Tuesday’s Menu

2 pkgs. Lorna Doone Cookies (280)

Light yogurt (80)

Sesame pork loin (300)
Cabbage (100)
Baked sweet potato with B&B yogurt spread, splenda, and sugar (100)
Noodles (150)

Shwann Fudgesicle (45)

Total 1,055

cat.JPGAnybody lose a cat?  I can’t believe this guy!  We came home from vacation to find him coming to visit.  He spends the day on the back porch and runs in the house whenever the door is opened.  This morning, I woke up to find him all snuggled up in bed with me.  DH has tried to feed him several times in the last week and he doesn’t eat.  Since he’s all fit and fat, that means he’s eating somewhere else.  He’s been declawed and is very well-behaved so he must belong somewhere besides here.  He doesn’t have a collar so I guess I’ll have to put some “found” pictures around the neighborhood.  After years of having/loving pets, we’re finally at a point where we don’t have any and it makes it a LOT easier to take trips and vacations.  Also, the last few old friends we lost left us so devastated that we decided not to go through it again.  (sigh)  Now DH and the boys are trying out names for him.  This is not gonna happen!

Yesterday was a perfect diet/exercise day.  Can I have another helping, please?  A perfect day should always start with weighing myself so I did.  It’s 174 this morning so yesterday had some effect.  It’s still not where I was just a couple of weeks ago but I’m back on track.  I’ll have to check my blog but I think I dipped down to 172.5 while we were on vacation.  I have a new goal.  The goal of five pounds every two weeks is too confining.  I can’t predict losses that accurately so I’m not going to try.  I’ll be content to just sit back and watch the pounds come off however they choose to do so.  My new goal is to be in the 160’s by the time I go back to work.  That shouldn’t be a problem.  I’ll just keep myself busy for the next couple of weeks and it should happen.  Actually, I haven’t been in the 160’s for a long time.  I think it was before my first ankle surgery which would have been almost seven years ago.

So…what’s going to keep me busy today?  I’m determined to get to the nursery and see if they have any perennials reduced dirt cheap.  My flowers are gorgeous.  It always amazes me how they respond to watering and fertilizing.  Things didn’t look too good when we got home from vacation and, in just the last week, the watering and fertilizing have made a huge difference.  I bought some scraggly perennials about this time last year for next-to-nothing and they look fantastic!  Maybe I can do it again.

I also have to have pre-op labs done today but I made a mistake about the fasting.  I don’t have to fast for the labs, just tomorrow’s surgery.  Shouldn’t take long but it’s right in the middle of the day at 2:15.  I fast tonight and I have to be at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow.  Seems like a mighty big deal for a little bump on my knuckle.  I made a date with Sistah Pam at the gym tomorrow because I’m so optimistic about how easy it’s going to be.  We decided to go for the water aerobics class but, in case I’m not supposed to get my hand wet, we can do something else.

If I’m asking for another perfect day, I’m going to have to get up from here and go dance with the treadmill.

12:00 – Okay, a perfect workout for another perfect day.  Did the 3 more miles workout but really pushed.  That’s what it’s about, right?  Always pushing the envelope?  I figured if I did 3.2 and 3.3 for a while yesterday, I should be able to do it more all the time.  Went all the way up the incline at 3.2 but dropped it down to 3.1 at 7% and kept it there until I got back down to 8% and then raised it back to 3.2.  At 6%, I raised it to 3.3 and kept it there until the last 5 minutes when I cooled down.  Managed to go exactly 5 miles and burn 785 calories.  Pulse never got above 132 and that was just for a few minutes.  Most of the time it stayed around 118 – 124.  Now, I’m so gross, I’ve got to get a shower and head to the nursery and then to the hospital for labs.

4:00 – Sniff, sniff, I feel like an invalid.  They went ahead and put my hospital bracelet on.  Seems a little premature to me.  Geez, I’m having a little bump removed from my knuckle for heavens sake!

I left the house and drove up to the nursery which is only about 6 miles away.  Not a cloud in the sky, stopped to get gas and you could actually see this big black storm moving in.  I signed my loan application to fill up the tank and got ready to pull off and it hit.  This was one Hellacious storm!  Lightning and thunder so loud it made me jump!  I pulled off from the pump and hail started coming down so I circled around and pulled back under the canopy and waited about 20 minutes until it let up.  Proceeded to the nursery where I sat in the car for another ten minutes or so and then it cleared up.  The clouds blew over and I could see blue sky again!  Of course, it waited until I was at the furthest end of the greenhouses and cut loose again.  I paid for my flowers (got some good deals on annuals but the perennials are only $2.00 off) and would have waited in the greenhouse but I had to get to the hospital by 2:15 so I made a mad dash for the car.  Got all the way out to the parking lot and realized I set my keys down on the counter so I had to slog my way back to the greenhouse to get them.  Didn’t bother rushing back to the car.  Once you’re totally saturated, it doesn’t make much difference.  Got to the hospital and tried to pull off that “I’m a wash and wear kind of girl” attitude as I dripped on the marble floors.  Don’t think anyone bought it.  I just looked like one of those idiots who gets caught in a downpour without an umbrella.  Came home and everyone wanted to know why I was so wet.  It didn’t rain here.  Ah well, guess I’ll drag my invalid self out to the backyard and fill in some bare spots with my flowers.

9:00 p.m. – Went out to vacuum the pool and it looks like we’ve finally beat the algae.  The water was so nice and clear I went ahead and jogged for 30 minutes.  Did a bunch of weeding and planted the new flowers.

I ate a huge dinner.  I was really hungry but it’s all under control.  Still well within my allowance.  I had two pieces of grilled ginger pork loin, sliced tomatoes, fresh green beans with dried cranberries, and a little bit of leftover black eyed Senorita.  To polish it off, I’m sitting here eating a bowl of Shwann’s sugar-free, fat free ice cream.  Since I burned at least 1,000 calories in working out today, I think I’m okay.

Just finished making myself anti-bacterially clean and shiny and sanitized for your protection.  They make such a big deal of all this.  No jewelry, no perfume, no lotion, no hairspray, no nail polish on fingers OR toes.  Scrub down with antibacterial soap tonight, don’t eat or drink after 10:00 and don’t do anything in the morning except get out of bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, and go to the hospital.  Actually, I love this hospital.  It’s fairly new (maybe 5 years) and it’s gender specific.  I’ve been there before and it’s pretty upscale.

jewish_interior.jpg  jewishpatientroom.jpg

All private rooms, beautiful interior that boasts a showcase for Kentucky glass artists.  The rooms all have beautiful mahogany furniture and a hidden TV/computer in the armoire.  How come I rate such special treatment?  I have an allergy to latex and it’s the only facility my wise and wonderful orthopedic surgeon uses that addresses latex allergies.  Lucky me!

And so, we come to the end of another perfect day…

G’night, little chicklets! 


Monday Menu

Kashi Go Lean Crunch with soymilk (250)

2 grilled ginger pork loin slices (400)
sliced tomatoes (25)
green beans with cranberries (100)
black eyed Senorita (150)

1 cup Shwann Sugar-free, Fat-free ice cream (150)

Total 1,075

I just want one perfect day.  That’ll be today.  I’ll worry about tomorrow when it gets here.  For today, I’m going to do everything just the way it should be.  I’m going to eat right and get lots of exercise.  On a perfect day, I would weigh myself in the morning – so I did.  Mr. Scale is standing there with his arms crossed, tapping his foot, and giving me the “I told you so” look.  It’s 175.  Guess the last week is beginning to catch up with me.

I’m frustrated with our very best friends of all time.  We’ve been close for almost 30 years.  We’ve taken vacations together, had periods of time when we got together almost every weekend for months, seen each other’s kids grow up, etc.  We’ve always spread the time pretty evenly between their place and ours.  They moved to a rural area and built their beautiful dream home about five years ago and it’s a 45 minute drive from our house.  I’ve noticed, over the last five years, that they’ve gotten pretty one-sided with the visits.  Everytime we decide to get together, they want us to come to their place.  I’m always the designated driver and the DHs drink too many beers and, next thing you know, it’s 1:00 a.m. and I’m having to face a long drive.  Not terrible, but not fun either.  Even if we don’t stay late and the DHs don’t drink, it’s still a long drive.   We called them on Friday and said, “Why don’t you drive up to Belterra and join us?  They said they had to go to a wedding so they couldn’t but they definitely wanted to get together this weekend.  I told them I’d call them when we got back from Belterra and work out the details.  They said they didn’t have any plans so that would be fine.  DH and I talked about it and decided it was definitely their turn to come to us.  He said we’re always making the drive to their place and it was only fair that they come to us this time.  We decided to have a cookout and invite them over for dinner and swimming.  I called yesterday and said, “Why don’t you guys come over tomorrow for a cookout and swim?”  BF said, “I already invited you guys over here for a cookout.”  I said, “No, you didn’t.  We just said we’d get together this weekend.  We’ve been to your house so many times in the last year, it’s our turn to play hosts.  Come on over and I’ll do all the cooking.”  She said, “No, you all come over here.”  I said, “We’ve been to your house a dozen times over the last year and I figured we’d grill out and relax in the backyard.”  She said, “No, I thought we already decided that you were coming over here.”  I was so put-off I kind of stammered around and told her I’d have to get back with her because we had some things to do today.  I got off the phone and DH was steamed.  He said he doesn’t want to make that long drive and they’re being kind of controlling about it.  We got to thinking about it and came to the conclusion that they haven’t come to our house for almost a year and a half.  I think we should go ahead and go to them today and make it absolutely clear that they’re coming to our place next time.  DH is aggravated and doesn’t want to go at all. (sigh)  I don’t know what to do.  I love them dearly and don’t want to create friction but he has a point.

I can’t get my wedding ring off!  I have labs tomorrow for out patient surgery Tuesday morning to remove a ganglion cyst on the knuckle of my ring finger.  The reason I brought it up with the doctor was because I thought I was getting arthritis and it was making it difficult to get my ring off sometimes.  He took x-rays and said it’s a cyst that needs to be removed.  Now I can’t my ring off at all.  Guess I’ll work on it all day.

I just mentioned to DH again about going to Rick and Pam’s today (not my Sistah Pam, another Pam) and he’s adamant.  “No, I don’t want to drive an hour and a half.  They should be coming to our house.  They’re being self-centered and it’s not right.”   Crap.  I don’t feel good about this.  If I cancel now, they’ll know that we don’t have a good reason.  I told him he could call them and tell them we changed our minds but, of course, he’s not going to do that.  He just sits back and says, “You and Pam cooked this up.  You call and deal with it.”

1:15 – If this was a perfect day, I’d push myself through the notorious 3 more miles workout.  So I did.  If it was a truly, perfect day, I’d push the speed up to 3.2 on the way down and then push it even farther to 3.3.  So I did.  95 minutes, all the way up the inclines at 3.0 mph and all the way back down at 3.2 or 3.3 in 5 minute intervals.  675 calories burned and 4.9 miles.

If this was a perfect day, I wouldn’t be stressing out about hurting Rick and Pam’s feelings.   I’d deal with it.  So I did.  Called and told them we couldn’t make it.  Guess what?  They’re not home.  Their son said they went to the store.  To me, that means they hadn’t made any special dinner plans and could just as easily have come over here.  I told their son we wouldn’t be able to make it.  Blamed it all on DH.  Told him we’ve been on the road for a month and he just wants to stay around home today.  He said he’d have his mom give me a call.

3:00 – Finally got my ring off without losing a finger.  Guess it’ll have to sleep in the jewelry box till my finger heals.  Seems like this is the summer for fingers and toes.  Cut the grass in the front yard.  I’m hot and gross but, if this was a perfect day, I would have dinner planned and make sure I have everything I need to fix it.  So, I will.

5:00 -Went out and vacuumed the pool.  We’re struggling with a bit of algae.  DS didn’t do the chemicals just right and we’ve had to work with it since we got back.  Let the algae settle to the bottom, vacuum real good (which picks up a lot of it but stirs up the rest).  Let it settle another day and vacuum again, etc.  After I vacuumed, it occured to me that, on a perfect day, a perfect athlete would never be content with just walking around the pool and then getting out.  Of course, I’m nowhere near being the perfect athlete but I am having a perfect day so I did it.  I jogged around the pool for 30 minutes. 

Pam called while I was in the pool and DH lied to her and said he has an earache.  She said, “No problem, we’ll do it next weekend.”  So he didn’t solve anything.

I just made myself a perfect lunch (breakfast?, dinner?) of summer rolls stuffed with napa cabbage, sliced red pepper, avocado, cucumber, rice vermicelli, and cilantro.  Good healthy stuff and under 150 calories.

9:00 p.m. – Just finished a nice healthy bowl of Hoppin John soup and took a long, hot soak with Dove Calming Night Rejuvenating body wash so I feel soft and drowsy.  The perfect end to the perfect day.  Think I’ll curl up with a book I’ve been reading and call it a day.

G’night little chicklets!


Sunday Menu

3 summer rolls with lettuce, napa cabbage, cilantro, avocado, rice vermicelli, red peppers, and cucumber (150)

Shwann fudgesicle (45)

2 bowls Hoppin John Soup (400)

Kashi Go Lean with Soymilk (250)

Total 845

Set out a cup of beer and let me fall in.  I’m such a slug.  I need to DO something!  As soon as I blog, I’m going out to clean the pool.  Not that it’s really exercise but I’m testing the waters, so to speak.  Maybe it’s warm enough for me to do some jogging after I vacuum.

 We drove up to Belterra yesterday evening and played the slots.  I spent $20.00 and won $30.00, lost $10.00, spent $10.00 and won $12.75, etc. etc. till I came out about $20.00 ahead.  DH wanted to eat at the buffet for his birthday so we did.  I wasn’t very happy because it was seafood night and I don’t care for seafood very much.  I can’t figure it out.  Every five years or so, I try crablegs and lobster, and all that stuff and it’s just too much trouble.  I got a bunch of big old ugly crablegs and one of those things you crack them with.  Crunched and cracked and bent and peeled and managed to get crabby juice all over the front of my blouse and finally got a little sliver which I dipped in butter and didn’t like.  Crunched and dug and cracked and peeled some more and got another piece which I doused with lemon juice.  I liked that a lot better but I still didn’t like it all that much.  Figured I’d give it up at that point because people might get put off if I threw crablegs on the floor and stomped them to get the meat so I moved on to the lobster.  It was okay, certainly easier to get to but I’d still rather have a fried chicken breast so I did.  And a bowl of chicken noodle soup, and a barbequed pork chop, and a slice of prime rib au jou, and three fried oysters.  Polished it all off with THREE bowls of custard (they were itty, bitty bowls) and coffee.  I just don’t get the seafood thing. It’s really good for you and I give it a try occasionally but I just don’t like it.

We went out to the RV around midnight and went to sleep.  Got up this morning, took a shower, and forked around with my hair.  Yes… forked around.  Discovered that I forgot to bring a comb or brush and DH suggested a dinner fork.  Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

We went back to the casino and managed to waste another two or three hours and came out about $15.00 ahead and then decided to drive home.

So…here I am.  Bored again, feeling sluggish, and forked up.

8:30 – Okay, this is a little better.  I went out and vacuumed the pool, cleaned the spa filter and did a partial water change on it, watered the flower beds, cleaned out the filter on the koi pond and did a partial water change, and did a partial water change on the little pond/fountain out front.  After that, I weeded the flower beds a little and cut the grass in the backyard.  I don’t feel quite so sluggish and I haven’t watched TV all day!

Oh, I almost forgot!  This morning, I was snuggled up in the RV with DH and he wraps his arms around me and says, “So how much have you lost?” and I’m thinking, “Finally!  He finally noticed!”  So I snuggle up and say, “I’ve lost almost 25 pounds now.” and the big dumbass says, “No.  I meant on the slots!”  Creep!!!

Mr. Scale is still showing me at 174.  He has no compassion for me and takes no pity on my behavior of late.  Tough Love.  I have to respect him for that.

I’ve been kind of laying back, eating fairly healthy, and making excuses to avoid getting really intense about losing weight again.  I tend to get into a mindset this time of year that tells me I only have a little bit of time left before I go back to work and I need to enjoy it as much as I can.  Problem is, I’m not really enjoying it, I’m just kind of drifting along in a boring, mind-numbing routine.  I can procrastinate with the best of them.

I know where some of my weight issues come from and I know what I have to do about it.  I have to eat low-cal, avoid carbs, and MOVE.  Sometimes, I procrastinate about things I really want to do because it’s more comfortable to sit on my butt and do nothing.  Examples:

I want to go to the nursery and look for some “fillers” for the flower beds.

I want to go to Kohl’s and pick up my favorite perfume that I’ve been out of for a month.

I want to get together with our oldest and dearest friends for dinner.

I want to go to Habitat for Humanity and see if they have a bunch of perennials I can pick up cheap.

Okay, that’s the “wants”, here’s the most pressing “need to’s”

I need to finish scrubbing Manny.

I need to scrub down my car.

I need to weed the flower beds.

I need to vacuum the pool.

I need to cut the grass.

What do all these items have in common?  I have to MOVE.  I got myself into this mess because I had an ankle injury which kept me from moving for a long time and I got into some bad habits of propping myself up on the couch and watching TV for hours.  I started getting out of this mess by ignoring the TV and doing all kinds of things to keep myself busy.  None of the things I want/need to do are difficult.  They’re just things that I can comfortably ignore in favor of watching hours and hours of TV. 

The last couple of days, I’ve actually sat there and watched re-runs!  Shows I’ve already seen that weren’t that great the first time around, seduced by a big-screen courtesan.  “Relax.  Prop yourself up on the couch.  Don’t move, use the remote.  Would you like some fat-free, sugar-free frozen yogurt?  It’s healthy.”  Not if you eat three bowls of it!

Enough, enough, I’m done with it.  Starting today, I’m going to ignore the TV and get moving again.   That shouldn’t be too difficult.  Today is DH’s birthday!  I have to finish cleaning the RV so we can go to Belterra Casino in southern Indiana.  We’re having dinner at the buffet and I’ll be sitting on my butt all evening but, at least, I have to move from one slot machine to another (smile) and I won’t have a TV. 

3:30 – Okay, I’m out the door.  We’ll be at Belterra in an hour and a half or so.  Made a teeny dent in my want/need to do list.  Called Rick and Pam and made arrangements to get together with them on Sunday.  Got the RV cleaned (except the carpet but that can wait).  It’ll be nice to have some private time with DH this evening.  We may even stay an extra night if the mood strikes.  We both get tired of always having a housefull. 

Later, chicklets!

I’m so bored…I’m boring myself to death.  I’m glad I have a couple of things going on today.  Getting home from vacation has made it difficult to get back into my routine and it seems like all I’ve done is sit around the house and watch TV which is NOT a good thing.  Having something to do today will force me to get out of the house.  I’m supposed to meet Sistah Pam at the gym today for a workout in the pool.  I’m also supposed to be at a meeting of the ROTC Booster Club sometime today.  I sure got rooked into that one but DGS loves ROTC and so I need to be as supportive as I can.  Problem is, I think it’s supposed to be today and I don’t have a clue what time we’re supposed to meet.  We decided to meet on July 17 way back before school was even out at the end of April.  I know they changed the date a couple of times to accommodate me because of vacation but I could swear we set it for today because I was thinking I’d be back from vacation and it would be a day before DH’s birthday so it wouldn’t interfere with our plans.  I called Sarge yesterday and left a message for him to call and let me know what time but I didn’t hear from him.  Wouldn’t it be awful if I didn’t get to go?  😉

Didn’t go to bed until almost 2:00 a.m. because I was staring at the boob tube.  I’ve got to start getting to bed earlier!  Now I’m feeling put-out because I have to run an errand for DIL before 11:00 and I just got out of bed! (grumble, grumble)

4:00 – Met Sistah Pam at the gym for a bit of a workout.  I know she didn’t want to and did it to keep me happy.  Thanks, Pam!  I feel skinnier already!  Came home and DS wants to know how much a membership is and wants me to go for a walk with him this evening.  I want to encourage him but I’m not thrilled about walking around the block in the heat.  Maybe I can talk him into going to the gym with me this evening on a guest pass.

6:00 – DH just told me that he wants to go to Belterra for his birthday tomorrow.  Wants to take Manny and spend the night at the casino.  Now, I like Belterra.  I’m not big on gambling but I like their super luxurious rooms and I like the buffet.  Not sure how much fun I’m going to have by being on a diet and not getting a room.  Still, it’s his birthday.  I’m sure we’ll have fun.

Pretzels (100)

Tuna Salad Sandwich
tuna, celery, low-fat mayo, dill relish, onion (150)
2 slices lite whole grain bread (70)
strawberries (30)

slice of watermelon (50)

summer rolls with lettuce, grilled chicken, carrots, cilantro, cucumber, red pepper, and rice vermicelli (500)

3 bowls sugar-free, fat-free frozen yogurt with blueberries (400)

Total 1,300


Wednesday Menu

1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean with soy milk and 2 strawberries (150)

Pork Loin (400)
Green beans (50)
Asian slaw (30)
baked apples (100)

fat-free, sugar-free frozen yogurt (200)

Total 1,030

Okay, I’m not happy with the way I behaved yesterday.  Didn’t get any exercise (unless you count wandering around in grocery stores all morning) and ate like an idiot.  I didn’t eat any breakfast or lunch and then got hit with hunger around 2:30 so I ate a couple cups of strawberries.  At dinner, I ate way too much and felt bloated and icky but it didn’t keep me from pigging out on frozen yogurt last night.  I only consumed 900 calories which is too low and about half of them were junk.  This, chickies, is not living healthy.  I am no longer on vacation and need to get back into a healthy routine.  I WILL exercise and eat better today!  (Can I get a Hoo Rah!!)

It’s hard to understand how time off from exercise can make it seem so distasteful.  I keep procrastinating about getting back on the treadmill and I know it’s something I need to do.  I don’t even dislike it.  I rather enjoy it so why aren’t I chomping at the bit to grab my MP3 and hit the treads?

Shouldn’t have too much trouble losing weight next Monday and Tuesday.  I had a lump come up on the knuckle of my left ring finger and asked my orthopedic surgeon, the great and powerful Dr. Salaman, about it when I went to see him for my broken toe.  He said it’s a ganglion cyst and scheduled me to have it removed after I got back from vacation.  I was looking at the pre-op instructions last night and I have to fast all day Monday and go to the hospital for pre-op labs at 2:15.  Then I can eat some dinner and have to fast from 10:00 p.m. on to get ready for the surgery Tuesday morning.

Guess I should finish my coffee and get moving.  Okay, girls, I’m counting on the power of womanhood!  I know you guys can bitch and nag with the best of them.  DO NOT let me miss another day of exercise.

11:15 – Okay, I did something!  It wasn’t easy though.  Seems like things are working against me but I know it’s just because I’m disorganized right now.  I went up to work on the treadmill and it was getting warm upstairs.  Then I realized that my MP3 player was still in the RV.  I went out to get it but the RV is locked.  Went to get the keys and realized DH must still have them on his keyring because they’re not in the kitchen.  Decided to wait till he gets home this evening but then I read Brandie’s blog and I felt guilty because her entire family is sick and she’s trying desperately to carve out a few minutes for herself so she can exercise.  Decided to put on my bathing suit and jog in the pool so I went out and checked it and found that it’s getting kind of murky and icky because the chemicals are off.  I shocked it and came back in.  Finally made myself do 30 minutes of boring treadmill without my MP3 or any other distractions.  Only burned 146 calories but I guess it’s a start.  I also made myself eat breakfast so that was 150 calories.  Not doing too well, am I?

1:45 – Went out to take a closer look at the yard and couldn’t help but notice that the flower beds haven’t been fertilized or watered much since I left for vacation.  Actually, I’m sure that they haven’t been fertilized at all.  (sigh)  I have all these people who love to tell me what a green thumb I have!  I know it’s meant as a compliment but I really have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “It’s not a green thumb!  It a whole lot of work and money and sweat, dammit!”  I made sure that David and Stacy knew what had to be done but I guess I can’t complain.  They did a great job with the house.  Guess I’m going to be fertilizing, dead-heading, and watering for a few days.  I have two plumeria trees I started from cuttings I got in Hawaii that are about 7 feet tall that I fertilize like crazy every summer to get them to bloom and then bring them in all winter and try to keep them alive.  If they don’t get massive doses of a super bloom fertilizer, they won’t bloom.  Wonder if it’s too late for this year?


Tuesday’s Menu

2 cups strawberries (100)

4 cups salad with dry cooked Vietnamese pork strips  (400)

Sugar-free, fat-free frozen yogurt with blueberries – 3 TIMES!!  (400)

Total (900)  This is not a healthy way to eat!


Hugs and Kisses!

Woke up a few minutes ago to Jake and Scout (cute, little grandkiddies) climbing up on my bed and giving me kisses and hugs.  Nice way to start the day.  Still, they quickly lost interest in me and were like little vultures with the gifts I brought them from our vacation.

After a whirlwind of activity, they left and I’m finally sitting down with a cup of coffee.  I’m usually an early riser but I tend to get up later and later as the summer wears on and it makes it rough when I go back to work.  David was really surprised that I was still asleep at 9:30 but, with the schedule I’ve been on for the last month, it’s like 7:30.

Okay, it’s time to get back to business.  For starters, I went out and got Mr. Scale from the RV and let him in the house.  He’s showing me 174 this morning and I believe him.  The last three or four days have not been a pig-out by any means but they haven’t been low-calorie either.  I have to go back in my blog and see where I was when I started vacation but I’m pretty sure I still managed to lose a little bit.  The most difficult thing will be getting back into the exercise routine.  It’s not going to be enough to just do cardio.  I’m starting to get saggy.  (Could it be that I’m just getting OLD?)  Starting today, I’m going back to writing down everything I eat and getting exercise.  Not sure what I’m going to do for today.  The pool is cold and I don’t want to get in it and the upstairs is hot.  Maybe I’ll do an aerobic tape downstairs.

…just went back in my blog to see what the vacation damages are.  Looks like I was around 176 or 177 when we left so I’m down a little but not as much as I was last week.  I’m still sitting here at the kitchen table contemplating getting my butt moving.  Gotta think about it a little longer…

11:30 – Okay, I got my shower.  That’s progress…My mind is beginning to function.  I’m thinking about dinner and dieting.  I don’t like beef which is good because I really shouldn’t eat it with my high cholesterol.  Just looked in the freezer and it’s pretty bare.  I’ve got to go to the store and get some chicken breasts and porkloin.  Just looked at all the ads in the Sunday paper and all the grocery stores have beef on sale.  Just my luck…

1:45 – I should get some kind of kudos for the grocery shopping!  Went to GFS and bought 3 huge bags of frozen chicken breasts (GFS is the only place I know that trims them as well as I would) and three huge cans of Allen’s green beans, hit the oriental market for summer roll wrappers and rice vermicelli and then headed to Meijer for porkloin which I found at a pretty decent price so I bought three loins.  Also picked up fresh green beans, strawberries, blueberries, soy milk, and cabbage.  Walked into Meijer and was assaulted with a double whammy of the smells of fried chicken and baked bread.  I think I probably gained a pound just from smelling it.  While I was waiting in line, I took a look at the magazine covers.  One of them had a headline of “Fabulous at Forty” and another had “Fit at Fifty”.  Didn’t see a single one that said, “Sexy at Sixty!”  I’m sooo doomed…  Another couple of years and I’ll be like all those little old ladies I was cursing today who were driving down the roads doing 25 mph.  Forgot that Tuesday is Senior Day in all the stores around here.

7:30 _ Ugghh!  I ate too much.  Dinner was Vietnamese dry cooked pork on a bed of shredded romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, shredded carrots, and rice vermicelli.  I kept adding more lettuce, more cucumber, more tomato, until I was stuffed!  Why did I eat so much?  I was trying to watch TV and DH wanted my remote because the batteries were dead in his.  Usually, I fast-forward during commercials but I kept getting up and adding more veggies to my plate everytime a commercial came on.  Gimme back my remote!  You’re making me fat!  I’ll have to make a note of this.  I can only eat while I’m watching TiVo.   No eating during regular TV.  Too many commercials.


Home Sweet Home!

Not exactly original but certainly appropriate!  I slept until 9:30 this morning when the phone woke me up (yes, I’m home again.)  I sat out in the spa last night and looked up through the trees to a 3/4 moon and then came in and climbed way up to my bed and it was like floating on a cloud!  So nice!

After we went to bed, it appears that DS unloaded the car from the dolley, unhooked the dolley, and moved Manny back into the driveway.  We were so tired when we got home, we just pulled up in front of the house and planned on dealing with it this morning.  Nice that he took care of it for us but I think I’m still going to be tied up with Manny for a long time.  Pretty sure I’m going to have to scrape the squashed bugs off his grill and windshield with a spatula!  Gross!  Of course, I have to unpack everything and shampoo the carpet but there’s no rush.

The house is immaculate!  David, Stacy, and the kids stayed here to housesit while we were gone.  It’s really close to his job and they enjoy the pool and spa so they like to stay but they really did an exceptional job this time.  The flower beds need weeding but they’ve obviously been watered well and the house looks great! 

DH has a four day workweek this summer so he has Saturdays through Mondays off.  His birthday is this coming Friday so he has that day off as well.  With a four day weekend coming up, I’m trying to think of somewhere we could go.  Just the two of us.  I’ll have to think about that.

I think it’s going to take me a couple days to get back in my routine but I’m really looking forward to some fresh fruit and veggies and grilling out tonight! 

By the way…I’ve got all kinds of junk showing up on my dashboard from the “Word Press Development Blog”.  Anyone else getting this?  How do I get rid of it?

5:30 – I’ve waded through quite a bit of laundry today but still have a little to go.  Went to the store and picked up stuff for dinner.  Grilled hamburgers (which I eat very rarely) sounded good, homegrown tomatoes, California Caviar, and watermelon.  Don’t know if DS, David, can get here for dinner but he, Stacy, and the boys are invited because I know the kiddos are dying for their souvenirs.  Don’t know about the name, California Caviar, for that Mexican black eyed pea dish.  Seems to me like it ought to be called Black-eyed Seniorita or something.  Since I made it up, I guess I can call it whatever I want.

We stopped by a winery that I like outside St. Louis for some of my favorite sweet wine.  It’s from St. James winery and it’s called Velvet White.  I only manage to get up there once a year or so and I stopped and got 7 bottles.  Think I’ll work on one this evening.  Feels good to be home.  I’m not really intensely dieting yet, think I’ll just relax a little bit for a couple more days.  Won’t eat any junkie junk but a couple glasses of wine and a hamburger probably won’t do me in.  I’ll keep Mr. Scale confined to the RV for the next day or two.

Ahhh!  In my own house, in my own kitchen, getting ready to jump in my own hot tub and ease some of the aches and pains of three days of driving.  I haven’t had wifi for three days!  Anyway, here’s a cut and paste of what’s been going on.


devils-tower.JPGYesterday was a busy day.  We drove up the hill to Devils Tower and intended to walk up to the beginning of the loop that goes all the way around it (1.3 miles) to take some close up pictures.  I took a few shots and the boys ran up the trail a little bit so I sat down to wait for them.  And wait for them…and wait…After about 15 minutes, it dawned on me that we really hadn’t made it clear to them that we were in a hurry and not going to do the entire loop.  I thought about heading around the trail after them (it was a nice, easy walk) but knew that I’d never catch up so we waited until they came back around.

DH drove Manny and I drove my car and we headed for Crazy Horse Memorial which was a couple of hours down the road.  The route was pretty as it wound through the hills and grasslands but it’s so windy in this area you have to be really careful about being broadsided by heavy crosswinds.  I found it hard to keep my eyes on the road because I wanted to watch the hypnotic effect of the wind swaying the grasslands.  I paid close attention when we drove through the Wind Cave area, however, because the road was incredibly steep and narrow.  A hair-raising drive brought us to Custer, South Dakota and the area of Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore.  DS has a friend who lives in Hot Springs (about 20 miles away) and I let him take my car and we agreed to meet up in Wall, South Dakota that evening.

crazy-horse.JPGcrazy-horse2.JPGThe boys loved Crazy Horse because the museum is so extensive and the mountain is so impressive.  DH and I couldn’t help noticing how much it’s changed since the first and second times we visited.  The first time we visited, the face wasn’t even finished and the parking area was gravel.  There was a beautiful museum but it was pretty small.  Now, there’s a huge, paved parking lot with a second lot for buses and RVs.  The museum is a sprawling maze of buildings and gift shops.  There was a film about the development of the mountain and the sculptor and a demonstration of Indian dances.  We actually lost track of Andrew and looked for him for almost an hour when we were ready to leave.

andrew-and-the-presidents.JPGAnother 25 miles of hair-raising curves and mountains brought us to Mount Rushmore and I made sure the boys understood that we didn’t have a lot of time to spend.  They got a good look at the monument and a few pictures and we piled back in Manny to head to Wall, a hundred miles or so down the road.

We had two choices for campgrounds in Wall.  One had wifi but no cable and the other had cable TV but no wifi.  I gave in and let DH have his TV so I’m writing in Word and will have to copy and paste later.

If you’ve never been to Wall, it’s difficult to understand the attraction.  If you’ve been there, you know it’s all about free ice water and $.05 coffee.  It’s just a big, hokey, tourist trap that started with a drug store that has now sprawled to encompass a couple of blocks and has all kinds of gift shops and corny tourist things.  On top of that, they’re having some kind of hundred year celebration or something so they have three huge tents set up for bands and dancing and beer.  They have a rodeo going on and a lot of the usual kinds of booths and stuff you find at these things.  The boys were in heaven and headed to Wall Drugs as soon as we pulled in and we didn’t see them again until 10:00 p.m. last night.  DS found us around 10:30 and we hit the bed around midnight.

Food was actually very difficult to find all day.  It seemed like everywhere we went had nothing but junk.  I made a tuna salad sandwich for DH and I for lunch yesterday and we split it and ate some cherries with it.  I didn’t like the fact that it had regular mayonnaise but it was really, really good. Wall is a teeny little town and we had planned on going to the restaurant in Wall Drugs for dinner but they were packed so we scrapped that idea because DH was tired from fighting the wind all day in Manny and so I agreed to walk the two blocks over to “the strip” and get a pizza for dinner.  I couldn’t find a pizza place so I asked someone and they told me there were two places in town to get pizza, Badlands Bar and the Cactus Lounge.  I walked down the road to Badlands bar and there was a long line just to get in the door so I went down a little further to the Cactus Lounge and they told me they didn’t serve pizza anymore.  I walked back down the street to Wall Drugs to order us some take-out dinner but they were out of anything even remotely healthy so I hit the street again.  I passed corndogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes, BBQ ribs, hotdogs, etc. but I couldn’t find any FOOD!  I finally walked back to Wall Drugs restaurant and ordered a fish sandwich with fries for me and one with onion rings for DH.  I ate half my fish sandwich (which was really good!) and I was full.  About this time, the twins came in and polished off my portion of the fries and onion rings.  I feel good about avoiding all the food traps and hope I can do okay tomorrow because DH says we’re going to find a Golden Corral for dinner tomorrow.


We ran around Wall this morning and bought some souvenirs.  Andrew bought a Black Hills Gold ring, I bought a beautiful Black Hills Gold necklace, and Steven bought a marble chess set.  We have souvenirs for all the kiddos back home except 8 year old grandson, Jake.  I just couldn’t seem to find anything that would suit him.  I’ll have to keep looking.

badlands.JPGLeft Wall and headed to the Badlands National Park. Making this trip from south to north, the Badlands are pretty cool because they’re the first taste of “western” terrain.  However, since we went the other way around, they’re pretty anti-climatic and the boys were fairly “ho-hum” about them. 

We ran hard all day heading toward home.  Drove all the way across South Dakota, fighting the crosswinds every step of the way.  They were actually so intense that we were barreling down a hill with DH driving Manny and me following in my car when the canopy on one of the slide-outs came loose and Manny was suddenly sporting a parachute.  A quick emergency stop on the side of the road had all of us hanging on to straps and pulling while DS laid on the roof and leaned over the side to untangle the canopy which had wrapped around itself.  The wind was so strong, the locks wouldn’t stay closed so we had to use a bunch of bungee cords to hold them so it wouldn’t happen again.  The second canopy looked good so we hit the road again and a hundred miles further on, the same thing happened to it.  Good thing we had a hearty supply of bungee cords.  Oh, and by the way, I don’t care HOW hard the wind is blowing, RV canopies should NOT unlock and unroll as you’re driving down the highway.  Someone will be getting a letter from me about this little problem.

Did I say I loved the grasslands?  I do, truly, but I don’t want to look at them again for a long time.  I stared at the damn grass blowing in the wind for 350 miles and I’m pretty sick of looking at it.  Laura Engalls can have her little house on the prairie and I was happy to drive on by.  We had the GPS looking for a Golden Corral for about 200 miles and finally gave up and ate dinner at a buffet called The Heavy Fork (I kid you not!)  We won’t discuss what weighed my fork down but I’m not going to worry about it because I hadn’t eaten anything all day except for ½ of a tuna sandwich.  After dinner, we decided we were through the hills and crosswinds enough to load my car back on the dolley and tow it the rest of the way home.

We finally pulled over at a rest area somewhere around Sioux City at 2:00 a.m.  It was cool and we opened the windows and got some sleep.


I woke up at 9:30 local time which is really late for me and made a pot of coffee.  DH got up and grabbed a cup of coffee, brushed his teeth, washed his face, and hit the road.  We let everyone else sleep and he drove while I performed flight attendant duties by keeping him supplied with coffee and sitting in the co-pilot seat looking pretty.  I’m not sure I did a very good job with that part since I didn’t even get my shower until a few minutes ago.  Now, it’s 3:10 local time and we’ve got about a hundred miles to St. Louis which is only five hours from home.

Leave a candle in the window, Mama!  I’m comin home!

9:00 p.m. – Almost home.  We pulled over at another Flying J to gas up.  This is three days without wifi and I miss my blog!  Another hundred miles…

Yesterday was a long day of driving.  Those kind of days are difficult on the diet!  Food storage is very limited and it’s hard to keep any kind of fresh stuff around.  When we’re on the road, the only stops tend to be at Pilot or Flying J truck stops and we have to run in and grab something while DH pours a never ending river of petroleum down Manny’s gullet.  Of course, the pickings are pretty slim.  They usually have fried chicken and potato wedges, a pizza counter, and lots of hamburgers and hot dogs.  I bought 8 pieces of fried chicken around lunchtime yesterday with wedges and rolls.  I only ate a chicken wing and had some cherries in the refrigerator.  We wound up here at Devils Tower late last night with the KOA campground being the ONLY sign of civilization within 25 miles.  So, we were raiding the pantry to find something for dinner.  There were a couple boxes of Kraft spaghetti mix and some frozen garlic bread so that was dinner.  I only ate a little of the spaghetti and skipped the bread but I’m dying for some fresh food today!  Munched on some more cherries before hitting the bed.

We have lots to see today but not too far to travel.  We’ll be hitting Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial and spending the night in Wall, SD.  Before that, we want to get some pictures of Devils Tower.  I tried dancing in the moonlight with the maracas last night to summon the UFO but the campground manager made me stop because he said I was doing a rain dance.  😉

montana3.JPGmontana2.JPGmontana.JPGWoke up early so we can hit the road.  We’re heading to Devils Tower, Wyoming today.  That’s the mountain where they filmed Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Everytime I think of that mountain, I see Richard Dreyfuss sculpting it out of mashed potatoes.  It’s an 8 hour drive by car but I’m learning that means 9 to 9 1/2 in Manny if the mountains are steep.  Then…if we can, we want to continue down the road another two hours to the Crazy Horse Memorial.

This place reminds me of Alaska a little bit.  We’re so far north, we have a little bit of that “White Night” phenomenon.  It didn’t get dark until around 11:00 last night and I woke up at 5:30 to find that it was already daylight.  Yesterday, when DS took the twins to Yellowstone, they had a great time.  Had Close Encounters with Moose and Bison.  Surprisingly, we haven’t seen many elk this time.

I feel much better today.  Got a bit of congestion left from the creeping crud but my cough is gone and the grogginess is all cleared up. 

10:30 p.m. – Whew!  Long drive today.  We spent longer than we planned on driving back through Yellowstone and just pulled into the KOA here at Devils Tower about 30 minutes ago.  This campground is literally at the base of Devils Tower.  It towers over the entire campground.  Nice campground – heated pool, spa, rec room, movie theatre (where they serve popcorn and show Close Encounters of the Third Kind every evening).  Too bad we paid for all of it and didn’t get here until the pool and spa and everything else was closed.  Speaking of campgrounds, a couple friends have emailed asking where we spent the last two nights on the lake by Yellowstone.  That was Yellowstone Holiday Cabins, RV Camping, and Marina located on Hebgen Lake about 15 miles outside of West Yellowstone.

Today, we drove from West Yellowstone through the park to the Northern Entrance at Gardiner and then headed north to pick up the interstate.  We saw lots of wildlife before we left the park including an Eagle on her nest (BIG nest!), some more bison and elk.  In fact, just as we were exiting the park near Gardiner, there were about 15 elk munching on the flowers in the median.  Here’s a picture of one of them.  elk.JPG  We moved on through Wyoming and then hit the interstate and drove through Montana for several hours.  I love the grasslands in Montana.  I love to watch them when the wind blows and stirs the grasses like waves on the ocean.  It always amazes me that they don’t all bow in the same direction.  It’s like the wind currents are playing in the grass and the effect can be mesmerizing like watching the ocean.  We traveled through all the hills that were covered with yellow wildflowers so dense the entire landscape was yellow.  Finally, we dipped back down into Wyoming and continued to Devils Tower.  I’ll take some pictures of the tower in the morning.  I’ve been here before.  There’s not a whole lot to see but what there is is pretty phenomenal.   The tower is just so “out of place” you’ve got to wonder how it came to be here. 

Wish I had some kind of musical instrument so I could summon the UFO as k.t. suggested but all I have are some maracas I bought in Mexico for my granddaughter.  Do you think they’ll come?  I’ll go out in the moonlight and dance with the maracas and see if it works.  Let you know tomorrow.

manny.JPGOne bedroom, all appliances, AC, 1 BA, wall to wall carpet, ceramic tile in kitchen, loads of storage, 2 TVs, DVD, surround sound stereo system.  Will relocate to suit tenant but hard to beat this view!

View from Bedroom Window


View of back yark


side-yard.JPG  Side yard

4:30 – This moment, right now, is what vacation is all about.  It was all about finding this particular place at this particular moment in time.

I’ve seen Old Faithful, all the geysers and basins, the elk, and moose, and bison before.  Today, I’m recovering from being sick and DH and I told DS to take the car and the boys and spend the day doing Yellowstone while we spent the day cleaning the RV and relaxing on the lake.  Manny is now spotless and you can see where I’m getting to relax.  Our front door is about 15 feet from the water.  I just finished feeding a bunch of seagulls and a pelican that swam up to see what the gulls were eating.  I did all this by sitting on the bed and throwing bread out the bedroom window.  Behind the RV is a meadow full of so many wildflowers it’s unbelievable.  I tried to take pictures but I know it doesn’t do justice to the colors.  There’s a fresh, cool breeze blowing and it’s 79 degrees outside under a crystal clear sky.  DS went out for a walk last night around midnight to try to count the megakazillionbubillion stars and got spooked by a bison that was wandering around outside.  They’re huge creatures and he turned the corner of one of the cabins and was face to face with one about 15 feet away.  He backed away very slowly and hid behind a corner of the cabin while he watched it wandering around in the moonlight.  Pretty cool, huh?

tetons3.JPGtetons2.JPGtetons.JPGI haven’t written since Monday evening because I caught a bug and felt pretty bad all day yesterday.  I started with a cough Monday evening and all day yesterday I was sneezing, runny nose, and coughing my lungs out.  DS caught it too but he seems to be about 12 hours behind me on it.   I feel a lot better this morning so I hope it was just a 48 hour thing.

We’re camped at Hebgen Lake which is about 15 miles west of the western entrance to Yellowstone.  The mountains surrounding the lake are all snowcapped and it went down to 43 degrees last night.  Yesterday’s drive was gorgeous and I wish I’d felt better but I got a few pictures.  The Grand Tetons always blow me away because of all the wildflowers in the meadows.  The pictures don’t do it justice because you can’t even see half the wildflowers in them but I could spend days just wandering in the meadows full of coreopsis, delphiniums, lupine, shasta daisies, and others.  It’s hard to believe that so many wildflowers could grow here.  In places, the sides of the hills are completely yellow because of the flowers.

We took it easy yesterday on the drive because it was so gorgeous and we only had to go 7 hours so we stretched it out and stopped several times.  I drove my car and DS and DH drove Manny.  We followed the Snake River most of the day.  We started the day camped beside it and followed it all the way to Yellowstone.  It was getting a little late by the time we arrived at Yellowstone so we didn’t spend a lot of time in the park but we went by Old Faithful, called home, and waved at everybody on their webcam.  We saw elk, antelope, and bison as we drove through.  I’d love for the boys to see a moose because they’re so huge.  Maybe we’ll find one today as we spend the day in the park.

Here’s a rough map of where we’ve been since leaving home.


Noon : Just had a mild shock when I weighed myself a few minutes ago.  I’m down to 172.5!  That means I’ve lost 3.5 pounds on vacation.  I’ve been eating a lot of healthy stuff and hiking when I can but the biggest difference is that I’m not eating things I don’t want.  I might crave a doughnut, take two bites of it and decide it’s not all that great and throw it out.  In the past, I probably would have eaten the entire thing and maybe another just because they were there.  We grilled hot dogs the other night and I ate about 2/3’s of one and didn’t want anymore so I threw it out.  DH said, “What’s wrong with your hotdog?”  I did a double take because I didn’t realize the implications of the act.  Again, in the past, I would have just finished the last little bit without thinking about it.  It’s good to waste food!  Mama, you were wrong!  Cleaning my plate is NOT going to help all the starving children in China.

Alrighty, then!  I’ve had my coffee and I’m ready to go.  Gotta get these guys moving so we can hit the road.  Today’s plan is to drive through the mountains for 3 hours to Provo, Utah where we’ll pick up Interstate and we can, hopefully, load my car back on the trailer.  Another four hours of driving should bring us to Idaho Falls where we’ll spend the night.


1:04 – We’re taking a quick break here in Provo, Utah in a K-Mart parking lot feeding bread to the seagulls and looking at the snow capped mountains in the distance.  (See the nice picture of the mountains and the dumpster?) We could have loaded the car up for the drive from Moab to here.  We were at an elevation of 7,700 feet but the slopes were long and gentle so it wasn’t bad at all.  We’ll be on the interstate for the next four hours or so and should make it to Idaho Falls by 5:00 or 6:00.

Tomorrow morning, we’ll leave the interstate and drive a couple of hours to the Grand Tetons.  It should take a couple of hours to get through the Tetons and then we’ll be at Yellowstone National Park.  At least, that’s the plan

6:00 – Right on time!  We just arrived at Snake River RV Park in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  It’s a really pretty park right on the river and it has a great wifi signal.  DH is inside registering us and I’m guarding Manny!  Looks like we have a pool, hot tub, rec room, fishing, tennis, and lots of other fun stuff that we won’t have time to enjoy!  We’re two days off schedule and I’m going to have to take a serious look at the plans this evening!