Friday, July 31, 2009

"I'd Like to Thank All The People Who Made This All Possible."

Sounds like an awards show -*cue music* and get me off the stage!!! I do want to thank all of you for your kind remarks regarding my impending old age. I don't feel like I'm quite there yet, and God willing, I'll still be up and at 'em for many years to come.....BUT (yes, there is always a disclaimer) I'm going to have to do some adjusting hither and yon. I will do that, and I will not give up what I've started. It is never too late to begin, and to throw in the towel now would be just plain dumb. I'm going with the theory (apologies to Teresa) 60 is the new 40!! And a particular thanks to my beloved Primary Child for the very kind words.....yes, dear, you're back in the will. :)

To assist me in my new, albeit a bit slower, health routine, I have purchased a pair of those funky MBT (or whatever) walking shoes. I figure I might be going a bit slower, but there is no reason I can't at least try to derive extra benefit from those little strolls. After only one day, I do kinda feel a bit of "pull" in my calf muscles. I hope it's real and not psychological. I must say, I do look quite "snappy" in my new shoes. Very hip, if I do say so myself.....and I do. They claim to even be beneficial to your butt muscles.....we'll just see about that!!!

The Perfect Child and the Primary Child (and family) will all be here for the weekend. The Perfect Child is participating in a golf tournament as my partner, so she will be here until Thurs. She is also hoping that a sojourn at our house will inspire her to get back on a more healthful dietary track. She seems to slip up come dinner time.....not enough time to cook after working late. Fattening, quick stuff seems to be the alternative. This may give rise to the challenge I mentioned in my last post. Three nights of healthy meals per week, plus at least one meal, b'fast, lunch or dinner on the weekend. I've got that challenge nailed down completely, but I'm hoping it will motivate RazInAZ, too. She admits she needs something, and I know from experience if I attach a monetary reward/payment to the challenge, she will go after it with reckless abandon. The kid will never pass up an opportunity to make money, or give away what she has needlessly. Cold hard cash is the key. :) Wonder where she gets that????

Thank you all again for your support. I know it sounds like an old Bartles and James commercial, but I do appreciate all of your kindness.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It Sucks Being Old!!

I've been reading all of your posts the past few days and just now realized (ok, so I'm not all that bright or quick) that most of my blogosphere buddies are younger than I am. Now, I am a hip and happenin' grandma. I "Tweet" when I can remember my password, I am on Facebook, I blog, I have a Crackberry, so I'm not without an up to date skill set. My problem seems to be that at 60, the body is not as committed to my new health "kick" as my mind is. Each day brings a new "creek" or "snap" in some joint or another. It really sucks to hear your body talking back to you. It almost seems as tho' my joints are mocking me. :(

As you all may recall, The Perfect Child and I have had an ongoing Cardio Challenge the past few months. I began with a flourish of cardio activity. Followed by a period of cocky assurance, followed by "the insurmountable lead", followed by the "Dear God, my knee hurts", now ending with the "casual bike ride" phase, which is nowhere near a cardio event. So you see my point, don't you? As committed as I am in mind and spirit, the body is rebelling against me. I assure you I am not about to tell you I'm quitting or giving up, I'm just sayin' I might have to adjust what I do to attain my goals. Gotta be flexible in this.....even tho' my body is less flexible than I'd like.

I have to admit, I'm a little jealous of all you youngsters out there. Even tho' you might have more to lose than me, and even tho' it might be harder to "Ger 'er done" each day, you inspire me with your drive and high ideals. I want to keep up, I really do. I just realize now that it isn't going to happen in the ways that I had hoped. I love it that all of you are attending to this healthy lifestyle while you are still younger. Changing these habits later can be very difficult. To all of you, I'd like to say, DO NOT give up, stay with the plan (whichever one you have chosen), and be strong. As you get older it only becomes more and more difficult to do......and much more difficult to stay with it. I really believe that if the Perfect Child was not on this journey with me (and, of course, you, my blogger friends, on whom I rely) I might well have called it quits after the first week of "The Stall". I'm now beginning week 4 of "The Stall" so even tho' I haven't lost anything in 4 weeks, I haven't gained, and over all I'm still down 16.6#. I'll take that, and hopefully continue to build upon it. Weigh In Wednesday brought now change....again.

As for the Great Cardio Challenge, I'm willing to call it a draw. Although I do not like ties, it seems only fair to let this one end that way. I started off like gangbusters, as did the PC. We waned a bit in the middle, but PC has taken to using a trainer and has done some really strenuous workouts, altho' not really cardio per se. I've been pedaling around, but not fast enough or hard enough to be called cardio. The PC has been nice enough to say she'd let me count my bike rides, even tho' they are more casual stretching than anything else. By extension, I suppose I should let her count the training sessions that are tremendously physical. So see, the really fair way to end this little challenge (the last day was to be Aug. 1) is to call it a draw, and begin a new challenge. I am proposing a healthy eating challenge since the PC isn't so great on healthy eating for dinner in the evening. She'll be in town here this weekend and part of next week, so I'll see what we can work out in the challenge department. Something easy on me, I hope. :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm A Little Pathetic!!

Well, actually, I might be a lot pathetic.....and in more ways than one. But my main problem at the moment is the fact that my Followers list won't show up on my blog. I really do have followers and I miss seeing them all lined up neatly in that little box. I am beginning to believe that once I voiced the fact that I'd been having no problems whatsoever with my blog, all sorts of little things popped up to annoy me. Karma sucks!!! So now, feeling lost and alone, I cannot see my followers even tho' I'm sure they can see me. Boo Hoo!! Oh poor me.

I am also suffering from what might be the Summer Doldrums. I am currently enjoying (?) a 3 week stall in the weight loss process. I think I can see a correlation between my exercise level diminishing due to my knee and shoulder issues, and my lack of weight lost. What does this tell me? Move it to lose it!!! I am trying to do more each day, but it is still a struggle. I wonder if reading a really heavy book counts as weight lifting. Or might walking up and down stairs with folded laundry count as cardio? I actually did some lunges last night as I walked to and from the laundry room. Very cute, I must say. Luckily, no one else was around to confirm how cute I was. (Kinda MizFit -esque, I must say.)

I do have to brag, but just for a moment. This last week, I really paid attention to what we were eating. I can't say I really planned everything out well in advance, but each morning I did give some serious thought to that day's food. I think that might possibly have helped me stay at the same weight even without lots of exercise. I was planning meals mostly because the Primary Grandchild was visiting, and she loves to help make things, so we shopped according to what would be fun for her. As I've said before, she loves her fruits and veggies, so that helped keep me on the straight and narrow.....that, and hubby dearest was out of town all week, so I could eat some of the veggies he's not fond of. When we did go out to eat, I paid attention to the ingredients in my chosen dishes, and accounted for the calories in my journal.

For anyone keeping track.....4 kohlrabi down, 4 to go. UGH~

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tomatoes and A Tomatah!!


This week has been a busy one here. I've been entertaining the hired hand you see here. This is The Primary Grandchild, and my "hired hand". We have just harvested the first of my tomato crop. We picked 14 cherry tomatoes on Tues. Within 2 min. of washing them off and taking this picture, they were consumed by the "hired hand". I heard they were delicious, but I cannot say for sure. I have to say, for a 5 yr. old, this kid will eat almost any veggie you put in front of her. I'm always impressed with what she will try. We looked every morning for more produce to harvest, but alas, everything else is taking its sweet time.
In the brief moment this week I had to read, I saw an article about "Vicarious goal fulfillment". It was a study done at Duke University that claims people who go to restaurants that have salads listed on a menu that is otherwise unhealthy, (I assume they meant fast food places) caused customers to order higher calorie, higher fat options such as french fries. The study claims that the salad listing makes people feel better because they considered the greens-even though they chose an unhealthy alternative. It made me wonder if we are really that easily swayed....and, how did they collect this evidence? Has anyone ever actually looked at the salads listed, then chose fries instead? I certainly don't do it consciously. I don't go to a wonderful fish market and choose a high fat cut of beef instead. Would this be the same sort of thing? I guess I don't really get it.
Finally got rid of the kohlrabi!!! Used some of it as I would a radish. I also made another slaw with more kohlrabi than cabbage. But.....joy of joys....more kohlrabi is on the way in my CSA basket today! UGH! In the email from the CSA farmer, he did mention that this might be the last of the kohlrabi, and that people were a little tired of it. He conceded that he might have over planted it a tad. DUH!!
News Update....NO Michael Jackson butter sculpture at the Iowa State Fair this year. Over 101,000 votes were cast, and 63% of those votes were anti-MJ. I have to say I'm not really surprised, but I was taken aback by the number of votes that actually were cast. I really thought that asking people to vote was just a way of appeasing the nay-sayers. Apparently, it was more of a sticking point than I imagined. Guess you never know what will trip one's trigger, do you?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kohlrabi...How Much Is Too Much?



Now don't get me wrong, kohlrabi is a fine veggie....in moderation. However, for whatever reason my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmer has begun growing what must be acres of the stuff. Three Fridays ago there was one little kohlrabi in my basket. I made a lovely slaw and added it to that. The following Friday there were two kohlrabies in the basket. I sliced them thinly and coupled them with a small potato or two, also from the CSA basket, and made a quasi scalloped potato dish. This past Friday I received FOUR, count them FOUR, kohlrabies in the basket!!! I'm tired of finding things to do with kohlrabi. I want a radish, a carrot, another squash.....something other than kohlrabi. Who in the world needs this much kohlrabi? Certainly not me. To say this year's harvest, so far, has been disappointing, is an understatement. AND, that is why I have made a huge decision.... Hubby Dearest and I are moving to Georgia and buying a place down the road from Patty!! That way I can sneak over in the dark of night and steal produce from her abundant garden. Don't worry Patty, I'll leave an appropriate stipend for all that I steal. :)


Now for the weekend update. Hubby Dearest and I played in our club husband and wife golf tournament yesterday. (Commonly called the "divorce open".) It is an alternate shot event, so where ever hubby dearest put me, I had to hit from that spot. This is the type of shot I was facing most of the day. Well, not really, but this was the shot of the day. We played pretty well together. Ed putted very well and hit the ball quite nicely, except for this one errant shot.



We did take a penalty shot, so I didn't actually have to hit it out of the tree. Thank goodness.
To further explain, in this family, the females are the better golfers. Both The Perfect Child and I have lower handicaps than The Primary Child and HD. So when I complement Ed on his good play, I am really being nice, not snarky. And, as Ed loves to remind me, he has that nasty habit of going to work every week day, a burden that I do not have to concern myself with. In the picture I was going to "Phoon" but decided not to do it lest our playing partners thought me really odd. Which I am, but don't want everyone to know it, especially since we are new to the area and I want to make a good impression. :) Maybe next time.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Butter Cow & Michael Jackson

What can you possibly mean by this blog title, you ask? Well, blogosphere friends, it is approaching Iowa State Fair time here in the heartland, and a controversy is abrewin'. The Iowa State Fair is a huge deal here, and the life sized cow carved out of butter has been an important attraction for many a year. Along with the beloved cow, another butter sculpture is also made and displayed. Last year it was Des Moines golden girl Shawn Johnson. This year Michael Jackson was chosen as the "sculptee". That set off a firestorm of controversy. You can all imagine the arguments on both sides. The end result is now an online vote taking place to see if the majority of fair goers would accept a Michael Jackson butter sculpture or not.....and everyone thinks the Midwesterners are all hicks! :) I'm not voting, I'm simply not well enough informed. It wouldn't be fair to others. (Get it...fair....to others.) I know...lame.

Speaking of the fair....it is known for its vast selection of foods on a stick!! Gotta love that. Last year's new addition was a salad on a stick, since so many people complained about the high fat, high calorie, high everything content of most "stick foods". The salad proved hard to eat, but will be back this year. Hubby Dearest and I went to our first fair last year (it was our first summer in Iowa) and had the most wonderful pork chop on a stick. It was the best pork chop I'd ever eaten. I'd go back just for that chop. However, the fried Snickers on a stick was a huge disappointment. ICK on a stick, is what we all called it. Some of the new items on a stick for this year's fair include Carmellos, Chocolate Key lime rounds, Chocolate covered peanut rounds, Deep Fried Pyro Pickle Dog, and Frozen S'mores. Anyone hungry yet? Well, then let me tempt you further. We'll be enjoying fried turkey legs that are the size of your head (they are huge), fried Twinkies (an old standby), fried pineapple dipped in funnel cake batter (gotta have fruit), and of course for the health conscious, a Veggie dog. When I counted (yes, I did actually count the listed items) there were 49 foods on a stick that were going to be available. I wish I'd invested in the wooden skewer company!!! I'm going to freely admit right now, I'm going back to the fair to get a pork chop AND....I might try one "terrible for me" item as well. Just sayin'. I do promise to write it in my food diary and plan ahead for it. :)

Weigh In Wednesday was not the horrible experience I had anticipated. I was up, but only .4#. I was sure I would crack the +1# mark, but I squeaked out a small victory. I'll stop whining now. The Perfect Child pointed out to me that my last post was a bit "Oh poor me"-ish, so I'll try not to be such a whiny pants anymore. I will have to admit tho', that when I'm not logging my foods, I do tend to cheat quite a bit more often. I'm righting the ship today, and am back on track. My one disclaimer is, however, my knee is giving me great difficulties so my walking, cycling may be put on hold for a bit. I can still do both, but not in cardio benefit mode, more in slo-mo, stretch, but not too much mode. Oops.....that was a little "Oh Poor Me"-ish wasn't it? Sorry about that. So now, I guess I won't mention my shoulder problems....I'll save that for another day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Have Been Reduced to a Mere Red "X" of My Former Self

Not in a good way, either. I have found that when I sign up to follow my new blogging buddies, my picture is gone and has been replaced by a blank space and little red "X". I'm not even the real me anymore. How very sad. I had bragged several weeks ago about how my blogging experiences had not been marred by some of the same troubles others were having. I spoke too soon....I have been reduced to a plain old, boring "X" in the blogosphere. I've tried changing pictures, but no luck. So now when you see a big white blank spot and a little red "X" in your followers list, don't worry it's only me lurking out here in cyberspace.

I am also in the midst of a caloric melt down. I just plain goofed off and am quite sure I'll be paying the price on Wednesday. I also have to admit that even tho' I had thought about giving up the Weigh In Wednesday, I simply am too reliant on what that scale tells me. I know, I know, everyone else is giving up the scale in favor of a more self observant type of measuring stick. I'm too old to learn new tricks, I think. I'm a numbers person, and only weighing once a week is about all the "freedom" I can allow myself. I do notice clothes hanging a bit loose, and belts being cinched up one extra notch, but I still have to know the number. This Wednesday may very well crush me by giving me that information, but I'm dialed in on it anyway. This past week, as part of my debauchery, I did not use my food diary every day either. THAT is not a good thing, and I'm sure I'll be paying for it.

These admissions are not a sign I've given up, it's merely a sign I need to readjust my thinking and my "doing". I'm back in the lead in the Great Cardio Challenge, but for whatever reason, I'm not all charged up about it. I'm still trying to watch what I am eating, but not writing it down seemed ok to do for a while. Looking back, it was exactly the WRONG thing to do. I need the visual of the numbers looking me straight in the face. So.....I am now picking myself up and dusting myself off and resuming my journey, hopefully with renewed vigor.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm Takin' One For The Team




Even tho' I know these pictures will in no way compare to the garden pictures Patty has shared with us, I will go where no one else dares to go.....
I still cannot figure out how to get the pictures to line up properly, but you get the "gist" of it. These are my gardening efforts, and while they may be pitiful, with my reputation as the family's "black thumb", I'm pretty impressed with my efforts. I have my upside down tomatoes with peppers and strawberries in the box above the tomatoes. As you can see, a few little cherry tomatoes are trying to grow up into lovely salad toppings. The container hanging over the side of the deck is one of my herb beds. This is the one with rosemary, cilantro, flat leaf parsley, curly leaf parsley and dill. The picture of my other hanging basket didn't show up in time to be "published". It has the basil, thyme, oregano, bay leaf and sage. It is doing quite nicely, in my opinion.
So now, having taken one for all of the gardener wannabes, feel free to laugh at my meager efforts. I'm happy with my "garden" and that's all that matters. :) I remember telling my kids to do the best they can, and try their hardest and that will be good enough. I'm taking my own advice now.
Today was Weigh In Wednesday. 'Nuff said. I shot myself in the foot yet again. No change this week. I made the mistake of weighing myself after the holiday weekend, saw a small loss, and proceeded to goof off a bit. The loss was .4#, and I thought not writing about it would keep me on track.....you know karma and all that stuff....I was wrong. Now, in my defense, I didn't gorge myself on bad stuff, just enjoyed my farmers' market fruits and veggies in larger quantities than I probably should have. Strawberries and blueberries being my biggest indulgence. I have also jumped back on the bike to redeem myself a bit. The Great Cardio Challenge is heating up, so I have had two days of biking to my credit this week.....so far. The Perfect Child is campaigning (along with her trainer) for credit for her workouts. If I don't get credit for golf, I'm not giving her credit for training. It's a fight to the finish, and I'm not going down without a fight. The challenge ends Aug. 1, so I have a little ground to make up before then. I'm on it!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

How Do You Spell Boring??

I spell it V!!! Ok, so not me personally, just my recent exercise regimen, or lack thereof. I am just not putting any effort into the exercise at all. Aside from my golf, I really don't get all charged up about exercising at the moment. I'd like to blame it on the heat, humidity, green grass, blue skies, rain, snow, sleet, SOMETHING, but I can't. I simply have developed a laziness level heretofore unknown. I have always admitted I was lazy, but this is now getting ridiculous. And it all seems to be directed only at the exercise portion of my life. Go figure. I do still exercise, so I'm not just sitting around the house all day wishing the pounds away, although I wouldn't be opposed to that method if I thought it would work. I just don't push myself, or work out for the amount of time I think would do me the most good. I guess I'm hoping that blogging about this and whining about this will make me get my butt in gear again.

As for the Great Cardio Challenge....The Perfect Child has come to play all of a sudden!! This new turn of events, and my lack of enthusiasm for exercise has placed me in the untenable position of the family laggard!! However, at the moment, I'm really not caring....and THAT has me worried. After weeks of bragging how the lead was insurmountable, I have fallen behind. The little brat has hired a trainer, and is going to the gym regularly... Skinny little bitch that she is. Am I motivated??? Good question. I think I am, but we'll see.

On a slightly lighter note, I did pretty well over the weekend with food and drink. The latter portion of the event being the one in which I usually over-calorically indulge. The kids and grandkids were in town for the 4th, so we had lots of fun, lots of food, and lots of beverages....of all kinds. The 4th here began with a trip to the Farmers" Market. It began raining and the temps were 20ยบ below normal, so our trip was cut short. I did manage to pick up a few essentials for our planned cookout that night. By the time we returned to the house, the rain had stopped and a small "peek" of sun was trying to break thru. The kids made dinner for Hubby Dearest and me. It was our 38th anniversary on the 3rd, so they treated us to a hamburger slider dinner. We had a Crunchy Avocado Salad with tomatoes, olives and chickpeas as well as the avocado. It was wonderful. It had was a trifle over what I'd normally eat for a side dish, calorie wise, but well worth the extra.

I'll admit it....I did hop on the scales this morning to see what the weekend's festivities had wrought. Pleasant surprise, a small loss. I'll not reveal the loss as I don't want to jinx myself, and we all know how a small loss can turn into a gain if one gets too cocky. I shall not allow myself to fall into that trap. :)

If you're not asleep by now, you should be....but then I warned you...B O R I N G !!! I'll try and make it up to you on a future post.

P.S. I was going to post pictures of my upside down tomatoes, but Patty ruined my gardening posts by setting the bar way, way too high for us poor gardner wannabes! :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bras for the Cause


Ok, so I can't get these damned pictures perfectly aligned, but I'm sure you get the idea. I just took a couple of pictures of the bras from last year's gala that we had on display yesterday at the golf tournament.
For a complete look at the award winners, go to Bras for a Cause's website. I've linked it here for you. Some of the bras are really engineering feats. I do recommend a visit just to see some of the extraordinary bras people designed and made. There is one bra that is made out of parts from parts of a mammography machine.
As part of the tournament's "entertainment" we had a bra expert show us exactly how to properly fit a bra. There were 6 golfers chosen to be models. (Thankfully, I was not one of the chosen few.) They wore their regular bras and then a white tee shirt over that. The expert, using a magic marker, proceeded to mark the "nipple line", which should be half way between your shoulder and elbow, (just so's ya know) on each of the models. She drew in the "cutlets" under the arm and where the bras all sat on the bodies of the models. Off they went to the fitting room set up in the back of the room, and got their PERFECT bras. The expert repeated the drawings. Gone were the "cutlets" and uplifted were the "girls". However, at our table we decided we could just cinch the girls up a bit more and save ourselves $60. Remember the old song "Knockers Up"? That's what this kinda brought to mind. Interesting, but much more than I needed to know while eating lunch.
Today was Weigh In Wednesday, ya know. I began thinking about this weigh in as I sat in the "Library" this morning. I was hoping that my visit there would produce a weight loss of gigantic proportion. I remember someone's blog post recently dealing with "poo" and it made me think and giggle. All I was really hoping for was my .5# to ace Jack's challenge, so imagine my delight when the scales smiled back at me with a 1.6# loss. Not being one to let good fortune get the best of me, I promptly began to wonder what I might possibly accomplished if I'd set my mind to exercising like I've been promising myself I would do. I'm looking that gift horse square in the eye, aren't I? I know, accept the loss as a wonderful thing, vow to improve the exercise commitment in the coming weeks, and move on. Well, ok, damn it, I will!!!