Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Survived My 21 Day Quantum Wellness Cleanse

December 22, 2010.....

I survived. Better yet, I succeeded with the 21 Day Quantum Wellness Cleanse. As a lover of all things butter, meat and diet coke, I was able to go vegan/sugar/gluten/alcohol and caffeine free for 21 days.

If anyone followed me on Twitter, you'd know I almost lost my mind at times; thought the tofu in the fridge was mocking and had a fear of soy milk.


I have to admit, I still have a fear of soy milk. I don't care what anyone says, you don't always get used to something. I grew up on powdered milk and HATED it. In fact, I can't bring myself to drink anything less than 1% milk and wished my husband would love 2% as much as I do. Nope. He's a 1% guy and has a stronger argument why 1% is healthier for you. Dang it for him being right.

I also learned to put less salad on a plate than most people. Because I eat slowly, I found out it took forever to finish a huge plate of salad AND my jaw would get tired.


I did find out I like tofu, but haven't mastered cooking it.

I also found out I really like this rice/gluten free protein shake I was having for breakfast.

The cleanse was more than just food. It had me setting aside time to meditate, declutter my home environment, visualizing (basically, learning to focus on my goals and make a game plan to succeed).

In the end, my skin feels great, I lost weight, feel calmer and happier, and realized I often focused my energies on other people's problems as a distraction to avoid mine. I've learned I can't do that anymore. This doesn't mean I can't be sympathetic, but it does mean I have to set up boundaries or it will distract me from focusing on what I should be doing. Besides, I also discovered when confronted with a friend's situation that was extremely difficult and unable to help, I was emotionally drained. It think, actually know, I would do this in the past and won't going forward. I realized it's okay to sympathize, or even emphasize with someone, as long as it doesn't consume you.

When I started the cleanse, I thought I was depriving myself because of all the food groups I was giving up. However, I was wrong. What I failed to see was, creating a strict dietary guideline and forcing myself to do the other things that are part of the cleanse, I was actually taking the time to care and celebrate me.

Will I do this cleanse again? Absolutely. I will probably do it twice a year. Am I becoming a vegan? Absolutely not. I do plan on serving less red meat per week, and possibly go meatless 2 nights a week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Movies.....

Monday, December 20, 2010.....

For the past month, I've been watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. They pretty much have the same underlying theme, and all have a happy ending. Yes, I'm a sucker for light movies with happy endings especially this time of year.

You have to understand, I'm an extremist in much of what I do. I love either really deep, dark movies such as Clockwork Orange, Monster, Boiler Room, Seven, etc. or happy romantic comedies that most guys run from.

However, Christmas is the one time of year, I exclusively watch happy movies and have 6 movies that are an absolute must watch during the holiday season. They are:

Bachelor Mother with Ginger Rogers and David Nivens (1939)
Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck in 1945
It's a Wonderful Life (which is now a tradition for hubby and I to watch on Christmas Eve)
White Christmas with Bing Crosby
Holiday Affair with Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum (1949); and
When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal

What are your must see holiday movies?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1/3 of the Way on My Vegan Journey.....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010.....

Today begins my 8th day of my Quantum Wellness Cleanse, or what I like to call my Quantum Leap Cleanse, and I'm still doing it.

For the first few days, I MISSED my diet cola. I had headaches and was unusually tired, but I got over that. However, what I can't get over is how much I miss eggs.

It's puzzling to me, but everyday, at some point in the day, I'm longing for a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. I have to admit, bacon and real cheese and bread is something I would enjoy, but it's the egg I fantasize about most. Go figure.

In addition to the food part of this cleanse, I'm really enjoying meditating. I've meditated on-and-off for a number of years, but making it a priority in my day is great! However, I will admit, the days I was going through my caffeine withdrawals, I, ummmm.... feel asleep in the middle of the practice.

I started walking with hubby at night, but now that it is very cold in Connecticut, I'll be heading to the gym.

Other parts of the cleanse include visualization with action, decluttering, massage and it may even include yoga (I got close to watching a yoga dvd, but didn't).

I've noticed that I'm a bit calmer, at peace and am able to focus a bit more, but will I go vegan? Highly doubtful since I dream about eggs.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday YogaGirl!

Monday, December 6, 2010....

Happy Birthday to my big sister, YogaGirl!

I am the youngest of 5 and am fortunate to have a sister I call a close friend. We are similar, yet different, and can't imagine a day going by without talking to her.

As kids, we shared a room. She had the unfortunate blessing of a little sister that wanted to hang out with her and her friends whenever she could; play with her Barbie dolls and try on her make-up. [note: my sister is shorter than me so stealing clothes never happened].

She would tell me stories at night so I'd fall asleep and I'd always be thrilled when the French Fry Monster would pay a visit whenever my dad would take us to McDonald's. It wasn't often, and I'd purposely order them so the French Fry Monster would come and snatch them away when I would pretend not to be looking (I'm probably one of the only kids that grew up disliking french fries, popcorn and mac & cheese).

As we grew up, I followed in her shadow and cursed her name with my high school french teacher that would say: "You're nothing like your sister, YogaGirl". I would always comment she was correct, and utter under my breath that is why my parents gave me own my separate name.

After college, we grew closer. We seem to balance the other and never pass judgment on the other. We talk about everything and nothing and admit that some of our greatest conversations have revolved around the latest and greatest info commercial.

I considered myself to be blessed to have such a great friend and cheerleader/supporter who just happens to be my big sister.

Happy Birthday YogaGirl! I can't imagine how much of a gap there would be in my life if you weren't my sister....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Going Vegan and Other Things for 21 Days....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010.....

In several posts along the way, I've eluded to the fact that stress from being unemployed has taken a toll on me. It's hit me with insomnia, depression and for the past several months a horrible, horrible skin rash. Who knew that stress could trigger a person to have itchy skin? I didn't, until I thought I was losing my mind from all the scratching, mostly while I slept.

To make a long story short, I caved and went to a dermatologist when I could no longer stand the pain. I hate doctors. Not personally, but it seems that when I get sick, it's not a minor ailment, but often something off the beaten trail. Basically, I'm the person who makes up that one or two percent of the population who get the side effects (i.e., I have partial paralysis from Bell's Palsey which is rare).

While I was struggling with my rash (translation: fighting hubby about going to doctor), I (and my sister YogaGirl) noticed that I was sad. It was true for months, because of pain I could have controlled, I was depressed. I think it was a combo of pain + no sleep = glow glums. During this time, YogaGirl suggested I fast or cleanse because I've always had some sort of food sensitivity. She thought a cleanse would help me feel better. However, I wasn't mentally able to wrap my little mind around this concept.

Now, I am.

In fact, I'm feeling better (thank you Dr. dermatologist) and found a cleansing program that was more than just food. Granted, I have to give up alcohol, sugar, caffeine, gluten and animal products for 21 days, but this is just a stepping stone.

I read Kathy Freston's Quantum Wellness Cleanse book a.k.a. to me as the Quantum Leap Cleanse and liked what she had to say. She talked about the importance of exercise, expressing your emotions in a healthy manner, taking time out to put a smile on your face (this can be just singing in your car when alone), decluttering, meditating, etc...

I really think her book spoke to me because years ago, when I had money in my bank account, YogaGirl and I would escape this time of the year to Canyon Ranch where I ate healthy, worked out, pampered self with spa treatments, journaled a lot and really took the time to decompress and re-evaluate my life. I always ended up leaving refreshed and vowing to establish boundaries with work. Ummm...that usually lasted about 2 months.

I know I miss that. I can't afford Canyon Ranch, but for 21 days (which turns out to roughly be 0.13% of my total life so far on Earth) I can shake it up a bit.

It should be interesting because I'm a caffeine, animal product whore. I love my diet coke and believe butter is necessary when cooking.

To hold myself accountable during this process, I've decided to twitter my progress. If interested in following my journey, you can find me at Twitter user name is Joanie922orLMB.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Letter to YogaGirl Regarding Thanksgiving.....

November 24, 2010......

Dear YogaGirl*,

Why do you torture me with articles about people attending a Thanksgiving dinner Freegan Style?

I get it. I get that we waste a lot and should recycle, but I will never prepare a meal or attend a meal that has been taken from a dumpster. I've heard of the Five Second Rule, (this is when you drop food on the floor, or, I've heard this rule extends to your personal trash and the food is viable) but the Five Second Rule is not for me.

I realize I put you in charge of bringing the pies and the French Canadian stuffing. However, I'm not frightened because I know you've been working obscene hours for your company. I hope the hours let up for you after Thanksgiving, but for now, I'm happy knowing you're too busy to dumpster dive and you're not bringing Freegan take-out.

See you Thursday with fresh food.



*Note: YogaGirl is one of my sisters.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Much Does Digit Dialing in a Restaurant Annoy Me?????

Tuesday, November 23, 2010....

A LOT!!!!!

Seriously, I don't get people who are at dinner with a friend or loved one and take or make a phone call. I understand emergency calls, but that's not what I'm talking about. It's the people that have this NEED to answer their phone and chat about nothing, or others who call a friend when their dinner partner has gone to the bathroom and they can't sit at a table alone for a whole 5 minutes.

Personally, if I accept an invitation with anyone, I'm in the moment of being with them and enjoying the conversation. I don't feel the need to multi-task and talk with as many people as I can in an evening. Call me crazy, but I find that behavior a bit rude.

I bring this up because I was picking up some take-out Chinese and noticed 2 ladies sitting at a table having dinner. One was on her cell phone laughing it up while her dinner companion was just sort of sitting there. I wonder if she was as annoyed as I was just to see this behavior.

I'm not the etiquette police, but I don't think I'm off the mark in stating digit dialing in a restaurant is just wrong.

Blimpie: More Than Just a Sandwich Shop.....

Monday, November 22, 2010.....

I have to confess, unless I'm set out on a mission to people watch, I'm pretty oblivious to my surroundings. For example, my ex-neighbors painted their home from blue/grey to pale yellow (or vice versa) and when a friend of mine (who I hadn't seen in awhile) picked me up one night for dinner, he asked when had my neighbors painted their house. Taken aback, I looked at the house and said they hadn't. He made me ask them the next time I saw them, and sure enough, they painted it 3 months earlier.

Anyway....when I unintentionally notice something you know it's been going on for quite some time.

This past weekend I went to Blimpie's for a sub and while I was waiting for them to wrap up the sandwich, I looked around and noticed the people eating in the shop. Single men around the age range from 55 to 65.

What really struck me as odd is that a couple of months earlier I remember I made the same mental observation.

They say single people should go to bars, grocery stores or join an online dating service (that's how I met hubby), but.... if in your late 50's or early 60's, maybe a stop at Blimpie's is the place to go to meet your true love.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Who Says Lady Luck Doesn't Have a Sense of Humor......

Monday, November 1, 2010.....

This past weekend I purchased a Powerball ticket. The lottery was $82 or $87 million and I felt a little lucky.

I have a system when I check the numbers; first the Powerball number than the rest of the numbers.

- No luck with the PB number

- Rest of numbers read: 1, 7, 27, 36, 49

I had: 2, 8, 28, 37 and 49.

I kid you not. Yes. Welcome to my world.

On a positive note, the veggie garden has been cleared out and compost spread out over it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Art of People Watching.....,

Thursday, October 21, 2010.....

Often, I find watching people when they know they're not being observed to be very fascinating. Wait. Let's just clarify something...I don't own a telescope or peep in the windows of my neighbors. That type of peeping is wrong.

I'm talking about observing people when they are being truthful because they've let their guard down. I've seen this a lot with mothers bending over strollers trying to calm down a screaming baby and noticing how the mother is talking slower and calmer to her child. It's her behavior that lets me know she's hoping her child is just cranky and nothing is really wrong.

Yesterday, I observed a couple when leaving my local Starbucks. They hadn't a clue I was watching them, and in fact, I wasn't when I entered to get my coffee. Yes, I did make note of them. Probably because they were sitting outside and were just getting up from the table as I was entering. However, I didn't really notice them until leaving.

See, they lingered getting to their cars. Linger in the sense that you knew these were more than 2 people grabbing coffee. They were "secretly" together.

Their body language, plus the way they made their way to their cars let me know, one, if not both, were married to another. It was much more than the obvious goodbye kiss that gave them away. The way they touched, leaned into one another, walked each other back and forth to their respective cars, were among the many signals this wasn't a normal relationship. I can't explain it, but I just knew.

I don't know if people realize how much their body language reveals about them. I wonder if they know it's what you don't say that tells the true story. I also wonder if they did; if they'd act the same way.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life On Hold....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010...

Before I start my post, let me just tell you, I heard back from the puzzle people and they will send me a whole new puzzle once I send them the UPC code. I have to do that, but am happy they were quick to respond to me.

Now....About my post title....It's like this...For the past two + years, I've kind of have been living my life in limbo waiting for a job offer. I never really realized how mentally exhausting this was until recently. The best way to explain how I've been feeling is to state it's similar to waiting in a doctor's office for your appointment and he/she has you waiting for 2 hours. Sure, you brought a book, but you're running through the back of your mind all the places and things you should be doing, but can't because you're sitting in your doctor's waiting room (fyi: I've spent many hours waiting for doctors and have actually left one after an 1 hour wait).

However, you get my point.

My husband asked me tonight if I gave up blogging, and I said: "No. I just feel as if I have nothing to say".

I guess I do have things to say, but they're all to me. I need to get out of the waiting room and live my life no matter what circumstances I'm in. (fyi: still applying for jobs and have been interviewing, but no word on recent interviews).

If anyone has any suggestions how to ignore the elephant in the room (for me, it's being unemployed), please share.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jigsaw Puzzles

Tuesday, September 28, 2010....

Last Wednesday I turned 45. I didn't really celebrate like I normally would, but I decided to create a list of 45 things I wanted to do in my 45th year of life.

Last year, I did 44 new things and I think I tried/did 44 new things, but never wrote them down as I did them. This year, I took a different approach. I made a list of 45 things I wanted to accomplish. This list isn't a resolution list, but things I want to accomplish to lead a fuller life. Sounds easy to come up with 45 things, but it's not when you have no cash to do some things you really want to do (i.e., travel to Italy for 3 weeks or take fabulous cooking classes). Each item on the list has no $$ value on it.

Well, I've had this 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle I got years ago and figured why not finally do it. I started it last Thursday evening, and without hubby's assistance, started working on it in the evenings (note: hubby didn't want to help until last evening when there were fewer than 100 pieces left - I let him help until 40 pieces were left). Last night, I went to bed with having fewer than 40 pieces to put in. I start this a.m. and was cranking away at it until the last piece. Oddly enough, the company gave me a duplicate piece and neglected to put the piece I needed in the box.

Ummmm.... this is both frustrating and very funny at the same time. I actually wrote the company telling them of my dilemma. I'm not sure they'll care (they probably won't), but I just had to. I'll let you know if they write back (again, I doubt they will).

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Bucket List

Monday, September 20, 2010......

Today marks my parents' 63rd wedding anniversary. My dad doesn't read my blog, nor do I want him to, but I thought 63 years deserves a definite congrats shout out before talking about a Bucket List.

If you haven't a clue what a bucket list is, well, it's simply a list of things you want to do before you die. It's sort of a New Year's resolution list, but better. It's all about the things you want to do, not have to do. For some, it could be traveling to Italy, for others, it could be learning yoga.

Most people in their 20's and 30's don't have a Bucket List and shouldn't. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with Cancer that I created a mental one for me. At the moment, it's on hold due to lack of funds. I may just revamp it to create a Bucket List that doesn't involve any money, but I really haven't thought about it too much until last weekend.

Last weekend, YogaGirl and I spent the weekend with our other sister, Science Girl. It was her 62nd birthday the day the 3 of us participated in the sprint triathlon and on the eve of her birthday she told us one of the items on her bucket list. Expecting it to be complete an entire Ironman competition (she's part of an Ironman relay and biking 110 miles under 10 hours) we giggled when she said to go through a corn maze.

She followed up with hiking to the base camp of some major mountain (name escapes me because I was still processing the corn maze concept and am not sure if I heard anything else).

When we returned on Sunday, YogaGirl started looking up corn mazes for my sister. I wonder if she'd settle for a hay maze? I bet those are easier to find this time of year and in my opinion safer. Didn't she see Children of the Corn?

Does anyone have a quirky item on their Bucket List? I'd be curious to know it. Who knows, it may end up on my list if it sounds fun.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Week in Review.....

Friday, September 10, 2010....

I can't believe how quickly the summer went and that it's already the 10th of September. In 5 days, I begin national birthday week and for those of you remember from last year, I truly embrace the week.

This past week, I've applied for a position and was informed I was over qualified because I have a B.A. and not an Associates degree.

This past week, I discovered a new vegetable: Kale. I love it.

This past week, hubby befriended the cutest older gentleman who operates his own farm 1 mile from my house.

This past week, I had a break through in the piece I'm writing and realized it's crap and am ready to start over (seriously, I was writing a scene involving a conversation between 2 characters and I was bored).

This past week, I realized it's my sister's birthday on Sunday and I get to spend the day with her and YogaGirl participating in my first sprint triathlon. My sister, Science Girl, inspires and shows me that age should never inhibit you from pursuing your passion.

This past week, I added the "elusive" Tree Kangaroo to my Yahoo alerts. This is HUGE because the only other Yahoo alert I set up was in 2003 for the Snakehead fish. I'm still fascinated by them.

This past week, I got to know some women from my writing workshop outside our normal setting and really enjoyed talking with them.

This past week, I noticed it's getting darker earlier and it sucks.

There it is. My week in review. I hope everyone had a fun, if not, quirky week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Talk About Passion......

Thursday, September 9, 2010....

I'm always fascinated by what makes a person tick. I understand a person's desire for fame or fortune, and rarely am I mystified by what drives a person's passion. However, I was pleasantly surprised by one person.

I watched a video aired on Yahoo, courtesy of ABC, about the elusive tree kangaroo. Why? I'm not quite sure. Maybe it was because I wanted to know why a tree kangaroo was elusive. Whatever my reason, I took a few minutes out of my day to watch the video.

What was more surprising to me was the woman who is spending her time and energy to protect these creatures from extinction. She arranged for a camera crew to come and capture a tree kangaroo on film because she feels the more people know about them, the more people will want to save them.

For her, it was a visit to a zoo to see one that made her want to know all about them. I'm impressed, and am in awe of someone, who has so much passion that one look has them move to the jungles and spend their life working to save them.

I like and love many things, but no one thing jumps out at me. I wonder what it would be like to be all consumed with such passion. I wonder if it is a curse or a blessing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fancy Pants...

Monday, September 6, 2010......

Ever come across a person that TELLS you how intelligent they are? The person who believes using words from medieval times is acceptable when having a conversation?

I have.

It's annoying as hell.

Don't get me wrong, I love when I hear people use words that we typically don't use in everyday conversation, but what I don't like is when they assume fancy words = intelligence. It doesn't.

In many cases, it leads to arrogance. Just because your vocabulary is amazing, don't assume you know everything. And when someone corrects you because they've actually worked in the field and came across the situation your were talking about on a daily basis, don't tell me "I haven't worked in the field, but know it to be true". How? How could you?

My ex neighbor was famous for doing this, but he didn't declare himself brilliant. He just wanted you to believe that he knew it all. At first, I would believe him if he talked about subject matter I hadn't a clue about. But one day, he revealed his hand when he discussed suicide clauses in life insurance policies. I worked for 8 years in the insurance industry and was a registered life insurance agent. I knew the ins-and-outs of a standard life insurance policy and called him out on it. The more he try to dig himself out of his lie, the more I'd nail him to the wall.

Prior to meeting my ex neighbor, I trusted everyone was honest and only talked about a subject when they were knowledgeable about it. Now, I know better.

I haven't come across an individual like my neighbor until I met Fancy Pants. Now I know to keep quiet, smile and realize although he though he may use big words, he could be 100% full of shit.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Best Scam Email Yet

Friday, September 3, 2010.....

Yesterday, I received an email from the "BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION" apologizing to me for being the victim of a lotto or a kin claim and am entitled to a large sum of money if I responded to the email because of I was a victim.

Two things that made me laugh about the email:

1) They want to give me $2.4 million because I am a victim of a scam and I just need to give them contact info; and

2) Although the British High Commission lists his email address within the body of the email, the email originated from a gmail account. I'm thinking the British gov't would not be using gmail for its electronic mail service.

I'm just glad these criminals are plain stupid.

Actual email with my comments:

The British School of Cotonou,
Haie Vive, 08 BP 0352,
Cotonou, Benin.

Sir,(Dude if you're going to win me over, at least know I'm a woman)


The Government of the West African Countries (ECOWAS) under the African Union (AU) have recompensed you following the meeting held with the Government of the various countries' high commission with the AU chairman, DR.BINGU WA MUTHARIKA for the fraudulent activities carried out by her Citizens on you.

This is to cushion the effect of the present economic difficulties on you. (So impressed he knows I'm unemployed and unemployment has run out - bet he's psychic)Your email address confirms that you were among those defrauded as listed by the FBI and Scotland Yard (Wow...I've never submitted any of these to either agency) through email scam by fraudsters either as contract payment, Next of kin claims, (do you mean these weren't real?)lottery and game wins etc. By citizens of either Nigeria, Benin Republic, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea from any part of the globe where they operate from.

Be informed that a total of two Million four hundred and fifty thousand US dollars ($2,450,000.00) was allocated to you by the heads of states of the African Union as you were indicated as one of the fraud victims. Your current phone number/contact address (name John Doe, 1234 Main Ave, Anytown USA, 800-555-1212) should be made available to this Commission in acknowledgment of this mail to effect the processing and release of your fund by the nominated bank.(I bet you believe I think monkeys fly too) You can as well contact the Director in charge of the release/CEO of HSBC Bank London.

8 Canada Square Canary Wharf.
London, E14 5H.
Phone: +44 703 591 4563
Contact: Mr. Stephen Green.

Further communication between you and fraudsters should be discontinued as such will result to a total cancellation of the release of the stated fund to you. You are requested to acknowledge the receipt of this mail for proper update of the file opened for you in this regard.

Yours faithfully.

Mrs. Pauline Collins for.
Mr. Bob Dewar. (Commissioner}

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Thursday, September 2, 2010.....

Sometimes in life it is important to do the silly stupid things. For me, one of the greatest joys I have is when we coast down this particularly long street.

I'm not sure how the game started, but it always ends up trying to guess exactly where the car is going to die out. Although the road is a somewhat busy road there are times when no one is on the road and we coast at great speeds where you have to be in the middle of the road to make this one, somewhat difficult, hairpin turn.

I wonder if my love of the coasting game has anything to do with my love of amusement parks? During my 20's and 30's, I visited many amusement parks in different states. Not sure how that happened, but it just did. Initially, I had this insane fear of roller coasters, but with each visit to a new park, I began to love to ride them.

It's been at least a decade since I've been to an amusement park. I think my car coasting game is the closest thing to a roller coaster I'll see in a while. It's definitely a stupid game, but sometimes, stupid can be fun.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Last Meeting at Weight Watchers.....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010.....

I finally found a leader at Weight Watchers I like and have been going to meetings for the past several weeks instead of just weighing in and leaving.

The topic for the last meeting was how Weight Watchers is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. To some extent, I agree with that, but I think of WW as training a person to be more "mindful" of what they are eating.

Weight Watchers has you track and count points, and when I track food, exercise and drink water, I can tell you the program works. However, I don't always stay on track or program. I hate to track what I'm eating for several reasons: 1) I have to remember just how much I ate; 2) I have to see what I ate in black and white; and 3) Often I eat things I shouldn't have and don't realize I put them in my mouth.

I think if you're mindful of what you're putting in your mouth when eating, you may eat less and I know I enjoy it more.

Now that you have a background of Friday's discussion, there was this thin woman sitting in front of me and she was nodding her head how WW is definitely a lifestyle. She was excited because she reached 5% of her goal and told us the story of her recent trip to the doughnut shop with her daughter.

She explained how WW's lifestyle mentality gave her the freedom to buy the doughnut, but not knowing the points, brought it home and looked up the point value. She divided the doughnut into 6 parts and ate 1 part putting away the rest of it. As she was putting it away, she told her daughter she could have some tomorrow as a treat.

Is it just me in thinking this isn't a lifestyle choice? Get the doughnut, but instead of eating a whole doughnut, eat half of it and then either exercise or make better food choices for the day.

I don't want to become so obsessed about eating things I love for fear of the "point value", but am learning to be mindful of what I'm eating.

Sunday, I met a friend for brunch at this place I had read about. I had a very tasty breakfast. When I got home, I looked up the point value (I'm tracking) and learned hollandaise sauce is deadly on points. Luckily, the portion sizes were not ENORMOUS and I've made adjustments to what I ate for the rest of the day.

I'll definitely go back with hubby, but may choose something else. But, I know I feel no guilt for what I ate and enjoyed it immensely.

Sometimes, people forget food can be for enjoyment. It doesn't have to be the enemy. Enjoy it, but be mindful of what you eat instead of just eating to eat. Personally, I think that should be Weight Watchers' message.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Mind is Like a Puzzle Box.....

Monday, August 30, 2010....

Ever put together a puzzle with 500 pieces? The first thing I would do is open the box and flip it over on a table. All the pieces would scatter on the work surface with no rhyme or reason. Well, that's how I feel....

I have a zillion little thoughts running through my head and it feels impossible to put them together into a cohesive pattern. Instead I've been trying to chase down all the possible little ideas without being effective.

Next step I'd take with a puzzle is to flip the pieces over and pull out all the border pieces and match these pieces up to create the border of my puzzle. But, with the thoughts in my head, I'm just letting them consume me and it is somewhat paralyzing and I'm beginning to understand how frustrated a greyhound would feel chasing the mechanical rabbit at a track (note: I've never been to a dog race, but that's my vision supplied from Bugs Bunny cartoons).

I decided to take the many thoughts racing around in my mind and make a border -- I need to take, and feel in control of my life. The only way I know to do so is by taking small steps.

Everyday, I am going to do something for my body, mind, soul, financial well being, career goal and dream goal. I've also given myself permission to take a day off from any of these daily goals without beating me up. This last part is crucial because I'm always beating myself up becoming frustrated and counter productive. Does this ever happen to you?

So far, I've meditated, organized my living space, exercised, paid some bills and revisited my journal.

I realize these changes will take time before I see any real results, but I feel better already.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This weekend I met Shane....Shane the goat....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010....

Wow! I can't believe it is less than one month till my birthday (that shout out was specifically for YogaGirl)....

Oh yeah, where was I....

Shane, the Goat. Very cute, lovable and fond of my cotton jeans. But, I'll give Shane some slack as he is but a kidd and probably doesn't know better.

Where did I meet Shane? On our travels to Norway, NY. The metropolis of the world (if anyone knows anything about this town they would be laughing because it is that small).

Before I met hubby 4 years ago, he had a life, albeit it couldn't have been that great because I wasn't in it, but he had one. He did a lot of things and one of things was to purchase some property in the foothills of the Adirondacks and that is where we headed to.

When he mentioned camping on the property, I thought how fun until he said, I'll bring a gun because there are more bear than people and I thought WTH??? I began to wonder if my unemployed status was taking a toll on him and this was his way of handling the situation, but it wasn't.

Since the drive would pass Sharon Springs, I suggested we stop at the Beekman 1802 store. Does anyone know who the Beekman Boys are? Two guys from NYC who moved upstate to run a farm. Their show is on Planet Green and very amusing.

Unlike other reality shows, there are no cat fights or girls crying hysterically, but just a fun show depicting life on a farm and what is needed for it to work.

We decided to stop in town, eat lunch and check out their store. We bought some goat milk's soap, cheese and this great canvas bag which I highly recommend if your grocery stores require cloth bags.

The store was decorated nicely, the person behind the counter (which is a refinished piece of antique furniture) was incredibly nice and people were streaming in and out of the store while we were there.

Besides the merchandise, one thing that caught my attention while in the store were 3 people who complained how long the drive to get there was. Ummmm... I know where they were coming from and hubby and I traveled 45 minutes longer and thought the drive was wonderful (sometimes traveling country roads is just what a person needs). They were clearly disappointed that Brent, one of the owners, was not working out front, but cheered up when they were told he was in the back and would be happy to come out for a photo opp.

Yes, I love the show, but I thought it a bit odd to pull someone out from the back just for a picture. Geez, the guy was obviously in the back working on something. Anyway....that's just me.

However, I did take shots of the building because it's very cool and made friends with the 2 baby goats in front of the shop. One ate the hostas and building flag and the other loved being petted and enjoyed trying to eat my jeans.

One of the nice things that these guys state on their show and website is to go to all the shops on Main Street (there is only about 5). They are really trying to help the town grow and in this economy I like that they're doing that.

Today, I wrote them a short email. I thanked them for directing us off the beaten track to our final destination and asked for the cute goat's name. I was informed his name was Shane.

Obviously, if I'm writing this post, there were no visits by bear, just Mother Nature with rain. Even with the rain, it was a wonderful getaway and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Remember my pole dancing dream and Ernest Borgnine....

Thursday, August 19, 2010....

Tuesday, I wrote about a dream I had where it was between me and Ernest Borgnine for a pole dancing gig. Luckily, I won out, but in real life he's the winner.

Last night, my sister, YogaGirl, emails me this blurb from Entertainment Weekly:

Ernest Borgnine to be honored by SAG: It's about time. "Veteran actor and Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Screen Actors Guild during the group’s annual awards presentation on January 30, 2011. It’s about time. After all, the 93-year-old actor who won an Oscar for his heartbreaking portrayal of a loveless mama’s boy in 1955′s Marty and who’s graced both the big and small screens with his smiling, gap-toothed mug is an overlooked Hollywood treasure."

You go Ernest!

Imagine my surprise at having a dream about a random actor I've never thought about, and two days later reading a heading that he's getting a lifetime achievement award from SAG. A little bizarre, but I'm glad it wasn't his obit.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Someone Please Explain this Dream to Me.....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010....

I've been told dreams are a window to your soul, and many times, they hold the answer to some problems you may be trying to resolve. I actually agree with this statement.

In the past, I've had some dreams that were incredibly insightful, but last night left me wondering what the message was.

Last night I dreamt I was asked by a pole dancing agent [Note: I've never taken a pole dancing class] that she wanted to book me for some guy's bachelor party who was looking for an Oriental girl [Note: I'm French Canadian and about 5'7", so petite is not a word used to describe me].

Apparently, all her girls were booked and it was between me and her husband. He resembled Ernest Borgnine [Note: In my dream Ernest Borgnine was actually her husband.].

The client wanted me [Note: It's nice to know I beat out a 93 year old MAN for a pole dancing gig].

In the end, I didn't take the job -- hmmm....not that shocked, but WTH???? Why am I dreaming about pole dancing and Ernest Borgnine? I had fluke for dinner that my husband caught last weekend fishing off the coast of Rhode Island. I wonder if the fish was swimming in some scary contaminated waters for me to have a dream like that.

[Note: Until this morning when I looked up the correct spelling of Borgnine, I thought Ernest Borgnine was dead. He's not according to what I researched. Mr. Borgnine, if you read my blog, I apologize for thinking you were dead.]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Time to Relinquish My Girl Card....

Monday, August 16, 2010....

Confession: I am not a fan of purses or shoes. There. I said it.

Yes, I'm female, but I really hate to shoe shop or to buy/change or match a purse to an outfit. However, I will admit I'm on the hunt for the world's smallest purse I can get away with carrying.

I had one and I wore it out. Now I carry my standby. A Coach bag that I've had forever, but it is bigger than I need and I'm always fishing around in the purse for the one item I need. Because it is too big for my purpose, as soon as I put my hand in the purse, things shuffle around as if they were running away from my hand. Nine out of ten times I end up emptying the contents out on the dining room table.

In the movie You've Got Mail, I was in awe of Meg Ryan's character. Sure, she was cute and lovable, but SHE NEVER CARRIED A PURSE. It was amazing. Whatever she needed just magically appeared. Money at the farmer's market "POOF". A key to get in her house "POOF". I wonder why the magic fairy purse doesn't follow me around.

I also have to admit, when I was working in an office, I did enjoy shoe shopping. There was a purpose to buying fun shoes. However, the moment I went virtual, well comfy slippers replaced the heel. Why wouldn't it? I don't think my cat cared what shoes were on my feet (unless her tail was under my foot and that happened more than I like to admit). So, it's been years and, other than sneakers and slippers , I haven't shoe shopped in probably 4 years.

Wow. I guess I'll be giving back my girlie-girl card shortly.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, August 10, 2010....

For quite some time, I wanted to join a writer's group, but was too scared. The art of writing, while easy for some, is not for me.

Initially it was my grammar that had me running from joining a group, but eventually, it was my fear of the unknown that had me stay away from writing groups. When I say the "unknown", I mean rejection of my work or fear of not being able to finish any writing projects or knowing what I wanted to write. that we know why it took forever for me to join a group, let me tell you about the one I joined. It's not a traditional group you'd find associated with your local library or bookstore, but one run by a husband and wife team who have a business geared towards writers. They have a physical location which is open most of the day for writers to go to write instead of the coffee shop. An alternative to the noisy Starbucks or your home which offers up 1000+ distractions.

In addition to offering a place to get your writing mojo in place, they offer writing, screenplay and poetry workshops as the main portion of their business. The workshops are moderated by one of the owners who was a professor of writing at various colleges and an actor in his early career (I'm not sure if he also wrote for the screen, but would imagine that having acted on stage and screen rounds out his knowledge for his screenwriting groups).

I take the writer's workshop. I meet once per week with 4 other women and share what we have been writing on from the prior week. The three rules of the group are: come with 4 to 5 double-spaced pages of something you've been working on, you leave negativity at the door and when you offer your comments on other author's works, you have to be positive.

The moderator, Patrick, is the only one allowed to offer CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.

Constructive does not mean negative, but offers suggestions how to pump up the work, or tell you where the writing is weak.

Everyone in my group is writing something different. Some stuff I like, some I don't. However, when your only comment is to be something positive you put on different listening ears. You may not enjoy a piece on peeling sunburned skin, BUT, you can appreciate the lengths she went to show you her thoughts that run through her mind about peeling sunburned skin.

As a listener of a writer's group, you listen for the details and to see if they captured the scene.

One woman is writing an autobiography which is beautifully written even though the events she is writing about are sad. Another is starting a career as a stand-up comedian and her pieces are written from such an unique viewpoint that you find yourself lost in her thoughts. Another, a murder mystery and the other women in my group is writing pure fiction.

I'm writing a memoir disguised as fiction. There is a name for it, but it has slipped my mind at the moment. It is the period of time after my separation and how I grew as a person. However, at the moment, I'm a bit bored with the character and have been procrastinating on the character development. I just need to write and not listen to the negative thoughts and go back and edit.

The beauty of writing a memoir disguised as a fiction piece is that you can embellish the story and take great liberties you couldn't with the truth. Plus, I don't really want to hurt anyone's feelings.

What we do in the workshop besides read our pieces is interesting. We talk about the craft of writing and Patrick creates interesting and mysterious writing exercises for the group. For example...I'm told to think of a time period, another person is told to think of a setting, another to describe 2 male characters, another 2 females and finally the last person is told to describe 3 moral situations. We have 2 minutes to write down our descriptors and then we read them aloud to the group. Next is the fun part. For the next 10 minutes we write about one of the characters in the setting and time period provided with one moral issue. We are just to write. Patrick stresses this because it helps to clear the mind and lets you have fun.

The above scenario happened in class and the interesting part about it was the twist that happened because I had time period and chose the 1930's. Everyone chose 21st century situations and they had to adapt the character from a jet setting movie producer to a Broadway play producer traveling by train. For me, I could easily adapt a character into a different period, but others really struggled. It was interesting to see how difficult it was for some people to have lost control over their writing direction.

For me, the workshop is just want I needed to get what I need to on paper. I've also learned that you need to write daily on the piece (blogging, journaling and free writing are nice, but don't count). I knew this, but didn't know that it only takes 4 days for this to become habit. I'm not sure I believe this. Why don't I? Well, it takes 11 days to break chocolate cravings and 21 days to create an exercise routine. Four days seems too short (can you tell I haven't done 4 days in a row).

My biggest obstacle is me. My negative thoughts and my fear of grammar (although, I was informed POV was more important and that is why there are copy editors -- I'm still out on that one).

If you want to join a writer's group and don't have the $$, check out your local library or bookstore (both mine didn't offer one) or or craig's list. If no luck, approach the local bookstore or coffee shop to start one. Years ago, when I had a small dried flower business, I approached a local craft store to give dried flower wreath workshops and gave 2 of them.

If you have a fear of talking in front of a group and really want to do this in a virtual atmosphere - The Next Big Writer offers you this option.

If you have any questions, just ask. I'll try to answer.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Mish Mash

Monday, August 9, 2010.....

Where have I been? Here. Doing things, but nothing to get me in the police blotter of the local newspaper or anything worthy of receiving a medal. However, I've had a lot of little things/thoughts go on so I'll share....

1) A Moment of Jealousy - Yup. You read that right. Here's the scenario...Several weeks ago my friend sends a blast email out about a new fridge her and her hubby were selling. Long story short, they bought 2 fridges because the first one was too big and in the end, made adjustments to the kitchen so this fridge could fit. So why am I jealous??? Well, I live in a 1940's Cape Cod style house and the rooms are very small and all appliances are small! The size you'd buy for a Barbie Dreamhouse. In fact, I'm taller than my fridge...translation: I'm always cleaning, reschuffling or reorganizing the fridge out. It's annoying. Is it too much to ask the refrigerator god that when I open the door of my fridge I can a) see what's in there; and b) easily place a new item on the shelf.

2) Started going back to Weight Watchers again. Although the first meeting went well, my body already went into alcohol makes me feel icky mode. Saturday night, I had a friend over for her birthday and made some blueberry vodka/lemonade/presecco drinks (in addition to champagne cocktails) and Sunday, I paid for it. I wasn't drunk Saturday night, but was exhausted from going out the night before for some great reggae played at a local street festival. Champagne always gives me killer hangovers (typically, they start the same night) and yesterday was no exception.

3) YogaGirl is in Scotland and it's weird not talking to her daily. Although, I heard from her yesterday and she's having a great time. She even tried haggis which won't be on her must have foods -- something about an odd after taste.

4) Writer's workshop is going well and actually pushing me far out of comfort zone. I'm a girl that likes to give you the basics of a situation, but don't elaborate on the details and that's what I need. I need to describe a room my character enters or an item of clothing I focus on, but in much greater detail. For instance, I may write about an enormous purse one character may own and it is important to the scene, but I need to describe the detail (e.g., designer, color, plain vs. glitz). At first I didn't understand why, but now I do. Details help the reader round out the person. However, after years of writing from a legal perspective, I'm a girl that likes to write in short, concise sentences. I feel the rest is over sharing (just like this paragraph), but am glad I'm doing it. It is making me ponder over the detail of the scene and where the character is headed.

Okay, that's the end of my mish mash for the moment. There's probably more on my mind, but it's early and I'm not a morning person. Basically, thinking is at a minimum before my caffeine.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, July 28, 2010....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past several weeks:

Rave: The new season of Mad Men started up.

Rave: There has been a slight break in the weather here. It is still hot and humid, but not as unbearable as it was last week.

Rant: I invited my dad over for lunch on Sunday for 1:00 p.m.. While chatting with hubby at 9:20 a.m. (he was in kitchen and I was on computer), he's like your father is here and I was like ha, ha (my dad is known to show up early) and when he opened the door and I heard my father's voice, I was like 'Oh Shit' -- I wasn't dressed and wasn't quite unprepared for him. Hubby and I planned on running some errands before he came. My dad's only comment was "I know I'm a little early". A little early??? Hello? Try 3 1/2 hours early. Wonder what he considers to be very early.

Rave: Caught up with some friends for dinner Monday night. One I hadn't seen in over a year.

Rave: A very fun food pantry dinner party last week.

Okay, that's it for me. I would love to read any Rants and Raves you want to share? Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday -- or leave them in the comments section here. Please, please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, July 21, 2010....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past several weeks:

Rave: Great day in NYC on Saturday.

Rave: Another Food Pantry dinner tomorrow night with good friends.

Rant: I'm living on the set of Disney's Bambi 2 (I added this in for people who might jump to the thought that this may be the name of a porn movie). I was having issues with Woody in my garden, but he invited guests: Bambi, Thumper, Stupid Ass Squirrel (SAS) and both Chip and Dale. Chip and Dale are not the offenders, but SAS has gone after the tomatoes - he pulls the green ones off the vine and takes 1 freakin bite. He thinks it a nut and then when he discovers it is not, he leaves the tomato on the ground. Bambi ate 1/2 the tomato plants and squash leaves and Thumper the rabbit, the Brussels sprouts and squash blossoms. Like a crazy woman, I caught the squirrel in the act and chased it away earning the title crazy squirrel lady.

Rave: Melatonin. I posted something about insomnia several weeks back and many said to try melatonin. I had heard it was good from several others and thought I'd give it a shot. It doesn't help me fall asleep faster, but does keep me in a nice uninterrupted sleep once I do fall asleep.

Rave: If you haven't voted for LiLu for MTV TJ (see left hand nav bar icon) please do so. MTV is taking votes until tomorrow afternoon and wouldn't it be great to see a blogger fulfill her dream.

Rave: Loving my writer's workshop. I'm learning so much from the moderator (English professor) and pushing me to do more.

Okay, that's it for me. I would love to read any Rants and Raves you want to share? Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday -- or leave them in the comments section here. Please, please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A HUGE Pet Peeve of Mine.......

Tuesday, July 20, 2010....

I know I typically rant and rave on Wednesdays, but there is something that just bugs the crap out of me.

When I call to talk to you, don't ask me about other people you're too lazy to call -- especially if you know my relationship with that individual is strained...

Don't expect me to share all details of my life if you're not willing to tell me anything about yours. Seriously, I'd be happy to share the details of my life with you if a) you were willing to listen; or b) willing to have a two-way conversation and tell me anything that is going on with you.

There. I'm done.

Oh, before you tell me to confront this person, I have. They know it, but think it's excusable behavior. I almost believe they think it charming.

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Excellent Saturday.....

Monday, July 19, 2010.....

It's been awhile, but Saturday was the perfect day. I headed into NYC with YogaGirl, and my gf, A, for dinner and a Harry Connick Jr. concert. I should have known the day would be great when we had no problems zipping in via the West Side highway. In fact, we got in earlier than expected allowing us to have some outdoor cocktails.

We had reservations at Jonathan Waxman's restaurant, Barbuto, and we easily agreed why he was on Top Chef Masters and well respected from the other contestants (but I'll get to that a little later).

First, we stopped at some bar in Chelsea and had the most refreshing summer cocktail outside -- it had blueberry Smirnoff vodka with lemonade topped with Presecco and fresh blueberries - a wonderful and refreshing summertime drink, but I imagine dangerous since they went down easily.

After 2 cocktails, we headed to Barbuto, but stopped along the way to give our opinion to a bunch of groomsmen asking us who was the hottest in their tux -- I lost count, but I'd say around 8 cuties all just loving to flirt with us and bridesmaids giving the dirty pout face to them for flirting (definitely opposite their counterparts). The guys were definitely funny and an interesting NYC sight.

We got to Barbuto, a little early, but were seated right away. Both Jonathan Waxman and his cookbook were out in plain sight. Because I was buying his cookbook (thanks YogaGirl), Mr. Waxman came to our table, introduced himself and signed the cookbook. I have promised my gf that one month I will cook every course from his cookbook for my Food Pantry dinner.

The restaurant is a very casual place with large garage door type window walls allowing staff to create indoor-outdoor seating. Jeffrey (world's most fabulous waiter) made great recommendations. My gf and I started with tempura fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with zucchini risotto on a bed of roasted baby corn and argula. Yogagirl had some sort of salad and trusted Jeffrey's recommendation about the gnocchi.

He assured me they wouldn't be heavy and they weren't. They were light and amazing. My gf had lamb and Yogagirl had his signature roasted chicken -- every dish was out of this world. I had fresh fruit for dessert and my sister and gf had homemade Italian chocolate pudding which I believe had hazelnut in it. Jeffrey was kind enough to put a candle in my gf's for her birthday. Combine great food with 2 bottles of white wine from Umbria and great conversation and you have the perfect meal.

All the food was amazing, and I didn't notice until telling my husband the next day there wasn't any salt or pepper on the table. But everything, I mean EVERYTHING, was perfectly seasoned. Unlike our last experience with a Top Chef restaurant (Craft can't hold a candle to Barbuto)we were able to have an entire tasty meal and were not given a muffin on the way out.

After a FAB-U-LOUS dinner, we hopped in a cab and headed to the Harry Connick Jr. concert on Broadway. There was a 15 minute intermission, but he played for 2 1/2 hours having special guests sing and play with him. Years ago, I saw his dad sing with him at Tanglewood and got to see him sing again. It's obvious where Harry gets his talent because his dad can bring down the house. Other special guests included his daughter, Kim Burrell and Lucien Barbarin (amazing trombonist) who played with Harry. Even his youngest daughter, Charlotte, told a joke to the crowd.

At the end, he brought the crowd to our feet and everyone was clapping and having a great time, and, if anyone has been to a HCJ concert, there was some definite ass shakin (a definite trademark of his, if not, it should be).

The whole day was amazing and very much needed. I can't wait to cook from Jonathan Waxman's book for friends and will play Harry while cooking to remind me how fun I had Saturday, July 17th in NYC.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, July 8, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question is: When was the last time you faced and conquered your fear that was within your control?

Some fears you can control, some you can't. When diagnosed with cancer in 2004, I had a fear of the outcome and I did what I could, but had no real control of the outcome.

It was at this point I realized I wanted to control the things I could because I hated feeling powerless. Basically, I didn't want the fear to control me, but me to control it.

Since 2004, I've t some of my fears (e.g., firing a gun) and my conjured up vision of what it was going to be like wasn't even close to the reality of doing it.

Last night I faced or embraced another fear. I joined a writer's group. I've had a fear of writing for others (yeah, I know I have a blog, but I don't face anyone and read my words out loud), always second guessing my abilities and assuming it's not good enough.

I'm glad I went. It's a small group and the moderator is interesting, but the feedback was incredibly helpful and, contrary to what I envisioned, I didn't suck. However, I will admit, years of drafting/amending legal documents does change how you write fiction. I have to shift gears, but it was good to hear that my structure was good, character was one they were pulling for and they were curious to see what happened next.

Whatever happens I know I needed to do this. It will force me to stop making excuses and give myself permission to just write no matter the outcome.

So....When was the last time you faced and conquered your fear that was within your control?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Time Machine.....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010.....

Recently, I reconnected with some friends from high school. On the way home from dinner I was talking with one of my friends (I drove) about how great it was to see everyone. It was just the 2 of us in the car and she said "No one has changed. Everyone is pretty much how they were in high school."

Initially, I agreed, but now I don't. I think if you don't want to see how people have changed, well, you won't.

For instance, we have a friend who can be extremely passionate and even animated with her hands when talking. Some may perceive her as being impatient because she can go from 0 to 50 in about 10 seconds. However, she's probably one the most patient people I've met. She works with special needs kids in the public schools and I think that requires a boatload of patience. I know I couldn't handle what she does.

I think people perceive me as laid back -- a go with the flow type person, but that is far from the truth. I'm a Type A personality who expresses it in a Type B fashion. However, I know I'm not the same person I was in high school. Cancer changed a lot of the way I make decisions or approach things. It's changed my priorities.

As far as my other friends, well, the ones I keep in close contact with are a work in progress. I see them spring boarding off who they were when we were kids into a different person today.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Having the Last Word

Monday, July 5, 2010.....

I believe it's human nature for people to have the last word in any heated conversation or argument and I think it starts when we were kids. Seriously, I remember babysitting and putting my neighbor's son to bed and he just kept screaming and throwing tantrums because he wanted me to know he wasn't happy with me. I quickly realized, if I tried to quiet him down, he'd become twice as vocal. I guess you'd say this is when I learned the power of walking away.

As an adult, I've sometimes forgotten this lesson, but recently remembered how valuable it is to walk away from a situation. Actually, this is the 2nd time I can remember where the desired result was far more important than getting in the last word.

The first time was shortly after my separation. I reconnected with someone from my childhood. He found me through (prior to facebook), and we started exchanging emails. The emails were comforting at the time and I was surprised at all the stuff he remembered from our childhood.

What I did was selfish. I found comfort in emails with a married man. I thought them to be only words exchanged by friends. It took months for me to see the email exchanges probably meant more to him and let's just say our last exchange of words wasn't an exchange, but just an angry man trying to get my attention and get me to interact.

At the time, I was in therapy and discussed how uncomfortable I was with the situation. My therapist told me not to respond, but knew I was the type to respond if someone was hurting. She also told me most people need to have the last word. Funny thing is that I knew if I responded, he take it as a positive sign -- possibly thinking they'd be more to this friendship and there wasn't.

So, I stopped all communication and walked away because my desired result was more important than getting in the last word.

Fast forward.....

It's been years since the desired result is far more important than getting in the last word. But it recently happened again.

When I first separated (note: 1st year after my separation/divorce, I approached life differently. It was harder for me to make decisions and appreciated strong personalities in my life) I formed a friendship with a person who is an amazingly strong person. She knows who she is, adventurous, intelligent, but can also sometimes be an unknowing bully or refuse to hear a person if their thoughts/opinions/needs differ. I was amenable to her suggestions of what to do, where to go, etc.. To this day, I appreciate her being there for me. However, most everything was on her terms and my voice somehow got lost. I approach things differently and I'm not sure if she heard me or could understand me, but her solution to my problems wasn't how I operated.

It's no secret that being unemployed has been a hard struggle for me the past 2 years and when I'm stressed or depressed I retreat. I pack up the troops and stay to myself. Others need people around. I respect that. But that is not me.

My friend needs people around her and was worried about me. For awhile, I felt smothered with phone calls from her and just stopped answering the calls. Finally, I sent an email to apologize and explain how I operate when stressed. This was in February.

Last week she responded to my email. For the most part, it was a sympathetic email except for one line. One line where she turned my situation around and made me feel guilty for how I handle stress. She likes to have friends and family around and for years went through a difficult time and I was there to listen.

I'm annoyed and just want to scream: MY STRESS, MY DEPRESSION ARE NOT ABOUT YOU.

I had YogaGirl and another gf read my original email and her response to see if I was nuts for overreacting. I thought about writing back and allaying her fears that it wasn't her, that she is a great friend, but I thought screw it (okay, after several people told me to walk away). I realize my first email clearly explained how I stay to myself and it wasn't personal and she just needs to read the email again. I also have to wonder, why did it take her 4 months to respond. Clearly she received an email from a friend in pain and instead of sending a short note the NEXT DAY to say I'm sorry you're struggling, just know I'm here if you need me, I got crickets.

I don't think explaining it again will change the situation. I think it will just open the doorway to a relationship where someone doesn't get me or want to because I handle things other than the way she would, so I'm just walking away with no last word.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, July 1, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question is: Would you let any animal lick food off your fork or spoon and then continue eating using that same utensil?

The other night, I had a gf over for dinner and a movie. There was a scene where the woman fed her dog ice cream off her spoon and continued using the same spoon to finish up her ice cream.

I wondered how many people do that. I loved my cat, but always waited till the end or portioned off the food onto a separate plate for just her.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, June 30, 2010....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. I have to admit, being away for over a month has you overlook the negatives and only remember the positives. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past several weeks:

Rave: Friend from Egypt in town. Can't wait to catch up with her.

Rant: Insomnia still in full swing.

Rant: Wally Watch 2010. Us against the woodchuck eating my parsley, peppers and cucumbers. I've gone through a lot of cayenne pepper (bunnies and woodchucks hate cayenne pepper) and am now trying to trap him/her with watermelon. Once we capture Woody safely, s/he will be relocated to a location far away from here and I will enjoy a Woody free zone. Wait....that may have sounded wrong.

Rave: Haven't gone grocery shopping in 2 weeks. Hubby's gone and I'm happy. I hate grocery shopping because no matter what time of the day I go, it's jammed packed.

Rave: Weather is going to cool down for long July 4th holiday weekend.

Rave: Scottish festival is this weekend. Nothing like a good adult heavyweight caber toss to make me amused. Seriously. Ever see one? I haven't a clue why, but totally fascinated with it.

Okay, that's it for me. I would love to read any Rants and Raves you want to share? Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday -- or leave them in the comments section here. Please, please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I never thought I'd utter these words...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010....

I found my go-to tuna tartare recipe!

Why would anyone make this statement? Maybe a restaurant owner. But, I'm not that. My hubby would tell me I'm nuts because tuna tartare is glorified bait. (Hubby fishes and he considers sushi to be bait).

Last year, I started really using my cookbooks and found out that the best rice recipe is in the Martha Stewart Cooking School book and Sheila Lukins found the best cooking technique for roasting asparagus which can be applied to other veggies and
I can state, without hesitation, Eric Ripert has my go-to tuna tartare recipe.

It's simple, elegant with perfect flavoring.

If interested, the recipe is in his A Return to Cooking cookbook.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Please sign me up for the 12 Step Insomnia Program....

Monday, June 28, 2010.....

Is there one? If so, sign me up. I want to kick my habit of Insomnia! It's horrible, debilitating and I believe an intervention is in order.

Isn't that people do for loved ones when a habit is causing havoc on their lives? Insomnia is doing just that. To me. I want it to stop without sleeping aids.

Why can't I just take 12 steps from the door of the bedroom to the bed and automatically fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow? This was the question racing through my head Friday night/Saturday morning. I mean, some people make it look easy. Natural. I don't think I can remember the last time I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. that would be heavenly.

Some people dream of lavish homes, cars, winning lotto, but for is getting a good night's sleep on a daily basis.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, June 24, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question is NOT from my husband. I know I gave him permission for the entire month to give me questions, but he choked. Today's question is: Would you rather date a person who only brushes their teeth once daily or borrows your toothbrush to brush their teeth?

While out to dinner last week with some single girlfriends, one was telling us some of the questions she answered on a dating site. One of the questions was: Would you date someone who only brushes his teeth one time per day?

She said no, but I couldn't let it rest and asked her if she'd rather date a guy who brushes once daily or borrows your toothbrush to clean his teeth.

Personally, borrowing my toothbrush is a deal breaker for me.

I've been asked and if my eyes had darts, I'd would have shot the individual with my eye darts.

Seriously? Can you say yuck.

I pride myself on being very middle of the road on most subjects, but some topics I will NEVER budge on.

If you forget your toothbrush, not my issue. My solution is to use your finger if you can't get to a drug store.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, June 23, 2010....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. I have to admit, being away for over a month has you overlook the negatives and only remember the positives. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past several weeks:

Rave: Had a very successful food pantry dinner party last week. I made a lot of different dishes and YogaGirl was able to come to it.

Rave: I really hate people who text while driving. It has now happened on several occasions where I pull up behind someone and they're so obsessed with their wireless device they forget to make the left turn when the green arrow appears.

Rave: Went to a book reading given by one of my favorite, fun authors...Jane Green. Bought her latest novel, Promises to Keep, and have added it to my summer reading collection.

Rave: Got to meet my first blogger IRL - Will Work for Shoes. It was nice to finally see the person behind the words.

Rave: I went to my first WNBA game last night with my gf. She had tickets and asked me to go to Mohegan Sun. The whole night was great. We got to catch up during our car ride there and back. Win a little at the slots ($0.01 and 1/4 $0.01 - which I didn't know existed), eat at Bobby Flay's burger joint and see a great game. Connecticut lost, but the seats were great.

Rave: I love when I hear bloggers get discovered. Years ago, Jen Lencaster and Julie Powell got discovered through their blogs and now, LiLu (go vote for her)is up for the MTV twitterer (is that even a word?) contest. She can make a living by tweeting all things MTV. LiLu has a great sense of humor. Sure she's much younger than me, but her writing is about her and she's never malicious. She's just really very funny and humor is ageless.

Rant: YogaGirl and I spent some time with the eldercare attorney to discuss my parents. Let's just say, there is a tremendous amount of paperwork, counter intuitive thinking all rolled in with a touch of sadness.

Rant: People who don't know the expression "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say a word". Do I really need to hear for the zillionth time you hate my house and I should take a wrecking ball to it. Seriously? I thought we cleared the air several years ago about how caustic your comments can be and to stop it. I'm sorry this person has some stuff going on that makes them unhappy, but I AM NOT YOUR WHIPPING POST!

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Carnival Week for New England Bloggers....

Monday, June 21, 2010.....

Does that mean I've run away and become a Carny? Nah.... It means that I'm introducing a fellow New England Blogger to my readers. Elizabeth at Thoughts from an Evil Overlord created a community for New England bloggers.

For one week, New England Bloggers will have cotton candy, livestock and games....oh wait, there is none of that in virtual land, but imagine eating while reading some really fun bloggers I've discovered through the New England Bloggers.

Months and months ago, I discovered New England Girl who writes about her everyday life in Western MA and Vodka Logic who, at the moment, is combating a weight loss challenge with humor.

However, the carnival challenge is to meet and greet someone new, someone I can relate to and I have to admit, this person found me and I really like her style.

Cheryl at Deckside Thoughts wrote a piece that spoke to me about a morning dove Freakin Morning Dove which struck a cord with me because she too had problems with a bird. And her take on squirrels, Squirrels cracks me up.

I think what I like most about Cheryl is her writing style -- capturing humor in mundane stuff can be difficult. But, she does it.

If you get a chance, check her out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Greatest Sight While Driving ......

Tuesday, June 18, 2010.....

Yesterday, driving to the gym, I pass this minivan at a stop sign. I noticed the driver is female and the front seat passenger is an older yellow lab. S/he was sitting perfectly still with a seat belt across the front of its doggie chest.

I've never seen this before and it made me smile.

I have to admit, most dogs I see in cars hang their head out the window and never have the appearance of being a human being to me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, June 10, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question is from my husband. I've given him permission to come up with any stupid question he feels like asking. Today's question is: Do you think water comes out of the hole of someone with a lower lip piercing?

Last night we were watching some program that had a guy with a piercing under his lower lip and hubby blurts out loud: Do you think when he is drinking something water comes out through the hole?.

Needless to say, I looked at him and just shook my head. However, because he remembered that he gets to ask any question for the month of June on my blog, he said this was the question he wanted to pose to anyone who was willing to read this post.

I think he believes because people have commented that he is genius with dating tips, they may think him brilliant with this question.

Personally, I have a feeling the next two questions could get worse. Wait. Is that even possible?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Being Zen and Doing the Dishes....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010....

Several months ago, I picked up my Body & Soul magazine to learn they had an article that could change my life. It was about cleaning and how I could learn to LOVE it!

I was all over this article because I HATE TO CLEAN. I really hate to empty the dishwasher and load the dang thing. I thought if someone could change my mindset or give me a quick solution to something I loathe I was in.

Well, the article (paraphrasing) was about a woman discussing her discontent with a nun about cleaning. The nun explained patience and told her to change her viewpoint -- not to thinking of cleaning as a daily chore. Not to rush through it, but think of it as a ritual.

Ummm...sure, okay, I'll try it. I'll be one with the task. I'll try to find the greater meaning and enjoy emptying the dishwasher and loading it back up with dirty dishes (I should explain, I have the world's smallest dishwasher. Seriously, I do. Someone mistakenly thought it to be a garbage disposal).

I keep an open mind (I meditate daily). I focus on loving what I'm doing and taking pleasure in the act of doing it. I unload, load and repeat this same practice for several days.

Ya know what?

It did nothing. I still hate emptying and loading the dishwasher and have come to terms it is just a task in my day and try my damndest to do it AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

What? Did you think I'd say it worked? Sorry. Nope.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Little Over Three Months and Counting....

Monday, June 7, 2010....

In a little over 3 months, I'll be participating in my first sprint triathlon with 2 of my sisters in New Jersey.

Each of us is taking a leg of the race and mine is running. YogaGirl has the swimming portion and Science Sister has the biking portion.

YogaGirl and I aren't worried about Science Sister because she's always participating in some sort of road race that involves running, biking or her own sprint triathlon. However, YogaGirl and I have some we set goals for ourselves and I'd like to share them with you.

YogaGirl's goal is not to drown (or get eaten by a shark). We both grew up spending 90% of our time as kids in the water so I don't think she'll be drowning. However, I do laugh when she goes to the Y to train and can't because the pool is closed because of an outside storm. Apparently, the facility closes the pool during and up to 1/2 hour after a storm due to lightning. I find this a very bizarre thing since the pool is indoors.

My goal, well, it is much simpler. I call my training the Gary Coleman Project. No disrespect to the actor, but when I heard the news about his death it was as follows: Day 1 Gary Coleman fell and is in ICU. Day 2 Gary Coleman is dead.

I heard nothing of the particulars and know that I'm grace-in-motion and falling/tripping is something I do often.

I told YogaGirl that getting my ass on the treadmill, walking, walking, slow jog, jog, walking, walking was the only way I was going to build coordination and avoid the Gary Coleman tragedy.

Have YogaGirl and I shared our fears with Science Sister - no. Do you think she'll laugh at us - YES. She may even mock our insane fears. But the nice thing is to have one sibling who also shares the same type of insane fears with you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

70 Things About Me

Friday, June 4, 2010.....

Before I went on my bloggy vacation, I read a post by Jules at Mean Girl Garage where she posted 100 things about herself so people could know her better. I loved the idea and said I was going to do it. However, I didn't do 100 things, but 70 because I got bored or it hurt my head to think too much or __________ (you fill in the blank). Seriously.... It is because I'm a rather closed person from New England and unless I know people, I am not a huge sharer (is that even a word) of personal stuff.

Anyway, here are 70 little factoids about me - hope I don't bore you:

1. I’m in the Guiness Book of World Records for being part of the largest group of kayakers. I participated in a fundraising event and kayaked from Connecticut to Long Island NY (13.2 miles).

2. It took me as long to kayak 13.2 miles as it did to walk a marathon 26.2 miles.

3. My mother has Alzheimer’s and she really doesn’t recognize me. She’s in a nursing home and immediately aged 20 years after 2 weeks of being in the home. I think it had a lot to do with the fact she decided she didn’t want to walk again.

4. My father is a very active 88 year old. However, I’ve noticed what the aging process has done to him in the past year.

5. I never purchased a camera. My friend gave me hers because I was going to the Grand Canyon without one.

6. I don’t like to be in pictures.

7. I had Bells’ Palsey in 1997 and am one of the lucky 2% who don’t fully recover. After 12 years, I still miss my smile.

8. I did summer theatre for 5 years growing up.

9. My mother sent me to sewing school for 2 summers as a teenager. She told me every good wife should know how to sew. I hated sewing and my marriage ended. I wonder if she was on to something.

10. I’m crazy about my husband. He can make me giggle. I find this to be an invaluable attribute.

11. Although I whine or complain about annoying people, I seldom discuss major issues in my life that scare me.

12. I’ve struggled and am still struggling with my weight for the past 20 years. Basically, I ate my way through an unhappy marriage and now I’m learning how to undo years of damage.

13. One of the funniest nights in my life was staying overnight in NYC with 6 girlfriends. We had a fabulous night on the town after the most AMAZING dinner at Le Bernadin.

14. Favorite ice cream has not changed since childhood – Chocolate Chip Mint.

15. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss something.

16. I love my air conditioner.

17. I love Brussel Sprouts like most women like Chocolate.

18. I don’t love Chocolate. I can eat only so much before I get a headache.

19. I live in a small fixer-upper Cape Cod house.

20. I have more than 200 cookbooks and I’m too afraid to count how many I do have. I do use them and write a review of every recipe tried in the books.

21. One of my closest friends lives in another state and we don’t get to see one another too often.

22. I hate cleaning, but am incredibly anal when I do organize stuff.

23. I used to work with flowers.

24. I believe in composting.

25. I don’t have children. I wasn’t able to because of PCOS and then the partial hysterectomy I had in 2004.

26. I’m a cancer survivor – endometrial cancer. I had a partial hysterectomy (uterus removed) in 2004. During that same operation I had my gallbladder removed, but due to complications, my gallbladder was removed via my pelvis.

27. I ended up with 5 massive infections and almost died. I had a 2nd surgery 2 weeks after my first one and ended up on 5 different medications, one being IV, and used a wound vak to speed the recovery of my open wound.

28. I was with my ex husband for a total of 15 years. The day after I asked for the divorce, I signed up to walk a marathon in Ireland for the Lymphony & Leukemia. This has to be one of the amazing experiences of my life.

29. After I separated from my ex and prior to unemployment, I was a concert whore. I can’t tell you how many concerts I’ve been to, but ones that put on amazing show include U2, Prince, Tom Jones (very kitchy), Bacon Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum and Sheryl Crow.

30. For my 40th birthday I celebrated BIG! One of the things I did was that I spent a week hiking the Grand Canyon with a group of strangers. I always wanted to do this and no one I knew wanted to so I went with a singles tour group (it was a group for individuals traveling alone, not hoping to start a romantic relationship). It was another experience I’d never forget.

31. I am the youngest of 5. My oldest sister is 17 years older than me. I’m closest to YogaGirl who is 4 years older than me.

32. I’ve kept journals since I was 13 years old. I would like to go back and read them, but feel I may want to smack me if I was too whiny or depressed. I need to will these to someone who will burn them without reading them.

33. I played the cello as a kid and took it up again when I got separated. I bought my cello on eBay and my instructor was actually impressed with the quality of the instrument.

34. When I practiced the cello, my cat would come in the room and scream at me to shut up. I only played the cello for 2 years when I took it up as an adult and may take it up again.

35. I worked for a company that required me to commute 94 miles one way to work. Before you say so what, try it for a year. It’s draining.

36. Other than my first job, I’ve been referred into each job and have changed careers 3 times. I’m 44 and am still searching for what I’d like to do.

37. It really bothers me I don’t know what I want for me.

38. I’m a big believer in supporting the local farmer. But I LOATHE the term locavore.

39. I’m the type of person people approach and tell me their most personal stories. Initially, I found this really disturbing, but have learned that sometimes it is easier for people to share something important to them with a stranger because they won’t be judged.

40. I’m pretty shy which most people are surprised about. Probably because I’m very guarded with my feelings.

41. I hate the Parmalat tv ads that used they used to air. The thought of opening a carton of milk that wasn’t refrigerated grosses me out.

42. I suffer from Catholic guilt. I’m just finally learning how to stop succumbing to this feeling.

43. My first movie I saw as a child was Monty Python and The Holy Grail. My oldest sister took me to see it when I was visiting her. I believe I may have been only 7 years old.

44. There have been many people who have drifted in and out of my life, but only one I miss.

45. I hate downhill skiing, but like cross country skiing and snow shoeing.

46. In an interview when asked what I hate doing, I answered “downhill skiing”, but went further and said “if God wanted us to downhill ski, our feet would be shaped that way”. I got the job.

47. I’ve been to 33 states.

48. My fantasy trip would be to spend 3 months cooking and drinking my way through Italy.

49. Sarah McLachlan is my favorite female vocalist.

50. I hate lima beans.

51. I met my husband online.

52. I never met my grandparents.

53. My dad was in WWII and stationed in London during the bombings.

54. I have an ecletic taste in books. I love chick-lit, but also enjoy the classics from D.H. Lawrence and Dostoyevsky.

55. I still remember my favorite childhood book “The Little Lame Prince” and still have a copy of it.

56. I’m the type of person when I get really mad, I cry instead of scream.

57. I think a 2” heel on shoes is high.

58. I have TMJ and have cracked some teeth from clenching and grinding teeth while sleeping.

59. I spent many summers sailing on the huge pond across the street.

60. My father taught me how to ice skate when I was 4.

61. One of my coolest memories is going ice sailing (sailing on ice).

62. I played one semester of intramural ice hockey in college and SUCKED. This is when I discovered I write with my right hand, but play sports with my left hand.

63. I detest most yoga (particularly downward dog), but love to meditate.

64. I didn’t get why everyone and their brother loved the book The DaVinci Code. It was too predictable.

65. I actually liked philosophy class in high school and college.

66. I don’t talk about politics or religion with people. I respect everyone has their own opinion and enjoy listening to all sides of a story.

67. I loved watching my dad coach ice hockey and going to his games when I was a kid.

68. I learned to drive on a stick shift automobile and have never owned an automatic.

69. I have never driven in NYC, but feel very comfortable driving the streets of Boston.

70. For 2 baseball seasons, I had season tickets (7 rows behind home plate) at Fenway.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Question of the Week....

Thursday, June 3, 2010....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question: What is your guilty pleasure?

Everyone has one. Admit it. You may not be the type who enjoys being tied to the bedpost or cross dressing, but you may read romance novels without admitting it. But you may hide a stash of chocolate so other family members can't have any.

For me, I have many. Yes, many (I actually did a post on 10 guilty pleasures in 2008 and most hold true to this day 10 Guilty Pleasures).

I've added some new ones since 2008 and have to admit I read Outside magazine even though I know it will never have any relevance in my everyday life. It just makes me smile knowing that someone out there loves to do this stuff.

T.V. shows....well, I mentioned my love of reality shows, but want to call out 2 new ones (or my latest fascination).

My husband has me hooked to some shows on TruTV like Southern Fried (PIs in the South that combine an element from the tv show COPS because the people being surveyed, are dumb as a bricks) and Operation Repo (this needs no explanation).

Trust me, these shows, my latest guilty pleasures, do nothing to stimulate any brain cell activity. does make laugh. Eventually, I'll get bored with the stupidity and find a new guilty pleasure show.

So. What's your guilty pleasure? What would your friends be surprised to learn about you?