Sitting here eating my Yoplait yogurt for breakfast.  For some reason, I’m having a hard time being creative with my meals and that’s not usually a problem.  Wish I could get motivated to dream up some fantastic diet dinners and go to the store.  Last night, I grilled some chicken and made a salad.  Ate too much of it but, then again, can you really eat too much salad?  I only used one chicken breast–boneless, skinless, assorted salad greens, strawberries and blueberries and shavings of Asiago cheese with Paul Newman’s Lite Honey Mustard.  Oh yeah, had a few stone wheat crackers with it.  Funny – how I felt guilty about eating so much and I bet the entire meal didn’t have 500 calories.  I have to be careful about that.  Once I get into dieting, I tend to go overboard and not consume enough calories.  Sometimes it’s easier to just not eat.

Weight is at 202 or 202.5 this morning.  Don’t know which because the last digit on my digital scale burned out.  Given a choice, I’m going with 202.

We leave on vacation tomorrow.  Not a big exciting venture this year.  We have to keep the price down so we can pay college tuition for the twins.  Andrew wasn’t so bad but, once Steven graduated, the cost went way up.  Wouldn’t it be nice if their parents stepped up to the plate?  Neither one of them have contributed a penny.  DIL even ripped us off after claiming them on her taxes and never gave us the money she got for claiming them.  Oldest DS is somewhere in Illinois living with a girlfriend.

Let’s see…about vacation…

We always pass through Chattanooga on our way to our place in Florida.  Never stop but always want to.  It’s not that far.  Just a five hour drive but it’s too far to go for a weekend and not far enough to stop on our way to Florida.  So we decided to drive to Chattanooga and stay in a hotel for five days.  We’ll see Rock City and Ruby Falls and ride the Incline up the mountain.  Steven is a Civil War buff and there are lots of museums he wants to visit.  There’s a Riverside Marketplace where merchants have booths selling fresh produce, arts and crafts and homemade goodies.  We’ll probably go there one day.  The Tennessee Aquarium is downtown and we might spend a day there.

After leaving Chattanooga, we’re heading on down to our place in Madison, Florida.  We haven’t been down there since last summer.  I’m sure the grass is shoulder high and the neighbors are tired of looking at it.  Although…we had a neighbor run a bushhog over it last November.  Anyway, that’s ten acres that needs to be cleaned up.  I’d like to do some work on the cabin but we don’t have the money this year.  Wanted to get the drywall finished in the downstairs, pour a concrete slab for the pool and buy a huge shed so we can get all the stuff we have stored in the cabin out of the way.  Unfortunately, we can’t do all that and still pay for Steven’s dorm and food for school so we’ll probably just cut grass and relax for a couple of days. I’m looking forward to a few soaks in the clawfoot tub out in the garden.

There’s a state park called Madison Blue Springs that we’ve never visited just 15 miles from our property.  The water is icy cold and crystal clear.  We plan on taking a day to enjoy the springs.  It’s supposed to be beautiful diving but I don’t have my certification anymore so we’ll just take some snorkels and masks.

After we leave Madison, we promised Andrew we’d go on a day cruise so he can play the slots.  The boys are 20 years old now and they have to be 21 to gamble unless it’s on a day cruise where the age is 18.  So we’re heading to Jacksonville.  Andrew wants to see what all the hypes about since DH and I go to the casinos so often.  As cautious as he is with money, it probably won’t take long for him to lose $20 and decide the slots are not for him.

After the day cruise, things are pretty vague.  I don’t know if we’ll head straight home or travel up the east coast and spend a couple of days.  We’ll decide when the time comes.

And now…time to get to work.

12:30 Update – Did my laps in the pool.  Didn’t really enjoy it all that much today but I hung in there and let my stubborn streak run the show.  Determined to do at least as much as yesterday and then pushed for five more laps.  Now it’s time to start packing.  We have a pool at the hotel in Chattanooga but I don’t know how big it is or how crowded it will be.  Wonder if they have a treadmill? 

5:00 Update – No, they don’t have a treadmill.  Guess I’ll try to workout in the pool.

I decided to put some effort into dinner.  I’m fixing Caribbean Pork from My Favorite Recipes category.  Bought some home grown tomatoes and fresh asparagus from the produce market and I’m making baked (microwaved) apples with Splenda and Cinnamon to go with it.  Picked up a nice watermelon, too.

Pepagirl, I responded on your page.  Thought of a couple more things since then:

I hardly ever buy anything unless it’s on sale, color my own hair and do my own nails.  Tanning booths? HA!  If I get within ten feet of a ray of sun, I tan.  I also have $150 a week automatically sent to my credit union.  It adds up fast and is always available if we run into an emergency or a great deal on something we need.  Hope that answers your question.  It all adds up!


There ought to be a song about quiet summer mornings.  Something about sitting out on the patio with a cup of coffee watching the birds on the feeders.  Checking out the newest blooms on the flowers and knowing you really don’t have to do anything at the moment except relax and enjoy the scenery.

Everyone is still sleeping and I’ve been up two hours.  A rare treat to have total quiet and the house to myself. I even eased the backache by sitting in the spa for a while.  In a few minutes, I’ll get dressed and go to the garden to stake a few tomatoes.  Had to use bug dust yesterday.  I hate using it but something is eating through the corn stalks and chopping them off at the base.  Went out yesterday to find another three or four stalks totally eaten through at the base and lying on the ground.  Something’s also eating the blossoms on the tomato plants.  So I had to dust.  The “not so nice” part of vegetable gardening.

I sent an email to our city councilman about getting a community garden.  Not an hour later, he replied and said because of the re-districting last year, he’s no longer our councilman.  Said it was a great idea and he’d love to be involved but would have to forward my email to our new councilman, Brent Ackerson.  I thanked him, waited a week and sent another email to Brent Ackerson just in case he didn’t get the forwarded message.  He’s yet to respond.  Not even a “received your email, will get back with you”.  Kind of pisses me off that he can’t even take a second to let me know he got my letter.

I got a packet from my attorney yesterday.  Fourteen pages I have to fill out about the circumstances related to identity theft.  It asks about all the details surrounding the event and I’m trying to remember names and dates from ten years ago.  The fact that a student got a bunch of teacher SSNs and her boyfriend used them to get charge cards was pretty much hushed up.  No school wants that kind of information getting out.  It makes it difficult to get the facts after all these years.  Guess I should call my attorney.  I don’t have a clue about how I would get the report.  The girl was a minor and I don’t even remember her name.  The principal retired and moved to Florida and, although I’ve called several teachers I worked with at the time, everyone else is about as vague about it as I am.

I’ve still got the spark going.  Thought about going ahead and doing my laps while I’m out here on the patio in my bathing suit but I’m toasty warm and comfy and not in any hurry to jump into a pool that’s 66 degrees today.  No…better to do that this afternoon when it’s really hot.  During vacation, I won’t have access to scales and I’m really looking forward to coming home and finding myself back in Onederland.  I’m at 203 this morning.  Planning my big homecoming to Onederland will keep me motivated during vacation to stay on track and I should be happy when I finally step on the scales again.

Ahhhh…I’ve indulged long enough.  Time to get a shower and get to work.  Have a good one, ladies!

4:00 Update – Weeded the garden and staked a few more plants.  Mowed the grass in the front and back yards.  Got all hot and sweaty so I jumped in the pool and did 50 laps.  Then, just for the Hell of it, I did one more.  Added two laps of sidestroke and called it quits.  Still sparkin!

I’m coming home.  I don’t belong in the Terrible Twos.  I should be firmly entrenched in Onederland.  I’ve lived there my entire life and I never should have strayed.  It’s terrible living here.  Aches and Pains and a total loss of confidence.  Ugly clothes and no energy whatsoever.  Why did I ever come here?

Oh wait…I remember.  I hitched a ride with doughnuts and french fries and anyone else who shot me a “come hither” look.  And I went.  I just jumped on board without a second thought.  I didn’t even drive.  Just sat back in my lazy boy and watched the scenery go by.  And now, I have to take the long walk back home.

I followed the path today.  Went to the pool determined to do 40 laps and then, when I got to 40, I pushed myself to 45.  See, that’s the thing, when you’re competing with yourself, you can always win.  No matter how far you go, you can take just a couple more steps.

I’m pushing.  Pushing my way back to Onederland.  We leave on vacation Friday and, when we get back, I’m coming home to Onederland and I’m never leaving again.

Dinner tonight is grilled pork loin, edamane salad and sauteed green beans with almonds and lemon juice.  Dessert is sugar free jello and sugar free Kool Whip.  Not too bad.


Seen the sun?

I haven’t.  Of course, I don’t get to see it too much with all the dense shade we have around here but I like to see the sky now and then.  Yesterday was gray and gloomy and today is even worse.  At this rate, the pool will still be freezing.  I’d like to get the chiminea fired up and run the pool water through it but it looks like it’s going to rain any minute so I don’t guess that’s going to work.

Weight is at 203 this morning.  I want to go back to Onederland.  I felt so good yesterday about taking the plunge in the pool even though I didn’t want to but I don’t know if I have it in me to do it again today.  We’ll see what happens.  In the meantime, nothing going on.  Just me and Ray Lamontagne cleaning house.


4:00 Update – I don’t know what makes a spark.  I don’t know where it comes from or where it goes when it leaves.  I just know you’ve got to use it while it’s hot.

I cleaned the house and I just felt like I HAD to do my laps in the pool.  They say it takes three days to make something stick and I just felt like I had to get it done.  Then, when I got in the pool, I started to do thirty laps jogging like I did yesterday but I figured if I could do 30, I could do 35.  And so I did.  Feeling pretty good about that.


Edge of Glory!

“I’m on the edge of Glory

And I’m hangin on a moment of truth

Out on the edge of glory”

Kind of feel that way this morning.  Like if I could just make a committment I could find Glory.  Confidence.  Strength.  Determination.

I was so good yesterday.  I had an absolutely perfect day and I want another one today.  It’s been so long since I felt good about myself and my choices that yesterday left me feeling like I was positively glowing.  I felt like my horoscope was a message written just for me.  I’m not reading it today, hee, hee.  Don’t want to spoil that positive impact by finding that the message is some generic piece of crap that has nothing to do with me.  And I don’t even believe in that stuff.  Yesterday was just the right kick in the ass to get me going.

So I went out to the pool and DH was putting in a new skimmer.  I haven’t been in it this year and he needed help from the inside to get the thing lined up right.  Okay…that’s even more motivation to take the plunge.  I jumped in and damn near jumped right back out.  I asked DH to look at the temperature and the water was 64 degrees!  Hot damn!!!  Time to get some wood and get our homemade chiminea pool heater fired up. 

Still, I tippy toed over to help DH and, by the time we had the new skimmer set, I’d warmed up pretty good.  I used to do 5 laps around the pool to warm up, 45 laps jogging and a final lap to cool down.  I walked five laps to warm up and felt like I’d done a full workout.  I’m in terrible shape!  I jogged five laps and my calves and thighs were hurting and I was breathing like a whale.  So I alternated, five laps walking and five jogging for a total of 30 laps.

Hey!  It’s a start.  Okay?

Our place is very high maintenance and DH and I just haven’t been up to it the last couple of years so there was plenty to keep us busy.  I weatherproofed the spa deck and sides and a big wooden planter/bench we have on the patio with a redwood stain.  It looks so much better.  Then I headed to the koi pond and netted out a ton of dead leaves and crap.  Followed that by going across the street to work in the garden.  We’re gradually replacing all the wooden privacy fence with vinyl and DH and I moved four wooden panels to replace damaged panels in the back and on the right side of the yard.  Then we installed four vinyl panels on the left side around the spa.

By the time we finished, we were both feelin the pain.  I barely had enough strength to fix dinner.  DH wanted to just order pizza but I refused.  I made a rub for some chicken breasts and made my own version of Wendy’s berry almond salad using spring mix, romaine, iceberg, blueberries, strawberries, wafer thin shavings of asiago cheese and almonds.  Topped it all with grilled chicken slices and low fat raspberry vinaigrette.  Pretty good stuff.  I ate a couple bowls of salad and was satisfied.  I thought DH was, too, but I caught him in the kitchen a couple of hours later making two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Instead of snacking in the evening, I sat here at the computer using iTunes to download some new music for aerobics.  Lady Gaga and a few others ought to keep me moving.

DH told me he thinks it’s our mattress that’s making our backs hurt all the time.  I have a hard time with that.  We have a really good quality mattress and it’s only five years old so it shouldn’t be causing so much tossing and turning but I told him I’d start looking.  I’ve always wondered about those sleep number mattresses.  Maybe I’ll check that out. 

Anyway, I already felt pain in every muscle in my body so I considered taking half a pain pill and wondered why the ones my sister gave me when we were on a cruise last fall didn’t cause the same problems as the codeine pills the doctor gave me.  She and I talked and the ones she had are the same as the ones the doctor gives me.  Then it dawned on me.  There were two days on the cruise when I was pretty much confined to the cabin because I was dizzy and nauseous.  I went back to my entry last December 5th and read it.  Sure enough, I got sick taking codeine pain pills.  That pretty much reinforced my discovery that I’m allergic to codeine.  Instead of a pain pill, DH and I both took a couple of Tylenol PMs and headed to bed.

We both slept a lot better and woke up without backaches but I’m still going to start looking for a new mattress.

It’s rainy and gray outside.  I don’t think I’m going to find the motivation to jump into a 64 degree pool today so I’m going to take my newly downloaded music and try to do some step aerobics.  Wish me luck!

4:30 Update – Wow!  I feel so much better!  I cleaned the house and then decided to do some step aerobics.  The new music wasn’t fast enough and I felt bogged down.  I switched to some old stuff and it was so fast I was ready to keel over after 20 minutes.  I justified my decision to quit since it was the first time I’ve done step in ages and figured 20 minutes was a good start.

I went out to the spa and, when I was all warmed up, I talked myself into jumping in the pool.  Figured it would feel pretty good after getting all hot and steamy from the spa.  NOT!  It was like plungeing into ice water.  I didn’t even have the sun shining like yesterday.  Just gray, gloomy skies and ice cold water.  Still…I prodded myself, since I’m already in here…I decided to repeat yesterdays “workout” and started walking around the pool figuring I’d do four walks and six jogs instead of five and five.  After four walking laps, I started jogging.  Sure enough, my calves and thighs were burning and I was breathing hard but I decided if I could do six laps, I could do seven.  I kept going and seven laps became ten, ten became fifteen and I kept going until I jogged thirty laps.  I could have kept going but DH came out to talk to me and kind of ruined the feeling.  I’m making Hoppin John soup for dinner (My Favorite Recipes category) and he wanted to know what he needed to buy from the store so I could make Hoe Cakes to go with it.

Leave it to DH to ruin a perfectly healthy dinner.  Me?  I’m not touching Hoe Cakes and, aside from giving him the recipe, he’s on his own.

I don’t do horoscopes.  I might glance at one if it’s staring me in the face but I usually forget it 30 seconds later.  Still, this morning was a little strange.  I woke up early after tossing and turning all night.  My back was killing me.  It’s been hurting for a long time.  Just a chronic pain that I attribute to being overweight and not exercising.

I sat there at the table and thought about what’s going to be involved with getting back in the exercise habit.  I’m not kidding…just working in the garden ten minutes makes my back hurt so bad I can barely straighten back up.  I’ve thought about getting a new mattress but I have a really good one so I don’t know why my back hurts all night.  I remember when I used to exercise all the time.  I didn’t have backaches back then.  I don’t think I’m ready for the treadmill or aerobics but I’ve got to start doing something.  My sister had a chronic backache like this and finally traced it to cancer in one of her kidneys.  She had surgery to have the kidney removed about three years ago and seems to be doing okay.  Scary stuff.

I decided that it’s time for me to start jogging in the pool.  That’s probably the best way to get back into shape.  It won’t hurt my joints and I’ll get some sun in the process.  I’d like to be able to hit the treadmill but it used to make my back hurt when I was in fairly good shape so I don’t think it’s necessarily the best avenue for now.

Decision made, I picked up the paper DH had been reading and the horoscope section was right there.  My horoscope for today says:

“Greater physical challenge will improve your life on many levels.  Initially, your motivation to push yourself may be low, but you are eventually going to feel better as a result of doing this.  Make today the beginning of a daily routine.”

Are you kidding me?  Weird, huh?

I promise.  Today I’m jogging in the pool.



I was up at 11:30 to pee.  Also at 1:30, 3:00, 4:00, 5:30, 7:00 and 8:30.  My God!  I must have lost a gallon of water weight last night.  Funny how one day of being back on track can make such a difference.  I must have been consuming a lot of sodium.  Too bad I don’t have any scales here to celebrate a loss.  Yes, Susan, I’ve seen Super Size Me.  Scary stuff!  Besides that, if I eat that kind of junk all the time, it doesn’t even taste good.

Yesterday, I had a Wendy’s Berry Almond Salad with grilled chicken for lunch.  Dinner was a salad with lite dressing and a turkey and swiss sandwich on 7 grain bread.  I snacked on a fruit bowl and a few rice crackers. 

I ate yogurt with a fork for breakfast but noticed that the fridge in our room froze my salad greens and tomatoes even though it was on the lowest setting.  Damn!  We went in search of a grocery yesterday and drove ten miles to discover that there wasn’t any grocery close to us in Tunica.  The GPS showed a Kroger 14 miles farther up the road so we drove twenty four miles to find a decent grocery.  I asked the woman at the hotel registration desk if there was anything closer and she said there’s a little grocery about 15 miles from here but they don’t have a lot.  Where do people around here get groceries?  I know the casino area is way out by the river but there’s got to be a closer grocery.  There are a few gas station/convenience stores in the area.  If someone put a Kroger in Tunica, they’d hit a gold mine.

I’m feeling cheap today.  I don’t take well to losing money.  Always think about what I could have bought with the cash the slot machines swallowed.  I know I shouldn’t feel that way.  We’ve lost $150 but we got a free hotel room with an indoor pool and spa for four days, 2 free breakfast buffets and 2 dinner buffets.  We enjoy playing and the time away gives us a chance to relax.  Well worth $150 but, like I said, I’m feeling cheap.  Steven starting college this fall has me scrimping and scraping.  Feels decadent to be out playing the slots.  Today’s limit is $20.  Yeah, I know…I’m cheap.

Okay, I’m off to the slots!

Eating bad= Feeling bad.

I felt so bad yesterday evening and I still feel pretty icky this morning.  I’ve been eating pretty healthy since school let out but we’re down in Tunica and I made some pretty bad choices yesterday.  We’re in a hotel room with no microwave.  Nothing but a small fridge.  We stayed in the casino yesterday and I ate a lot of crap.  We ate brunch at the buffet.  I ate more than I should have but it wasn’t a disaster.  Shouldn’t have had the almond torte but I would have survived it.

The problem really started yesterday afternoon.  DH and I were at the pool when we started getting hungry around 3:00.  The snack bar at the pool had NOTHING but junk.  Hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, nachos, hot wings, etc.  It was either go back to the room and change clothes or grab something at the snack bar.  We opted for the snack bar.  I had a burger and fries.  Later on, DH got some nachos and I had a few of them.

Around 7:00 we went to the casino and stayed a couple of hours.  We didn’t feel like eating at the buffet.  $21.99 each and we were hungry but not enough to justify the buffet so we were left with the snack bar in the casino.  Same choices as the snack bar at the pool.  I ate a BLFGT.  That’s a bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato sandwich.  It came with potato chips.  We played the slots until 10:00 or so and I had a couple of girlie drinks.  Strawberry dacquiris. I’m not much for drinking but they’re free and the cocktail waitress kept coming around asking if we wanted more.

We went back up to the room and rented the Lincoln Lawyer (really good…I love Michael Connelly and he wrote it).  About halfway through it, I started feeling really nauseous.  All that fried food.  I felt totally gross.  I got sick.  Not once, but three times.  Food poisoning?  No, junk-food poisoning.  If you eat healthy for a while, you just can’t eat that kind of crap.  Even this morning, I’m still feeling queasy and all I see in the room are DH’s tortilla chips, salsa, chocolate covered peanuts and Cheetos.

So, for today, my plan is to get my butt out of the casino and into town (ten miles) where I can buy something healthy.  Maybe some stuff for a salad, some fruit, milk and cereal.  I might even see if I can get a salad to go from Wendy’s or Sonic. 

Funny how you can eat that garbage all the time but, if you eat healthy for a few days, you begin to lose your tolerance for junk food.  Yes, Body, I’m listening….Thanks for the reminder.

3:00 Update – Drove 50 miles and spent $50 on food.  DH has told me a dozen times that it would have been a lot cheaper to just eat at the buffet.  We’ve got two free dinner buffets coming and the breakfast buffet is only $6.99.  In all honesty, I might have been willing to pay $50 for the Wendy’s Berry Almond Salad with grilled chicken that I had for lunch.  It was sooooo good!  The problem with the buffets is that I know myself too well.  I could get a salad at the buffet but I know I wouldn’t.

Now we have yogurt, cereal, Silk soy milk, fruit cups, mozarella cheese, fresh apricots, bing cherries and strawberries, 2 packages of salad greens, grape tomatoes, lite dressing, deli turkey and 7 grain bread.

 Kind of wish I’d just bought a half dozen Wendy’s salads.


We’re growing!

I just finished sending off my second e-mail to our city councilman about getting permission to use the land across the street for a community garden.  Our little plot is growing (pun intended) exponentially.  Many of the neighbors have come by the comment on the garden this year and it seems like everyone wants to get involved.

Personally, I’m all for it but I don’t want to be the one who has to do all the digging and drag the hose across the street.  I wrote to our councilman last April requesting his assistance in establishing a community garden but I never got an answer.  I have this slight niggling thought that I may have missed his response amongst the 60 or 70 emails I get daily.  It’s entirely possible.  I’m involved in a lot of different stuff and, if I didn’t recognize the sender of an email, I may have ignored it.

At any rate, I know they get their funding for next year on July 1st and I’m hoping he’ll be willing to contribute to the gardening effort.  If they would just dig it up one time and get rid of all the gravel and concrete blocks they used to fill it would be a tremendous help.  Going a step further…if they installed an irrigation source, I’d be delighted.  Dragging the hose across the street is one of my pet peeves.  It always gets snagged on something and it takes forever to get it set up.

Of course, it would also be nice to get permission to use the land for a garden.  As we invest more and more time and money into it, I have nightmares about the city issuing me a citation, fining me, or, worse yet, deciding to mow the area.

Lots of neighbors want to get involved and I would love to be able to include them but it would be nice if the city laid it all out for us and then everyone could have their own little piece of the action.

Lots to do today.  I’ve got to finalize vacation plans and get Steven to an appointment downtown so I better get to it.

I do a lot of stuff.  It drives me crazy to sit around and do nothing.  Still, I’m no spring chicken and it’s getting more and more difficult to take care of the stuff that bothers me.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been trying to change everyone’s bad habits for years and years and not getting anywhere.  Like a hamster on a wheel, I just keep running and running and the scenery never changes.  DH is a total slob.  I’ve been harping and nagging for more than 40 years and he still does the same things he always has.

I know I shouldn’t run around behind him picking up all the time but I just can’t ignore it.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  Again, this morning, he went to work and when I got up, I found toothpaste in the sink, his toothbrush on the counter.  His prescription meds on the table, his towels on the floor along with his dirty underwear.  His coffee cup is on the table and creamer is sprinkled all over the kitchen counter along with little pink packets of Sweet-n-Low.

I just went ballistic on him last night!  He was sitting in the bedroom watching TV and had a bag of chips, a two-liter coke, salsa, and dirty ashtrays on his nightstand. Little foil wrappers from Hershey kisses were thrown on the floor like confetti.   He just went to bed and left it all there.  I went to bed later and saw the mess and discovered that his cigarette has fallen out of the ashtray and burned a hole in the nightstand.  I woke him up raging and he just mumbled, “Okay, I’m sorry.  What are you going to do, shoot me?  It was an accident.”

Just like that.  “Okay, I’m sorry…”  I’ve been hearing that for 40 years.  I love him but I have to admit, he drives me CRAZY.  It just never sinks in.  He does the same things over and over.

I’ve always worked my butt off.  That’s just the way I was raised.  I was raised to work hard, get nice things and take care of them.  He was raised in a family where they didn’t clean very well.  Things were picked up but they didn’t scrub and clean the way I was taught.  His parents always bought the cheapest stuff they could find and then bought more when it was torn up.  Dishes didn’t match, glasses didn’t match, towels didn’t match.

Our upbringings were very different and I’ve accepted that he won’t ever change.  Believe me.  He won’t ever change.  Our entire marriage has consisted of me working every minute and usually carrying a full-time job as well as a part-time job.  DH has always worked only as much as he has to.

We have very different values.  I value hard work and nice things.  He values relaxation.  He had the GI Bill and was paid to go to college.  I did most of his homework for the year he attended before he decided he wasn’t college material.  I took care of the kids, delivered three paper routes every morning, went to the office where I worked from 8:00 to 4:00, attended classes at night and tutored on the side for the next six years while I completed college. One of the students I tutored was the son of a local businessman who made me a proposition.  If I would travel 25 miles to his home and tutor all his kids in math, he would pay me $100 per hour in furniture from the furniture stores he owned.  And so I did.  On Mondays and Wednesdays, I would travel to his home and tutor each of his three kids.  That was six hours a week and $600 credit in his furniture stores.  I furnished our entire home from tutoring. 

The day came when I told Mr. O that I didn’t need anymore furniture.  Over the first couple of years, I furnished every room in the house with really good quality stuff and still got a few things for my sister and my parents.  He asked what I needed and I told him I needed carpet.  He worked out a deal with a friend of his who owned a flooring company and gave him furniture while he gave me flooring.  The best quality carpet and tile went into my house.

I think it’s because all of our stuff never cost DH a penny that he hasn’t valued it the way he should.  Is it that or is it just because of how he was raised?  I don’t know.  All I know is that he’s totally ruined every piece of furniture we have.  He actually eats off the coffeetable and then brings a wet dishcloth in to wipe it down.  He’s burned holes in tablecloths, comforters, pillows and furniture.  I went ballistic when he burned a hole in a $200 comforter that set the pattern for the entire guest room and he replaced it with a K-Mart Bed-N-A-Bag set.  He thought I’d be happy!  All for $19.98!

In a lot of ways, we complement each other.  I like to think I raise his standards a little bit.  He likes to take a lot of time off and I make the money for the trips we take.  He makes me stop working sometimes and I make him get to work sometimes.  He patches and fixes things and I buy new things.  Like opposites, we sometimes attract.  Other times, like today, we totally clash.

I’ve gotta go.  I have cleaning to do.  Enough ranting.

I worked like a dog yesterday.  All those grimy things that don’t get cleaned when your life is hectic and demanding and rearranging the clutter seems to be the best you can do.

It was old toothbrush style cleaning.  Grubby, grimy work.  I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees, crawling around washing baseboards and scrubbing tile and floors.  The cabinets got cleaned.  Curtains got washed.  A lot of clutter got thrown out.  Windows and walls and knick knacks where washed and polished.  I really didn’t make much of a dent but I was happy when DH came home and said, “Wow!  You’ve really been working.  It shows!”

And it does.  The place just seems brighter.  You can dust forever but washing and polishing makes everything shine.  I made progress yesterday and I’ll continue today.

I want to get as much done as I can while I have time.  DS has car problems so he’s using DH’s car and DH is using mine.  I’m stranded.  Might as well clean because we’re heading out for a few days next week.

I spent so much time doing things at school last summer that I didn’t even feel like I had the summer off.  It just flew by.  This year, I’m not going to spend all my time doing things for school.   DH took four vacation days next week.  He wants to head down to Tunica.  We have free hotel rooms from Sunday through Thursday at Hollywood Casino.  It’s always nice when the two of us can get away.

Our actual vacation is the first part of July.  I think DH said he took three weeks.  He gets 6 weeks a year.  It’s strange to be getting close to vacation and not have any plans.  I guess we should go to our place in Florida and check up on things but it’s so hot down there in the summer and we don’t have a lot of money this year.  Supporting two grandsons in college is not easy so we have to budget accordingly.

I’ve been thinking about exotic vacations.  Haven’t taken one for a while.  I’m trying to think of something wonderful to plan for.  Maybe in a couple of years.  We’ve been to Hawaii so many times I’ve lost track.  Used to go for a month every other year until we burned out.  Imagine that…burning out on Hawaii.  Still, there’s only so much to see and even though it’s a beautiful, spectacular place, we’ve decided not to go back.  We actually decided not to go back a few years ago and then relented when DH’s aunt wanted us to take her there about five years ago.  Big mistake.  We’d seen everything and done everything and spent way too much time just lying around the pool.  There are too many new and exotic places out there to spend a ton of money to lie around the pool.

Fiji or Bora Bora sound nice…one of those bungalows on the beach where you can snorkel from your lanai.


Enough…I have work to do.  Bora Bora will have to wait.

It’s taken more than a week off work but I’m beginning to re-energize.  Feeling better than I have in quite a while.  I’m looking around and seeing all the mess everyone makes and it has me on the warpath.

Yesterday, I waged war on the backyard.  DS is rebuilding a golf cart and he had parts all over the patio.  He was also working on a pressure washer and a lawnmower.  We had to get the pool cleaned up after DH replaced the pump. We also had to mow the grass, get my fountain going in the koi pond and clean up the mess that accumulated over the winter.

After that, I came in and started on the laundry.  The boys go through a ton of laundry and most of it is totally unnecessary.  They pull on  a shirt, decide not to wear it and toss it in the hamper.  They start a load of wash and then leave.  Everytime I go to wash, I have a load of wet clothes in the washer, a load of dry, wrinkled clothes in the dryer and a pile three feet high dumped on the downstairs couch.  We have two, count em, TWO laundry baskets full of clean socks.  I folded everything and put it away and told them the next time they start a load of laundry and don’t finish it and put it away, I’m confiscating it.  I told everyone to match up socks because whatever they don’t match by tonight and put away is hitting the trash.

It doesn’t help that I have three “homes” to take care of.  We have sheets and towels and dishclothes and blankets that belong in Florida, the RV and the house.  I have Florida stuff in my linen closet.  I have RV stuff in my linen closet.  When we take a trip, the laundry should be done and put back where it belongs.  Right now, I can’t get another thing in the linen closet and it all has to be sorted and put where it belongs to make room.  We don’t have a washer in the cabin in Florida so I wind up bringing stuff home where it should be cleaned and packed in a box to take back to Florida.  I guess some of that is my fault.  I shouldn’t bring Florida stuff back to Kentucky but it seems like whenever we leave, I make the bed with clean sheets and put out clean towels and bring the dirty stuff home with us.  I need to make a habit of going to the laundromat in Florida the day before we leave.

I cleaned the bathroom yesterday the way mama cleans.  Scrubbed everything, took all the stuff off the glass shelves and windexed them, put out clean matching towels and two hours later, it was all messed up.  Toothpaste was on the counter with the lid off and it had oozed a green gel all over the place, deodorant was on the sink, towels were gone and shampoo, conditioner, bathgel, a razor and washclothes were all over the place. 

By the time evening rolled around, everyone had come to the conclusion that I was on the warpath and they all wished they could send me back to work.

More later…I have to clean house.

I’m glad I’m not single.  Dating is just too hard.  Yesterday was a disaster.

First of all, let’s not forget that it’s a week late.  I couldn’t get appointments for the massages until Friday even though our anniversary was last Sunday.  We were scheduled at 3:00.  I called them Wednesday to confirm and asked if they had any earlier appointments available but they were booked solid.

I worked in the garden and then came in and began the formidable task of cleaning up at 1:00.  I scrubbed my nails and cut them.  Shaved my legs, shampooed and conditioned, shaved my underarms, scrubbed with a loofah and used moisturizer from head to toe.  As soon as I finished, DH hit the shower and did the male version of making himself presentable.  We were finishing up at 2:15 when the phone rang.

“Mrs. R.?  We had you and your husband scheduled for a couple’s massage at 2:00.  Did you forget?”

“No, I didn’t forget.  We’re scheduled at 3:00.  I just confirmed it with you guys on Wednesday.”

“No, ma’am, I’m looking right at it.  You were scheduled for 2:00.”

“No.  I made an appointment for 3:00 a couple of weeks ago.  I called you Wednesday and said, ‘This is Mrs. R.  My husband and I have appointments this Friday at 3:00.  Is there any possibility of us coming in earlier?’  The woman I spoke to told me you were booked solid and didn’t have any earlier openings and I said, ‘Okay, we’ll be there Friday at 3:00.”

“Do you know who you talked you?”

Do you ever know who you spoke to?  Everytime someplace goofs up, they want you to tell them who you spoke to. Like it’s going to make a difference.  If I tell them who it was, is that going to make it all right again?  Does that mean we’ll get our massages?   I actually remembered who I spoke to.  “I think her name was Crystal?”

“Well, I’ve been off the last two days and it’s possible she made a mistake.  It would have been Crystal who made appointments when I was out but she has you down at 2:00.  I’m sorry for the mixup.  Would you like to reschedule?”

To make a long story short, their next available appointment was on June 28th.  I listened to apologies and tried to sway them with the anniversary routine but they said they didn’t have anything available until the 28th.

Damn!  DH and I were ready to head out the door.  I was feeling really down.  It was my anniversary surprise for him and, without the massage, it was nothing more than a movie and dinner. It may not seem like much but you have to understand that DH gets up for work at 3:00 a.m. each day and he’s in the habit of going to bed at 7:00.  We don’t get out a lot.   We were definitely feeling the let-down but tried to regroup and reorganize and make the best of it.  He went on-line searching for a new pool pump and I fooled around the house until it was time to leave for the movie.

We got to the theatre, got in line for tickets and I asked for two tickets for Thor 3D.  “I’m sorry, we’re showing Thor but not Thor 3D.”  I told her I’d checked the newspaper and it said they were showing Thor 3D.  She informed me that the paper is always wrong.  They’re even thinking about discontinuing their movie times listing in the paper because they’re never right.

DH was NOT interested in seeing Thor without the 3D effects so we asked about Pirates of the Caribbean 3D.  It was showing but had already started and we’d have to wait more an hour and a half for the next showing.  We went out to the car to discuss our options.  DH started whining about how late it would be if the movie didn’t even start until 7:00 and he wanted to be home by 8:00.  (I’m not kidding.  He’s worse than a two year old.)  I suggested we forget about Cheddars since it was on the other side of town, have an early dinner at a little Italian place we used to visit that was close and then come back for Pirates. 

We headed on down the road to Jeffersontown.  Pulled into the restaurant parking lot and found that they’d closed down.  The mood was Black.  We were both frustrated and disappointed and just decided to go home.  I was really annoyed and irritable.  I couldn’t figure out why EVERYTHING  had gone wrong.  DH kept trying to pacify me but it just wasn’t working.  I was angry with the massage clinic.  Angry with the Movie theatre.  Angry with the restaurant.  He finally said, “Let’s go ahead and go to Cheddars for dinner and catch the earliest matinee for Thor tomorrow.”

That’s what we did. Cheddars is not a place to go if you’re feeling used and abused.  They have way too much comfort food.  I found consolation in the worst way.  I had a huge Margarita and ate fried chicken tenders and potato skins.  Snatched quite a few onion rings, too.  Probably gained back the four pounds I lost.  I’m not weighing myself today. 

Thor 3D is showing at 11:30.


Busy, Busy Bee!

Lots to get done today.  First of all, the good news, I’m at 203.5 this morning.  Can I get a “Hoo-Rah!”?  Wouldn’t it be nice if it would continue like this?  4 pounds in less than a week?  Just goes to show what watching the food and getting some exercise will do.

My driver’s license expired last month.  I keep forgetting to get it renewed.  I’m placing it high on the list of things to do today.

Today is the big anniversary date for DH.  We’re getting full body massages at 3:00, going to see Thor 3D at 4:45 and then dinner at Cheddars at 7:00 or so.  Bah, humbug!  I shouldn’t even take him.

The last time I jumped in the pool yesterday afternoon, the pump wasn’t running.  DH checked it and said it wasn’t a simple fix.  He’s going to work on the motor today or we’re going to have to buy a new pump.  While he’s working on the pump, I’ll work on my berry bed again.  If you missed the post update yesterday afternoon, I found more berries on sale and now have to plant 4 blueberry bushes, 2 thornless blackberry bushes and 2 raspberry bushes.  DS might help me if he has time but DH does NOT like gardening.  Better for him to work on the pool.

Jewlz280, I tried to find your blog but couldn’t.  Thanks for your comments.  Leave a link for me if you would so we can touch base.  I sent an email to our city councilman about 8 weeks ago asking that the city make a community garden across the street but he never responded.  We used to have a great Alderwoman but she isn’t serving anymore and I need to find out who the new one is.  Add that to today’s list…

DH is off every Friday, he works a four-day week, but he has to go downtown today to vote for a new union steward.  They formally served me with papers on Wednesday evening about my mysterious debt to some credit card company for $17,000 so DH is dropping off the paperwork with our attorney.  Guess I must have had pretty good credit whenever the scammers took out a credit card in my name.  It’s probably in the toilet now.  I have a feeling this is going to be a long time getting fixed….

We had some fence damage during a storm a few weeks ago and lost a couple of panels.  Seems like that’s a pretty regular problem so we decided to go with vinyl fencing.  With Steven starting college, we can’t afford to do it all at once but DH and DS went ahead and took down the remaining panels on one side of the back yard and it’s been open for the last couple of weeks.  I’m hopeful they can set the posts for the new fencing today.  I hate going out to sit in the spa or jump in the pool with half the fence down.  I feel like I’m on display.

Wow, I really DO have a lot to get done.  Better get off here and get started.



Playing Hooky

I’m not going to work today.  I went yesterday and put in 5 hours moving my stuff from the library to my new classroom.  Wouldn’t you know it?  My new room is at the farthest point in the building from my old location.  I must have traveled at least a couple of miles yesterday.  Put stuff in boxes, put it on a cart, push it down to my new room, find someplace to unload it, go back and start again.  Of course, it not as easy as simply picking something up and moving it to the new room.  I’m sorting and organizing and throwing stuff out.  My old location has been a storage room where we used to keep 1700 laptops.  That means the entire room is full of shelving.  It actually accommodates a lot more stuff than the new room even though the new room is at least five times bigger.  It may be a lot bigger but it has 30 computer stations with chairs and 30 student desks.  My new room has a file cabinet, a small portable closet, a bookshelf (that’s filled with textbooks) and two desks.

At this time of the year, teachers place furniture they don’t want out in the halls and it’s available on a first come, first served basis.  I managed to salvage another filing cabinet and a couple of tables. 

All in all, it was a lot of work and I don’t feel like doing more of it today.  The library was full of teachers attending a professional development session and I felt inhibited trying to move stuff. In fact, I had trouble finding a parking spot when I arrived.  I had to park on the grass because our school is the site of a conference this week.  I was trying to be quiet but my cart was squeaky and I was climbing on stepladders and lugging big boxes.  I’m sure it was a distraction.  Gives me a good excuse to stay home today.

There used to be houses across the street from us.  They tore them down a few years ago to widen the expressway and there’s nothing there but a big field now.  It’s really not too bad.  We have our house, then the expanse of the front yard, a street, and what used to be our neighbors yards and homesteads before coming to “The Wall”.  We petitioned the city to build it as a sound and sight barrier when they took the houses many years ago.  It stands about 20 feet high and buffers us from the expressway.

After they demolished or moved the houses, the city bulldozed the land and filled it in with a lot of rock and fill dirt before seeding.  They told all of us that they would maintain the property but, instead, used it to store equipment and trucks whenever they worked in the area.  We got really tired of looking out the front window to a view of rock piles and bulldozers and complained relentlessly.  Finally, the city gave in and quit using the property as a storage lot.  We, however, didn’t get to use it either.  No parking on that side of the street.  They mowed the grass every couple of weeks and then, as the years went by, the mowing only happened a couple of times a year.  We’ve gotten used to maintaining the property ourselves. Finally, last year, they sent notices to all of us that they would not maintain the property anymore.  It will either grow up into a weedy lot or we can mow it ourselves.  Believe it or not, that hasn’t been a problem.  A couple of my neighbors have big commercial mowers and they seem to enjoy keeping the grass mowed.  There are several large trees but most of the trees were removed when the houses were demolished and most of the area is just a large grassy expanse.  Mike and Samuel are out there every week or so mowing the grass and waving at all the neighbors.

A lot of activities take place across the street.  Kids play in the area, volleyball nets go up, cookouts happen.  In fact, whenever the weather gets really bad, we pull the RV over to the field so a tree won’t fall on it.  One neighbor has parked his boat and trailer in the field for weeks at a time and no one has ever said anything about it.  The field hosts yard sales and football games and a few of us have even tossed around the idea of an annual block party. 

Last year, I took a chance and put in a vegetable garden across the street.  My own lawn is covered in dense shade and I can’t grow anything that requires full or even partial sun.  I just don’t have it.  I figured someone from the city would show up and tell me I couldn’t do that.  No one ever did.  The garden was a huge success.  It gets full sun and we don’t have to use our own yard for it.  We dragged three hoses across the street to water when we needed to and shared the bounty with a lot of our neighbors.  I was afraid people would steal stuff from the garden or kids would throw tomatoes at all the houses but it never happened.  Folks would comment as they walked down the street about how nice the garden looked and how they’d like to do the same thing.  I HATE weeding, especially in full sun, so I covered the entire garden with newspaper and then covered the newspaper with mulch.  It actually DID look pretty nice.

The problem is that the city filled in with rock and gravel and all kinds of crap.  It looks nice. It’s covered in grass but digging just below the first inch or two is a nightmare.  It just about killed us last year even though we used my sister’s tiller.  This year, several of the neighbors have asked us if they could contribute to the garden financially. 

DS, who fancies himself quite the farmer keeps saying, “Nah, you don’t have to do that!  There’s plenty and we’re more than happy to share!” 

One neighbor was quite insistent and contributed $100.  Another left an envelope in my mailbox with a Thank You card and a check for $50.  Now DS is feeling the heat.  He wants to make sure we have plenty to share.  He decided to expand the garden and it just keeps growing (pun intended).  Our neighbors are nice.  I went out this morning to find the guy who lives two doors down dragging his hose across the street.   “It’s not right,” he said, “for you guys to run up your water bill when you share so much of the garden with everyone.”

This year, we rented a big tiller from Home Depot and the garden is now about 30′ by 30′.  That’s a lot of newspaper and mulch.  I’ve already spent $50 on mulch.  One neighbor donated two pieces of lattice and we set it up so green beans could climb.  We have two varieties of green beans, an assortment of peppers, okra, spinach, spring mix, corn, zuchini, yellow squash, tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, dill, coriander, cilantro, lemongrass, oregano, and a few other things I can’t think of at the moment.

The biggest problem is preparing the soil.  We used the tiller 30 seconds, uncovered a brick, another thirty seconds, uncovered a concrete block, another thirty seconds, another brick.  It just never ends.  Maybe if we do this for five or six years, we’ll finally get some decent soil.  In the meantime, we do the best we can and add peat moss.  The soil is nowhere near what it should be but it seems to work.

I wanted berries this year.  I went to a local nursery and they had some nice blueberry bushes for $35.00.  I know that’s a lot because I planted blueberries in Florida and I picked them up for around $8.00 each.  Still, blueberries don’t produce until they’re around 5 years old and I’m just getting a handful from the plants in Florida each year.  I decided not to spend the money on the blueberries and then kept rethinking my decision after I left.  You know how you keep second-guessing?  The bushes were really large and healthy and covered with berries.  Yesterday, after I left work, I decided to pick up a blueberry bush on the way home.  Wouldn’t you know it?  They were reduced 75% so I bought four of them.

I woke up determined to plant blueberries today but I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m going to do it, I might as well do it right.  (sigh…)  It’s one thing to plant annual veggies but quite another to plant expensive blueberry bushes that will produce for years and years.  I really need to do a double dug or raised bed for my berries.  That’s not going to be easy, considering that you can’t get a shovel more than an inch or two in the ground without encountering rocks.  I just hope I don’t do all the work and then the city comes in and runs over my blueberries.

So that’s my mission for today.  Start my berry bed. I’ll be pulling on a bathing suit under shorts and a tee shirt and digging in the sun.  When I can’t stand it anymore, I’ll run back home and jump in the pool so I won’t have a heat stroke.

Who knows what the future holds?  Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, pears?

3:00 p.m. update – I am totally gross!  It’s 95 degrees out there and I’m burning up.  Nothing like working in the dirt with sweat pouring off.  Makes for a nice mudbath.  I went to Home Depot to get some peat moss ($10.00 a bag?  That’s just not right!) and, damn it, they had all their berry bushes half price.  Of course, I had to buy 2 thornless blackberry bushes and 2 thornless raspberries.  I came home and continued to work on a space for my berries.  I swear, I damn near killed myself and made very little progress.  I couldn’t get the shovel in more than an inch or two at a time.  I’ve worked like a dog and haven’t made much progress at all.  Guess I’ll call it a day and continue in the morning.  At least, I have the peat moss and can get an early start.

I’m going to take a shower and fix dinner.  On the menu; grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers and onions.  A nice tossed salad with edamane beans and Paul Newman’s lite honey mustard and fresh pineapple for dessert.

Calling it a day.  I’m already pooped.

I have to go to work today.  Bah! Humbug!  I don’t want to go.  A teacher never has enough time and I still have lots of things I need to do.  For one, I need to move all my stuff out of the library where I’ve lived in a storage closet for the last 7 years and into a classroom.  I’ve been a technology resource teacher for nine years and I’ll be back in the classroom next year.  Sistah Pam told me at dinner the other night that there’s an opening for a TRT at another school but I’m not interested in applying.  As close as I am to retirement, I’ll stay where I am. 

I didn’t pack as much stuff as I should have last week because I thought I’d be teaching summer school and I figured I could do some packing while the kids worked on assignments.  I really feel like I’m never off work.  There’s always something nagging me that I have to take care of and summer is always filled with professional development and training.  Still, it won’t nag me as much after I get my room moved and have my stuff secured over the summer.

I was sick yesterday.  It took me a while to figure out what was wrong but I finally decided it was a reaction to codeine.  My back has been really bothering me and, after working so hard in the garden, I could barely move Monday afternoon so I took a pain pill.  I took another one before I went to bed.  Yesterday, I felt terrible.  Everytime I’d try to do something it would get worse.  I scared DS when we were working in the garden and I had to sit down from dizziness and a racing heartbeat a couple of time.  He made me come in the house and I hit the front door, staggered to the bathroom and vomited.  It finally occured to me that the reason I have so many pain pills around is because I never take them.  They make me feel bad.  I looked up the side effects and it said, “Common side effects include dizziness, itching, lightheadedness, nausea, sweating, drowsinessvomiting, and euphoria.”  So that’s how I spent yesterday…dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, sweaty and sleepy.

You know how the doctor’s always say, “Can you take codeine?” I always reply, “Sure.”  Guess I just never made the connection that the codeine might be what makes me feels so bad the next day.  Now, I know.

My weight is at 205 today so it’s slowly easing down.  I’ll get there.  I haven’t been at it long enough to do any real planning.  One day at a time.

That’s me…chipping away at bad habits.  I still have enough to keep me working quite a while. 

Went out with the girls last night to Cheddars.  I didn’t eat anything but a small bowl of cereal yesterday because I knew I’d be going out.  Still wasted quite a few calories, however.  I ordered a drink that was kind of like a pina colada.  It turned out to be HUGE and I didn’t really like it.  I’m more into mocha flavored drinks.  Even so, I drank the whole thing and ordered fatty fried food.  Funny how the thought processes work.  Cheddars and night out with the girls means fattening food and drinks.  That’s how I think.  I’ll skip eating and eat super lite today but it doesn’t occur to me to order lite fare at Cheddars.  Kinda feels like going to an amusement park and only riding the merry-go-round.  Me?  I want the roller coasters!  LeeAnn ordered grilled salmon, corn and green beans.  Not me.  Of course, my weight is back at 207 this morning.

That’s okay.  I’m chipping away.  Today, I’m actually going to try some step aerobics for a few minutes.  At least, that’s the goal.  Also have a ton of housework and yardwork on the agenda. 

Guess I’d better get moving.

Chipping away at all the bad habits and making my way back to the land of the living.  Nothing much to write about today.  I worked in the garden yesterday until I thought I’d drop and ate healthy.  Let’s see…I ate a bowl of wheat squares with 2% milk, a veggie burger for lunch and another for dinner.  Some three bean salad and some edamame beans and a couple of sugar free popsicles.  Still haven’t formally started counting calories but I know there’s nothing bad in there.

Yesterday morning, I said, “Happy Anniversary, Baby!” and handed DH a card with a note inside that said,

“Hot Date this Friday!  3:00 – One hour full body massage.  4:30 – Thor or Pirates of the Caribbean 3D (your choice) 7:00 – Dinner at Cheddars.”

He looked at it and said, “Thanks, Hon.  I guess we can do that.” and went back to reading the paper.  Yeah, I was a little put out at his overwhelming enthusiasm.  He’s so hard to shop for and I finally came up with the idea of a date-night that would consist of things he would like to do.  At any rate, I figured he’d say more or be a bit more enthusiastic.

We worked in the garden most of the day.  Got a few more plants in the ground.  I like to have the entire garden covered with newspaper and then mulched because I DO NOT like weeding.  So we worked out in the full sun for three hours.  I planted 1 large hill of cucumbers, 12 hills of green beans, basil, oregano, dill and lavender and laid out more newspaper and mulch.  It was so humid the sweat wasn’t even evaporating from our bodies.  Miserable. 

I came in and cleaned the house for a while and did some laundry and then my sister called at 6:00 to wish us a Happy Anniversary.  I chatted with her a couple of minutes and then gave the phone to DH. 

He took the phone and listened for a minute or so and then his eyes got great big and he said, “OMG!  You’re Kidding!! That’s TODAY?”

After he hung up, he said, “Honey, I’m so sorry.  I completely forgot.  Why didn’t you remind me?”

Are you kidding????  I said, “Donnie…what did I give you at breakfast this morning?”

“A card and a note about going out next Friday.  I didn’t read the card.  Was it an anniversary card?  I thought you just wanted to go out next week.  I’m so sorry.  Can you forgive me? 

Talk about being taken for granted….then, an hour or so later, he sends DS to the store and DS sneaks in the back door a little later with a dozen roses and a card which DH presents to me with a big, dumbass grin as if that makes it all right.  I couldn’t help myself, I called downstairs to DS and said, “Thanks for the flowers and card, David.”

Add this catastrophe to the lack of a Christmas present, missed birthday, and Mother’s Day gift of a new toilet and you’ll understand why I’m not feeling particularly cherished.  As soon as I feel a little more diplomatic, DH and I are going to have a talk.  He’s begun to operate on the assumption that if I want something, I’ll buy it and using that as an excuse to avoid giving gifts.  Jerk.

Lots to do today.  I don’t have to teach summer school but I do have to drive to Elizabethtown to take my mother to the doctor.  That’s an hour’s drive down and an hour back.  Guess that’s going to eat up the afternoon.  Then, I have to meet the girls for dinner at Cheddars.  Way too much Cheddars in this week.  Known for mountains of onion rings and fried delights.  Think I’ll check out the menu and see what they have in the way of “lite” fare.

The scales are showing 205.5.  Down another pound since yesterday.  Wouldn’t it be great if things would stay that way?  A pound a day for the next couple of months and I’d be in pretty good shape!  As it is, for the first time in my life, I’m actually striving to reach Onederland.  For more than 60 years, I lived there and never ventured outside the borders until the last year or so.  It’s scary out here….It doesn’t feel good.

Yesterday just about killed me.  My first (kazillionth) day of trying to be good.  I did pretty well but I finished the day with a whimper and limped off to bed at 10:00.

Eating was good.  I didn’t count calories but, at this stage of my life, I think I can tell how many calories are in something just by looking.  Fat girls have a PhD in calorie counting.  I ate two veggie burgers with lettuce and fresh tomato slices, some three bean salad, watermelon, strawberries and three sugar-free popsicles.  Oh, yeah, I also threw in a couple of hot and spicy dill pickles.  It was a busy day and I didn’t really sit down to eat but kind of grazed all day as I worked.

The exercise just about killed me.  I planted a few more plants in the vegetable garden.  After paying $.99 for a cucumber, I decided to buy four plants for a total of $1.67.  I mean, really, a dollar for a cucumber!  The damn things grow like weeds.  I also picked up a couple more tomato plants and got them in.

Our pool cover slipped into the pool over the winter, froze in place and allowed the pool to fill with an ungodly stew of algae, leaves, and stagnant water to a depth of about two feet.  We finally got it all cleaned up yesterday.  We set a pump in the pool and pumped out the majority and then I donned a bathing suit and joined DH and DGS, Steven, for an afternoon of bailing, scooping and scrubbing.  Oh! My aching back!  I felt like the Karate Kid.  Sand the floor, paint the fence, wax on, wax off.  I swept and scooped and scrubbed until I couldn’t move.  We had to scoop and bail and scoop and bail until we got down to a lovely layer of sludge.  Then we swept the sludge into dustpans and dumped all the slime.  After that, we got the hose and sprayed down the entire pool and then had to start all over with the bailing and scooping.  When we finally managed to get clean water, I got a scrubby and manually scrubbed ever square inch of the liner with a bleachy concoction of cleaning solution.  We have the largest above-ground pool available; 54″ deep and 28′ across.  For those who are mathematically challenged, that’s approximately 1,000 square feet that suffered under my little scrubbie pad.

By the time I finished, I couldn’t move.  I came into the house, took a long, long, long shower and manually scrubbed my own surface area (which is another thousand square feet or so) and limped off to the store to run errands.

Now, here’s the thing…I was totally shot and would ordinarily have collapsed in front of the TV.  Instead, I forced myself to keep going for another couple of hours.  I ran up to Kroger and picked up groceries, stopped and got gas, went by the produce market and finally made it to pick up my prescriptions.

The meds alone were a challenge for my weakened fortitude.  I’ve been meaning to transfer them to Kroger for a long time.  The problem is that the pharmacists at K-Mart are super nice and have known us for a long time.  Still, K-Mart is not someplace I routinely visit.  It’s out of the way and I only go there to pick up prescriptions.  There’s also the problem of their hours….they open late and close early and it’s the only pharmacy I know where they actually close for lunch.  So…I force myself to go, make sure it’s during the right hours and after lunch.  I get up there to find three or four people standing around and a sign on the window that says “The Pharmacist will return in 15 minutes.”  Cripes!  I didn’t want to shop and I didn’t want to stand there but I figured since three or four people were already there, it surely wouldn’t take more than another five minutes or so.  So I waited…and I waited…and I waited. To add insult to injury, there was no place to sit.  Not even a single chair.  I honestly was so exhausted I wanted to sit on the floor and cry.  My poor back was killing me.  After 15 minutes, I really wanted to leave but I was determined to stick it out.  The pharmacist finally returned after twenty minutes and then I had to wait through the insurance discussions, side-effect warnings and directions for everyone in front of me before I could finally get my drugs and get out of there.  Really…it was the last straw.  I’m definitely transferring our prescriptions to Kroger.  It shouldn’t take thirty minutes of standing in line to pick up a couple of bottles of pills.

I hit the bed fairly early and would have liked to sleep in but I kept having nightmares about “thy pool runneth over” since we kept the hose running in it all night.  I woke at 7:00 and went outside to check.  What a joke.  The depth is about 8 inches.  Maybe less.  Guess I shouldn’t have worried about that one…

So here I am…ready for the second day.  Just had a breakfast of 2 Aleve, 1 blood pressure pill, 1anti-depressant pill, 1 Cholesterol pill and a cup of black coffee.  My weight is at 206.5 this morning which is a pound less than yesterday. 

Today is my 43rd or 44th anniversary (after a while, you lose track…).  I arranged a super date with DH and I but it doesn’t take place until next Friday.  We’re both scheduled for a full body massage, then off to see his choice of either Pirates of the Caribbean 3D or Thor 3D and then a romantic dinner for two at Cheddars.  Obviously, I’m being the good little wife here.  My choices in movies or dinner would not be the ones I mentioned but DH will be thrilled.  If it were up to me, I’d have scheduled those massages at Sybaris and ordered room service. 

Guess I should try to find some cereal or something to top off breakfast.

Ready or Not, here I come.  I’ve made my decision.  Today I start living again.  I was trying to think of a good title for today’s post.  Something that reflects how I feel and what I need to do.  Couldn’t quite decide between Nike’s “Just Do It” or “Ready or Not, Here I Come”.  They both describe what’s going on.  I just have to get back on track.

I’ve decided to begin today and this post is going to be a litany of reasons why I have to start taking care of myself.  Something I can come back to when I feel my determination slipping.

I still don’t feel a strong motivation to start eating better and exercising but I absolutely have to do it.  I’ve had this discussion many times on this blog.  About what makes us motivated and what keeps us going and I know that sometimes there isn’t any motivation or drive to do what we have to do.  That’s when you Just Do It.  Just do it anyway. 

I just woke up and my back is screaming.  My back hurts a lot.  My ankles hurt, too.  I’m sitting here at the kitchen table smoking a cigarette.  I quit for almost a year and then started back about four months ago.  The scales are showing 207.5 pounds.  I think that’s the most I’ve ever weighed.  Maybe not but I think so.  The truth is that I’ve avoided weighing myself for months.  Just let one day run into another without thinking about it.

I wear Walmart clothes.  Won’t buy decent clothes these days because I look like crap anyway so why waste the time or money to go shopping for nice clothes? 

Yesterday was Steven’s graduation.  I had to dress up.  Wore a nice pair of pants but I had to use a safety pin to fasten the waist because I couldn’t get them buttoned.  I also wore a sleeveless top and had to struggle all day to either keep it pulled down over my safety pin or keep it pulled up over my cleavage.  Of course, I had to wear a jacket as well.  There’s no way I’d be out in public in a sleeveless top because my underarms are flapping in the breeze and I have a uni-boob roll of fat under my arms and across by back.  One big intertube of flab.  One thing about dressing in regalia for graduation….I was able to take off my jacket under my robe and cool off for a while.  I was actually quite comfortable in a full flowing tent of acetate.  Too bad it’s not in fashion to teach in a graduation gown.

I have no energy and even less strength.  Even a short walk makes me winded.  The most exercise I get all day is walking to the car carrying my laptop computer case, my book bag of papers I’ve graded, my coffee cup and my purse.  I lug it out the front door, across the front yard and into my car and then pause for a second to catch my breath.  It’s even worse when I get home.  Carrying all that junk back in the house after a full day’s work.  Hanging on to the railing to pull myself up four front steps to get in the house before collapsing in the nearest chair.

I mean, really, I’m killing myself.  I’ve been out of my blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds and anti-depressant for more than three weeks.  I keep forgetting to pick up my prescriptions but it’s also because I’ve thought of it a few times and couldn’t muster enough energy to drive to the store and get it done.

The good/bad news is that I found out yesterday that there weren’t enough kids signed up for summer school and they had to eliminate one teacher.  I volunteered.  The money would be nice but it’s only for a couple of days and I was just ready to call an end to the year.  It feels so good to be off for the summer.

So many bad things going on.  The house is a wreck, the yard is a mess, things are broken and need maintenance.  I could go on and on but you get the picture.  Instead of dwelling on them, I want to talk about Ling.  I had invited him and his brother to join us for Steven’s graduation party yesterday.  His brother had been invited to a pool party so he didnt’ come but Ling joined us and I finally got to talk to him for more than a minute or two.  His situation is so inspiring.  I thought he’d come from Vietnam but I was wrong.  He’s actually from China.  His father came to the U.S. when he was one.  It took him years and years to get a green card.  Ling didn’t see him for 15 years.  He and his mother remained in China with his little brother.  He’s used to being the man of the house and taking care of his brother.  His father was finally able to send for them two years ago.  Ling told me they arrived in New York and stayed there for 6 months.  After New York, they went to New Jersey.  From New Jersey, they moved to Chicago and then they came to Louisville and Ling enrolled in our school in October.  His parents left for Mississippi in January and left him in a paid apartment with his brother, $300 and a car. 

Ling and his brother both have perfect attendance and he graduated 9th in a class of 146.  I watched him yesterday.  Some of the other kids came to Golden Corral for lunch after graduation.  It was just down the street from the auditorium where graduation took place.  Everyone had to stop and give Ling a hug.  I had invited him to join my family for Steven’s graduation party and didn’t really think he would but he was very grateful to be included in our little celebration.  He smiled at my sister and I and knelt down to talk to my mother at the table.  Every attempt to include him in the conversation was successful even though he still struggles a little bit with the language.  He ate five overloaded plates and didn’t leave a scrap of food.  I kept wondering where the food was going.  He’s tall but he’s very slender.  He’d never been to a buffet before and couldn’t believe that you could just keep going back as many times as you wanted.  He charmed my entire family.  Almost stole Steven’s limelight.  I felt uncomfortable when Steven started opening cards and hauling in the loot.  I thought I should have given Ling some money for graduation but then I thought that might be insulting.  I just didn’t know…  Maybe I should have.  It’s hard to say but, in retrospect, I wish I had given him a gift.  At any rate, he was at one end of the room and Steven was at the other end so I don’t know if he even noticed Steven’s sudden wealth.  He was busy talking to my mother and my sister and DH.

If Ling can do what he does, why can’t I be more grateful for the bounty that surrounds me?  If this boy can take care of himself and his brother, never miss a day of school and graduate 9th in his class in spite of his many challenges, why can’t I just take care of myself?  He truly is inspiring.

And so, it begins.  The long road back to a healthy weight and a healthy body.  It starts now.  Today.

Ready or Not, Here I Come.