Keeping clothes that are too small

Clothes Shopping - no, this isn’t meMy closet has a life of its own. There are clothes in my current size for different seasons, and clothes in two sizes smaller than where I am now, also for different seasons. I’ve gotten rid of all of my bigger clothes; this is as big as I intend do get.

I’m getting ready to move soon and have started weeding through everything in the house, putting items in “keep”, “toss” or “donate” piles as appropriate for condition and what they actually are. So far I’ve taken out multiple bags of clothes to donate to charity, mostly things I don’t like and am not/will not wear regardless of whether they fit.

I still have clothes out the wazoo, which I hadn’t expected. I truly thought I’d done a better job when I put them away in the first place of weeding stuff, but there is still a lot of it.

I’m confused and a bit overwhelmed. Some of those sweaters and tops and dresses are things I really like and think I would wear when my body cooperates to put me in that size again. But is it realistic to keep everything? It’s hard to know which clothes go with which size and I might really want to just go shopping for new things. At the rate I’m going, it could take a while.

Keeping the current size clothes is necessary or I’d walk around naked (or stay home that way). Not a happy thought. What do I keep of the smaller sizes? Only keep one size smaller than now and get rid of the rest? Get rid of all of it and buy things again as I get smaller?

I don’t want to pack up and move things that aren’t practical. What do you think? I could use your advice.

Hunter’s Chicken Recipe

Everyone Loves ChickenHere is a great recipe adapted by Arlene from Everyone Loves Chicken. Arlene is my former WW leader and a fabulous cook. Here’s what she said about the recipe:

Sometimes we fall into the trap of “it’s too hot to cook and it’s too hot to eat healthy.” So instead of eating a healthy meal, we graze all day. Grilling is a wonderful option but it’s nice to have other choices. So here is a recipe that I just tried. It was easy, yummy and gave me leftovers for two additional nights. It’s only one plate, a cutting board and a large skillet…so very little cleanup is required.

Hunter’s Chicken

Adapted by Arlene from “Everyone Loves Chicken”

This recipe is CORE or 4 points per serving

Serves 8 people

8 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about (5 oz each if you do Flex)

Or use thighs if you like dark meat

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper I added 1/2 jar of stuffed green olives

3 tsp olive oil

Cooking spray

1 large onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced (I use jarred garlic because I’m lazy)

2 large bell peppers, seeded and chunked

(I used green peppers, they are cheaper)

½ pound fresh button mushrooms, sliced

1 can artichoke hearts, packed in brine or water, not oil..

(drained and cut in half lengthwise)

(you can leave out the mushrooms or the artichoke is you do not like them)

1 28 oz can of low fat marinara or Pomodoro sauce (I used Traders Joe’s)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet, spray and add 2 tsp olive oil. Brown chicken over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from skillet, put on plate and set aside. Cut each breast in half.

Add remaining oil into same skillet and add onion and garlic. Stir until softened, about 3 minutes. Add peppers, mushrooms and artichokes; cook. Stir occasionally until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add back in the chicken. Add the Sauce and stir so the chicken is coated. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20-25 minutes.

You can serve this right away, or make it in advance as it tastes even better the second day. This is an easy “bring to someone’s house” dish. This would also be excellent as a buffet dish, served in a chafing dish or on a hot tray. The chicken is good cold the next day.

I served it with a baked potato and used some of the sauce on the potato.I love potatoes as they are portion controlled. A salad completes the meal.

Am I coming or going?

American Airlines Terminal, O’Hare AirportI’m not entirely sure where I am today, what with all the coming and going I’ve been doing. Last week at this time I flew down to Louisiana for a meeting, came home on Saturday, rested Sunday, and headed off again by car on Monday, this time to find an apartment.

I haven’t done an apartment hunt out of state in 17 years and it’s harder than I thought, the running around and looking at things that don’t begin to meet my needs even though they are lovely in some ways. Some of them, anyway. Thanks to the web I’ve been researching on Craigslist and through apartment-finder websites to get an idea of the area and what prices and areas look like.

In person they look a lot different.

I spent 2 1/2 days running from place to place and before I left, I did sign the papers for an apartment in a complex about 9 miles from work. It met every one of my “wish list criteria” and is modern, clean, and up to date – and even has a washer and dryer in my unit. Yayyyy! First time I’ve had that in 20 years. It’s also on the first floor which my poor knees will appreciate when I come home loaded down with groceries. I’m even getting a parking space in a carport so hopefully there will be less snow shoveling next year.

Ice Cream SundaeEating has been out of whack all week. When I travel, by plane or by car, I reach for food. I want salty more than sweet and I also want quantity. Liquids of any type were on hold a bit because I wasn’t sure when I’d find a restroom. Meals came at odd times – mid morning breakfast at McDonald’s and mid-afternoon lunch/dinner that included some kind of protein and then a small ice cream sundae. With real ice cream and hot fudge. I can’t do that anymore because both days I ended up with heartburn from the richness.

Theoretically I know how to stop it, and we even talked about snacking at WW this week so I should be prepared. But put me in an airport, tired from waking up at 3:30am and on edge with a work trip, and I go in search of carbs and salt. It makes me mad that I can’t bring yogurt and water through security, since they charge an arm and a leg for it once you get through the lines and the scanners.

Tomorrow morning I’m on the road again, or rather in the air, this time to Chicago. It’s another flight that requires waking up at the ridiculous time of 3:30am to get ready and off to the airport with plenty of time. I am not a morning person and I need enough time to wake up here before I head out or I leave things behind and make no sense. I come home on Monday, saving $700 off the cost of a Sunday return (airline pricing makes no sense).

I’m tired and really would rather just have a few days to do nothing – this IS vacation time, all of it, including working last weekend at one meeting and this weekend at another. I’m not very happy that I’m using vacation for work purposes but it is what it is, and I come back from Chicago and go right to work – completely unrested with a full week of questions and problems to resolve.

Two months from now I will be unpacking in my new place, another state away.

Today is Patriots’ Day

Paul Revere Statue in the North EndEveryone knows about the Boston Marathon running today in the horrible weather. Many people I talked to here in CT thought the Marathon was transferred to Monday because of the wicked Nor’easter that ripped through our region yesterday.

No, that’s not it.

The third Monday in April is when Massachusetts celebrates Patriots’ Day – the Battles of Lexington and Concord and Paul Revere’s Ride.

“Listen my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
On the 18th of April, in Seventy Five,
Hardly a man is now alive
who remembers that famous day and year.”

Maine celebrates it, too, since they used to be part of Mass. I think they just wanted another holiday.

Boston and its surroundings mark this day in important ways other than closed schools. At the Old North Church in the North End of Boston, they recreate the raising of the lanterns to the bell tower, and across the river, riders reenact the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes. At dawn, the battles themselves are reenacted on the village greens, surrounded by tourists. It’s all very patriotic and historic, reminding us of the humanity that gave birth to freedom.

We also run the Marathon and play a home Red Sox game, just because it’s a good idea. The race, which begins in Hopkinton, runs right past Fenway Stadium and the game is usually timed so the happy throngs (because of course the Sox will win on this day) come out and cheer the runners.

So what about this Marathon? It’s the world’s oldest annual marathon and was inspired by the success of the first modern Olympic marathon in Greece in 1896. The US coach was so impressed by what the marathon meant to the Greek people that he vowed to begin one back in his home. We’ve been running it since 1897.

I’ve lived near the marathon route all my years in Boston, albeit in different places on the way. The crowds are huge all along the way, for hours, there to support and cheer on those who labor long and hard to complete the race. The elite runners will do it, of course, but those who take 5 hours to make it need encouragement and they get it in spades.

I can’t conceive of running 26.2 miles, especially the ones on our route which have hills – Heartbreak Hill is near where I live – and this year, horrendous rain and strong headwinds at 42 degrees. I heard this morning that some 20-30% of runners were expected to skip running because of the conditions. Even qualifying to run is an achievement; I hope they are back next year to complete the dream.

The race is wonderful and puts an active sports face on our city. But those of us who live there don’t forget that the day of the race is also a time to remember our history, and to give thanks for those who gave our lives then – and now.

It’s been a very full week

I’m sitting here in my living room, listening to the rain and howling winds outside, and happy to be home safe and sound.

This was a crazy week. On Monday-Wednesday I was scrambling to work on transition things for my job. Way too many problems were cropping up that seemed to require me to resolve and I tried to use them as “teachable moments” to help show other staff how to think through and troubleshoot them. That takes a lot more time than just doing it myself.

I was also working like a crazy person to get ready for my trip to Louisiana to be part of a regional chapter meeting. I had three different things to do – a luncheon presentation, participating in a panel, and moderating another panel. It took time to get my act together and get it all organized – not to mention deciding what to wear!

Airport travel always opens the door to uncontrolled eating for me. It’s as though nothing there has any calories or points and I can eat whatever I want. They don’t feed us on planes anymore and I’m overcompensating. To make it to the airport before the Thurs. storm, I was up at 3:30am and waiting for a cab at 5:15.

I ate two breakfasts that day, neither one particularly satisfying. I also found a sandwich to eat on the next leg of the flight only to discover on board that the whole sandwich had something ridiculous like 830 calories with 38 gms of fat. Even I couldn’t eat it after that – I ate some bits and picked out the chicken in it, and ended up with indigestion anyway. It was like punishment for messing up.

This group really enjoys being together and there were excellent programs and two wonderful receptions – one at an art museum with a view of the Mississippi River out the window, and the Friday one was at the LSU Rural Life Museum. We had Cajun music and food amidst a fascinating setting with relocated buildings telling the story of earlier times.

The vegetation of all kinds was rich with color, especially to someone living up where the grass is still brown. The air was soft and humid, with little ripples of air moving through the leaves. While the setting was rich, the buildings were aged and worn and showed poverty and lean times. This picture was of the bridge into the area of old slave cabins.

Returning home was supposed to be relatively easy – a flight to Dallas and from there, to Boston. Good plan, didn’t work. By the time I got to the airport, my flights had been canceled “for operational reasons.” I called the 800 number and got no information or possibilities of changing my rearranged schedule, which started with a 5:45 am. flight out.

The wonderful ticket agents, though, refused to accept that option and managed to find me a flight through Chicago, getting me home 3 hours before my scheduled time. It seems my original plane for the Dallas-Boston leg was damaged by hail which is an excellent reason not to fly in it.

But I was nervous about flying THROUGH that weather, and it turns out that getting home last night was the greatest blessing since hundreds of flights were canceled today – I might not have gotten home for days!

I went to my WW meeting this morning and was thrilled to only have gained 1 lb after two weeks of very loosely following the plan. Now it’s a new day, a new week, and I start over. I spent the rest of today doing as little as possible, recovering from the traveling, because tomorrow morning I’m off to CT through the rain to try and find a place to live. Wish me luck!