Thursday, January 24, 2013

So Frustrating!!

So the new diet and exercise program is on in full force.  I'm quite proud to say that I have gone to the gym every Monday through Friday.  That's 5 days a week folks!  

At the gym I do a complete "Curves" type circuit.  I am going to Planet Fitness, but they have a similar circuit.  It takes 30 minutes.  You start with 1 minute on the step, then a machine for 1 minute, then back to the step, then another machine.  I really like it because it keeps my interest.  Pretty neat that I can definitely feel the improvement.  ie.......I can now do all 10 steps, rather than do some of them and just march in front of others.  And...I've already upped the weights on some of the machines.  

After I'm done the circuit, I go and do 15 minutes on the treadmill.  15 minutes is about all I can take.  Boring!!

I've also been "watching what I eat".   And dammit...unbelievable....I lost 3 pounds the first week, and nothing since then! NADA!!!   WTF?????

Everyone keeps saying that I'm building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat, and that's why I'm not losing weight.   I say PSHAW!    First of all, I am not lifting weights to become a muscle-girl.  I am doing light weights and lots of reps to tone my muscles.  Second of all, there's no way I'm gaining that much muscle weight so as to negate any fat-weight loss.  And third of all.....PSHAW!

So that only leaves the fact that I am still eating too much.  So I found a calorie-counting program online.  It's called   I'm sure most of you have found similar programs to do on the computer or I Phone.  You put in your weight, height, etc, and your goal.   Then you put in all the food you eat plus all the exercise you do.

 I'm sure it's not really precise, but I do think it does a couple things for me.  First, it makes me really think about everything I eat.  I'm not going to snitch a couple of chocolate kisses off the lunch table at work, or slather my bread with butter if I have to account for those calories.   Second, it gives me a better idea of what's good for me and what's not.  Third, it reminds me that I need to enjoy every morsel that goes into my mouth.

For instance...... for lunch yesterday, I was going to have some pita bread and hommus, and then have some plain yogurt with granola.   I punched it in before I went to lunch, and found that I could delete the plain yogurt and granola, and have triple the amount of pita bread and hommus for the same amount of calories.  AND....I don't really care all that much for the yogurt and granola, but really like the hommus.  AND...I think the bread and hommus kept me from getting as hungry by the time I left work for home.

So I'm going to incorporate this program into my diet plan for the time being.  I don't want to count calories the rest of my life, but for now I think this might work for me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flu, Flu, FLU!!

It's been a really crazy winter so far with the flu virus.  I often wonder if it would be better if we had more snow and colder weather.  Would that be better for killing all the germs?  The weather's been so warm, it's like a giant petri dish out there!

Yesterday I spent the day with my granddaughter and her mom, my daughter-in-law.  Both were down with "flu-like viruses".   (I'm not sure if that's not just the flu in disguise.)   My son needed to go to work, I have lots of sick days, so I volunteered to take the day off and stay with them.

Emily was actually feeling pretty good in the morning.  Dad had given her some Tylenol at 5am, so she was not feeling feverish.  She was eating a popsicle in Mom's bed when I got there.  Mom was looking pretty ragged.

Since Emily complained of ear pain, and her fever  had gone up the night before, Mom called the doctor and we packed up and went in to have her ears checked.  All clear.  But the doctor did say that even though she didn't have a fever at present (7 hours after medicine) that didn't mean it wouldn't come back.

And it did.  As I was leaving at 5pm, they took her temp and it was a little above normal.  Apparently that's the way this thing is going.  And there's not really anything you can do for it except take medications to make you comfortable and wait it out.

And how am I avoiding the flu?   (so far...knock on wood).

1.  After almost 30 years of childcare, I believe I have a very good immune system.

2.  I also take echinacea every day.

3.  And I clear out my sinuses with a Netti pot periodically.

4.  I wash my hands with soap and water.  Not so much the hand sanitizer.

5.  I have a humidifier going in my bedroom. Dry nasal passages are an invitation for germs.

5.  Most importantly - I open windows.  Almost every night my bedroom window is open part of the night.     And on really nice days, I open the windows in the house for 1/2 hour.

I truly believe fresh air is the answer to the flu problems.  Get people outside!  Kids should be playing outside in the snow after school.  Go sledding, skating, tubing....whatever!   But also air out the house and get all those nasty flu germies out of here!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I Hate It When Someone Else Is Right

So after telling the beginning of the story of my cell phone, I figured I'd pass on the rest of the story.

The phone that was DOA needed to be sent back.  Unfortunately, since I unpacked the phone at work, all the paperwork and prepaid return envelope were put in the trash and disposed of.  So, I called Verizon back and they said they'd send me another return label.

While I was waiting, my friend at work, Kay, tried to convince me it would be easier to go to the store and exchange the phone than to send it back by mail.   Now, Kay is one of those people who hates technology more than I do.  She has no debit card and does all her banking in person.  She'd rather call and talk to people than do things by email.  She actually shops in the stores rather than shopping online.

I poo-pooed her  - all week long while I waited for my damn label to come in.  Yes, I waited almost a week for the label.  I got it in the mail today, and started thinking about having to send the phone back, wait for another phone to come, and then still have to try and figure out how to activate the phone and transfer my contacts.

So I sucked it up and went to the store.  From the time I left my house until I returned was 40 minutes!!  Most of that time was spent trying to find a parking spot at the mall and walking from the furthest spot in the lot all the way through the mall to the store.  I waited 2 minutes for my turn, and I was walking out of the store 10 minutes later with a working phone and my contacts transferred.

I'm happy I got my phone all set........but damn I hate it when other people are right.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

3 Pounds? Really?

So the big weight-loss struggle is underway.  It seems like I've been doing it forever, but it's only been a week!

I've been doing "the circuit" when I go to the gym in the morning.  It's a Curves-style circuit at Planet Fitness.   10 machines - 10 steps.   There's a red light and a green light.  You rest on the red light and workout on the green light.  Couldn't be easier for someone bleary-eyed from getting out of bed at 6:30am.  Mentally.  Physically is another story!

My back has always been a problem.  I have to make sure I stretch really well after each machine.  And my knees are not very happy with the steps.   Sometimes I just can't do the last couple of steps, so I march in front of it instead.

And more often than not, Hubby and I have been walking in the evening.  So I think I have the exercise thing going on.

Food-wise, I've been trying to be very aware of what I eat.  I do pretty well during the day.  Primarily because I only have the food I bring with me to eat.  Our office is all trying to do the "biggest loser" so we're sworn off putting junk on the break-room table.  

Somehow, with all this, I've only lost 3 pounds.  I was hoping for better than that, but I'll take it.....for now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sock Monkeys!!!

My good friend Joan at "How to Be a Housewife"  sent me instructions on how to make sock monkeys.  And this is what I came up with!

For some reason they really caught my interest.   Now I want to make them for everyone!!  These two little guys are going to my grandson Noah and his baby sister Elsie.

The hardest part was finding cool socks.  As soon as I've found some more, I'll be making more monkeys!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Are My Ears on Straight?

At a recent gathering of musical friends, we were going around the room letting each person pick a Christmas song they'd like to play and sing.

One woman, Janice, who isn't a musician - although she does sing harmony with her husband occasionally - was pressed to sing a song.    And she began to sing "Are My Ears on Straight?"

I was instantly transported to my childhood, and began singing right along with Janice.   We stared at each other as we sang, each amazed that somebody else in the world knew that song.

It turns out Janice had learned it in grade school to sing at a Christmas concert.  I, on the other hand, had listened to a recording of that song when I was a child.   That details were very fuzzy.  At first I thought it was part of a Mitch Miller Sing-a-long album I adored as a child.

After coming home and doing research, I found out that the record was a 78 rpm record.  And "Are My Ears on Straight" was the "B" side of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas".  (Another rare song, although I've found that more people are familiar with that than the other.)

Doing further research, I found out that "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" was published by Mitch Miller (which is odd) but was sung by a 10-year old girl named Gayla Peevey.

It turns out that the song was such a hit the Oklahoma City zoo decided to use it to launch a campaign to buy a hippopotamus for the zoo.  They advertised that if enough money was donated, they would buy a hippo for Gayla for Christmas.

And that is exactly what happened.  The zoo purchased a baby hippo named Mathilda and gave it to Gayla for Christmas and she in turn donated it to the zoo.

It was an awful lot of fun to research and find out where those songs came from.  It brought back some great childhood memories.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Living Room Remodel Begins

Hubby and I have been planning to remodel our living room for the past several months.  The project was to begin "after the holidays".'s now after the holidays, so here we go.

Our main concern is to take down the archway between our two living rooms and make it into one big living room.   Of course, we need to be sure it's not a load-bearing wall.  We had Hubby's cousin, Scott, who is a contractor, come over to take a look at it.   He said he was pretty sure it wasn't, but that when the time came to start ripping things down, Hubby should pull away the paneling and send Scott a picture so he could be sure there wasn't a huge house-holding-up-beam up there.

All Hubby had to do was make a little hole.  But he went all "Demo-Man" on me!

Here's the wallpaper that was behind the paneling.  There's only one layer of paper.  I find it hard to believe that in 100 years, they only wallpapered once and then paneled.  Perhaps they actually scraped off old wallpaper before they put this up?

For now our wall looks like this until Scott gets back to us.  Then Hubby has to move some outlets before he can demo.  That'll be good incentive for him to get the outlets done!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Join the Crowd

Along with a huge percentage of people in America, I've decided to use the New Year to launch yet another diet.  I've been hearing some serious grumbles from my doctor about my cholesterol and my sugar levels.  There's lots of Type II Diabetes in my family, so I know what it means if I become diabetic.

The other part of the reason for my desire to get in shape has to do with my Mom.   Mom was always overweight.  I remember her trying every diet when I was a kid.  She did pills and shots and tried a little exercise on the floor of the living room.  And it wasn't until she was in her 60's, after 2 knee replacement surgeries and a bout with congestive heart failure, that she finally got serious and lost some weight.  And then she got cancer and died at the age of 71.

I'm only 52.  I don't want to continue for the next 20 years huffing and puffing and unable to get up off the floor after playing with my grandkids.  I don't want to have to take medication for cholesterol and have to test my blood every day for my sugar level.

So, I'm using the memory of my Mom to help me get in shape.  If she could do it at the age of 68, I can do it being over 15 years younger.  It just takes determination.  Something which my Mom had in abundance.

Having the support of those around me is crucial.   Daughter Jamie has always encouraged me to lose weight and get in shape.  Hubby says he'll be supportive.  And the ladies at work all decided during the holidays that the junk on the break room has to stop.   The holidays bring out the worst.....the cookies, candies, cakes, etc.   It was terrible in our office the whole month of December.  A pact was made that we'd all diet after the holidays, and all try to join a gym and get some exercise.

And I went into work yesterday to see two big ziplock bags full of treats on the table.   Kay was the culprit.  She brought it in cause she didn't want it in her house!   She thought the ladies with children would take them, but they don't want them in their houses either!   No one wants to waste them by throwing them away.   I say we send them to another office as a "gift"!

Anyway, I decided a log of my weight-loss would help (shame) me into staying on track.  So I'm going to keep a running list of the weight I lose each week on the side of the blog.  I won't put my actual weight...that would be too embarrassing.  But I will put how much I lose each week.   We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Here We Go Again

I put a nice big crack in the front screen of my cell phone.  I'm one of those weirdos who has a "dumb" phone.  Just call and text.  That's all I want to do.  So getting a new phone should be no big deal.

I went on Verizon Wireless and found that I'm eligible for a FREE upgrade!!  How exciting.  Being the cheap and unimaginative person I am, I chose the phone that's free.

And when I went to order it online, found out that there's a $30 "upgrade charge".  Huh???  Didn't it say free upgrade?  So I called.

The girl read me the nice script she probably had right in front of her about how Verizon has chosen to charge the upgrade fee rather than charge you for the phones.   They're saving me money.  Really.

I told the nice girl that I understand she has no choice but to read my company policy, and I know it's not her fault, and she's not the one I should complain to.  But....if she could please pass on to her supervisor that I think this policy is CRAP.   And she cheerfully promised to pass that message on.  I hope she did it verbatim.

Anyway, I got the phone in the mail.  I charged it until it said "battery charged".  Then I did something really stupid.  I went to the Verizon store at Best Buy to ask them to transfer all my contacts because I was afraid I would do it wrong.  Turns out I could have hand-entered all the contacts into my new phone faster than it took me at the store.

I waited in a line.  (I hate that.)  The supervisor or whoever he was came up to each person in line to ask them what they needed.  I told him and he said, "Turn it on and follow the prompts to activate it and then I'll transfer the contacts."    Okay.

I turned it on and it immediately turned back off.   I told the supervisor guy the next time he ambled around, and he said, "hmmm...that's not good"  (literally)  and he took my phone to charge it some more.  Even though I told him about it saying "battery charged".

When it was finally my turn, I told the girl my phone was back there in the nether regions being charged again.  She found it, stared at it for 5 full minutes and then told me "It won't hold a charge".    Really?  Did you go to school to figure that out? options were to go to the "Real" Verizon store in the mall to exchange my phone, or mail this phone back to Verizon for a new one.   There was no way on God's Green Earth I was going to the Verizon store in the mall, so now I'm mailing my phone back for a new one.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Recycled Percussion

For Christmas, our daughter Jamie got us tickets to see Recycled Percussion.  We had seen this group on America's Got Talent, and loved it.   It turns out that even though they didn't win the show, they still got their own headline act in Vegas.  They did 400 Vegas shows last year!  They are from NH, so did a nice show at the Palace Theater in Manchester, NH.

Hubby sitting before the show.  We had the coolest the balcony along the edge.  Our view of the stage was perfect.  Hubby and I were like the two old guys in the balcony on the Muppet Show.

Our view of the stage was amazing.  It was nice to be up above, cause we could see the whole drum set.

 There were two amazing drummers, an electric guitarist, and a guy playing the turntable.  

At one point, they played on 50 gallon metal trash cans with chain saws.

The two drummers did a "drum-off" that was simply amazing.  Their drum sticks were moving so fast, they were a blur.

At one point, they called up "volunteers" and made fools of them.  It was hilarious!

The finale was the two drummers playing tall metal ladders.  They climbed up and down as they played in perfect unison.

It was a phenomenal show!  Hubby and I had a blast.