Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas (a few days late)

Merry Christmas, everyone (all two of you readers) - hope it was wonderful! Ours was nice and quiet, but fun. Went over to Dad's on Xmas Eve- made a rib roast; came out wonderful. I felt Mum was with us. We had bought packages of socks for the boys and marked them from "Santa" - Mum made a point each year to buy both Dad & Big Bro Dude socks and underwear at Xmas ("anything to make a package under the tree!" was her motto), and she wrote "from Santa" on all her presents. So, when they both got their socks (they're on their own, underwear-wise) and saw the "from Santa," they both laughed. They got it.

Spent Xmas day with Mr T and another friend joined us. This time, we made a ham. I had found a recipe for scalloped potatoes and made that for the first time - came out killer. Another nice, quiet day spent congenially.

Never did get my boxes out - only one to Special K's brother, since he's away from family/friends and on his own. And he got that on Xmas Eve, so very timely :) Hoping to get the rest out this week - I like to think the folks getting them will appreciate another package after the day.

The "S" word is in our forecast - I certainly hope not. Supposed to go to Dad's again on New Year's Eve, but if it snows with any accumulation, we're not going anywhere. Big Bro Dude is bringing his two fellows (he's a caregiver now, for two developmentally challenged men) for New Year's Eve - I have a bag made up for each, so I'm really hoping we can make it. Plus, I'm making the traditional Dutch New Year Eve's pastry (oilieballen) - Mum always did. It's a beer-batter deep fried donut of sorts, with either apple, raisin or pineapple in the dough and once out of the oil, you dust them real good with powder sugar. Major yum! Pop's excited that I'm going to give it a try.

Now, if the damn snow fairies will make sure the roads are clear on Friday, we'll be good to go.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I can't believe I didn't get our Xmas cards out until yesterday, a mere four days before Xmas. I've been making our own cards for years now, but this year, I had a huge mental block. Nothing looked right. I did find one pic I liked (snowy mountains with a thin Santa on a bicycle along a mountain path), but Special K didn't care for it. So we broke down and bought some the other night at the World Market. My. God. When they get to be so expensive! We saw these really pretty angel cards - package only had 8 cards and they wanted 19.99! Even at 50% off, that was $10 bucks. For 8 cards. Are they out of their flippin' minds? I told K we were in the wrong business - lol

But they're done. And out. Now tonight I have a few boxes to pull together (for family out of state). To mail tomorrow. Actually to FedEx tomorrow.

Next year, we're going to do all our Xmas shopping/wrapping, etc and be done by August.

Yeah. Right.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't laugh, but I'm a "Farmer"

Yep, got involved in that silly Farmville on Facebook. Years ago, had a friend in Facebook that kept sending me Farmville messages and I finally asked her to stop. She said she can't unless she unfriends me, as that's the nature of Facebook; however, I could "block" Farmville related items, so I'd still get her stuff, all except the Farmville crap. So I did that. Much better.

Fast forward a bunch of years - I had asked Big Bro Dude how Dad's doing and he said really good; much better than he had expected. He said Dad's been very involved with this new game on Facebook called Farmville. Told him it wasn't new - been around for a while. He said that's funny; it still says "Beta." Shared with him that I read somewhere that beta means never having to say you're sorry :)

So he asked if I would sign up and be a neighbor for Dad and him. I said no, thank you. He said pretty please; Dad's been very busy in there but in order for it to play right, one needs neighbors. So I gave in. Said OK, sign me up. And there went the last of my free time.

I am obsessed; totally hooked. In the evening, once the critters & Special K is fed and Spark is walked and the kitchen is clean, then it is my relaxation time and I go Farm. I actually have two farms, as I've taken over Special K's facebook account and built her one, too. You can go for hours on that thing, if you do everything you're supposed to do to advance in levels. I'm only playing for about not quite a month and already I've passed both of my Dad's farms (that's how well he likes it; he created another FB account in his father's name so that he could have two farms. Don't blame him - not alot (any?) of his friends are into FV and you gotta have neighbors in order for it to work right).

Last night, I got all the ingredients out to make a new Xmas cookie recipe I've been wanting to try and told myself, "ok, when I'm done farming, I'm coming to make these cookies." It was 11:30 by the time I was "finished." The thing is, stuff you do generates other stuff that the other farm can then go get, which in turn, generates more stuff again, so I can go back and forth between the two farms for hours. Talk about a time-waster.

Which ordinarily wouldn't be a bad thing, except Xmas is only two weeks away. I haven't even made our Xmas cards yet (big mental block this year - keep trying but nothing feels or looks right). Keep this up and I'll be sending happy new year cards instead :P We got a lot of the shopping done, but I still need to make tons of cookies, fudge and chex mix (Special K's asked that I do that this year for her guys at work).

I keep telling myself to limit it to a half-hour a day, max. A co-worker and his wife are neighbors (and have been sweet enough to pick up Dad and Big Bro Dude, too) and he told me he too went hog wild at first, spending so much time in there that his little ones were getting fretful - Daddy won't play with us anymore - when he heard that, that's when he started the half an hour a day limit thing. But a half hour is not enough (do I sound like a junkie or what?)

But then I remember how my Dad's face lit up when Big Bro Dude told him I was their new "neighbor" - so totally worth it.

And, uh, anyone reading this - if you happen to be a Farmer too; find me on facebook and let's be neighbors, 'k? Can always use more :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The other "C" word

Saw Dr L Friday. The biopsy on the upper GI came back clean. Nothing wrong - all looks very good, he said. My pouch isn't even that stretched out. Reason for weight gain; poor food choices (durp! and let's not forget the wine and brandy). Totally still possible to lose the weight and use the tool I've been given properly. So easily said.

Now the two polups he found - he said they were both the "flat kind" and he was able to totally remove one, but only part of the other. Plus, he said if there's two, there's probably more, but since the sedatives were wearing off, he couldn't continue. They're not cancerous yet, but he said these are the kind that will turn cancerous and must be removed. So he wants another colonoscopy. I said no way, Jose; it was just too awful; I can't do it again. He said I don't have a choice here. He also promises that I will not feel it as he won't be doing anything else and will have enough time to get to where he's got to go without me feeling anything. I said ok, deal, as long as I can have the first appointment of the day (which turned out only to be an hour earlier - doctor works bankers hours - lol).

So, he takes me out to the young lady behind the desk and tells her I need to be scheduled for another procedure, and I said you bet; I enjoyed the first one so much, I wanna do it again! Gotta laugh about it, right?


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Medical stuff

I had gone to see my surgeon last month (think I posted that here) as I was concerned about a few things; most notably is my having to use Prilosec sometimes twice a day. Yesterday, I had the upper GI and the colonoscopy done. I thought the worse would be yesterday morning - no cigs, no coffee, until after I got out. Ugh. I was wrong.

I don't remember the upper GI, although my throat is very sore today, but I do remember, in detail, the other one. I always assumed that they knocked you out to do this. But they only "sedate" you - two different types; I forget the names, except one was an opiate. I felt everything down there and it was not pleasant, nor was I. I can't believe the nurse told me how good I was when all I remember is bitching and cussing at them to basically stop it; that I changed my mind. And of course, they didn't listen.

Once out of recovery, Special K picked me up in the discharge circle and we were on our way home. My cigs were right there in the car and she bought me a bottle of water (what a sweetheart - I was so dehydrated!) I felt a little woozy, but not at all loopy like I thought I'd be, so I suggested going out for lunch (early dinner) - I was starving! So we did. I way overordered, but it was good :)

Now I have to wait until Friday for my follow-up with the doctor. The pictures of the upper showed a spot that they're sending in for a biopsy. That's a little frightening. And the pictures of the other shows two polups - one looks nasty and red; and it says something about a follow-up colonoscopy.

Not in my lifetime. Uh, uh - once was enough.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Anne Bergsma - RIP

Just found out last week that my mother's brother (last living one; she had 11 brothers and 2 sisters) was also very ill - very similar to Mum's situation in that he was in a lot of pain; there was nothing they could do for him, except give him morphine to dull the pain. His body, like Mum's, was strong and didn't want to go gently into the night. Took nearly a week for him, as well, but he did pass away this past Saturday.

I met him just a few times and knew he was a lovely person. Wouldn't have minded knowing him better, but he was mainly in Australia for many years (Mum emigrated to the US, Anne to Australia and the rest stayed in Holland - whatever wunderlust there was in that family went all to Mum and Anne lol).

I like to think that Mum was right there, ready to take Anne by the hand and help him cross over, and that they, along with the rest of their siblings and parents, are all together now.

No clue as to what's waiting for us, if anything, when we take our final breath. But I like my idea - it's comforting. So until someone shows me scientific proof that it ain't so, that's what I'm going to believe.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Mr T sent me an e-mail today - he does this often; usually what he's been doing and observations he made. He's retired and lovin' it - he truly gets full enjoyment out of each and every day. I'm posting his e-mail - I love it. So simple, yet, to me, so profound:

Looking out the office window, I just realised that my big spiders are gone.. All of them, webs and all.. It's as tho someone or something took it upon themselves to rid my view of the gang.. I have never paid much attention before, but this bunch, there was 5 or 6 of 'em; was interesting to watch. I saw a seed leaf drop onto one of the biggest webs yesterday, all the spider did was circle around the leaf, cutting it loose from the web and watched it fall, he then went to work repairing the part that he had removed,and the web was good as new.. I never thought that I would be saddened by a bunch of big spiders just disappearing like that.. Funny how life can be.. In years past, I most likely would have wiped them out myself.. I am so glad that every day is different, no matter in how ever a small way. Without even thinking about it, I have much to be thankful for.. Loves'n Hugs... ex-spider man...

Pretty cool, huh? Yeah, I thought so, too.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New member of the family; kinda...

So, we're keeping the kitty. Actually, not so much "keeping" her, but we'll be her caretakers as long as she feels like hanging around. Can't have her inside (there's that nipping thing she does), but I've made it comfortable outside on the deck for her. Walgreen's had these fleece blankets on sale week before last for $1.98, so I bought two. Got one on the wicker chair she likes to sit in (the nights are getting colder already!)

Read an article last week in the Seattle Times about a woman (a retiree) who goes around, catching feral cats, getting them checked out by a vet, spay/neuter (if they're not already), vaccinations, and then tries to find a place for them - whether that be back to where she found them (if someone there is willing to be their caretaker), or if they're young enough, try to find an actual home for them. Those that aren't rehomable or have no place to go, get sent to a cat sanctuary in Snohomish - big piece of property where they have a barn for when it's cold and they get fed and medical care, if needed, and loving, if they want that :) Pretty cool organization:

I sent them an e-mail with some questions; turns out that orange & white tabbies are typically male. They're going to get a cat-trap to me so that I can bring my kittie to get checked out, spayed or neutered, shots, etc., and then I'll get her (him?) back. Will be good to know the sex - then I can come up with a proper name.

I need ideas, folks - I thought I liked Tabitha, but I've changed my mind. Special K likes just "Cat" which I suppose would be alright, but that's kinda boring.

Monday, October 11, 2010

An empty Thanksgiving...

Wow - it just hit me today.

The last bunch of years, we have had a house-full on Thanksgiving, but this year:

- Mum's gone
- T&J moved to Reno
- R&W retired down to Patterson, CA (well, they did that last year)
- Sharon retired to Minnesota

Well, we'll have the boys over: Pop, Wim, Mr T, Mr Grouchface - and us two gals. Total of 6. Ouch - oh, wait! Miss P! She came last year and had a blast; I'll bet she'll come again. That makes 7 :) Need to find one more chickie to make 4 guys & 4 gals.

All these retirees. I wanna retire - so very ready to become a lady of leisure.

Ha. Not in this lifetime.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Dreaded "C" procedure...

Sigh. I knew, once I hit 50, that I was going to have to have this done, but I thought I could squeak by for another year or so. Nope.

Saw my surgeon; he was very complimentary and tried to reassure me that most weight loss patients will go through a weight gain once their appetite returns to somewhat normal levels. He did get on me for not keeping up with the vitamins and the water intake, but then, I knew he would. He was, however, concerned about my complaint of needing Prilosec twice a day, oftentimes, although he did assure me that I will probably have to take them for life. I had thought that I read somewhere that Prilosec can do damage to the liver and that was my fear. Thought by now, I wouldn't need it anymore. But, man, when I forget to take that stupid little pill in the morning, I die later on in the day. Well, not "die;" that's a little over-dramatic, but it sure does hurt. A lot. He's also concerned that I feel hungry. All the time. Even after I've just eaten. Says that's not normal.

So he's scheduled me for an upper GI and a colonoscopy (gonna get me from both ends) at the same time; that way, he only needs to knock me out once. What a sweetheart. Yuck. Special K's had this done several times over the years and while the procedure itself isn't bad (you're out cold - you feel nothing, but loopy when you wake up :) ), it's the preparation the day before. That jug with a gazillion ounces of gross-tasting stuff that's supposed to cleanse the system. And then no eating/drinking/smoking anything from midnight Sunday until after the procedure, which will be 11 am the next morning.

I can deal with all of that - even the noxious tasting stuff. But no coffee in the morning? No cigs?

Just dig a hole and throw me in. Because it ain't gonna be pretty.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ug! 40 :(

OK, I finally weighed myself this morning. 210 pounds. Argh.

Couple weeks ago, I made an appointment (this Friday) to go talk to my surgeon to see if there's any adjustment that can be done. Not only for the weight gain, but I'm still on Prilosec - sometimes, I need two a day. That's not normal. By now, I understand I shouldn't need them anymore, but dang, if I forget to take one in the morning, by mid-morning, my innards feel really painful. I've learned to carry some with me for those times I forget.

I've done some research on-line and apparently there are things they can do. Special K doesn't believe I'm large enough to warrant any of it - that the surgeon will tell me to just quit eating the wrong stuff and exercise more. I hope not. That won't work. I am hungry. Constantly. Even after I've eaten already. Even when I've overeaten and my stomach hurts - underneath is that hunger feeling. Very bizzare. I can only assume something ain't right.

40 pounds. Damn.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We've been adopted

For the past week, we've had a daily, constant visitor - an orange/white tabby, who happens to be very vocal. I remember her/him (I can never tell with cats; for simplicity sake, it's a "her") from last winter. She'd sit outside the kitchen window while I was cooking and meow - very loudly. I would then find a can of tuna or something, and some milk and put it out for her. She'd eat and then she'd go away. Then she was gone - not sure where she went. I do believe she belongs to someone, even though she hasn't got a collar, but her coat is so very soft and clean. I cannot believe she's feral. At first, I thought she was our old neighbor's cat, Snooks - looks very much like her, but Snooks was aloof and bratty; doesn't fit this kitty at all.

Well, she's back. Last week, I heard her outside the window while cooking. Did the tuna/milk thing - first few days, she'd run away and watch from a distance while I set her dinner down and wouldn't come back until I was back inside. But she got more trusting and finally allowed me to pet her. Instead of front of the kitchen window, I now set her dinner down on the deck.

Did I tell you she's vocal? And quite a little piggy, too. You'd think she hadn't eaten forever, but she looks healthy (I thought at first she might be pregnant, but I don't think so anymore - just very healthy). But as long as she sees me in there, she'll meow until she's sated.

I'm learning to ignore her. Only cuz she can only eat so much, you know? I don't want to make her sick. I'm surprised; it's usually dogs that will eat until their stomach is protruding; cats will nibble and then walk away. Not this one.

Few nights ago, she scooted inside while I had the sliding glass door open to put her food down. I tried to get her to go outside to her dish, but she was checking out the living room and made for the hallway, so I ran after her and picked her up. She nipped a little at my fingers, but I figured she smelled the turkey on them. She didn't seem to mind being held and I was rather enjoying having her in my arms.

Until the little fucker bit my nose.

No warning, no nothing - just bit - and hard! I now have a nice red streak down the left side of my nose. It's big enough on it's own - it didn't need this attention. Out the door she went. And while I'm still feeding her, she is not allowed in. If she did that to my nose, imagine what she might do to Sparks. And that just won't do. This is his house, where he is King.

So, she blew it. She had me suckered in. And she was almost an inside cat.

Until she bit my nose.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seems to be working...

So, alright; the little shit looks really cute with a t-shirt on. I admit it. Call me silly.

And it seems to be working - all of it; not just the t-shirt. He's hardly pooped inside this whole past week - even peeing less inside. Special K stayed home yesterday and when I got home from work, what a greeting I got from him! It felt so nice :) He seems to be sleeping the night through.

So, looks like we're on the right path. Whew.

Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mr. Demento

If it's not one thing, it's another. Now it's poor Sparks.

Our little old guy has been off for the past many months. Heavy panting when it's not warm, walking in circles, walks into corners or furniture and then just stands there, like he's not sure where he is, and the bathroom issues. Lots of bathroom issues. It was just peeing, but he used to have an occasional accident. Now it's daily. Usually two or three times. And the poopin'. That's not so bad yet, but he never, ever would poop in the house (except that one time when we were gone all day and I mean allllll day - poor guy couldn't hold it anymore - that was our fault.) And we just had our carpets cleaned. I thought that would help - with all the smells gone.


And the carpet guy said to stop using the Oxy rug stuff - that just makes it worse. Just use vinegar and water, which I have been doing and it does work terrific. Thank god for that.

At first we attributed his walking into stuff and then just standing there to his cataracts. But the heavy panting and the bathroom problems; Special K knew it had to be something else. She came up with dementia. So we looked it up. Seems right on target. And we found that other things that hadn't occurred to us now makes sense, like him not greeting us like he used to when we come home. Sure, he's still right there at the door but he runs past and up and down the hallway without jumping up on us like he used to. And the sleeplessness. I wake up almost nightly to his heavy panting and him wandering around the house. He used to sleep the night through.

There are some homeopathic things we found on-line that we're going to try. If we don't see marked improvement over the next two weeks, we found a new vet on-line that we'd like to try. He's way up in Monroe, but the reviews for him on yelp are freaking fantastic, and he's open on Saturdays, so we can visit Mr T at the same time.

It's kinda funny - one of the "remedies" is that we get him a t-shirt or a Thundershirt or an anxiety shirt (last two are pretty pricy; we're gonna try the t-shirt first). This will supposedly calm his anxiety and help with the panting and the feeling of listlessness. What I find funny is that I never wanted to dress him up in "human" clothes. I think folks who dress their animal companions up in sweaters and coats and costumes are just plain silly. So now I have to be "silly" and put one on. His Uncle M sent him three really cute t-shirts years ago that we have sitting in a drawer (cuz I always refused to put them on him), so we're going to try one of those to see if it helps.

Damn. I cannot lose the Sparkster just yet. Not ready. I know it's coming, but I'm not ready. Not this year.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Two months and seven days....

Was just outside; it's been on the overcast side all day and the sun just broke through. I was standing there, having a ciggie, with my face in the sun and my eyes closed.

Which made me think of Mum.

Which made me tear.

Damn, will I ever get over missing her?

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's too damn hot...

I'd love to sup with my baby tonight, but it's damn hot!

Old Ann Miller song from "Kiss Me, Kate" - an old musical.

I know I shouldn't complain, when most of the country is having record heat waves, but dang. Just not used to it anymore. Gets close to 80, and I am not comfortable. Yesterday, it was well over 90. Actually, it isn't too bad during the day; it's when the nights don't cool off. Like last night. Actually got up 5 minutes after going to bed to go take a cool shower. Poor Sparks was panting so hard last night; I took one of his washcloths, soaked it in cold water and ran it over his face/head, his back, his belly (had already given him another bath during the day - he liked that!). It helped - he stopped panting. Did it again when I woke up at 2:00 and heard him panting again.

It helps though, knowing that Wed, it'll be overcast with highs in the upper 60s and showers coming for the weekend. I knew there was a reason I loved living in the PNW LOL My kind of weather. It's supposed to be a couple degrees cooler today and better again tomorrow but it's still in the upper 80s. Dress accordingly and you freeze when you go into work or into stores, cuz they have the air blasting full force. So I carry a sweater. What an old lady I've become. Oh, well, hell.

Speaking of with, I must really look a lot older than I am. Couple weeks ago, Special K and I went to the movies. Had a $20 out (it was $10 per adult) and got $5 change. Didn't occur to me til I stepped away and was stuffing that into my wallet, when it hit me - I wasn't supposed to get change. I go back to the window; they charged us senior prices. And over the weekend, taking the ferry back from Pop's. Woman said (to me, the driver), "and you're over 65, right?" Dang shangalang - no, ma'am! Only 51 here!

LOL What a dunderhead! I shoulda said "YUP - gimme that senior's price!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Later, T&J!

Not saying "good-bye" - uh, huh. No way. Another set of good friends are leaving the state as I type this. Signed the paperwork yesterday, enjoyed one last concert here and taking off now to their destination.

Gonna miss those two - such sweethearts - both of 'em. Fun, too - lots of fun. Always enjoy spending time with them.

And I know this gives us another place to go visit and it's drivable, which is great. But, dang.

That's it - no more. We're running out of local friends.


A glorious day!

Today is the kind of day for why we live in the PNW - it is absolutely gorgeous outside. Warmish in the sun, but cool in the shade; low 70's. Lovin' it.

My mother passed away nearly two weeks ago and today is the first day I had a "conversation," if you will, with her. Went out on break, sat on one of the picnic benches and closed my eyes with my face in the sun. That made me think of Mum - out of the thousands of pictures that we have of her, if we're outside and it's sunny, Mum is sitting there with her eyes closed, facing the sun. So while I was thinking of her, I started "talking" to her; was she at peace now? Was it anything like she thought it would be - did she find her numerous brothers and sisters and parents? What's it like - can she feel anything now - any conscious thought as we know it? I know it seems silly; she's gone. But yet she's not. She's in my heart and soul and always will be. I have her wedding rings on and today, a crocheted sleeved vest that she made. Somehow, it makes me feel a little closer.

Last Saturday, Special K and I emptied all of her clothes drawers and one of her closets. We told Pop and Big Bro Dude to go to the movies, but Pop wasn't interested. So I thought he'd stay downstairs so he wouldn't have to watch us, but he sat at his computer on one end of their bedroom. He was even able to joke with us when comments were made (I don't think Mum had enough clothes or sweaters! My god - the sweaters! She so loved her sweaters). It was all good. And so much! We had left the Sparkster at home, and we had the trunk and the back seat totally jammed with bags. And we left several bags in their garage, cuz it all wouldn't fit. And then we took it all home and put all the bags in our guest bedroom. I looked at it all week, telling myself to get busy and start sorting (some I'd like to keep; the rest is going to either the Goodwill or St. Vincent du Paul thrift stores - she loved shopping there, so I think this would be her final nice gesture to both orgs.) But I couldn't make myself do it, until last night. Special K gently reminded me that we'll be bringing more bags home this weekend, so it would be good to make some room. So I did. At first, I was teary but once I started, it was OK. Lots of memories when she wore certain items; observations as to her style and what she liked. Before I knew it, hours had flown by and it was 11:00 at night. Time to stop, even though I wasn't yet finished. But at least I made a good dent.

Yeah, sitting in the sun today, talking to Mum - glorious, indeed!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tina Sweerman

09/22/1935 - 07/03/2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Out of "One"derland

At least I think I am. I've been afraid to step on that scale. Not really in denial; I can tell by how my clothes are fitting. Another couple pounds and I won't be able to wear my last fitting pair of black jeans.

And I don't know if it is the weight, or all the emotions I'm experiencing lately (between my mother, my workaholic honey, my aging Westie, ever-present money worries and now - AND NOW, another set of good friends leaving the state (yes, Miss T - I'm talking about YOU), but I'm tired. Just tired. Every afternoon I feel like I need a nap. I haven't had that feeling since I've dropped all this weight - that feeling is a fat girl feeling. And I don't like it.

I am eating constantly, it seems. And I see the portions are getting bigger. Just a month ago, I couldn't finish half a Panera sandwich; I had to take one of the slices of bread off and still could only eat maybe two-thirds of it.

I just now finished a whole half. Without realizing that I forgot to take the top slice off.

I start off each and every single day with new resolve. It doesn't last much past mid-morning.

I really didn't think I'd become a statistic. Looks like I'm heading that way. I wonder if the good surgeon would consider redoing something in there. Although, I would just end up right back where I am now. I gotta fix whatever it is in my head that's causing me to selfdestruct myself.

Oh, bother.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Union Pulse

We had visitors Sunday night. Strangers. Now friends. From Milwaukee :)

Special K and I went to Milwaukee (K's hometown) last week for her nephew/godson's wedding. Friday, we go into Walgreens and the young man that helped us, overhearing that we're from Seattle, said he and his band would be playing in Seattle over the Memorial Day weekend; did we know any inexpensive places to stay? K and I looked at each other (don't you love how when you've been with someone for a while, you know what each other is thinking?), and told him we have a guest bedroom that they're more than welcome to bunk down in. He was very jazzed - we exchanged contact info and went our merry way.

Next day; day of the wedding - K and I decide to get our hair done and we go to Cloud 9 on Oakdale (highly recommended by K's sister and we agree!). Pat, our hairdresser, upon hearing where we're from, said "we have a local entertainer that's going to be in Seattle next weekend - you have to go see them." I asked if his name was James, and she was like, WOW - how did you know? Kismet, I think. She told us what nice boys they were and how she's seen them several times (she's a fledgling photographer and has shot their show several times when they play locally). Nice to get validation that they weren't serial killers :)

Being bad with pictures - got a bunch. Need to get them up. Been pretty much on the run, but no excuse, cuz I've had time.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day one more time :)

We enjoyed Mother's Day with my mom. What made it even more special is that we didn't think she would come this far. When everything came to a head last November, we were told we'd be lucky if she were still with us in three months.

Consider us lucky!

And are we ever grateful! Yeah, she has her up days and her down days. She seems to need those blood transfusions more and more often. I could see from one weekend to the next how her strength gets zapped. But the good news is that she's more mobile - she's up and about, doing stuff. Big Bro Dude was telling me how she had berated her men for ruining her kitchen. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. Ornery as ever! But that's my Mum.

I know everyone pretty much thinks the same of their own mother (at least, I think they should), but here's to the very best mother ever. Tina.

Yeah, grateful for every day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blood from a stone

I'm not politically minded - I read the news and try to stay on top of stuff, but politics bores me (Special K loves it, but then she's a whole smarter than I am :) ). For those of you not in the state of WA, they've increased the cigarette tax. Again. We just did this last year. So I wrote a letter to our estemed governor:

My domestic partner and I both want to share with you our extreme displeasure with the latest cigarette tax increase. We have been very supportive of you and what you're trying to accomplish, but we cannot stay quiet on this. You've raised the cig tax. Again. We just did this last year. Again. How far can you punish an already unpopular part of the population? How high can you go? Another $10 per carton? Let's see; two cartons a week (one for each of us) = $20 x 4 = $80. A month. That's insane. X 12 is $960. A year. Almost one thousand dollars. For just a "little" tax increase.

Should we be smoking? That's our choice. Health-wise; no, we shouldn't. But that's not the issue here. We don't want to debate whether or not one should smoke. But if we chose to, we shouldn't have to pay so very much over and above what it costs to make the product.

There's only so much blood you can get from a stone. So OK; fine. I'll just drive once a month down to Oregon to buy my cigarettes for the month. Oh, wait - that's illegal, isn't it? Which I find very silly. Thought we lived in America - the land of free. I should be able to buy what I want, where I want. Government shouldn't be able to tell me I cannot shop in the state next door just because they then don't get the tax.

Well, get a clue! Could it possibly be that the tax is too freaking high?

We are both middle-aged, sedate, mature women, not prone to drama. We work, we come home, we enjoy our canine companion - very quiet life, with very few vices. That you can just wreak havoc and charge us more of what we don't have that much of to begin with is very painful and disruptive.

We love America. And we love the state of Washington. But you are making it very difficult to keep us interested in staying in Washington. One of the highest taxed states - you've got to start looking in better places for your budget dollars. And don't respond that you have. We're sorry. You have not. Not by a long shot. Too much wastage; too much being taken from necessary areas and not enough focus on areas that need cutting and haven't been touched.


For the record, the "you" in this note refers to government - not you, personally, Governor.

Thank you for the opportunity to vent. Not that this will do one iota of good, but we had to let you know how very unhappy you've made us and how disruptive this is to our lives. And we are but just a couple. Imagine all the other lives to which you've done the same.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Stepped on the scale this morning - first time in quite a while. I've been afraid. Afraid that I've topped 200 again.

I am still 195. What a relief. I know, I know - it's only 5 pounds away, but it matters. Not sure why it makes a difference, but it does. And I've been 195 for a while now - have I settled down? Don't know. I have good days, but more often not-so-good days, eating wise.

Vacation was wonderful - will have pics up as soon as I can remember to take my memory stick home to put the pictures on. So nice to get away. We went through all sorts of weather (from sunshine to a blizzard). It was terrific to see R&W and their new digs. Still can't figure out the Patterson part, but they're happy, and that's what's most important.

While I didn't deny myself while on vacation, I found I was not eating that much only cuz we were so busy. I was fearful that I was going to gain a lot over the week just because my time was my own, and I've always been a nibbler on long drives.

Special K's nephew is getting married in May - I would really love to drop at least 10 lbs by then so that some of my summer stuff fits (it all does; just really skin tight). Plus I need to buy a new outfit for the wedding and I would hate to have to buy bigger than L or XL.

So, back to salads for lunch and no sweet snacks (cookies, cakes, candies, cookies - that sort of thing.) Did I say cookies? Was never such a cookie hound as I am now, especially those I make myself. I revised my almond shortbread thumbprint recipe and they are now killer, if I do say so myself :)

I can do this. Where's that chalkboard? I can do this.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I am so ready....

We leave tomorrow morning, early, on a road trip down the coast to mid-California to visit friends that deserted us , er, moved there last year. We saw them last at Thanksgiving, so it's been a while. Very excited. A little over 800 miles; could do it one day, but why kill ourselves. We'll stop half way Saturday night, have a nice, relaxing evening, and then head out again Sunday early. We should get there mid-afternoon Sunday.

It's been a very long time since Special K and I took an actual vacation. We did a little long-weekend thing last year, when we did the Cascade Loop in July - was great fun, but too short. So, this will be very nice. And we're bringing the Sparkster with us - he does love his car rides and he loves to be with his people.

At first, I was bummed, because after much talking about our coming, our friends decided they'd rather not have Sparks in the house (we were going to stay with them) because they have new carpets. Don't blame them, plus knowing their carpets are new, I'm glad it worked out the way it did; we found a nice hotel not a mile from their house that takes dogs and has smoking rooms, so we'll be more comfortable, anyways :o)

Eating wise, it seems I'm able to eat more and more normally. Quanities are still less than it used to be, but not much bothers the pouch any more.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Uh, oh...

In speaking with my brother-in-law this weekend, I found out that my sister-in-law (who had had weight loss surgery years ago) has regained about 100 pounds. I feel so badly for her - I see exactly how easy it would be to do that. When I first started this journey and I would either hear or read stories about folks that have done that, I just couldn't imagine how that was possible, seeing as to how little I could eat at the time.

But that dreaded pouch stretches, damn it. Just like a regular stomach, it stretches. So if you constantly overfill it, it will do just that. I take back every mean thing I ever thought about Carnie Wilson and her struggles with her weight loss/regain/loss and regain again.

The thing that surprises me is that after almost a year of feeling yuck and not wanting to eat, to come full circle almost to the same intensity of hunger that I had pre-surgery - I don't see how it is possible. I thought if you do something steady for 3 - 4 weeks, it becomes habit. Uh, uh. Ain't so. Every morning, I start off with a determination not to eat anything; just fast for a few days and then go on fruits/salads/soups. I never get past mid-morning and my innards are growling at me "FEED ME, SEYMOUR!" And I'll be good - I'll go have oatmeal or an apple, but then comes lunch, and all of a sudden, my good intentions are out the window and instead of that salad I so lovingly made that morning, I'll go have a sandwich or a burger. And even though I cannot eat the entire sandwich or burger, it's a lot more calories than I need to be having.

Not sure where to go from here. Obviously, I'm not good at listening to myself.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Life goes on...

I suppose it wasn't meant to be. What I was hoping for did not pan out. C'est la vie.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Keep fingers crossed for me!

Can't share too much, but I am so excited. I have an appointment tomorrow that can be life-changing. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Will share more depending on the outcome :o)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My most favorite picture

I love this picture. I want a big one, framed, for my living room wall. It's a dahlia that my good friend, Jeff Sinnock, shot close range, but it reminds me of the Sydney Opera House. He's got lots of good stuff and really good deals. Got a birthday or a house-warming coming up? Check out his site:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Need to whine...

Actually, don't need to; just want to, and it's my blog, so there.

I've written this before, but it's something that's bugging me (obviously, not enough; otherwise, I'd do something about it other than whine) - when I total up what I eat in a day, I don't understand this steadily regaining the weight back. I was down to 170. 170! I was a teenager last time I was 170. And now I'm 195. There. I made it public.

Will this embarass me enough to QUIT STUFFING MY FUCKING MOUTH!?!?!?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Congrats, Saints!

Went to a Super Bowl party Sunday, at Mr. T's house; lots of fun - good company, good food, good libations :) And while I'm not a big football fanatic (Special K is - only reason I know anything about the game), I was very pleased that the Saints won. This will be a good boost for New Orleans and even after all this time after Katrina, they need all the help they can get.

This past weekend was wonderful - it was my happy birthday yesterday! So of course, that made it my happy birthday weekend. K and I actually went out Saturday night - been a long time since we've been able to do that, but since I quite the night club, my weekends are my own again. And the folks were very adamant that we not come this weekend - to take it easy and to make it ours. Which we did.

Why weren't we born rich instead of beautiful?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Liquid Calories

I miss the honeymoon period. I have to be so conscious of what I eat now - and drink. I'm actually starting to figure out it's more what I'm drinking than what I'm eating. While I am eating more than right after surgery, I think it's normal or even below normal, as I still can't eat as much as before. Also depends on what I'm eating - somethings I can seemingly go on and on, while others, after a few bites, I'm done.

I know everything that goes into my mouth counts. Including liquid, even though I've never really thought of it as such. And even though I no longer drink sodas (once in a blue moon, I'll have a little 7-Up - that's it), I still do sugar & non-dairy creamer in my coffee and my wine in the evenings - once in a while, coffee and brandy in the evenings. Once I got past young adulthood (was quite the lush in my younger days), I was never much of a drinker - social more than anything. I'd have a Myers Rum and coke or a coffee drink. Rarely drank at home. But now, it's become a nightly thing. Once dinner is done or if I'm in the kitchen on some baking project or if dinner preparation itself is a lengthy project, I'll have a glass of wine then. And it's not like I'm getting blasted every night - it's usually just a glass or two, and I'm not quite the cheap drunk I was right after surgery, so I can handle the alcohol better.

I've bought Muscle Milk Light. I've made a resolve to drink more water, and while I'm doing better with that at work, once I'm home, I just don't think of it, or if I do, I'm not interested. Never did get good at drinking water, even though I know it's very important for weight loss and weight management.

But wine tastes so much better.

Monday, January 25, 2010

For Miss T

Miss T said "I love your Sparky, but ya gotta get a new post up!" My one and only reader - so demanding :o)

Miss T and her other half were the hostess with the mostest on Saturday; they held a fiesta at their home. Good lord, you should have seen that spread - the food was so good. They had london broil, shredded, for their taco meat. Never had london broil that way - worth every papaya pill I had to take afterwards.

Wearing my jeans today, and man, do they hurt. Too tight. I was all full of "ok, that's it - gonna start today and do it right." So what do I have for lunch? A bacon cheeseburger with onion rings. Yeah, that's allowed - no problem. What a dunderhead. And because, hey, I've already blown it for the day, I just had to have a sweet a little bit ago.

I do not understand my head. I love being thin. I love my new wardrobe. I love being able to walk forever and all the energy that comes with not having to haul so much fat around.

And I know all the rules. Limit sugar and fats; stay away from white food (breads, rice) and fried foods, eat a lot of veggies and fruit. Yadayadayada.

So why is it being so hard to stay on track. I had thought that the period after my surgery was the hardest thing I ever did, but I have to retract that. Keeping the weight off is my challenge du jour.

Just once, I'd like something major go the way I thought it would. Just once.