've posted in the past about giving clothes to Goodwill. I'm sure like me, those who read my blog who are also losing weight, are also dropping in clothes size as well. I know I have gone from a 3X in December, to a 1X-regular XL now. So I have a lot of clothes to donate, and every day I toss something else into the cardboard box sitting in my closet, ready to go to Goodwill when it's full. But, I read a very small but enlightening article in the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It said that you can donate old worn out, ripped up, full of holes articles of clothing. What Goodwill can't sell in their stores, they apparently sell to textile recyclers, who turn the old yucky clothes into something new! Goodwill still makes money from it. I never knew that!! I would look at an old T-shirt with a big rip in it and say, "That's no good, I can't donate that!" Well guess what? I can! This information was very eyeopening for me, and I just wanted to pass it along to everyone else. If you have old clothing that you may consider to be rags and not wearable, Goodwill can still turn a profit on it. So donate all those pairs of stretched out underwear, holey socks, and jeans with ripped out knees! (photo from article online about Goodwill)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm Still Here

Many of you will be wondering why I am posting today. As you may remember I was scheduled to get my other epidural this morning, so right now I should be deep in a Vicodin-induced slumber. But turns out James had to go to Birmingham today, with a few folks from work, to meet with a customer and have lunch at their restaurant. He'll be back home tonight at the regular time, and although he could have taken me to get the epidural, he would have gotten on the road not long after bringing me back home. Even though my other three epidurals have been drama-free, I didn't want to take a chance with him being over in Alabama. Birmingham is only a little over 100 miles away, but that is too far in case of an emergency. Better safe than sorry. So it's rescheduled for early July, and in the meantime life goes on. I've added regular doses of Tylenol to my normal pain medication routine. Normally I only took the extra Tylenol when the pain got really bad, but now I've been taking one every time I take my pain pills. It's only been a few days, so I will see if I can tell a difference. My Weight Watchers leader Marci told me that she suffered from sciatica, before she lost an amazing 105 pounds. She said it still flares up now and again, but she's found that firming her stomach muscles and doing core-strengthening exercises has really helped her a lot, so I'm going to start concentrating on that. Heck, what is the worst that could happen? That I still have the pain but have sexy rock hard abs???? Wow, that would really suck. :) (photo of James and an obviously happy co-worker at a recent event)


Okay, I am in on Tony's challenge. We have sixty days to show ourselves, and everyone else, how much weight we can lose and how much of a difference it will make in not just our appearance, but our lives. Sixty days does not sound like a lot, but even at a pound+ a week, I can lose another 10 or more pounds over the summer. I doubt I will win the contest, and I'm not really doing it for that reason. More that I am publicly accepting the challenge to give myself a fun goal, and to participate with the others. Tony's blog is amazing, he lost 200 pounds in a year, all with Weight Watchers and unwavering dedication and exercise. His blog was one of the first weight loss blogs I started reading, because his success is so incredible.

As part of the challenge, we have to post a full body photo of ourselves, currently, and then updated photos as the challenge progresses. As you know if you've been reading me, I've already lost about 40 pounds this year, but still have 60+ to go. So this photo is from a few nights ago, and I would say my weight was 205, since that's what I weighed in at my WW meeting this last Friday. I am trying to find a photo of me from when I was at my absolute heaviest, but it was maybe 10 years ago, and it's a printed photo so it's stuck in an album somewhere, but when I find it, I will scan it. It is THE worst photo of me ever, but in its own way it's very inspirational because it reminds me of what I never want to look like ever ever again!

I will update on my challenge periodically, but of course I have my Weight Watchers ticker at the bottom of my page to keep track of it for me. Thanks to Tony for coming up with this fun little challenge for us!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Weekend, Part II

We got into Knoxville around 3:30 on Saturday where we went immediately to Sam's to get a cheesecake for the evening's party. We added a little more to the grocery cart and also got a tray of cupcakes with "dad" decorations, two containers of different dips, and two bags of gourmet chips. We visited first with James' grandmother, the amazing 92-year-old woman who still lives in her own house. She just had to put her other kitty Lucky to sleep due to his advanced senior age, so now granny enjoys sharing her home with little female kitty, Socks. We always visit granny first upon our arrival in town- she lives on the same large piece of family land where James' folks live, but her driveway is the first one we come to, so we stop in to spend an hour or two of uninterrupted, private time visiting with her. On this trip we looked at old photo albums, including one with pictures of James' high school graduation extravaganza. What a cutie he was- and still is. Granny feeds the wildlife on her property, including the raccoons who absolutely love her. She has a mother right now with three babies, and she told me she walks right up to them and picks up the babies to cuddle. Yes, we've all given her a lecture about wild animals and rabies, but granny loves the little critters and continues to spoil them with their own bags of dog food. One even came out while we were visiting, looking for his lunch.

At James' parents house, everyone gathered on Saturday for a big Father's Day blowout. It was potluck, and including all the desserts and snacks that we brought, dinner also consisted of meatloaf, red beans and rice, corn casserole, pasta salad, roasted veggies, garden salad, fruit, bread, and lots of lemonade and tea. Everyone was there, including granny, James' folks, all the siblings and spouses, all the grandkids (and one fiance), and a few very excitable dogs. James' dad got loads of gifts including a shirt, tie, DVD, wind chimes, and fun cards from the younger grandchildren. We had a great time, having everyone together for those hours. After dinner and dessert, James played host to a few rounds of Mad Libs. We had actually bought a book at the Cracker Barrel that morning, for us to play in the car, but it didn't last long because I was laughing so hard while trying to read them that I had cried off all my makeup and was about to pee in my britches. The family Mad Libs hour was just as fun, with everyone taking a turn giving an answer, and James reading the stories. After a few of them, we started to get a little silly and crazy, so we called it a night. But everyone, especially the kids and even the adults, had a fun time with them. As the evening wore on, everyone went home one by one, until it was just us and his parents.

The next morning we went off for the day with his parents, heading toward Sevierville. We stopped in first at the Smoky Mountain Knife Works, a gigantic store that not only sells knives, but also includes a museum, garden area, kitchenware department, all sorts of gifts for the home, and fun food. We bought a few small items, and I admired gorgeous wind chimes with a beautiful tone, but at $60 it was a bit more than what we wanted to pay at the moment just for something to hang on the back patio. We went on to the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, the original one that sits across from a river and is surrounded by many acres and orchards. It's a huge place with not only the restaurant but also lots of shops and a barn. We bypassed the big country breakfast, and relaxed on the grounds for awhile, waiting for the lunch service to start. I took the opportunity for a few photos of the family, and I really love the one of James and his dad together, very appropriate for Father's Day. After lunch we made our way back toward Knoxville, making a quick stop at Camping World, so his mom could pick up a new rocking chair for their RV and upcoming camping trip with the grandkids. I made James peek inside a small pop up, trying to convince him of how much fun we could have with a camper, but he wasn't falling for my trap.

We had another very quick visit with granny before getting back on the road to home. It was at least a beautiful sunny day, except it was in the high 90's and we had the air running on full blast. We had planned a few detours along the way home, to small towns to get pennies for the collection, but we were both tired and decided to save it for another trip. Those parts of Tennessee and northern Georgia are very scenic, but it wasn't long before we made it into downtown Atlanta and then home. Once back into our own house, life immediately continued on as normal, with cats crying for attention, the computer getting turned on to check emails, and the TV going so we could watch the last half of the race and check in on golf. I love going out of town, but I also love coming back home again.

Father's Day Weekend, Part I

Just got back from a wonderful weekend with James' family. But I have to say that the fun and festivities started on Thursday evening when I was loading the car, and on one of my trips out there I accidentally locked myself out of the house. No emergency spare key hidden outside, no phone in the garage, and I have not yet memorized the husband's new cell phone number, so I couldn't even run to a neighbor's house. After I unsuccessfully tried to pick the lock and break in with anything I could find in the garage, I gave up. I enjoyed about two leisurely hours outside, watering the flowers, playing basketball, petting the neighbor's fluffy cat, sitting in the garage in front of a fan, listening to the radio. Then it was getting really dark and I knew it would still be an hour or so before James got home. The only door that was not locked, was the one on the back deck, where Spider was also waiting patiently outside. I got the big extension ladder from the garage and carried it to the back deck, where it just barely came up to the bottom. The rest of the way, I had to grab onto the deck railings and hoist my fat behind up and over. For those of you who missed my post about Romeo jumping off the deck to chase a squirrel, here is a photo of just how high up it is. I was stupid, I should have just waited on the husband for awhile longer, but I am very impatient and impulsive, and I was also worried about Spider because at this point she was crying and getting upset out there. I have to admit, if this was a few months ago, when I was 40 pounds heavier, I don't think I could have lifted my bulk up and over the railing.

Speaking of which, I had a great weigh in this week, for a 2.8 pound loss (for two weeks). I reached my 10% goal and got my shiny new key chain from Weight Watchers, which brings my total to 25 pounds gone since joining in late February. I will continue to stick to it! I am very happy with my progress this time and I believe I can reach my final goal weight by the end of this year. I will be just shy of my goal of getting below 200 for the Florida vacation, but that's okay, I got about as close as I could. So how to combat that? Why, of course, by loading the car with snacks and sodas for our weekend drive! Car trips give me the munchies, I'm not sure how it works for anyone else, and since we don't stop for fast food this fills the void. Something about being in the car for a few hours, and crossing state lines, makes me want a cold soda and a bag of pretzels and I always give myself license to indulge (gotta work on that). Plane travel does the same thing- it's like once I hit the airport concourse I feel like the vacation has already started and it's time to eat every bag of yogurt-covered raisins in sight, and chase it with a Starbucks' latte. Of course, I spent this Friday afternoon baking 8 dozen cookies to take to Tennessee for the weekend, and had to sample a few to make certain I wasn't going to poison the family. So the holiday weekend started- and ended- badly for my diet. But I won't fret about it.

Friday afternoon I picked James up from work, and we headed over to Charlotte for one last time. Yes, the old house is no longer ours, in fact the new owners were moving in this weekend. Glad it wasn't us, I don't want to move again for a long time! We had dinner along the way at the Wild Wing Cafe- love that place!- since we don't have one in our immediate vicinity now. I had to stop at the rest area at the state line for North Carolina to relieve my badly throbbing leg and back (bet you expected me to say bladder), so here I am below, probably for the last time in this area of the world. We reached Charlotte a little after nine, and the hard-working husband quickly plugged in the laptop to check in on work- after all, he'd left there a whole five hours before, and catastrophe could have ensued. Hah, I am just giving him a hard time about it. We got to the Marriott Courtyard at Ballantyne, and we were tired so we just crashed, watched rainy highlights from the U.S. Open to see how Tiger was doing, then we zonked out.

Saturday morning breakfast was in Charlotte at, where else, Cracker Barrel because who doesn't love a good CB breakfast, as we both do. Small world, because our chatty waitress knew where Newnan is, she has a friend who lives there and she's been there for a visit. Wow, you just never know! Then on to the business of the day, James' haircut appointment. As we have for the last few months of coming back to check on the house, James has gotten his hair cut by his regular guy in Charlotte. We joke that it's a $300 haircut, with the hotel room and gas and meals on the road. But, this was one last visit, to say goodbye. Michael Allen of Michael's Hair Studio has been cutting James' hair for 16+ years, and not only was it a business relationship, but they were friends too, who socialized away from the salon. He's a super nice guy that I've gotten to know over the last few years as well, since I would normally go with James to his monthly appointments on Saturday mornings. Michael is a born story-teller, and he's charming and warm and funny, and made me feel like family on my first visit there. A true southern gentleman. It's very possible that James might stop in to say hello one day in the future, but probably not anytime soon, and probably not for a haircut. James will now have to move on and find someone local to take care of him.

After we left Michael's, I made my poor husband take a totally unnecessary side trip over to the Earthfare, because we don't have those in Atlanta (I don't understand why), and I adore that quaint little organic grocery store and just had to pay $11.50 for a jar of cashew butter. They also carry a brand of the yummiest (and cutest) little cookies from ShaSha that I just love, and have never found anywhere else, so I had to buy a few containers (the bakery is out of Canada) to take back home. Then it was onward and over to Knoxville as we bid Charlotte a fond farewell. We do still have friends living there, but there's no knowing when we will go back again for a visit. One last drive on I-40 through Asheville and the mountains of NC. And then we were in Tennessee to start the Father's Day weekend. We stopped in at the Bass Pro Shops in Kodak, just outside of Sevierville, in order to add to our elongated penny collection. Yes, we do crazy things to get our smashed pennies, like drive many miles out of the way (luckily this time it was right off the interstate), but it's not a job, it's an adventure... We know we keep hearing stories about how bad the economy is, but we never see it at the malls or restaurants or shops that we go to, as seen in the photo below. Maybe the economy hasn't hit the south quite as hard, I don't know, but wherever we go we see lots of folks out spending money. Now whether or not it's their money or the credit card company's, I'm not sure.

After visiting Bass Pro- and the jerky store nearby where we loaded up on crazy dried up meats from elk to alligator- we headed on up the road to Knoxville finally.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lessons On Being Careful

Not much to blog about today, yesterday was rather vanilla. Most of the day I spent up in the studio, working on scrapbook pages. James had to work a little later because of a meeting with his night shift folks. When he came home we had salad for dinner, then took a quick trip to Wal-Mart to get a fan for the patio, and a new DVD player. We had a little one that used to stay in James' office, but when we plugged it in here after the move, it was dead. I remember when those suckers first came out, they were $500 and up. We got one for $30 last night. Nothing fancy, we only need it every once in awhile to pop in a movie, plus James admitted last night he wants to start playing our new Seinfeld Scene It game ($6 on clearance!).

I had grand plans to start doing my old exercise DVD's in the living room, but realized there was too much furniture-moving involved in that idea. I will stick to walking for now. Tomorrow is weigh in day at Weight Watchers, so I am hoping for a good meeting and a great result. I hate weighing myself because the numbers fluctuate so much from day to day. Some days I'm like, whoopee!! Then the next day I'm like, are you serious, where did that come from?? I don't weigh every day, maybe twice a week. Usually on Mondays to see how horribly I did over the weekend, and again on Thursdays to give myself an idea of how it will go at WW the following day.

Last night my dad emailed me the website for a friend's wife, apparently she is a well-known artist and writer. She does the kind of artwork that hangs in galleries, and some of the pieces on her page had price tags of over $20,000- and some of the pieces also had "SOLD" next to them. Wow! I used to get excited when someone paid the 99 cents asking price for one of my art cards on eBay. I do have to start painting again, I tell myself that every day. I am feeling a little more creative these days, working on the scrapbook, because I have to give my pages pizazz. I also bought several blocks of colored polymer clay the other day, when Michael's had it on sale. Then I bought a few how-to books from Amazon, in the used section. So I'm going to give a try at making a little doodad or two. My Etsy shop has been empty for months now!!! The only thing I have listed on eBay right now is a grab bag of a few little Transformer things, which I started at $1 and thought I would be lucky to get that. It's up to $17.50 with 11 watchers. Yay. I guess with the new movie coming out, they are popular again. My stuff is from back in the 80's, when I was younger and watched the TV show and read the comics. I actually have several of the figurines still at my parents' house, so I'll be getting those listed soon- these are the full size models in the original boxes, so I'm hoping to cash in on the new movie's popularity and a whole new generation of fans.

Well, I have been taken to task by both my father and my husband about posting when we are going to be out of town. All over my blog, I've given out our real names, our city, our subdivision name, our street, and even our house number. Me, I don't even think anything about saying we are headed away for a week or weekend. Some days I post that James is working late or on a Saturday morning, or that I'm headed out to run errands for the afternoon. I guess I don't stop to think about weirdos or thieves or stalkers out there on Blogger. I know none of my regular readers are psycho, but I guess the menfolk are right in saying I need to be careful about what I put in the blog. Of course, if my blog was completely anonymous it wouldn't be nearly as fun to converse with everyone else. But, I have heard their advice and warnings, and I have taken heed. I will certainly update on trips once we get home, because you know I will have a ton of photos. Usually I am the suspicious, cynical one- but in this instance I did not even think about what I was doing, and that there are possibly people out there in blogland who would use my casual comments against me- rob my house while we're out of town, break in while I'm here alone. Sigh.

Here's a photo of General from yesterday, sleeping in one of his favorite spots- up on the ledge and behind the curtain in the bathroom window, enjoying lots of warm sunshine. Everyone have a good day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Still In The Yard

Sunset at Greenfield Way again last night. I know you guys have to be bored to death with the sunsets and sunrises, but they are so beautiful I can't help myself, I run inside to get my trusty little Cyber-shot. I told James last night, after viewing this sunset, that this is what I love the most about living on this street. Since I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, sunsets were every day occurrences, something I took for granted for 30 years until I moved to the Carolinas. Then they became very rare indeed, because I lived in neighborhoods where I never had a great view of the sun going down. Now we get to enjoy them every evening, and it reminds me so much of home- my real home, Florida. I don't know about anyone else, but a lovely sunset gives me great peace of mind.

Last night was yet another night for working in the yard, and James is carrying on with his task of removing the rocks. As you can see from the photo below, he is working on a monster mountain right now. This one is enormous, and stubbornly wedged into the ground, so my smart husband is using water to eat away at the hard red Georgia clay (which is what our entire yard is made of- every time I go to plant something I have to buy a bag of soil to replace the clay with). James has chipped away at this one for two nights now and it has yet to budge, but maybe softening its stronghold in the ground will help it come out. We are trying to keep it whole, as we did with the other large stones. We have a landscaping idea in mind where we will use the rocks as decorations, once we wash them off and shine them up a bit.

And here I am as moral support, or comedy relief, I'm not sure which. After watering the veggies out back, I had nothing better to do than stand around and watch the husband work. But let's just say I was very happy on pain pills in this photo! Yes, the treadmill of Monday night and the walk from Tuesday morning caught up with me, and I was miserable with bad bad pain by Tuesday afternoon. In this photo, I had just taken double (4) my pain pills, 4 Tylenol, and 1 Vicodin within the last two or three hours. I was SO in a good mood, and yes I was still standing, barely. Unfortunately I was also still in pain, but not as much, and sleep last night eluded me because I could not get comfortable. I have low expectations for epidural number four working next week, since 1-3 have so far given me nothing but false hopes. No walking on my schedule today, though, I know when I've been beat. I will be lazy today, and maybe paint my toenails or catch up on clipping coupons or sit out on the deck and read. We are going to Knoxville this weekend, and I really don't want to be hurting and in an ill mood around James' family.

Another new color of gladiola in the garden, I am so happy with the bulbs I planted, although a lot of them didn't come up (maybe next year?) and a lot of them that came up still haven't bloomed yet. I do have four plants coming by mail order any day now, I didn't tell the hubby when I ordered them last week but I guess he will know it now when he reads this. I've been looking at all the local nurseries (Pike's, Lowe's, Wal-Mart) for flowers to attract butterflies. I ended up going online and ordering them from Park's, which is a huge place back in South Carolina. They had a great sale going on, but of course once the shipping was added into the price, it will cost about what it would have to buy local. But, I found exactly what I was looking for. So I hope to be adding new color to the garden, and then THAT is it for this summer, I promised James no more. Of course, come autumn I will be out planting winter bulbs...... Here's my newest glad, and a pic of the great sign I got on my last trip to Pike's. I've always wanted a ceramic tile house number plaque, this was so cute I couldn't pass it up.

Happy Happy Day!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hot and Sweaty Times

Last night was another night for working out in the yard. I can't say that what I did was honestly yard work. I just stood around and watered my flowers- the hardest thing I did was drag the hose around. James, on the other hand, did "work". Above is my tireless (but very macho and sexy) husband swinging the pick axe, digging up the many slabs of granite half-buried around the yard. The problem is, these rocks stick part of the way out of the ground and no grass is growing in those areas. The photos below show some of the unearthed mini-boulders. They may just look like rocks, but you can see in the first photo how large they are- that's a full size shovel there beside it, so that gives you an idea of how enormous they are. I certainly couldn't pick them up even if it was an immunity challenge to stay on the island! You can see in the last photo the huge holes the rocks left in the yard. I guess the next project will be to fill them with dirt and get grass growing in those areas. I know I am useless when it comes to manual labor around the yard, but I am always there with a friendly smile and the camera.

I also realized that whenever I take photos from our driveway, it's only of the sky in the mornings or evenings. So, here is a picture of our street, taken from across the road. Our house is the first one there on the left. We live almost at the top of a hill- which could also be another reason for all the granite. Our street, like all the other ones in our neighborhood, ends in a cul-de-sac. So, no through traffic, which is really nice. The kids get out there and ride their bikes, people walk their dogs, moms push strollers, and there's even one guy who every day huffs and puffs his way down then back up the hill. Makes for a really quiet neighborhood, which we really enjoy. So far I've been lucky. I've owned three houses (obviously with the husband), and all three were in neighborhoods with no through streets, so I've always had very little traffic to deal with.

This morning I continued with my commitment to get outside more and walk, instead of staying in on the treadmill. Although I planned to go to Peachtree City and walk at the lake, I woke up this morning with a lot of pain in my hip and leg (which makes me wonder if this last epidural worked or not), so I decided to stay closer to home and not have to drive so much. I went over to one of the larger shopping centers (Newnan does not have an indoor mall- poo poo!) and parked at one end of the sidewalk. It was early, and hardly any of the stores were open yet, except for my favorites (and the only two stores there that I ever go to)- Target and Michael's. Luckily I was not tempted to go in, because I left my purse in the car, and I just went to Michael's yesterday and spent too much money.

I walked from JCPenney down to Hibbett Sports twice- down and back, down and back- and surprisingly worked up quite a sweat. It ended up being a 2.5 mile walk, and 40 minutes. I started using my pedometer finally (James graciously helped me calibrate it last night) and racked up exactly 5200 steps on the walk. I know the latest health news claims you should walk at least 10,000 steps a day, so hopefully if I take a good long morning walk, I will get in my ten grand. I forgot to check the pedometer and see how many calories I burned, but probably not enough to work off that gigantic peanut butter cookie I had after dinner last night... :(


A comment I made on Betsy's blog the other day made me do a little thinking. Why do I blog? My original intent was to create a blog so that all the friends I left behind in South Carolina could come on here every day and keep up with what I'm doing, what's going on with us. I wanted to post photos from trips, or the new house, the new town. Photos of the cats, of me and James. Talk about what's going on with my job search, my weight loss, my art. For all those friends who asked every month, "Are you pregnant yet?" or the ones who would say, "So how is Weight Watchers going this time?"

I tried MySpace- nice for making albums of photos, but boring for posting and, worse, I was constantly bombarded with Buy our latest CD or Hi pretty lady...when clearly I was happily married. I lasted on there maybe a few weeks. Then I tried Snapfish, to make albums for everyone to look at photos, but that was painstaking to leave comments under each picture. I stumbled onto this blog because of Lisa Nelson- she's had one for awhile now and I would come on here to look at her latest artwork. When I started a blog, I really didn't know what direction it would take, and I didn't expect to enjoy it so much.

The ironic thing is, the only people from my real life who read it are my husband (nothing on here is news to him), my parents (who I email or talk on the phone to every day), and a good friend from Florida I haven't seen since 1989 (but we've been penpals ever since). The friends I intended it for, do not read it. Oh, I've emailed the blog address to everyone, and I've gotten a few responses "I'll check it out", but no one has emailed back to say they've read it. Even my best friend admitted she's only been on here once. But she and I email almost every single day, and talk on the phone every so often, so a lot of this would be redundant for her (I even email her photos here and there). So, maybe I was a little overconfident in thinking that the folks back in South Carolina would give a crap about what I'm doing now! ;)

I am not going to make any statements about any of my friends- they're busy, they all work, have kids or grandkids, husbands, houses to clean, other friends to see, social engagements to go to. I was someone they knew for a few years, then moved away, and I'm sure some of them say to themselves "this reminds me of the time Sandy...blah blah" or they think of me when they see a rat, or a black cat, or a cruise ship, or a photo of the beach. Whatever triggers the memory.

My friends do email me- when I email them first. My dearest friend Nita is the only one who emails me without my begging her! The others only answer when I initiate, and then it's just sort of how are you, how are the kids, how's the job...

So, I didn't want my blog to be anything other than photos and a diary for my friends. I never wanted to be controversial, I didn't want to take any political stands or talk about global issues. Just me, here I am, in Georgia, this was my day. I also didn't want to focus on just my weight loss, although I love weight loss blogs and they are very inspirational. I didn't want it to be about my artwork, because since we've moved I've made every excuse in the book on why I'm not painting right now. I know I'm all over the map with my posts, but I don't have any desire to have my blog be about any one subject.

I've found a lot of new "friends" here in blogland, and it's fun to read not just your comments on my posts, but your own blogs as well. And I check each blog that I follow, every morning and evening. So at this point, I can say that my blog is just for fun, and no other reason than that. I read on a new blogger's first (and only) post that she was starting a blog because she heard it was therapeutic. I would say that is true for me! Some days I have no idea what I'm going to blog about, could be inspired by a photo I took, or what James and I did, or some place that I went. Even if my friends in South Carolina are not reading it, I know there are folks out there who do read it. And that's pretty special to me.

Hope you all have a great day!

(Photo taken at the ferry dock on our trip to Ocracoke Island in 2005.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Smile Pretty

Just an updated photo on the weight loss front. Below is the photo I posted from Christmas, where I was at my heaviest. Above is a photo from today. Amazing what losing just a little bit of weight can do for just your face! Everyone always concentrates on crunches for firmer abs, or aerobics to get muscle in their thighs. Clothes can hide a lot of that, but your face is out there for everyone to see, and having a chubby face and neck has always been a source of embarrassment for me. I'm happy with just this small change right now!

Oh Deer

This is why I think the deer are using my back yard as a free buffet. Above are photos of deer in our front and back yard earlier this year. You can see they just about come right up my front walkway! Below is a photo of one of my pepper plants, the top just munched right off (I've since put tomato cages around them, hoping to save what's left of them). Also below are two of my bird feeders- they were filled on Saturday evening, and by Sunday afternoon you can see they are pretty much empty. Not even a legion of sparrows could empty them out that quickly! The way the middle terra cotta feeder has perfect little bare spots in the seeds, it looks as though the deer just stick their mouth in there and inhale it.

I do mind them eating my vegetables and flowers, but I don't mind them eating the seed because I know the squirrels get in my feeders every day, too. If I am going to put out feed for the "wildlife", I guess I can't be too choosy about who stops by for dinner.

A Brand New Week

Yes yes, no more whining about life like I did last week. I am over my epidural pain and am going to start this week off on the right foot. Even if I start it off on the left foot, I expect this to be a better week for me. The photos above are from the storm last evening. Surprisingly it sailed on by without leaving a drop of rain here, although I could see it falling in the distance. Sigh. I think I am safe in saying that right now, James and I are both preoccupied with thoughts about our yard- he with the grass, me with the flowers.

Our yard is doing wonderfully, and I owe it all to my husband, who works as hard at home as he does in the business world. I am so thankful to have him, especially when it comes time to mow the lawn! I do have photos of him mowing this weekend, topless, but I promised him I wouldn't post them. So instead, the photos below are a big reason I am so grateful to him. These are our side yards. And trust me, the back yard falls off even more. Out of our 1.6 acres, of which he mows with a push mower (we sold our riding mower in 2007), only the small square in the front is semi-flat. I don't think I could mow this lawn even on my best day. James is doing a great job on the yard here, and if you drive down our street, you can easily see where our yard ends and the neighbors' begins (hint: ours is a LOT greener).

Sunday was a good day around here. That morning James had to go in and work for just a bit, less than an hour, so I rode with him and hung out in his office while he did his project. We then drove over to Peachtree City and had an early lunch at Smokey Bones, a really great BBQ restaurant. Everything on the menu looked great, but I promised myself I was going to get a salad (but I would rather have had a pulled pork sandwich with mayo!) and they had very interesting choices.

The one I got was called the Nutty Chicken Salad- made with nice green lettuce (not crappy iceberg) and chicken, dried cranberries, pecans, strawberries, goat cheese, red onions, and a honey Dijon dressing. The waitress asked if I wanted the full or half portion. I said half please! And as soon as she walked away I thought, damn, I should have gotten the full size. But, turns out half was plenty, and it was a yummy salad and I left a BBQ restaurant without being bloated and stuffed. Triumph! I looked up the nutrish info on their website, and for the full size salad it had 800 calories, so looks like I made a good decision. Of course, I was drooling as I sat and watched my husband eat this gorgeous hamburger across the table from me...

(I also learned that all Wal-Marts are not created equal, as we stopped in at the Peachtree City Wally World. An item we had just purchased at the Newnan Wal-Mart for $6 was $9 at their Wal-Mart???)

But that's where my good decisions ended, and as we spent the afternoon watching the NASCAR race, I snacked on not so good things. My fault, because the snacks were in the house to begin with. I am not going to fret over it, though. I was not able to go to Weight Watchers on Friday because I still was not up to driving yet, so this week I really think I will see great results at weigh in. I am going to really hit the treadmill and walking trails this week, now that I'm feeling better. I've got to start walking outside, just to get out of the house and get some sunshine and fresh air!

Today is errand day, or as my hubby and I always joke, the day I spend with my "boyfriend Erin" (inside joke, only funny to us), so I'm headed to the pharmacy, the dry cleaner, the craft store, and Kroger's to indulge in their 10 for $10 sale this week. It looks like it will be a beautiful day here again, and as always there is our daily 30% chance of rain that has so far bypassed us every day. Looks like I will be watering the flowers by hand tonight, a chore I actually am starting to enjoy.

Hope everyone has a great Monday. Below are photos I took this morning in the garden. I'm not much for pink, but it seems as though that's all I have blooming right now! Enjoy!

PS- Does anyone know if deer eat pepper plants? Something is eating the tops and leaves off my pepper plants out back, and I know we have deer. Would they eat something like that? My hands smell peppery when I touch the plants, I can only assume it tastes that way as well, I couldn't believe deer would eat it?!