Living Maintenance - Maintainers Weekly Chat Apr 1 - Apr 7

04-01-2013, 06:35 AM
My brain is made happy when the first of the month falls on Monday - so easily satisfied, me.

Stood outside with DW yesterday admiring the crocuses in the neighbor's yard - without a coat! Believe! Warmth is truly coming.

I also made it through all of Easter Sunday without a single piece of candy. When I get to be Czar, this deep association between candy and holidays will be eliminated. Merchants offering candy for sale will be forced to eat it all in public. Immediately had the thought that that would be cruel and inhuman punishment. Then remembered that I did that for years. Ouch.

04-01-2013, 07:54 AM
I agree Bill - first of the month and a Monday is a good place to start new endeavours. Easy to remember :lol:

I maintained my weight at 137 through March and over Easter. Also, for the first time in my life, I didn't finish my chocolate bunny. I quietly threw the last 1/3 of it out this morning. No need for DH to be my garborator. ;)

April 1 is spring diet start for me :dancer:. I am going to get down to my "summer" weight of 133 by the end of May and stay there until November or so.

I'm also launching the official start of the serious house hunt. Asked DH to set up a chart. I am not putting any deadline on this as I have already driven myself :crazy: with the "pre-shopping". I will buy the house I can afford when it shows up. There will be some mistakes but when I finally submit an offer that is accepted it will be for the right house at a price that will leave me with a reserve.

We are still in winter here, although there are bits of green stuff poking up through the snow left on my front garden bed. In Canada April definitely IS the cruelest month :devil: but I will cope.

Good Monday and start of a new month all!

Dagmar :beach:

04-01-2013, 09:35 AM
Agreed, a fresh April start is a good thing. I'm starting the month at 151, due to food sloppiness and too many weeknight evening drinks. Time to stop that stuff! I have a Danube river cruise to think about in late June, and I don't want to look like the typical puffy, out-of-shape American.

I had a really nice weekend in NC with my friend. She's one of those folks who talks about ideas instead of people or things or TV shows, and neither of us has local friends who spend a lot of energy on those types of topics. The most vigorous discussion was about how the role of a college education (and the subsequent true value) is changing.

dagmar, best wishes for finding (and acquiring) the right house at the right time. It sounds like you have the best attitude possible for the market conditions you're in. And kudos for doing so incredibly well with the stresses you've had over the last few months!

bill, well done with the Easter candy! Although I fled the traditional Easter dinner, DS received his annual dozen handmade dark chocolate-covered marshmallows and I did not resist the one offered when I got home. NC is coming abloom; I've yet to see anything but brown and blah in Michigan. Our time will come! I would love to see a crocus. Problem is, the %^&* deer would destroy them. Somehow, crocuses blooming in a box of reinforced chicken wire isn't quite the same.

04-01-2013, 10:05 AM
Good morning all! Mark me down as another OCD'er who loves to see the start of the month on Monday!!! :)

Yesterday was not a victory for me. I did plan to let myself indulge, but went WAY overboard and I am paying for it this morning! Since my excess skin removal and the surgeon sewing my abdominal muscles together, I can't eat way too much without being in actual pain. So I was in pain from stuffing myself. I also woke up in the middle of the night with my tongue stucl FIRMLY to the roof of my mouth, a clear sign of the amount of salt I ingested!!

Back on plan today - including LOTS of water!!

Speaking of my surgery, I will be going to see the surgeon tomorrow for my 1 year follow up. I am excited to see him and see what he thinks - especially of my newly pierced belly button.

I am trying to refuse to let the weather get me down - we are having terrible winds and predictions of inches of snow falling over the next 2 days. Spring has to get here, right???

Hope everyone has a great Monday!


04-01-2013, 10:16 AM
Here in Northern California we have been having rain complete with thunder and lightening for the last two days. I don't know what today will bring, I have Doctor's appointments and medical treatment this will take all afternoon, not particularly uncomfortable but gets very tiresome.

04-01-2013, 10:28 AM
Morning all,

Is it really April? Where the heck did March (and February for that matter) go? For the past two months I haven't been doing well with diet and exercise, though I have been doing well with my weekly yoga resolution (I don't however know if it's helping me learn to deal with stress any better). Clothing rant: I broke down on Thursday when I had to go to the city to see the doctor and decided I would just try to find some summer pants/capris in a size 10 - yes a size 10, which I've been in denial about for 3 years because I can't stand being back up in double digits - so I would have some pants that fit properly this spring. It was so depressing. It's tricky to find capris that flatter my curvy lower body anyway, let alone deal with being in a higher size than I want to be. I did find a pair of size 10 trousers for "dress-up" work days but no summer pants. I will need to go shop again soon, because summer in FL can't be lived in jeans. Which means another 3.5 hour round trip to the city.

Anyway I could go on for a long time, but I think the basis of the issue is that I'm stressed out about my work situation and (still) not reacting to that stress well. I'm going to try and attack it from the dealing with stress angle first. I'm not ready to cut & track calories today, but I do need to eat more fruits and veggies and less bread and junk and beer. Weekend veggie prep is something I've gotten out of the habit of doing, but I did it yesterday.

I did have a nice Saturday where I repotted a bunch of potted plants and generally cleaned up my porch that's littered with pine needles and half-empty pots of past plants. It felt good to get outside and get dirty, and my porch looks much better. My bright red amaryllis are in full bloom and are lovely.

Bill, glad the crocuses are coming up in your neck of the woods! Nothing says spring like the bulbs and little buds on trees coming in. Do we get to vote for the candy czar? Because you have my vote. ;)

Dagmar, throwing out food is hard. Good job.

Becky, I agree, friends that we can really talk to about ideas are hard to find. I have the same problem - why I'm still closer to some college friends I haven't seen in a few years than the people I live with here and see every day. Glad you got to spend quality time with her.

I'm taking some deep cleansing breaths... :yoga:

04-01-2013, 10:33 AM
Jen and bargoo, I missed your posts while I was writing mine.

Jen, I love to add lemon wedges to my water to help flush the system. Wow, a year from surgery, congrats!

Bargoo, you sound like you need a hug. :hug: A stormy day is never helpful for clearing out a sour mood. I hope your treatments go alright and tomorrow is sunnier. How about a little indulgence like a trashy book or a pre-treatment pedicure in a sunny color? Or a magazine you don't normally let yourself buy to take to your treatment (can your read during?)... something like that to lift your spirits a bit.

04-01-2013, 10:47 AM
Easter here was beautiful. 8:45 tee time for golf with a crystal clear sky, although a tough head wind. But by #3 the wind died down and by #8 we were wishing for a breeze which did return from time to time.

Yes, there was chocolate here. For some reason, a neighbor of the in-laws brought a 1 pound box of See's over and from Saturday night until Sunday night we indulged--six of us. It is now gone. I believe I had four pieces, which is about right for that sized box. Two per day, no big deal.

I'm forced to drive DS to school for the week as his car is still not properly fixed. The wheel and tire guys should be done today but the insurance adjuster said there is a small area of body work that needs to be done--repainted I suppose. So this week will be a bit awkward with work and driving. Our new office is way too far for DS to walk to after work. We'll see how it all goes.

traveling michele
04-01-2013, 11:28 AM
Good morning all.
We just returned from our cruise yesterday so I haven't properly caught up with what I missed while away.
I did see the news about Gary and am deeply saddened.

I have learned before and I continue to learn-- unlimited food and me don't mix well. I will duly try to flush as much out as possible but the scale is not my friend today. According to my scale I am up 7.6 pounds. I know that not all of that is salt either! Cruises are so hard for me food wise. There is so much available. I feel like I'm not indulging because we didn't eat any of the unlimited pizza, ice cream or hamburgers. However, we did the high tea twice, had coffee (and sometimes pastries) once or twice a day, ate three full meals.... we were on the 15th floor and I refused to use the elevators so we were up and down stairs all day-- most things we did were on floors 5-7. We went to the gym on most days that we weren't physically active-- we had two days of snorkeling-- one in Roatan, Honduras, and the other in Cozumel, Mexico. We also did ziplining and cave tubing in Belize. I NEVER drink but offer me free alcohol and apparently I do that too. Both of our snorkeling days included free unlimited drinks on the catamaran (after snorkeling). I was feeling no pain in Honduras, but I went overboard in Cozumel. I don't know what I was thinking. That was on Thursday and I'm still feeling the repercussions-- my tummy is not happy with me at all. So.... back to work today and back to the straight and narrow. I made it to hot yoga yesterday afternoon and it was so hard. I think I'm so puffed up that it is hard to move. Yuck. Will I never learn?

Please say a prayer for my dd this week if you're so inclined. She is in Houston to interview for teaching positions. She has a couple of interviews set up and is trying to set up more.

I am also very happy that the China move is off, however dh will still be doing the position and traveling back and forth so I will be seeing even less of him in the future.

Bargoo-- I hope the weather isn't too crummy for you today. Hugs.

04-01-2013, 11:42 AM
Welcome home , Michele. Glad things worked out for DH re: China. I will be praying for DD job interview that she will be offered exactly the right job for her. Michele, you will get that excess poundage off, I an sure, with your determination.
Megan, I will probably take a mystery novel along with me but usually can't read because there is so much activity around me. I see other patients reading with no problem. Maybe I am picking boring books.

04-01-2013, 01:08 PM
Happy April! To me, April means that I only have a couple more months to go until these babies are born. :lol: My personal goal is to make it to June 7th which will be 37 weeks. Anything after that is bonus, since they say that more than half of twins are born at 35-37 weeks. Things are getting more and more uncomfortable though, so I think maybe starting next week I'll be working from home 3/5 days during the week and only coming to the office twice. Weight was at 180 this morning, which is a gain of 42lbs and puts me only 5lbs below my high weight. My back, hips, knees, and feet are feeling the strain of carrying all this around.

We had lovely weather this weekend -- sunny and in the upper 50's. Yesterday I went and sat on the deck in the backyard for a while. Carter is so funny. He came outside with me, but he didn't want to lay down on the hard wood of the deck, so he just stood there whining. I got his dog bed from inside and put it on the deck, and he immediately settled down on it. He definitely is enjoying his cushy doggie retirement! :lol: I need to remember to schedule him for his annual checkup and vaccines this week. Hard to believe that Carter is 9 years old and we've had him for nearly 5 years (his adoption anniversary is 4/19).

Michele, welcome back! Sounds like you got plenty of exercise on your cruise. I will keep my fingers crossed for your DD.

Allison, sorry your DS didn't get into his top choices, but he's still got some good schools to choose from.

Megan, I always have a hard time with capris. I think to find ones that look good on a curvy figure you have to find the ones that flare out a lot at the bottom or have elastic so you can make them more bunched up at the bottom. Otherwise I feel like they just make my thighs look super fat, especially because I'm short. I will say though that my most useful summer clothing purchase of the past few years was the pair of denim shorts I bought at Meijer (Walmart/Target equivalent for those who don't have them in your area) for $15.

Now I am thinking about summer clothes and wondering what the heck I'm going to wear this summer during the transition time from pregnancy back to my normal size. Pajamas I guess, I doubt I'll be going out much. :lol: Almost makes me wish I'd kept some of my fat clothes. (I do think I have at least one large skirt that I kept because it was a souvenir from a vacation...)

I was very sorry to read the news about Gary on last week's thread. He will be missed.

traveling michele
04-01-2013, 06:43 PM
Jessica-- so glad you are doing so well. I can't remember-- are you having two girls or am I imagining that? Have you shared their names? So exciting....

04-01-2013, 06:49 PM
Re capris on the short and curvy - that's me - I only found a couple of pairs that don't make me look funny. I think they are "boyfriend fit" capris - :lol3: - how many men have you seen in capris? They are shorter than average and hit where they are supposed to hit. I had regular fit capris and got them shortened but they always looked weird.

I wear shorts every day to work (in summer of course - :brr: right now) and I find I have to go shopping online every couple of years for ones with lots of pockets. Royal Robbins made some great ones in cotton/poly blend but now all of theirs are nylon. I get a rash from nylon anything (as I very painfully found out while on vacation in Morocco years ago) so have to get cotton blend stuff.

I generally find stuff that fits @ Eddie Bauer but even they are skimping on the pockets. I guess we all take our purses out hiking, to the beach, etc.?

I wish I could get some stuff custom made for dogwalking. I even kept a pair of very tattered Royal Robbins shorts as a template (and for kayaking where no one but DH sees my lower half) but never found anyone who could make something for me at a reasonable price. $250 :yikes: for a pair of shorts (and I'd need at least 2 pairs) was a bit much at the time.

Dagmar :beach:

04-01-2013, 09:26 PM
Dagmar, try Duluth Trading for women ... Very hardy working stuff, with gobs of pockets. Even the sweatpants!

04-02-2013, 06:56 AM
Dagmar, try Duluth Trading for women ... Very hardy working stuff, with gobs of pockets. Even the sweatpants!

Thanks! Our equivalent here is Mark's Work Wearhouse. I'll try Duluth - nothing at Mark's fits me right.

Dagmar :shrug:

04-02-2013, 07:54 AM
It's just great that this thread can talk about food at anytime and about shorts when we're all longing for warmth, LOL.

Me, too. I felt terrific walking to gym yesterday without warm-up pants over my gym shorts. Just like life oughta be.

04-02-2013, 10:03 AM
I drank water with lemon wedges for part of yesterday, and thought of Megan and Michele -- until late in the day, when the water became Coke Zero with lemon wedges.

I'm at the office on a day when I usually work from home. This makes me grumpy, and worried about keeping to my workout ritual -- but I'm doing what's smartest politically, because there are a lot of onsite meetings at which I can meet and chat with people who I usually just speak with on the phone and through email.

My mother will depart from my apartment today to visit her sister in Pennsylvania. My mother arrived last Wednesday and fell upon my rooms and belongings with great spring cleaning zeal. When she's unhappy, she cleans furiously. Fritz's death led her to clean her house thoroughly. When she was done, she came to see me. I was looking forward to it, as I hadn't seen her since Christmas. But I wanted her to settle down. Impossible: She is unstoppable. Yesterday she was washing my outside windows. I wish she could just lounge with a coffee & the Sunday Times, but she is just not that kind of person.

It's still in the 30s here, so I'll wear long pants over my bike shorts on the way to spin class and weight training tonight. I can hear robins in the early morning darkness and see hyacinths poking out of the ground, but we feel a few weeks behind the season. Still I am starting to believe in spring.

Shannon in ATL
04-02-2013, 10:06 AM
Yesterday was lovely here, and today seems like it will be the same way. Now I need to find out when my tomato plants are going to ship!

04-02-2013, 10:19 AM
Jen, I doubt you'll need any good luck for the surgeon's followup, but do tell us what he thinks of the belly button! Totally with you about "where the heck is spring?"

bargoo, hope everything went well for you yesterday and you weren't bored to tears!

Megan, I am very ready to get outside and start cleaning up the yard! I have two flower beds that need major rehab this year and I have to look at one of them every day from my dining room window. This weekend may be in the 50's - could be my turn to get dirty! :)

allison, I signed DS up for his last level of "intro" golf lessons. I am really hoping that all 3 of us can get out on the links a lot more this year. Re the See's chocolate, I bow down to your control.

michele, welcome back! Those extra lbs will be off soon, now that you're back to the routine. Will send positive thoughts for DD and the right job connection!

jessica, take a little comfort from knowing that you won't be at your hugest in the heat of the summer! Sounds like Carter's a sweet softie - I bet he's going to make a terrific doggy-brother to the babies.

saef, any chance your mom wants to come out and spend some time in Michigan? ;) DH used to clean furiously whenever we'd get into a fight, but he seems to have gotten over that.

shannon, DH has 8 flats of seedlings going under the lights. Including 24 (:eek:) tomato plants! He and DS planted two replacement cherry trees and 3 new grape vines over the weekend - in ground that's barely thawed! I hope they do okay ... we were all surprised that Stark shipped them so soon.

Cold but sunny here. According to the forecasts, the breaking point might be Thursday for the below-normal weather. Bring it!!!!

04-02-2013, 10:42 AM
I'm so jealous of all of you with vegetable gardens. I did have a tomato plant this year, but the tomatoes were just meh. I had to keep it in the front yard to keep it away from Chico, and once he came out with me to check the mail and I caught him licking one of them! Today the last tomato was found on the kitchen floor (darn cats) with a split in it, so Chico got a treat.

Becky~I've never had a golf lesson myself and count myself lucky that I do as well as I do. This month and next DH and I are in charity golf scrambles with a friend's husband and son. I hope I don't embarrass myself!

saef~so funny about water with lemon. I will drink water with lemon if it is served to me (often in restaurants it is). My SIL won't drink water at all unless she can squeeze three or four wedges into it first--she always has to ask for a plate of lemons at restaurants.

Good luck to those of you looking for capris. I actually wore shorts to work yesterday but am back to pants because the office is really cold in the mornings. I was quite uncomfortable, but didn't want to turn on the heat as the temperature was supposed to get up in the 80's yesterday. I have decided that I can't wear white shorts to work like I did yesterday. Culley escaped twice into the warehouse and when he came back in he insisted on sitting in my lap so I ended up with dirty paw prints on my white shorts.

Tonight I'm baking two spaghetti squash and serving them with homemade marinara. A nice, healthy, low calorie dinner!

traveling michele
04-02-2013, 11:18 AM
Weight down a little.... gives me hope... but still so far from where I was....sigh....

Dd is putting all her eggs in one basket for one of her interviews today. It looks exactly like what she is looking for. Trying not to stress too much about it for her!!

04-02-2013, 11:27 AM
saef Could you send your mother on north to Toronto when she's done with Becky's place in Michigan? :lol:

Dagmar :cool:

Shannon in ATL
04-02-2013, 11:38 AM
Becky - I tried seedlings this year and they failed miserably. I might build a stand with a grow light for next year.

My plants are shipping this week! Woo! Right in time for me to have no time to plant them with a full weekend of stuff planned. LOL

Allison - I can never wear white pants. Or black apparently. My gray/black/white cat seems to shed whatever color shows on whichever pants.

Saef - I wish I was a cleaner when I was stressed instead of an eater. Sorry about your disrupted schedule today, but it was probably a good idea for the face time for the meetings.

Michele - hope DD's interview goes well!

Dagmar - I've used Duluth Trading - if they ship to Canada they are fantastic.

Jessica - I suspect that you might spend a lot of the late summer and fall in whatever comfy clothes you can find. Pajamas sound great. LOL

Megan - I hate capris with a burning passion.

04-02-2013, 01:05 PM
Michele, yes, we are expecting identical girls. We haven't quite finished picking out names yet but we're down to about 10 names to choose first and middle from, with three frontrunners for first names. We probably won't announce their names until they are actually born in any case. :)

Bill, reading your post makes me miss the days when I was in grad school and I walked to the gym on the way to or from school.

Saef, well, at least you got a clean apartment for free, right? :lol: My mom does dishes when she's at our house but that's about it. MIL has on occasion offered to send her housekeeper to our house. :rofl: I can't help remembering the time that DH was shocked to learn that many people vacuum once a week, because he had no memories of vacuuming as a kid. Obviously, because he had a housekeeper to do it for him! :lol3: We only vacuum once every month or two. I am a terrible housekeeper. I've been noticing lately how dusty our window treatments are, but the idea of doing anything about it is overwhelming and I don't really care that much.

Becky, sounds like your DH and DS have spring fever for gardening! DH used to be super-into gardening but had a couple years of disappointing yields and decided it was too much work. Plus, the room that he grew seedlings and houseplants in has been turned into our nursery. :lol: I suggested to MIL that if she wants to help out around our house once the babies are born that she could do our yardwork (she is also big into gardening).

My best luck with capris has been in the petites section of Ann Taylor Loft. Non-petite capris are just too long for my short legs and end up looking more like I bought pants that were a couple inches too short. :lol: You can't really hem them up because then the proportions are wrong.

My dog's fur shows on black and on white, but I never wear white pants in any case. I've avoided them ever since a somewhat traumatic incident with white pants and unexpected TOM when I was 12. :o I occasionally will wear a white skirt but they get dirty so quickly it doesn't seem worth the bother.

My coworker has a candy dish that has been empty for months and therefore not tempting. Today he's filled it up with leftover easter candy. Too bad I have to walk by it to get to the fridge and the water fountain.

Shannon in ATL
04-02-2013, 05:46 PM
Paid off a credit card today, my eighth since September. I need to keep telling people every month as I make progress so I continue to feel warm and fuzzy about it. Like posting an exercise log. LOL

04-02-2013, 05:53 PM
Paid off a credit card today, my eighth since September. I need to keep telling people every month as I make progress so I continue to feel warm and fuzzy about it. Like posting an exercise log. LOL

Paying off debt is so freeing, don't you think? It just feels so good to not be under a pile of debt.

Shannon in ATL
04-02-2013, 05:56 PM
Allison - I have until November 2014 until I'll be totally free, but every month feels just a little lighter. It was jarring when I really put together how much I was paying in minimum payments and accruing in interest each month.

traveling michele
04-02-2013, 06:16 PM
Allison - I have until November 2014 until I'll be totally free, but every month feels just a little lighter. It was jarring when I really put together how much I was paying in minimum payments and accruing in interest each month.

Congrats Shannon. Years ago we had accrued tons of credit card debt. We had great credit and could pay the bills, but we were getting further and further into debt. Once we paid them off, we only charge per month what we can pay off. We use a debit card and AmEx so that makes it easier not to let the bills pile up.

Dd's interview went well. They would like her to come back later in the week to see the classroom, meet other people, etc. Crossing fingers!!!

04-02-2013, 06:22 PM
I rarely use any card but my American Express (for both personal and business). There are a few places that don't take AmEx, so I have a MC for work and another for personal, but of course those two don't get used very much and they're always paid in full each month. I get points for AmEx and use the points at Amazon so I get a lot of free stuff that way! One thing that I don't really like is that AmEx (personal--not business) does allow you to carry a balance. I have to pay good attention when I pay that bill because the default payment on that is the "minimum" rather than "balance." I found that one out the hard way once!

04-02-2013, 06:51 PM
I'm back from the surgeon's. It went really well. He said that everything looks fantastic and that he doesn't need to see me again. It's weird. I met him a year ago, but he was such a huge part of this transformation that it actually feels strange to think I might never see him again.

When he first saw my piercing, he made a face, but then I realized he was unhappy about the belly button itself - the man is a TOTAL perfectionist, so he is not thrilled that the belly button turned out so bad.

He kept saying how "tiny" I am and said "look at those abs" which was embarrassing in a flattering way. And then he pulled out the GIANORMOUS photos of my "before" pics and kept shaking his head and saying "LOOKS AT THAT!" I was like "Trust me! I remember!"

He said that he thinks my arms look great and he doesn't know that he would ever want to remove the skin there, but he pulled on the skin on my thighs and I could see how much better they would look if I got the skin removed there. But I can't justify the expense for those babies as it really would be cosmetic. The skin on my stomach was a functional problem.

He also has been kind enough to laser my large port wine birthmark for FREE! So he lasered it again today and this should be the last treatment and it will be GONE!

It looks horrible when it is first lasered!


04-02-2013, 07:43 PM
Shannon congratulations on your debt reduction , I have been through that also, I have one credit card that is down to about $300 as soon as I get that paid I am going to close that account then I have one left and I will pay it off but keep it as sometimes an emergency will arise where we need some extra funds. Now I use a debit card exclusively and it works fine and is so much easier to control.
Jen, good news on your doctor's visit.
Michele. that is good news about your DD's interview , sounds like an offer is coming.

04-02-2013, 08:15 PM
Jen that is so cool that your surgeon gave you FREE laser treatment! Wow!

Michele~yes, good luck to your DD. I kind of keep up with her on FB with her blogging, but can't always find time to read the whole thing.

04-02-2013, 10:30 PM
Hi all,

I've been reading the thread but haven't had the energy to post. The situation with my dad is overwhelming and exhausting. After I got home from work today, I got in bed and stayed there for hours, wishing it would all go away. And this ridiculously cold weather isn't helping. (Jen, we got your crazy wind today. Stupid winter, go away!!)

michele, fingers crossed for your daughter.

Shannon, good work on the debt reduction. Having a plan is the way to go, just like with losing weight.

Jessica, are you getting a lot of suggestions for names? Everyone I know who's had kids has complained about how others criticize their name choices. Waiting until they're born seems like a good idea.

saef, please put me on the list for your mom. I do a lot of tidying up when I'm stressed but not so much cleaning. Might your mom get another cat? I know our pets are irreplaceable but my cats are such a source of comfort that I can't imagine being without one.

As for capris, I've realized that I'm too short and pear-shaped for them to look good on me. I'm better off in knee-length shorts.

04-03-2013, 06:28 AM
Shannon :cp: re reducing your credit card debt. I'm sure you'll meet your 2014 goal! :cheer2:

Jen Your surgeon is a good guy!

Michele I'm sending :goodvibes: to your DD

I am going to go look at a house on Thursday and have a long chat with our realtors. It's a beautiful house but needs a lot of work. I think I'm up for it but I don't want to end up totally broke for my retirement. I'm hoping DH hears back soon about the job he applied for yesterday. It would be great to be a 2-income family again.

Dagmar :hyper:

04-03-2013, 06:30 AM
I can't seem to pop up the smilies list. Anyone else having problems?


Dagmar :(

04-03-2013, 06:48 AM
:carrot: ;) :D
:( :hug: :)
:o :p :cool:
:devil: :mad: :dizzy:
:?: :^: :smug:

No. (Are you on Advanced?)

04-03-2013, 08:39 AM
:carrot: ;) :D
:( :hug: :)
:o :p :cool:
:devil: :mad: :dizzy:
:?: :^: :smug:

No. (Are you on Advanced?)

I don't know re Advanced. Sorry I wasn't clear. I can use the small smilies list but when I click on the "more" link nothing happens. It was working yesterday

Dagmar :?:

04-03-2013, 09:22 AM
Shannon, congrats on paying off the card! I just love crossing items off a todo list, and a todo list to make yourself debt-free is a great idea!

Jen, sounds like you've got a great doctor.

Steph, go easy on yourself during this tough time. :hug: And re: your question, no, people have not been suggesting names to us, but possibly because we have not told anyone the names we're looking at except my mom. DH's cousin is due to have a baby girl next week so we're crossing our fingers that she won't use one of our top names. :lol:

Michele, good luck to your DD!

Dagmar, good luck with the house hunt and good luck to DH on his job hunt. Unlike you and your DH, my DH and I have zero knowledge of construction and fixing household stuff, so we made sure to buy a house that needed absolutely no work whatsoever. :lol:

04-03-2013, 09:42 AM
My BF is pretty handy, but sometimes has poor listening skills. The kitchen sink has been having reduced water flow and about a month ago, water started just stopping flow completely for a few minutes to a few hours at a time (rest of the house water is fine). We have terribly hard water and I'm sure this is related to calcium in the lines. I told BF this repeatedly to the point I've been really crabby. It happened last night when he was home and he was all surprised at how there is no water coming out. Like...duh. What the heck did you think I meant when I said "the tap stops working for hours and there's no water"?

Shannon, what on earth do you wear in the summer in Atlanta if you don't wear capris? I'm genuinely curious. Is there some type of pant I'm not thinking of? Because if there is, I should find it and see if it flatters me. I don't think capris are extremely flattering but are not extremely unflattering either. I just can't stand to wear anything but the lightest outdoor pants in summer (which is what I wear to work since I'm in the sun all day in the summer). Trousers and jeans are too hot, and sometimes it's rather windy here so a skirt or sundress might be risky. And I think capris look better on me than bermuda shorts, though of course different cuts are more/less flattering.

And congrats on your debt reduction. 2014 is not so far away. ;)

Michele, let us know what happens w DD's interview.

Jen, sounds like your doctor is really nice. Strangely my obgyn is a really nice man. Last time I visited we talked about our compost piles and he offered me worms for mine (I know, it sounds weird but we are just two composting nerds). It was nice of your doc to laser your birthmark for free! Would insurance cover something like that otherwise?

Steph :grouphug:

04-03-2013, 09:51 AM
Love my surgeon - he is exactly 1 day younger then me which was kind of cool. I don't think insurance would cover the birthmark because it's just a harmless port wine stain that I've had since birth. He noticed it during one of my follow ups and was like "Hey, I can laser that off" and I was like "Hey! Well do it!!!"

Dagmar, my house is so old that the deed doesn't even go back far enough to know when it was built. We know that they used it to bake bread for the soldiers during the 1812 war! So we have spent a lot of time and money to fix it up, but were able to go room by room whenever we had the time/inclination/money. We did most of the work ourselves.

Steph - There is nothing I can really say, but I am thinking about you!


04-03-2013, 09:58 AM
allison, our Gordon Setter used to love to go out to the garden and ever-so-gently pick cherry tomatoes off the vine. He was good with raspberries too - he never damaged a plant that I know of. I caught him pulling up a carrot to eat once. If I'd had a video camera ... :D

michele, yay for DD!

shannon, it's funny how the growers of plants can figure out how to make them arrive at the absolute worst possible time. Congrats on the payoff! Financial stress is the worst thing out there, IMO.

Jessica, I'm not so sure DS is as caught up in it, but he's on spring break and has no good excuses for not helping. ;) Re the candy dish, we're having a little interdepartmental healthy-habits competition, so we're having a deluge of clementines, home-made energy bars, mini cucumbers, dark chocolate, etc. Nary a jelly bean to be found!

Jen, a perfectionist for a surgeon is a very, very good thing. :) I can almost imagine that it would be a little sad to come to the closure of that part of your transformation.

steph, hang in there. :hug: I've spent more than my share of time under the covers. Some things only time can fix, and there are no actions you can take to make it better. Winter happens to be one of them!

dagmar, I couldn't help but have a little shiver at "needs a lot of work." :D The old adage about every project taking twice as long, and costing four times as much, has been perfectly true at my house. Will send up good wishes for DH and the job situation!

Had a review with our project manager on the house re-siding. I am pleased to report that he noted more things that need to be fixed than DH and I did! Looks like it's going to drag out for about another 6 weeks, as there is a considerable amount of material that has to be reordered and replaced - the composite is not very repair-friendly.

04-03-2013, 10:27 AM
Steph, hope your situation is improving
Re: Pants and capris . When I was obese you couldn't t have gotten me in capris at the point of a gun. Visualize a 5'tall womam topping the scales at over 200 lbs. I want to weep at the thought of it. One of the first things I bought when I reached goal was a pair of capris, not only were they capris but they were a bright coral color, a color I would never have put on my 200 lbs plus butt. I went on a mega shopping trip at that time when I got home and was putting my new clothes away I had 3 pair of capris, 3 identical capris, same brand, everything. I must have been in a trance when I was shopping because I have no conscious memory of buying 3 identical pairs of capris. I still have them, they are tan in color so they go with any top I have. I do wear Bermudas a lot in the summer, but capris really look better, with capris I look like I actually have legs . I went shopping yesterday , I have everything to wear with brown, shoes, sweaters, t shirts, tank tops, blouses but no pants. I got a pair of brown slacks and a pair of white denims, I like white in the summer. I actually have plenty of clothes, I don't need so much anymore since I don't go to the salt mine anymore.I do like to practice a little retail therapy once in awhile, though.

04-03-2013, 10:52 AM
Becky~I'm jealous you had a Gordon Setter. I've always wanted one!

DS's car should be done getting the new wheels and stuff today, then we have to take it to a body shop for some minor damage repair. I sure hope they can do it quickly, being chauffeur again isn't fun.

Steph~stay in there! Hugs to you.

Megan~men! Why is it they don't listen? I have similar problems with my DH, but then he has similar problems with his Dad.

Shannon in ATL
04-03-2013, 11:14 AM
Megan - oh, I wear capris, I just hate them. They almost always look bad - they are either too short or too long and they always puff in weird places. My mom looks fantastically cute in them, but not me. I have started wearing just at the knee shorts the last few years - are those bermudas? And I wear a lot of skirts these days. I think last year I went something like 95 days with only wearing skirts or dresses to work.

Steph - :hug: thinking about you. Nothing that sounds right to say, just thinking about you.

Becky - home projects almost always drag out longer than planned I think. Or mine do.

Bargoo - I did the same thing with pants. I ordered a lot from catalogs after I lost weight and ended up with four of the same pant from different places from not paying attention. I ended up keeping them and felt kind of silly. But I'm glad now.

Jen - do have an awesome surgeon! Wow. I'm glad he lasered the birthmark, that is fantastic.

Dagmar - 'needs some work' makes me cringe a little. LOL

Michele - sounds like good news for DD's interview, hope the rest of the process goes well!

I'm tired today - I've now exercised 9 days in a row and feel stiff and a little worn, plus allergies are hitting me hard. I'm thinking about a Benadryl, but that will just make me more tired. Need more coffee.

traveling michele
04-03-2013, 11:24 AM
Hang in there Steph. I know how exhausting it is. I've been through similar situations with both of my parents.

Saef-- good luck on the house and on dd's job search!

Jen-- that is cool that the doctor lasered that for you. I have a childhood friend who had one on her face. I don't see her anymore but I can't see it in pictures so I'm assuming she must have had it removed at some point.

As for capris, I wear them because I don't have to get them hemmed! My torso is longer than my legs but my legs are slightly too long for petite pants, so pants are always too long.

Weird scale whoosh for me and I'm not positive what it means. Warning-- may be TMI. I think I mentioned that I NEVER drink (mainly because I get sick every time-- the doctor has said I'm "intolerant" to alcohol whatever that means) and I drank twice on our cruise. The second time I had too much (that was last Thursday). My tummy hasn't been quite right since (diarrhea with some blood) but it was getting better. I'm feeling fine otherwise. Yesterday afternoon I went to bikram yoga. It was exceedingly hard-- I was dripping sweat and having trouble catching my breath but everyone around me seemed to be having the same issues. Every once in awhile I have a class like that-- maybe the humidity is slightly higher or something-- following these classes I often feel wiped out and may experience a whoosh on the scale. I was going to bed last night and my tummy started cramping. I had bad diarrhea (but only once and then I slept fine) and then I was down almost 3 pounds this morning. I feel kind of wiped out so I'm making sure I replenish my fluids today. I'm hoping the whoosh stays off because that was a big chunk of my cruise weight but we'll see. I'm also hoping my tummy is recovered now because I have kindergarten classes all day today!

Thanks all for your good wishes for dd. Keeping our fingers and toes crossed here. They said she was the first one they were interviewing and they had others to interview so I hope none of the others stack up!

04-03-2013, 03:52 PM
allison, our Gordon was pretty typical of the breed - incredibly loyal to DH, big gentle galoot, a bird-hunting savant, and an all-around great dog. He was one of the bigger types; he was up around 85 pounds in his prime. DH has every intention of getting another one some day. The only downside - a verrrrry long adolescence. That dog was a total airhead until he turned 3! :lol:

shannon, I think if I exercised 9 days in a row, I'd be dead. :D

michele, yikes, I hope your tummy problems resolve! I can certainly understand why you don't drink if that's your feedback!

On capris - I have one pair of black nylony-workout type, and while they're comfy, I doubt I'd wear them in public. I don't need the look of my legs to be any shorter than they already are, and my calves are frankly, my least favorite body part. :p

Shannon in ATL
04-03-2013, 04:30 PM
Becky - I feel kind of dead today, honestly. I just tried to scratch between my shoulder blades just above my bra strap and couldn't get either hand there. I think the DB circuit from yesterday was harder than I thought. Today might just be some yoga and a rest. LOL

04-03-2013, 04:40 PM
I just got back from Chico's oncology visit and wanted to report in. It looks like there is no recurrence of the cancer (although it might rear it's ugly head at any time). He'll do chemo on the 10th (oral) and then we don't go back for 2 months (unless I see changes). His oncologist says it's dogs like Chico that make it worthwhile to get out of bed in the morning. His original prognosis was April 19th, 2012 and at that time the vet had never seen a dog with his type of cancer survive over one year. We're just about at a year and no signs that he has it.

04-03-2013, 04:43 PM
Good boy, Chico !

traveling michele
04-03-2013, 05:33 PM
I am thrilled to hear that Allison!
My dog, Annie, only lived about 9 months after her diagnosis with a very similar cancer.

Shannon in ATL
04-03-2013, 05:49 PM
Yay Chico!

04-03-2013, 06:59 PM
Beijing's Crippling Pollution Problem (

One more reason NOT to move to China, Michele, although your DH will still have to deal with it. I asked my DD, who went there about 6 years ago, and she doesn't remember the air being polluted, but it's what I always think about when I hear China.

04-03-2013, 08:47 PM
Allison, great news about Chico!

ICU, your story about your Gordon Setter gently eating tomatoes and raspberries reminded me of my stepmother's Golden Retriever delicately removing all the bird ornaments (real feathers) off the Christmas tree one year. Dogs can be very adroit with their teeth!

Dagmar, I hope your husband gets the job.

Jen, I'm jealous of your old house. My little house is from the mid to late 1800s, probably built to house workers for the federal-style mansion across the street. The only original feature left is the pine flooring in a couple of rooms. And the sewer line, which worries me.

Megan, I agree that most men are poor listeners. How are you going to fix the water problem? I know water softener systems are expensive.

I'm going to get on the bike tonight. I know I'm not doing myself any favors with my crappy diet and lack of exercise.

There are daffodils blooming in my garden and the temperature might get up over 50 tomorrow. Come on, spring!

Edited to add: thanks, all, for the warm thoughts and concern. It is much appreciated!

04-03-2013, 10:02 PM
Hello maintainers! I hope you don't mind if I jump in here. After a couple months of maintaining my weight while hoping to lose 5 more pounds, I've decided to quit with trying to lose more and instead maintain this lower weight and focus more on my health goals of healthful eating and ramping up and sticking to an exercise plan. I've always been good about cutting calories, bad about falling back into old habits, and just generally terrible about exercise.

My first major victory was that this past winter I maintained my weight instead of putting back on the 10-15 lbs I would then again take off every summer.

I'm looking forward to learning from you all!

04-03-2013, 10:08 PM
Atmos, welcome to maintainers ! congratulations on your loss. Good job over the winter.

04-03-2013, 10:14 PM
Atmos!!! Welcome!!! We welcome anybody to the maintainers threads!

traveling michele
04-04-2013, 12:53 AM
Welcome Atmos!

Allison-- the pollution issue is just one of the issues we considered. I am concerned about dh being there but he will be almost 100% inside-- in office buildings or hotels.... hopefully they clean up their act soon-- literally.

04-04-2013, 06:23 AM
Atmos, welcome to maintainers ! congratulations on your loss. Good job over the winter.

:welcome2: atmos.

Dagmar :cool:

04-04-2013, 09:27 AM
:welcome: atmos!

Allison, great news about Chico!

Shannon, I am very impressed by your 9 straight days of exercise. Sounds like time for a recovery day to me.

Megan, sorry, but I laughed at your story about BF not listening. :lol: My DH's listening problem is more like I'll start telling him something, and he'll tune in after the first three sentences, by which point he's missed all of the context. He doesn't stop me though, he waits until I finish, then asks me a question that was answered in the first two sentences which tells me that he has no clue what I was talking about the whole time. :lol3: This can even happen in the middle of a conversation!

Steph, I'm impressed by your daffodils. :) We're still in the crocus phase, although the hyacinths are starting to open up too. Daffodils still are just buds.

Well, Carter had his annual exam yesterday, and while he's been fully vaccinated and is generally healthy, he got fat again. Sigh. Now he has to go on diet dog food! It's not like we've been feeding him extra very often (though we do occasionally when he acts really hungry), so it might just be that he's getting old and his metabolism is slowing down. For now we got him the general adult large breed weight control formula, but depending how he does we might switch him to the "senior" formula.

04-04-2013, 11:03 AM
Starting out with the canine health reports: Jessica, sounds like Carter needs to start posting here and needs a ticker. Maybe right underneath yours. Allison, what a relief to hear Chico is thriving. Anytime I hear about anyone -- dog or human -- getting the upper hand over cancer, I am filled with a kind of quiet triumph: Good on them. (Anyone who's fought cancer or loved someone who fought and lost will understand that.)

Atmos,welcome, and I'm glad you're ready for what I think of as The Big Reveal, which is what happens when summer arrives and the winter coats, sweaters and blazers go back into the depths of my closet, and I'm suddenly out in public wearing lightweight fabric and body-skimming clothing. It's a good feeling when last summer's clothing fits again in late spring. (But I'm still waiting for that feeling, since temperatures are still in the low 30s here.)

Jen, oh how I'd love to see your house. One of my great regrets in deciding to live where I do, in a large pre-War co-op apartment building, is that I gave up one of my dreams, which would have been owning a white-painted or old brick federal or Greek Revival farmhouse in Upstate NY. (Or a cobblestone, since I am thrilled whenever I drive past one of those.) Down here, fully restored, if one were even available, it would cost three times what it does in Northern NY. I have to content myself with buying up the furniture & small decorative objects that would have originally filled such a house.

Becky, still thinking about your visit with your friend in which you talked about ideas. Every time I have a conversation like that, I'm like "aahhhhh" and I'm good for a couple weeks. I really need more of that in my life.

And in general, to all: I'm in the minority. Yes, I hate my calves, but I don't hate capris. I buy them in petite sizes, and listen to my mother call them "pedal pushers" when she sees me wearing them on visits, a term that I find rather endearing. Probably I'm blind to what I really look like in them. They're particularly handy when I go for a pedicure.

Now I want to talk about gel or shellac nails, if anyone's gotten them before. In girlie magazine lingo, I think I'm obsessed with them. I've had them done twice now in two months -- not frequently enough, as I have the bad habit of peeling at them once they get beat up. They seem like the answer to my thin, weak fingernail problem.

traveling michele
04-04-2013, 11:16 AM
Saef--- I don't have gel or shellac but I have acrylic nails. I got them for the first time when dd was bat mitvahed-- wow-- 5 years ago now.... I've had them ever since. I love that they hold up, they look great, and I can add color or sparkle for fun if I want (my tips are now purple for my recent cruise). The bad-- I HATE getting them refilled. I HATE sitting there listening to the ladies chat in Vietnamese while I can't do anything but sit still. I try to read a book but it's very tricky to turn the pages! I have to get them refilled about every 3 weeks.

04-04-2013, 11:21 AM
Atmos, welcome to maintainers ! congratulations on your loss. Good job over the winter.

:welcome2: atmos.

Dagmar :cool:

04-04-2013, 11:29 AM
Morning all,

I had planned to go to yoga yesterday but my car did not re-start after I picked the dog up from daycare. Diagnosis: I need a new starter, which BF was able to ascertain and can install himself once he gets the part, and he got the car going to drive it home. And a good friend loaned me his extra car for the time being. So really, not disastrous, though I had a few tense moments sitting in the car with BF not answering, starting at the dog. The car trouble trumped the kitchen faucet trouble and by the time it was figured out I had missed yoga class. I don't think we can ask to put a softener system on the whole house (right now the landlord is facing a new roof installation). BF seems to think the immediate problem is in a valve in the faucet that diverts water to the hose sprayer and replacing that will help for now. All houses in my area suffer from our really hard water. We all shrug our shoulders and say "it's the island water" when we have plumbing problems.

I was still stressed out and drank a beer yesterday evening. But I made a big salad to last a few days and ate salad with leftover ham for dinner to at least balance the beer, I hope. I've got black bean soup going in the slow cooker today, using the ham bone.

Allison, glad Chico's doing well! Good dog.

Jessica, poor Carter. Some dogs don't know when they're hungry or full. My dog will act like she's starving constantly and I think if I gave her a bag of dog food she'd eat many pounds of it.

Saef, I will have to be sure to try on some petite sizes when I go capri shopping to see if the lengths work better on my legs. For pants I'm often too tall for petites, but too short for regular lengths.

Welcome atmos! Glad you've joined us and good luck not gaining weight over the winter. I too have to combat the urge to crawl into a pan of mac and cheese or root veggies all winter long.

Steph, did you bike and did you feel better afterwards?

04-04-2013, 11:50 AM
Now I want to talk about gel or shellac nails, if anyone's gotten them before. In girlie magazine lingo, I think I'm obsessed with them. I've had them done twice now in two months -- not frequently enough, as I have the bad habit of peeling at them once they get beat up. They seem like the answer to my thin, weak fingernail problem.

I've been doing gel nails on and off for a couple of years. I love how long the polish lasts! I generally get a French tip manicure and they do the white tip kind of low which sounds funny but doesn't look funny at all and it allows a full three weeks between manicures. The downside is that after a few months, I find that my nails just don't hold up and I have to go about 6 weeks without so that the nails grow out and become strong again. I believe that part of the problem that causes this is they manner in which they remove the old gel--if they aren't careful, they scrape off part of your real nail thus causing them to be soft and more breakable.

Saef--- I don't have gel or shellac but I have acrylic nails. I got them for the first time when dd was bat mitvahed-- wow-- 5 years ago now.... I've had them ever since. I love that they hold up, they look great, and I can add color or sparkle for fun if I want (my tips are now purple for my recent cruise). The bad-- I HATE getting them refilled. I HATE sitting there listening to the ladies chat in Vietnamese while I can't do anything but sit still. I try to read a book but it's very tricky to turn the pages! I have to get them refilled about every 3 weeks.

I did acrylic for a number of years and am seriously considering going back, but gels are a bit less expensive.

And I don't mind the Vietnamese talk. Funny story, DD's old roommate was an Orange County California guy, but of Vietnamese heritage. He accompanied DD and his girlfriend to the salon where all three got pedicures. Imagine the surprise when he interrupted their chit chat speaking fluent Vietnamese!

And speaking of Vietnam, my BFF who I went to Italy with a couple years back is there now on a 12 day tour all over the country. It's neat seeing her photos posted to FB!

04-04-2013, 12:17 PM
I did acrylic nails and/or silk nails for years as I had terrible natural nails and my hands were always on display working with loan documents,etc. After I retired I decided to stop doing them, it was rather shocking for a few months as my nails had become so weak and would split, they were very fragile.Eventually they grew out and toughened up and I now have good natural nails better than they were before I started the false nails, I used false nails for at least 10 years.

04-04-2013, 09:56 PM
Welcome, atmos. Good luck with your maintenance goals.

All this talk of fingernails...sigh. I have ridiculously weak nails and have just given up. I'm too lazy to do gels or acrylics and I figure they would just get beaten up during gardening season anyway. But my tiny hands and short fingernails look like they belong on a 10 year old girl.

I have exercised 3 whole times this week! It's distressing how quickly I feel like I've lost my conditioning. And my bad leg has really been aching, so "resting" didn't even get me a little benefit in that regard. :mad:

RIP Roger Ebert.

traveling michele
04-05-2013, 02:20 AM
Today was one of the worst, most stressful days I've had in a long time. I don't want to get into it too much in such an open forum, but dd is having a very difficult time in Texas where she is for job interviews. Dh and I spent much of the day trying to calm her down and deal with the situation. It just breaks my heart to see her in so much pain. Please keep us in your thoughts. She wants to go back home but we can't get a flight for her so she is stuck there until Monday. She is going to drive from Houston to San Antonio for the weekend to visit a friend so hopefully that diffuses the situation (basically she was staying with my in-laws and my mother-in-law went nutso on her-- we feel she has Alzheimers). She has issues with the school district that she has been interviewing with too-- the other school districts were fine with her credentials, but this district wants her to take tests and jump through hoops before they will clear her and she can't officially interview until things clear. This is why we aren't moving to China (not being able to be there when our kids need us).

Guess I did go into it anyway. Praying that she makes it safely to and from San Antonio (she doesn't drive much on freeways and will never have driven this route). Sigh....

04-05-2013, 06:20 AM
Sending supportive thoughts as you walk with your DD through this. It's the hardest part of parenting when we can't do anything but listen.

04-05-2013, 09:04 AM
allison - it was really, really good to read that Chico is defying the odds! :)

steph, I don't have any daffodils blooming yet, although the foliage is about 4" high. I did see two crocuses in the yard, and that was a lift.

atmos - welcome aboard!

Jessica, our dogs seemed to hit a point where the same amount of food made their weight climb, right around 7-8 years old - which I'd call "late middle age", and which seems to have the exact same effect on most of the people I know. Grrrr. I need to develop a formula for "people chow" - something like a nutritionally complete trail mix kind of thing, where if I didn't feel like prepping a meal, I could just eat a cup of it.

saef, I'm still thinking about it too. It's like exercising a muscle that's on the verge of atrophy. We covered so much ground! Together we know a lot, but we still had a few topics where we were able to change each other's minds, or even better, to ignite a need to find out more. On the nails, I'm a cheapo DIY'er with the standard polish. I have fast-growing nails that can open bottles, but I am very, very rough on my hands. Manicures aren't among my indulgences since it would be a waste of money. My mom has my same nails and gets the gels - and on her, they are spectacular. :)

megan, good luck with the water. We have lots of iron and sulphur up here, and without something to mitigate the iron, everything gets orange over time. Bleah! Beer doesn't have much in the way of physical nutrition, but for the calories, the spiritual nutrition is sometimes worth it. :D

michele, :hug: I hope your daughter's situation resolves soon - it is tough when our kids are unhappy.

My weight's up and my mood's down today. Glum. That's a good word for it. I want to be out in my flower bed instead of in my cubicle at work.

04-05-2013, 10:25 AM
Jen, oh how I'd love to see your house. One of my great regrets in deciding to live where I do, in a large pre-War co-op apartment building, is that I gave up one of my dreams, which would have been owning a white-painted or old brick federal or Greek Revival farmhouse in Upstate NY. (Or a cobblestone, since I am thrilled whenever I drive past one of those.) Down here, fully restored, if one were even available, it would cost three times what it does in Northern NY. I have to content myself with buying up the furniture & small decorative objects that would have originally filled such a house.

About half of our house is constructed of THICK limestone - pretty common in this area. That means that in the winter it retains the heat for a long time, but once the cold moves through the stone it takes a long time in the spring and summer to get warm as well. One thing that I HATE is how much insurance I have to pay, because they all have a policy that they would have to replace with stone if anything happened!!

In regards to dogs and weight, we have two Boxers, 1 year apart. We "free feed" both of them. The older one eats and eats and I need to keep an eye on him because he gets chubby! The younger one has no interest in food - his rib bones show - people must think we starve him! Interesting that dogs are like people in thinking of food differently.

Having lost 2 dogs fairly young to cancer, I am so happy that Chico is kicking *** and taking names!

Michelle - I can just feel the pain through your post. I hope things work out for DD. She is young and will get through whatever trials and tribulations she is facing right now! She is so lucky to have you as a support. Not all young adults have that!!

For me - it's been a chaotic week where I have been COMPLETELY off my routine. I have not been eating well and planned to get back on track yesterday - then I got unexpectedly called to a business lunch at the last minute. I don't do well with changes to my routine!! We went to Red Lobster and my big victory was ordering the side of steamed broccoli rather then a potato or rice. But the cheddar bay biscuits - those were my undoing!!!!

Hoping for a quiet Friday to ease me into the weekend on plan!!


Shannon in ATL
04-05-2013, 11:02 AM
Michele - I'm so sorry to hear about DD and her troubles. I hope she has a good weekend with her friend to help get her feet back under her.

Jen - your house sounds lovely! Red Lobster biscuits kill me too - good job with the broccoli instead of something like lobster mashed potatoes.

Becky - I'm right there with you on wanting to be out in the garden. I don't know if my weight is up to echo my down mood, I'm only weighing once a week right now and tomorrow is the day.

Steph - you'll get back into routine when you can. 3 days of exercise in light of what you are going through right now sounds pretty amazing to me.

Welcome atmos! Come on in, the waters fine. :)

Megan - annoying about your car dying, XW's did that last night and threw our entire evening into a tizzy. It never happens when you are perfectly settled and able to handle it.

Jessica - poor Carter! He had all that back trouble for so long and I'm sure his activity level dropped. Now that is healed, but weight troubles come in. Funny how animals have a lot of the exact same problems we have.

Saef - I've worn gel nails. I don't know if it was where I got them or the gel itself, but they never seemed to last as long as the acrylic, which I wore for about 8 years. They were prettier, but peeled up quickly. And cracked.

Exercise already done for today. Missed yesterday because of DH having to go jump start XW's car as soon as I got home. This is what happens - I took Wed off because I was tired even though it wasn't on the plan. Had a solid plan to exercise last night when I got home - was on track to arrive at 5:20, time to get 45 minutes on the elliptical before bath time. DH had dinner going and was all set to handle that end. Get home to DH having to leave, me having to finish dinner, fight a stubborn and suddenly not hungry DSS into eating and get ready for bath. By the time we got out and settled and I had time to try again it was 7:40. If I'd gone out then we wouldn't have eaten dinner ourselves until 10, and I was starving. DH said he didn't want me to get mad at myself and shame and blame for not exercising when I planned. And last night I didn't. I got mad and blamed XW instead. ;)

traveling michele
04-05-2013, 11:51 AM
Shannon-- has your dh's XW ever heard of AAA? That seems ridiculous to me that he would have to jump her car. Sheesh.

Becky-- glum.... yes, that describes me too. Tired, stressed, feeling fat, and on the verge of tears. I hope I get through the workday. Dh has planned on working on our taxes this weekend so that should provide a lot of festivities (not) around the house. I have a funeral to go to tomorrow which will of course be sad. We had twin teachers at my school-- they were so sweet and our families became friends--they are young and my girls idolized them-- they both got married and moved to separate states. Their mom just passed away at 62 from cancer. I'm glad to be able to see them (and one of them just had her first baby) but sad it's under these circumstances. The memorial/funeral is at least 1.5 hour away so I expect most/all of my Saturday will be taken up.

04-05-2013, 12:15 PM
Since DS's car is in the shop, I've had to go back to being his chauffeur to and from school again. Monday after dropping him off I got a warning on my car stating that my left rear tire was low. I chalked it up to having had gone over a dozen VERY steep speed bumps in the school parking lot. They're the kind that you really have to stop at and go over slowly. So I have my FIL check my pressures at work. Now he used to be a tire guy--worked for Firestone as the manager for years. You'd think he'd have noticed the blue cap on the tires which indicate nitrogen filled. Nope. He topped them all off with regular air. Granted, I wasn't aware of the fact that they were nitrogen mainly because I hadn't been told by the dealer and never noticed the blue caps. Anyway, the same thing happened yesterday so I took my car into the shop where DS's car is (it's a tire shop). They had to bleed all four tires and fill with air and then they checked the one that was leaking. Yep, a nail. And a curved one at that which had already rubbed a hole on the side wall, so they had to order a new one. So I'm driving around on the mini spare--which the fine folks at Jaguar decided it best to PAINT BRIGHT RED! It's really embarrassing to be driving my beautiful cashmere Jag with one red wheel! Hopefully the new tire will be in today!

Big day tomorrow planned (not). No golf because DH wants to clean the solar panels and I want to clean the cat boxes (it's a two person job as we have the Litter Maid ones that are mechanical). Also Costco and grocery shopping and then I really need a mani-pedi.

I'm still feeling the effects of my new contact prescription. Got my trial lenses today and decided to wear the new Rx in both eyes because I could see fairly close up. Well, now that I'm at work it's not so good. If I sit far from the computer and slightly squint I don't need my readers, but I do need the readers at times, especially for desk work. Meahwhile I'm getting dizzy because the computer isn't quite perfect. I had gone back to wearing one old lens (which allowed me to see much better up close) and one new lens which is for distance. It's called mono-vision and it worked pretty well, so I told my doctor to fine tune the close one and get me some trial lenses. At least I don't have to do bifocals as I really think that would make me dizzy, too.

04-05-2013, 12:29 PM
Michele, I think you made the right decision about China, this way their will always be one parent available in an emergency. I feel for your DD about her job interviews, sometimes they are needlessly grueling and sometimes thoughtless, I can give you several of my own sad interviews. One memorable interview, I had a confirmed appointment , in writing, I get to the appointment and the interviewer is in Europe ! Then I had one that I walked out on, I later got on apology from HR and asked to come back, I did and got the job. I hope she will get the job that is exactly right for her and that she won't have too much anxiety in the meantime.

04-05-2013, 03:10 PM
The bad-- I HATE getting them refilled. I HATE sitting there listening to the ladies chat in Vietnamese while I can't do anything but sit still. I try to read a book but it's very tricky to turn the pages! I have to get them refilled about every 3 weeks.

Michele, there are two competing nail salons within two blocks of my apartment, and you're now making me wonder if they are both Korean-owned, as I'd surmised, or not. The drycleaners and the greengrocer/florist are definitely Korean-owned. One salon is owned by a really quite handsome & genial guy named Calvin, and I'm pretty certain he's Korean. The other is owned or at least managed by a woman who's not particularly friendly, and so I've only been there once. I've probably said before how fascinated I am by certain ethnicities or countries dominating particular business sectors in the NY area & the U.S. in general, from programming to hotel administration to day spas to greengrocers to taxi drivers to building superintendents, etc.

Mostly when I hear the women in the nail salon talking, I wonder about the circumstances that brought them to their jobs. Are they U.S. born? If not, when did they emigrate? Did they train in beauty salons in their country, or did they learn those skills here? Did they mostly learn the trade because it doesn't require extended conversations with the customers? Will they remain nail technicians or are they also enrolled in classes or in another trade, learning more English, which they'll move onto? How much do they earn? Where do they live & commute from? And what are their male counterparts doing to make a living? (A couple weeks back, I kept wondering, if I played "Gangnam Style" on my iPod, could one of the women tell me what Psy is singing in the non-English parts?)

I think if I had a little less American body shame, I'd be more comfortable getting manicures and pedicures. I really like being tended to, on some level. I've decided that it takes me back to being a child, and having my mother run a washcloth between my toes at bath-time. I certainly like the hand and foot massages. But I want to apologize for breaking or biting my nails, and for that weird toenail on my left little toe. Also, there is something about them having to kneel to work on me, because it's a subservient position, that makes me deeply uncomfortable because it seems so, well, un-democratic. For all these reasons, including my certainty that they're probably not getting paid enough for what they do, which they are indeed quite good at, and professionals, I am a guilty-feeling overtipper.

Shannon in ATL
04-05-2013, 03:14 PM
Saef - I have trouble with pedicures for the same reasons. I also feel guilty about my calloused feet from running shoes.

The woman who used to do my nails came here in her mid 30s, she was a vet in Laos before moving here. Now she does nails, says she's happy. I always wonder.

04-05-2013, 03:25 PM
The nail salon I go to are all Vietnamese. Some of them are immigrants and some born here--but all are fluent in Vietnamese and somewhat so in English. The younger ones are in school--we have a college here that is pretty inexpensive. One is studying to be an engineer and one's husband is studying math.

traveling michele
04-05-2013, 03:36 PM
Saef-- I'm guessing yours are Vietnamese but I could be wrong. Everywhere I've lived, the nail people have always been Vietnamese. I am also an over tipper and I wonder many of the same things. At the salon I have gone to for several years, one of the daughters (I'm assuming US born) went to college (UC Davis in Biomedical Sciences or something similar and smart!) and graduated. She was trying to get into nursing school and was working part-time at the nail salon until she got into a nursing school. I always felt bad for her because I felt like she was working there because her family expected it but that she should do more. She just left about a month ago to start nursing school. I'm thrilled for her. I've talked to some of the other techs that have better English and they often sound like their lives are so hard-- some commute from far away and work multiple jobs-- but they all have said it is so much better than their home country. Makes me really appreciate being an American.

I had students (1st grade) give me apology letters for their crummy behavior in the library yesterday. I always get a huge chuckle from these. One of them drew a picture of me reading to the class. There is a speech bubble that says "Everyone is so quiet today-- all of you must want books?". The other cute one says (in his spelling): I am sorry for the way I behaved during library. Next time I will... behave and be cwait. And not intapt you when you are reding a book to us. We well respect you. and we will pa a intensen when you are taking ta us.

So cute!

04-05-2013, 03:50 PM
Hi all,

I had to come to my city office for work today. Mostly boring stuff, but I did at least get one productive thing done and said hello to people. My goal is to get home before 7:00ish/have time to take the dog for a walk. Usually my city days are really long days and I'm tired and stressed by the time I get home. BF ordered a starter and planned to put it on my car today. Hopefully that's the problem (He mentioned something about a clutch safety switch...? being a remote possibility). Luckily I have the work car to bring to the city today for, well, work.

Tomorrow evening I'm going to a friend's 40th birthday celebration and Sunday I come back to the city with friends for our last set of theatre tickets for the season. Should be fun.

My fingernails get wrecked by my work. When I was a teenager I had nice, long nails with whitish tips naturally that I would just put clear polish on, and sometimes I marvel at how I ever managed to keep them that way. Since I've started learning guitar I keep them trimmed very short on my left hand. I paint my toenails myself and try to keep them looking nice because I stare at them during yoga, but how long they'll stay nice is always a gamble. I try to pumice my worst calluses, but I do have pretty bad ones from walking etc so much. The one time I did get a pedicure I got the impression my pedicurist was really horrified by my feet. :o

Michele, sorry your DD is having such a stressful time. Job searches can be so stressful and perplexing with their requirements.

Jen, don't remind me about the cheddar biscuits. They are so good. I'm glad my red lobster trips are very rare.

Alison, I've learned to always pay attention to that low air indicator! I hope your new tire comes in today.

Shannon, it's ok. Blame XW. We will back you up. ;)

Have a good weekend everyone.

04-05-2013, 04:57 PM
saef, California is knee deep in nail salons and they ar 99% Vietnamese. I have had some interesting conversations with the owners of these shops. One that I went to was owned by a Vietnamese lady, her husband also works there after he finishes his morning paper route., in Vietnam he was a building contractor with 200 people working for him. He was doing my nails one day and a friend of his came in and they were speaking in Vietnamese together, after he left Tony (his American name ) said that man was a High School Principal in Vietnam , he is washing dishes in a restaurant, he can't get a better job because he doesn't speak English, not well anyway.It was near the fourth of July and Tony told me he was going to close the shop for the fourth, he and his wife are now citizens he went on to explain. He said, if you don't like your job you can quit and get another one, if you don't like your house you can move. You can't do that in my country. Many of these people had to just walk away from their country, leaving homes, businesses and friends and other family members. They have worked very hard to get where they are today and they make sure their children are well educated, that is why a businessman will have a paper route and do nails in his wifes shop.
I have had Korean neighbors, also, they are entirely different than the Vietnamese.

04-05-2013, 08:59 PM
I just learned something from a NY Times article about nail salon workers exposure to hazardous chemicals on the job:

More than 80 percent of the salons in the New York-New Jersey area are Korean-owned, according to industry experts. In California, by contrast, an estimated three-fourths of salon owners and workers are Vietnamese. The Vietnamese community there has been far more outspoken about safety problems than the Korean community has been in New York.

I don't know about all the employees in the two salons near me, but I'm fairly certain that Calvin, who manages the salon that I go to, is Korean.

04-05-2013, 09:25 PM
According to the 2010 census San Jose , Ca has more Vietnamese than any city outside of Vietnam, of course there are a lot of Koreans, Hmong. and other Asians as well.I have , until recently lived in San Jose most of my life.In San Jose, they have their own, churches, newspapers, chamber of commerce, etc.
In the shops I went to they kept all the tools they were going to use on me separate, I had my own little bag of tools that they would bring out when I came in.

04-06-2013, 01:22 PM
This has been an interesting conversation leading to some good Google searches. I've turned up a book that I want to read now: "The Managed Hand: Race, Gender and the Body in Beauty Service Work" by Miliann Kang. Here's a good review of it:

One interesting observation that speaks to some of my discomfort

Kang’s analysis is anchored in the feminist sociologist Arlie Hochschild’s concept of “body labor.” Commercialized service interactions such as manicures involve not simply bodily care but also the management and exchange of emotion and power. “The manicure is not simply an economic transaction,” says Kang. “It is a symbolic exchange that involves the buying and selling of deference.”

That said, I'll get a manicure and spa pedicure tomorrow, as I promised this to myself if I drafted two PowerPoint presentations this past week, one for my manager to pass to another manager and the other for one of my direct reports.

04-06-2013, 01:43 PM
I think a well groomed hand with trimmed nails always looks so neat and professional. Nail polish is a preference but clean nails are a must and anybody can do it.

04-06-2013, 10:09 PM
Why oh why is there an animated ad for Snickers peanut butter squares along the side of the 3FC Maintainer's Forum? And, for the record, it is right below an ad to "ask your doctor" about a new medication for type II diabetes. Yikes.

04-07-2013, 08:02 AM
Maybe because whatever marketing apps are out there scans our text for what we **actually** talk about -- very often, it's food, temptations resisted or succumbed to, and what we're cooking -- rather than our good intentions?

But of course we all don't see the same ads. They're tailored for us. I'm seeing stuff for Vein Clinics of America, Proactiv, and something called "" with the slogan: "Love cute bikes."

04-07-2013, 09:46 AM
Maybe because whatever marketing apps are out there scans our text for what we **actually** talk about -- very often, it's food, temptations resisted or succumbed to, and what we're cooking -- rather than our good intentions?

But of course we all don't see the same ads. They're tailored for us. I'm seeing stuff for Vein Clinics of America, Proactiv, and something called "" with the slogan: "Love cute bikes."

I have all "Toronto centric" ads, as well as the perfect belly Weightwatchers thingee. Last time I linked up to "Banana Republic" I then got ads for them for a week. Pretty scary, isn't it? :yikes:

Re the mani/pedi I don't get them because my work just destroys them 2 days after they are done. I did go once to a salon run by Asians and a woman who barely spoke English did my mani. They charged me $15 cash for it and I wound up tipping her directly with $5. I felt guilty and ashamed :o and embarrassed by the whole thing, like I was condoning slavery :( or something.

Then I took my niece once for her birthday and we had manis done by "cakes" (as DH refers to himself and others of a WASP background.) I paid over twice as much as in the other salon, by credit card and wrote in a tip (as suggested by the woman who was going to do my mani). I felt a whole lot more comfortable :coffee: in this scenario as I chatted with her about neighbourhood happenings and such. It was less being served and serving.

I work in a service industry and find that a lot of my clients are not really sure how to relate to me. They DO treat their housecleaners, nannies, and yard people like "the help". I get a bit of a different vibe. No idea why but I find it kinda amusing, considering I'm picking up poop :lol: and stopping their dogs from eating dead things.

Dagmar :shrug:

04-07-2013, 10:48 AM
My ads are for travel and suitcases and yoga. It really is scary how your Googling history follows you. And speaking of that, my phone recently updated to jelly bean and I have this nifty thing called Google Now. So I'll google a place on my computer and Google Now on my phone then tells me, from my current position, how long it will take to drive there. Big brother is here, my friends.

04-07-2013, 02:33 PM
I am the least observant person on earth and never noticed any ads. So I had to check and mine is for Insanity and plastic surgery!

traveling michele
04-07-2013, 03:28 PM
I'm insanity and Jump Start MD. Hmmmm....

Big Brother is definitely here to stay.

How many of you remember reading 1984 (before 1984)? I read it in high school (right around 1984) and remember chuckling about Big Brother and hoping/thinking we would never live to see the day that someone knew where we were going/ what we were doing.

Shannon in ATL
04-07-2013, 07:02 PM
Allison - I love Google Now. It will get creepy though, just you wait.

Shannon in ATL
04-07-2013, 07:03 PM
And my ads are Cafe Press and Kroger. I've ordered three different clocks and none work and shopped coupons, that must be why.