Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making a List and Checking it Twice

... and, while most of the people on my list have been naughty, I hear that Santa will be visiting them! I did some ordering today (finally!) and Yay! Shipping was free for me.

I just went to track my desk order, and it's "in fulfillment," meaning that, at this point, the order cannot be cancelled! :) I'm so stoked and ready to have my new little desk!

Jack and I had a little shredding party today on his deck, shredding a liquor-sized box of old documents that needed to be shredded. This translated into two giant trash bags of shredded paper!

This morning, Jack went for a walk, and I stayed in and did Dance Dance Revolution. It'd been awhile since I'd gotten on that and it was still fun!

I have a new idea for my website redesign, so ... stay tuned. I've been threatening a redesign for ... uh... 7 years that I know of, so let's not any of us hold our breath, but just know that I'm thinking along these lines. Is it possible, after all this time, that the creativity is coming back for me?

Monday, December 17, 2012

All is cool...

... in Coolville! It has actually gotten a bit cooler here over the past week. This morning it was in the low 40's and my neighbor said that there was frost on his furniture outside. Light jackets get us nicely through the day, though, and the pool is still seeing visitors!

I did order the little desk http://www.computerdesks.com/computer-desks/rectangular-desks/bushbrandywinepulloutlaptopdesk.cfm . It's supposed to come on the 21st, and then I get to put it together. I've built many Bush desks, though, so I'm thinking that it will be straight-forward. ;) I brought my desk chair in from the shed and got the spiderwebs knocked off. Now I'm getting used to having it in the room, so that the desk will be less of a shock. Wow... we do hate change, don't we? LOL

Jack and I went with some other friends to a Thai Buddhist Monastery here in town for a buffet dinner of delicious Thai food. It was a really fun evening! We've been to several other holiday sorts of parties, too. It's challenging to keep the nutritious food coming, and the less-nutritious food from getting into my body, but I'm managing. I'm keeping my weight stable still.

To help with the fitness goals, I'm doing plenty of good exercise. I really love the Wii Zumba, which we're doing every M, W, and F at 6:20am. After that, we do a really good Strength and Fitness class with Greg, and then normal walking and whatever. The other days, we do either Zumba or walking. I have not missed a day of exercise since 10/25/11. I still recall fondly the 7.5 years that I went walking every day without missing a day. That ended in March 2009 when I broke my ankle on a hike.

Our choir in church sang a sort of difficult song, and we pulled it out. I was really concerned when I heard us in practice before the service, but ... LOL even the men came in when they were supposed to. I love singing. :)

I've also been playing my little penny whistle, and enjoying that mightily. I have a little book with Irish tunes in it and I'm coming along at mastering them. I basically rock, where music is concerned. ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


This date is just too cool to let slide by without a blog posting! Things are going well for me. I've been helping Jack with getting alllll his mountains of stuff moved from his old cottage to his new one. Actually, it's pared down quite a bit from what he had, and he will be able to get it all put away over the next day or so.

Paid bills today so I'm feeling all responsible and stuff.

Our Tanque Verde Valley Singers concert on Saturday was lots of fun and we did well. Compliments just flowed. The music was fun Christmas music, with a few non-secular numbers and one Hanukkah song. Now I'm back down to just one choir -- church choir -- till after the first, when our FHTV choir will resume.

I'm thinking about getting some sort of desk. Not sure where to put it, but I just think I want a desk. It'll make it easier for me to use my computer and, therefore, to keep up my blog! I don't really like the laptop-on-the-lap bit anymore. Maybe one of those little "writing desks" sort of on the order of a console table. ... Hmmm. I will keep thinking about this. I think I'd rather have it in the living room, where I actually live, so I can see out and stuff.

Jack and I are going to be leading a Wii Zumba class on MWF at 6:20 am. LOL I know that's early, but there's someone else in the room at 7:30 and our Greg class is at 8:15. I rather like doing Zumba at 6:20, finishing by 7 or so, and then having plenty of time for a relaxed breakfast before Greg's class.

It's starting to cool down a little here, and we're even expecting some rain by Friday. I was wearing a light jacket much of the day.

I'm trying to figure out how the Fry's Cranberry Celebration salad is made. I think that it has red hots in it. Sounds silly, but I can't figure out how else they get that little bit of cinnamony heat. It's not a cinnamon flavor -- just a little bit of red-hot spice. Working on it. Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cooking for One

I usually do breakfast and lunch for myself, and have dinner with Jack. But my follower who posted the comment on my last posting made me think about cooking for one. Mostly, the challenge is in getting the motivation to just do it. It's easy to fall into the it's-not-worth-cooking-if-it's-just-me syndrome. This can be followed with the it's-not-worth-cleaning-if-it's-just-me syndrome and the the it's-not-worth-doing-laundry-if-it's-just-me syndrome. You catch my drift. You are worth caring for. You are the one who will be caring for you.

So we have to first acknowledge that, while we are not a couple, we are a whole person, and we're worth feeding. And, if we're going to eat, why not eat stuff we enjoy? There are some meals that I just won't cook if it's just me; those are things I have when I'm having company or when I go out to eat. But anything can be cooked for one person.

When my children left home, this left just Michael and me, and I had to adapt my cooking to "just two." Adjusting for one is not very different from this.

Planning can be freer and easier than it was when cooking for two. You have only yourself to answer, and so you can have things that are pleasing to you, no matter if anyone else approves. I actually do most of my planning for breakfast and lunch in the grocery store by just buying things that I'll be eating within the coming few days. (I like fresh food, so I eat it all up within a few days.)

TIP: If you're going to be living alone and cooking mostly for one, you will not need to keep a huge refrigerator full of food. If you do, none of it will be as fresh and delicious as you deserve. Also, if you keep your fridge too empty, it will not run efficiently. So I clean out milk jugs (or water or juice jugs) and then fill these with water and put them at the back of my fridge. I probably have 10 of these. My fridge runs efficiently, my food stays at the front of the fridge, where I can see it, and, should there be a water shut-off, I'll have water on hand to flush my toilets.

So what should you keep on hand? It depends upon what you like, and the style of meal you prefer. For breakfast, I like cereal, fruit, and milk. I have some combination of these most days. So I always keep fresh milk, fresh fruit, and cereals I like. If you're a bacon-eggs-toast person, then you'll keep these things on hand.

Lunch? I like to have a protein and a vegetable and milk. Protein can be as diverse as canned soup, lunch meat, a boiled egg, peanut butter, tuna or egg salad, or a chunk of smoked salmon. For a vegetable, I like a carrot, cucumber, pepper, .... you get the idea. Crackers are sometimes good with this. So these items I keep on hand, and then, when it's lunchtime, I put together my meal. Easy peasy, nutritious, and not huge in the calorie department.

Dinners involve a little more planning, if you're going to actually cook something. Plan out a few meals for the week (maybe 3). Go on and shop and cook as if you're cooking for 2 and then save half for day 2 or 3. Lunch foods will do fine for dinner too; just eat more, or add bread or potato salad.

One thing that single people should do is to look closely at frozen meals and at deli offerings in your grocery. Many of these are delicious, nutritious, and just right for one person. Be sure to check calorie counts (and number of servings per container) as well as fat and sodium amounts. Canned meals, including soups, stews, and the like, can be quite good too, but beware of the sodium.

You can always buy smaller quantities from your meat counter or your deli. If you're a chip, cracker, or cookie person, you can buy any of these in single-serving bags, which could forestall eating a whole large package of one of these.

A way to get around cooking for one is to invite someone over, even if it's a couple. You can also make, say, a batch of cookies, or a couple of pies, and give one to your neighbor. Parties and potlucks are a good excuse to make things that you love but maybe would not make for yourself.

How your serve yourself is important, too. Yes, I have sat in front of the TV with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. LOL. The important thing to me is to remember that while I may be cooking for "just me," it is ME. I'm worth the care. Do sit at your dining table. Do use a plate and silverware. Do eat slowly and savor your food.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Owl in the Morning in the Moonlight

I didn't actually see the owl, but, over the din of the early-morning traffic, I could hear him clearly and close-by. I don't know what could possibly be more wonderful than awakening to the sound of an owl.

The day has been good. We began it with Wii Zumba in the Cactus Room, followed by breakfast and then exercise with Greg, a personal trainer who comes to our park and does a class involving strength and balance. I've come to the conclusion that, as we progress through life, if we don't work on strength, we lose what we have had. I surely don't want to lose what strength I have. Balance is another thing that we need to work on -- yes, you! I'm doing far better with both strength and balance since I've been going to Greg's class.

Jack and I went to the U of A campus today and took the shuttle to the bookstore and the Union Building. It's weird to be right in the same town with this great resource and not to explore it. So we explored a bit. It feels funny to feel so.... elderly... in the midst of all of the fresh-faced youth. We still had a good time, though.

I got my tablet hooked up to my laptop, and I played around a little with Photoshop yesterday. It felt good! Nothing worth sharing. ;)

Jack's banging around outside, working on some drawers for his closet. I think that he'd go crazy without some home-improvement project. I'm happy with my little hobbies -- my exercise, puzzles, games, art, music, and occasional cooking. Well, ok, I love home-improvement projects, too!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Keeping Busy

I've been keeping quite busy in Tucson this fall, and things don't show any signs of letting up. The first phase of the construction project of Jack's cottage is coming close to a finish. He has the skirting and deck done, lighting for the outside, and a massive amount of interior remodeling. And he's moved in! He is enjoying the huge kitchen (huge for a 400 square foot place) and his fireplace. I'm enjoying the convenience of having him right next door!

What remains to be done? We are going to be building him a shed for his tools. Then we'll move his tools out of my #2 shed, tear down my #2 shed and build me a new one. Then my #1 shed will be taken out and sold. Landscaping of our "back 40" and of Jack's front "yard" will be projects for the rest of the winter, and maybe next year too!

We have been involved in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, associated with the U of A, participating in some interesting discussion groups, and going to dinners and parties. It's a fun group, and we're learning things. Classes we've been in have included "Rethinking Christianity"; "Marijuana: Wicked or Wonderful?"; "Exploring Tucson Theater"; "National Security Concerns"; and a group discussing cybercrime and hackers.

We have kept culturally alive by going to a play at U of A, seeing some performances of Arizona Symphonic Winds, and I'm in two choirs -- our church choir and the Tanque Verde Valley Singers. The latter is a group that convenes once a week to rehearse, and then does two holiday concerts in December.

Healthwise, we're hanging in. Jack was experiencing dizziness, along with a couple of passing-out episodes. Finally we had this diagnosed as an arrhythmia, which he's had corrected with a pacemaker. He had that put in just 2 weeks ago. He is just about up to speed now, although he's had to have a couple of tweaks and had his meds adjusted too.

We are exercising daily, doing walking or Wii Zumba, which we discovered that we both love. I got the latest edition -- Zumba Core, and we alternate between Zumba 2 and Core. It is a really great workout.

My weight has remained constant, which is a real source of pride and joy for me. After all the years of ups and downs, it's great to feel like I have a real handle on it. It's so exciting to finally know the secret to keeping it off. :)

Mary, Jack's Mom, had another bout of pneumonia, another hospitalization, and she got out just in time for the Thanksgiving Champagne Brunch at Broadway Proper. I hate to think of what would have happened to the doctors and nurses, had they decided to keep her another day.

Today Jack is baking his most delicious chocolate chip zucchini bread and I'm taking it easy, doing the puzzles from the AZ Daily Star, catching up on email, and ... this is the biggie: I finally spent my accumulated points from my bank's points program. They have discontinued it, and I had till the end of 2012 to cash them in. I chose gift cards for fun places. :) They will send them to me in a couple of weeks. I'm stoked.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Celebrating Love

Today commemorates the fifth anniversary of Michael's last day of life. I've been sort of silently weepy, since I'm thinking about him alone.

It is odd to me that more and more, and in increasing numbers every day, people whom I know now didn't know Michael. I've even been asked if I'm divorced. That always makes me bristle.

And, while Jack knew Michael, I know he doesn't like hearing about him all the time. So it's just you and me tonight, Michael. It's us! Oh, how I miss you! How I ache to feel your arm around me, to hear your laugh, and your gentle and reassuring counsel. How I miss your unquestioning, unwavering, and unconditional adoration. I wish I could kiss your cheek one more time. I wish I could feel your hand in my hair. I wish I could hear you telling me you're proud of me.

God, will this pain never end? I know that it has abated some. I go sometimes a month without crying now. I still long to find my creative spark again. I know Michael would want me to, and I want it for myself. Bbbbb... Enough blubbering. Tomorrow will be a new day.

Location : Mohave, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What happens in Big Rapids

We spent the next two weeks in a single-minded pursuit: getting Jack's stuff sorted and ready for the auction. We sorted into essentially 6 categories: sell at auction, take to Tucson, take to Indian Dr, take to Michele's, donate, or recycle/garbage. The job was huge, but we took it one object at a time-- deciding, and then on to the next. The difficult thing was in coming up with places to put the various piles. With so many things, we were both in an extended state of stuff-overload much of the time.

For three weeks this continued, with just one or two days off. But the day came, and with some great help from a few of Jack's men's group friends, we got a large truck taken to the metal scrapper, a large truck taken to the dump, many boxes of stuff taken to recycling, a few boxes packed for Michele and Tom, a few things chosen for Indian Drive, a few boxes packed for Tucson, and a yard- and driveway- full of things to be sold.

Saturday, the day before the auction, was the real biggie. That is when the men were all there, tables were set up, and things were mostly hauled out. The weather reports were calling for strong storms with damaging winds and hail for that night, so we did our best to cover everything with tarps. I kept all of the items of fabric, paper, and wood inside for now. And we crossed our fingers that the tables would at least be standing on Sunday morning.

Sunday we awoke to the startling reality that it had rained only about 5 drops at the Valley Dr house! We missed church, instead opting to worship at the altar of commerce. LoL. We worked, pulling the rest of the things out of the house -- bedding, pillows, lamps, furniture, books, and most of the rest of the tools out of the garage. By noon, we were set to go, our auctioneers were there, and people were showing up.

The atmosphere was a festive one, as the proceedings got underway. We had rented a portalet, and there was a food cart, from which people could buy sandwiches and snacks. Many of our friends were there, along with 300 others we didn't know.

They ran two rings, with two auctioneers working steadily for four hours. And everything was gone at the end of the day. People were universally happy with their treasures, and we and the auctioneers were pleased with the money that changed hands. Of course, some things went very inexpensively, but other things made up the shortfall.

Location : 22, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

High Time...

...for an update!

Jack and I left Tucson on Sunday, 7/8, and we made it quickly back to Paris. Tucson was hot when we left, with very intermittent monsoon rain. We had made some admirable progress on Jack's deck and skirting, but, with a combination of heat, humidity, things on order, and pressing business back here, we made the decision to head out.

Our trip back was mostly uneventful. There was a big rain and hailstorm as we went across the pass near Ruidoso, NM, but otherwise, the weather was fine.

We spent our first night out at Willcox, AZ, just 80 miles from Tucson. We like doing this. Sunday morning early, we did our laundry, including sheets, towels, and blankets. After church, we took care of our last-minute business, bought some groceries, packed our things into the RV, and prepared our cottages for our absence. Then, at 4pm, we put the RV into Drive and headed down the road. This keeps our day relaxed but gets us started down the road.

We drove through New Mexico, stopping for lunch at White Sands. We stopped north of Alamagordo at the Pistachio Tree Ranch, one of our favorite places, where we picked up some souvenirs. :)

Onward we drove, stopping at Clovis, NM for a short night. Tuesday was a day of pure driving, taking us to the KOA on the outskirts of Joplin, MO. This was another short night, and we were up and driving by 6:10 am on Wednesday.

Wednesday night, we made it to Avon, where we stayed with my sister and brother in-law. We went out to dinner and then talked till late. We slept in on Thursday, and, after our walk (we have been walking every day, without missing a day!), we had breakfast, and left.

A short and leisurely drive took us to Elkhart, Indiana. We did stop along the way at the Wakarusa Dime Store, where they sell fantastic huge jelly beans and other sorts of wonderful candies. Friday morning, we dumped and cleaned the tanks before getting back on the highway. We arrived in Paris at about 1 -- early in the day!

Arriving early carries with it a huge advantage -- a long day to get the house reopened, water heater turned up, things plugged back in, outdoor furniture put back and cleaned up, things taken in from the RV, and the RV cleaned up. We were able to do all of this well-rested and with no rush or tension.

We got the van's batteries reconnected, and it started right up. Into town we went, running errands, getting groceries and our mail. We visited Jack's house that he has sold. His things are still there, and he has plans to hold an auction. The new people are doing lots to make the house their own -- painting and installing new carpet, and replacing the garage door. And all of this while Jack's stuff is still there. We have some work ahead of us.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Calories and Combos

I guess this posting is a little bit about social responsibility. Now don't get me wrong. I believe that we're the captains of our own ships; but I also believe that we have a right to a clear view of the sea ahead.

I am more than a bit calorie-conscious. I think that one has to be, in order to be successful for very long in losing weight, after all. And one game that Jack and I have been playing of late is to guess how many calories in things. We frequently chuckle about serving sizes, too.

For example, a candy bar might say that it contains a mere 175 calories per serving. But, upon closer inspection, we see that this candy bar actually contains "2.5 servings." So this candy bar, which a person normally would just eat as a serving, actually contains 438 calories! It's a fun game, and we're always surprised at the results.

We were in Lowe's yesterday and were looking at the alluring display of snacks, placed cleverly by the cash register, easy for the working men and women to pick up on their way back out to their job site. We've done that, too.

One of their snacks was Nacho Cheese Combos. The calorie count was a modest 130 calories. The bag size looks like something that I could easily eat for a snack. But the bag contains *seven* servings! Seven! This comes to 910 calories -- 3/4 of my daily calorie allotment. And this is for a food that is otherwise a nutritional wasteland with no discernable vitamins, little protein, little fiber, and plenty of salt and fat. The per-bag sodium content comes to 2170mg, which is more than most of us should have in a day.

Ok so it's junk food. Where's the problem? Just don't eat it if you don't want it, right? Well, ok, but I maintain that the snack makers, package designers, and even Lowe's are not playing fair. The bag looks like a snack-size bag. Most people would assume that it's a snack-sized bag, since it's being displayed next to bags of chips and candy bars.

Even if someone were to take a glance at the nutrition label, they'd first see the 130 calories and think... "Not so bad -- let's go for it!" without continuing on to discover the seven-serving-secret.

I'm not intending to pick on Combos; all of the snack foods are doing this same thing -- packaging large quantities in one bag and then marketing these in the grab-and-go section right next to single-serving portions of other snacks.

I have a better idea for all of these marketers and for Lowe's, Home Depot, and Menards. Sell a "Job Site Package." This would consist of a larger box (or bag) of serving-sized portion bags. Of course, someone could still eat seven servings of the things, but they'd at least have a fighting chance of knowing what they were doing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Choco-Date Oaties

Great recipe for delicious and actually not 100% nutritional garbage. Still a treat!

Choco-Date Oaties

6 T butter, melt

Add 3/4 C brown sugar & stir till smooth.


1/3 c all-purpose flour

1/3 c whole wheat flour

3/4 t baking soda

1.5 c reg oats

1/2 t salt

And combine all.

Add and mix well

1 egg

1 t vanilla

1c chopped pitted dates

5 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)

Drop by tablespoons-full

onto greased sheet.

Bake at 350 about 12 mins.

Leave on sheet for 10 mins.

I want to try these with coconut and pecans too.

Location : 46, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Friday, June 01, 2012

Dinner Tonight

This was delicious. Recipe was my own creation.

Penne with Salmon and Vegetables (4 servings)

Cut one med zucchini into thin medallions.

Mince 1/2 med onion.

Mince 4 cloves garlic.

Cut one small carrot into thin medallions.

Boil water for pasta in lg saucepan.

Heat 2T olive oil in a large skillet.

Add carrots and stir-fry a minute or two.

Add zucchini and stir fry another minute.

Add onion and stir-fry all till onions are translucent and the other vegs are starting to brown a bit.

Add garlic and stir-fry just one more minute.

Stir in 4 oz smoked salmon.

Stir in 1/2 small jar sundried tomato pesto. Let this wait while you boil 8 oz whole wheat penne. (I like Barilla just fine.)

Stir 1/4 C Parmesan into the sauce and reheat.

Drain pasta and dump it into the skillet, mixing in.

Serve with more parmesan and be prepared to serve seconds!

Location : 7727 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Good times

Things are going well in Tucson. While it is heating up, now it's time! Now would be a good time to tell you of one of my pet peeves. It is not fair for people to complain when it's too cold....and then, a few months later, to also complain that it's too hot. I think that everyone should choose one. I choose to complain about cold, and to enjoy the heat. :-)

Jack came through his carotid artery surgery, and he's now back to all his normal activity. His scar is hardly visible and he feels fine. The only lingering effect is that his voice is weaker now, particularly toward the end of the day. Vocal chord paralysis is a pretty common side effect and it usually is temporary.

Jack's been doing good work with remodeling his new cottage. Supplies are on order for his skirting and deck, and we're getting stoked to begin on these. He's been working on his kitchen. First, he made room for his range, which he loves for the big and very capable oven. This involved removing the existing stovetop and the drawers underneath. He had to redo the dominate top. The other big thing has been taking out a corner cabinet to make a panel which will accept a wall-mount tv.

I have helped just a bit. Mostly I've been taking it easy-- working on puzzles and reading. This is sort of a big deal. I've just started doing crossword puzzles and discovered that I rather like them! And cryptoquote...and jumbles...and ken-ken...and sudoku, of course.

I've been staying responsible with keeping track of what I'm spending. And I'm maintaining my weight (120) with my good healthful shopping and cooking, careful eating, and daily -or more frequently - exercise.

I am a little frustrated with my body image. I go to buy jeans, like today, and I pick up a pair that is size 6 and look like they should fit. I go try them on and they totally fall off me.

There are two things going on here. First is my messed up body image. I literally do not know how big or small I am. I look in the mirror and see a fat girl. I know that I'm not fat bc all the scales cannot be wrong.  But it is stupid to not be able to tell what I really look like. Frustrating.

The other thing that's going on -- and the dillards saleslady affirmed this -- is that the clothing companies are doing "vanity sizing." That is, they want us to feel good about ourselves, so they make it so that, if you were a size 10 (and you didn't actually change size), the clothes that will now fit are now labeled 8 or even 6. These women told me today that I'm now a size 2. LoL that's just silly. I have not even thought about the nightmare of bra-shopping! Eeek!

Location : 7727 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lunch for two

This is a great little recipe for an easy, nutritious lunch or summer supper for two. This is my own creation and I will call it Smoked Salmon Salad.

Put into a small mixing bowl:

2 green onions - chopped

1/4 of a red bell pepper - chopped

2T Shredded or grated parmesan cheese

1/2 t mild curry powder

1/4 t garlic powder

1 T dried parsley

Stir these together and then stir in

1/2 C (about) Kraft mayo with olive oil (or your own fave mayo)

Now stir in 4 oz smoked salmon.

Serve with whole wheat bread rounds, pitas, crackers, or lettuce leaves, and carrot sticks and the rest of that red bell pepper, cut into strips. Yummy!

Location : 25, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Getting Warm

Yep, it's starting to feel like summer here in Tucson! Yesterday we had 101° for our first over-100 day for 2012. This is the second earliest that we've gotten this hot.

Jack finally got the word from his new vascular surgeon that his carotid artery was not 100% blocked, and so they were able to do surgery! I am glad that we found this particular doctor, because he was great. He was excited about operating on Jack, because son in-law Jack discovered that he has odd anatomy in his carotid artery. So Dr. Berens got in and did it just 2 days after Jack's initial appointment -- last Thursday. He ended up putting a teflon graft in there, because the artery was in such bad shape.

After a night in ICU, Jack went back home, and he's now slowly getting back to his old self. The only complication that he's had, it seems, is that his voice is now quite weak. I read that vocal chord paralysis happens in 10% of these patients and I'm suspecting that this is what's going on here. It usually resolves, and so we're hopeful that it's pretty soon. His voice actually seems better today.

Of course now that work on his new cottage is on hold. He won't be able to move heavy things or lift stuff for several weeks. If he could stand it, he could stand by and tell me what to do, but I somehow don't see that happening. ;)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rainy again!

LoL one would think it rains here frequently, but such is not the case! Today's rain may be the first since I last posted.

I'm doing well and staying frantically busy accomplishing lots. I've finally decided upon,designed, and mostly installed (except for the part that is still on order from Lowe's) a track lighting system for my dining area and art wall. When said part arrives and the project is complete, I'll show you pix!

I've also been involved in the selection and procurement of a new cottage for Jack. The lot just south of me became available and I snapped it up. Jack's new digs will be moving in there after the old cottage is out. They were here taking down old awning and skirting a few days ago. Now we are just waiting for the hum of the wheels of progress.

This is going to be a fun development for both of us. I'm looking forward to not having to drive over to get him to go off and do stuff. And neither of us will have that chilly evening bike ride after supper.

I've managed, over a period of 5 months, to get my weight down to 122.5 -- a loss of 21 lbs of middle-age woman fat I did not want. I did this by religiously young what we all know we should. I've been exercising every day without missing a day since 10/25/11 -- mostly Wii Zumba and walking. I've been eating few snacks, and then it is just good stuff like 14 almonds, a box of raisins, or a carrot. No more random, chaotic eating. I'm counting my calories and keeping track of them, my exercise, and my weight on myfitnesspal.com -- a great free site and phone app which has been a godsend.

Still active in church, singing in the choir and enjoying that. Not sure if I'll be taking part in vbs but we may. I helped with music last year and it was fun.

We've been spending lots of time with Mary, running errands with and for her, taking her to church, and eating fabulous meals with her at Broadway Proper.

I'm spending a little time each day on Facebook. Friend me on there if you want. I'm on there with my first,maiden, and last names. I'll bet if you search for Janee, I'll be there. And I'm going to make an attempt to keep this up. I have loved this blog -- writing in it, reading your comments, and rereading my posts.

Location : 7723 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rainy and Cold!

Brrrr! Ok, I know that it's not that cold for you northerners, but it is cold for me here today. It's raining lightly and it's only 50°. It wasn't too cold to hit the Farmers' Market, though! Jack and I went and found some of the most fabulous strawberries ever "picked yesterday" in California. And we got some really good apple cider, too. And red bell peppers and a tomato that looks like a MI in the summer tomato.

Lemme see... what's going on? I did a wee bit of Photoshop a couple of days ago, putting together a brochure for our photo club here at Far Horizons.

I've been cooking, eating well, and staying healthy. I am still doing some exercise daily, without missing a day since 10/25/11. My body pleasure of choice these days is Zumba on the Wii... and the strength/flexibility class we have here at the park. We use exercise bands and big bouncy balls to do various kinds of muscle-building. I take a walk or two every day or two, as well.

I've been eating more simple food, but I'm really enjoying it. Vegetables and fruits are my mainstay now, and I am trying to feed myself adequate protein via lean meats and boiled eggs. I have not tried to completely give up on cookies and such, but I do limit my desserts to what I've planned to have. I won't let myself be ambushed by party snacks and buffet pies. If I plan it, then it's ok. Not planned = not eaten. And I'm not drinking as much alcohol. A glass of wine = 120 calories. I'd sooner have half a cookie! LOL!

I keep track of my exercise and food intake on MyFitnessPal.com and I really like it. I'm going to keep going on there, even after I've reached my goal weight. In my experience, getting to the goal weight is just part of it. Staying there is the rest. We have ALL been at our goal weights at some point, after all.

I have lost a bit more weight. Today I hit 128.5. My goal is 125 and that's when I'll get myself new jeans. I can't wear them without a belt now, and I can actually take them off without unbuttoning or unzipping them! Woo hoo! LOL!

I'm still singing in the church choir and in the Far Horizons choir and those are both fun.

I've been helping Jack some with set-building for the play, but I opted out of being in the play this year. Ok.. it's lunchtime! :)

Friday, January 27, 2012


Yes! I am celebrating tonight! I have been successful in selling my #206 cottage! I knew that the right people would come along and that it would happen for them and me, but it feels so awesome tonight, now that it has happened.

Jack and I went to Anthony's in the Catalinas to dine, using a Groupon that I'd gotten a few weeks ago. Fantastic dinner! We were well cared-for, with waiters for water, taking plates away, presenting new plates, and describing our choices for our next course. We will go back there.

I'm still holding at 132.5, after a day this week at 131.5. I'm still exercising like crazy, doing Wii Zumba, Wii Fitness Coach, and doing the fitness class with power bands and balls here. I'm getting development of muscles I didn't know I had, and I feel stronger. Now I need to get back on the dietary horse. I think that I'm going to completely swear off cookies and baked stuff till I'm where I want to be. The truth is that, while Jack's chocolate chip cookies are fantastic, best ever, I likely can live without them.

But, for now, back to celebrating! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Not Obsessing about Food

Getting set to head out to dinner. Jack and I will be going to Sweet Tomatoes -- the most nutritious of the all-you-care-to-eat concept places. My plan is to start with a salad, leaving off dressing and croutons. Then I'll skip the pizza, and instead enjoy all the soup I want. For dessert, if they have something special that appeals to me, I'll have a bit. Otherwise, I'll save myself for one of Jack's chocolate chip cookies when I get home!
I had a great lunch out on my deck. It was 2 oz of leftover salmon, a slice of my wonderful multigrain bread from Beyond Bread, a carrot, a half cup of blackberries, and a cup of skim milk! I love eating this way and it thrills me that I can eat this well and lose weight. And, although the weight loss has been tediously slow (11 lbs in 3 months), I am determined to keep it down this time. I'm at 132.5 this morning, from a high of 143.5 on 10/25/11. My goal is to grow older in a body that's 125 lbs. :)

I'm finding, too, that I'm not obsessed with food, as I used to be. I mean, I do think about it, because I have to be sure that I have the right things in my house, but I'm no longer thinking "appetizer" when it gets to be 4:00, "dessert" when dinner's done, "snack" when it's mid-morning, etc..

Non-food things: Mail came finally, so if I owed you money, it's on the way now. We took Mary to her heart doc and found out that all is well there. After a trip to Albertsons, we took her back home.

The weather today is perfect. Lightly cloudy, but mostly sunny and lovely. I've been watching other people go past on the way to and from the pool. It's not quite warm enough for me to want to go to the pool. I need 80. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Putting it away

There are too many things that it took me too long to learn. These usually come crashing over me in one of those delightful "aha" moments that leave us wanting to shout from the rooftops. So here I am, shouting from my virtual rooftop!

"A place for everything and everything in its place" ... We've all heard that one a thousand times -- so often that it loses its meaning. When we are trying to get ourselves organized --and who isn't? -- we need to first have a place for everything. That is a topic about which many books have been written, and about which I could likely write a fetching book of my own. But that's not what I'm going to write about today.

What I've learned recently though is that I'm far better off if I put things away, immediately, where they belong. Here is an example: When I arrive home from the grocery, arms full of purse, keys, and grocery bags, I set things wherever, just to free my hands and take off my coat.

In the past, I might have hung my coat on the post by the steps, dropped my purse beside it, and set my keys on the table. Then I'd begin putting away the groceries. I'd attack the cold stuff, putting freezer things into the freezer and the fridge stuff in the fridge. Then maybe the phone would ring or I'd have to go to an appointment. No big deal to leave the rest of the groceries till later, right?

So I grab my coat and my purse and head out. But wait... where are my keys? Urgh... back into the house, I retrace my steps, ultimately finding them on the table.

So what's wrong with this and why did I feel a need to change? What I'm doing now saves me time, stress, and dignity. What's different is that now I put things away.... where they belong. My coat goes into the closet, hung up. My purse goes into the cabinet in the top drawer alongside my keys. (Nothing else is in that drawer to make it hard to find these things I use all the time.)

I still put away the cold stuff first. And then I put everything else away. Not sort of away. Away. Fruit in the fruit bowl (alongside my fake fruit!) and cereal in the cereal cabinet. Someone calls, I let the voicemail get it. Putting things away is important. If I have another appointment, it can wait that 2 minutes that it'll take to put things where they belong.

And I'll save that 2 minutes when it comes time to leave anyway, because I don't have to look for my keys! My coat is hung with my other coats, so I can easily see which coat I really want to take for this other errand.

The bonus is that, when I arrive home, everything is put away. I don't have to see stuff all over my counters. I do this little thing -- put things away, where they belong, immediately, and my house will always be ready for company. :)

Simple? You bet. But it was a revelation to me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

How I've Changed

We all know how good a cookie is. You eat it, and as you put it away a bite at a time, the sweetness is almost overwhelming. You just want to keep eating them. After the cookie is gone, in fact, you usually just have to grab another! It is hard to satisfy your appetite with cookies.

I've learned that it's very different with a mango. The process of readying it to be eaten is a ritual that takes a bit of time. Then, as you eat it, there is a party that takes place in your mouth. The thing is just a mosh pit of sweet deliciousness that must be experienced to be understood.

But the real magic of the mango is that the pleasure continues. The fruit is large enough and filling enough that it does it for your appetite!

And, as you're eating it, you can reflect upon the fact that you're actually eating something that is feeding your body! Mangos are rich in vitamins A & C,vitamin B6, and fiber...but they are not calorie-dense.

I had my first mango just a couple of weeks ago, and I'm so happy that I got the nerve to try one. I shared that first one with Jack. The one I had today was all mine!

Location : 7677 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An easy day

Today I slept in till 7:30 and then lay around in bed till 8:30! That's the first time that I've done that in a while, but it's ok. I tell myself that I earned it.

I did my exercise (20 minutes of medium intensity Zumba on the Wii, and then 15 minutes of Wii Fitness Coach) and then had breakfast as I read the Arizona Daily Star. Breakfast this morning was a very special treat. I had half a chocolate muffin from Sunflower with... now get this ... very homemade blackberry spread. To make this, I took 1/2 C of blackberries and mashed them just a bit in a little Pyrex bowl. Spoon atop a bite of muffin and there you go. Repeat till there is no muffin left and the blackberries should run out at the same time, if you play it right! :) Oh, my, but that is good!

I've been enjoying the puzzles in the paper, discovering that, while I'm still not Crown Princess of crosswords, I can usually get through the easier ones. (not NY times, thank you) BUT... I AM Ja'am of Jumbles! And I'm Sultana of Sudoku, too. :D

I did a bit of work on a Photoshop project for our photo club here in the park and then Jack and I went to Oregano's for dinner with Joann and George. We had a nice time as we always do with them. I had 1/4 of a portion of chicken lasagne. The other 3/4 will serve as 3 more meals! While the restaurant was not quite as loud as it was when Jack and I last went, when we vowed never to go back, it was still loud enough that I will insist, from now on, that we sit in the front part.

After dinner, we rushed off to choir practice where we got new songs. Jack has decided after tonight that choir is just not his thing, so he's dropping out. I admire him for giving it a try, when he's thought his whole life that he could not sing. I say that the forest would be a deadly quiet place, if the only birds singing were the ones who sang the best.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

New Year, new habits

I'm doing well to start my year.I'm really loving my new cottage and I've been keeping very busy with all kinds of fun things. Last evening Jack and I went to dinner with friends at Cattletown. After that we played Aggravation. Although the men won, it was lots of fun.

I've been working on creating the body I want to grow older in. I've decided that sort of borderline overweight and matronly is not going to do for me. So I'm getting myself to the lean side of normal.

So I've been working out with the Wii and going for walks. I've been eating great food and way less fat, salt, and sugar. And I've been keeping track of it all on myfitnesspal.com. Since 10/25, I've moved from 143.5 to 134. And I love Zumba!

Location : 7677 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710,