And here we are

My goal for now through the end of the year is to not gain weight. I don’t seem to be actively working on LOSING it but am pleased to be holding within a 3 lbs range for weeks at a time. Going into holidays is stressful and usually full of social events, though this year that is probably not true. In any case, I’m still 55 lbs down from January 1st. I confess to being jealous of my friend Lisa who is down 75 lbs in the same amount of time, but she’s working on it harder than I am and it’s not a competition even though sometimes I feel that it is and that I’m losing. I hate losing. Even that isn’t enough incentive to push me right now. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

My brother was here for a quick visit and did “tall people things” from my project list. Because of my knee and my back, I’m pretty unstable on my feet on a good day and I don’t want to push my luck by getting on a step stool. It’s nice to have lightbulbs changed and things removed from high places. We had a good visit and a chance to talk without corraling grandkids or any agenda. One thing he did say was that it would be “thoughtful” of me to use a cane so he wouldn’t have to worry about me falling. Since the bad knee feels like buckling at inconvenient times, I think I need to start using a cane or walking stick much as I’d rather not.

Friends here are moving and it’s unsettling. I’ve found myself looking around at my own house and budget, wondering how long I will stay here in this house that has been part of my life for 35 years. I have so much more stuff than when I lived in apartments, which I did for my working life, but most of it I could leave behind. So I’m seriously looking to prune out “stuff” again so it all feels less claustrophobic. Even the genealogy books need weeding, though I did just get a book on Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland. A little light reading?

I need some time off and permission to TAKE that time off. It’s not that I think I’m irreplaceable but I’m acting as though I am, which is ridiculous. Actually, I just need to give MYSELF permission to take the time – it’s not that anyone is stopping me but me. I’m not sure what I would do with time off since I’m not going to hop on a plane or go for a long driving vacation. Those trips always exhausted me anyway. But taking 2-3 days off plus a weekend would give me a nice break. Just being able to sleep in an extra hour would be a luxury.

Back From Vacation

I’m baaaaaack!  For the last 10 days I’ve been on vacation and doing pretty much whatever I wanted – and that did not include writing blog posts.

Vacationing to a destination requires plans, timetables, shopping, packing, travel, cat sitter, thick wallets (or well-used credit cards), getting tired, and usually coming home the day before returning to work – with lots of dirty laundry.

I stayed home for mine, though, and it was perfect.  The days were cooler (except for those two pesky 88 degree days), nights perfect for sleeping with the windows open and a kitty snuggled next to me.  I slept until I woke up almost every day, rediscovering that I really am not meant to wake up at 5:30am if I want to start the day relaxed and calm.

Food went better because I didn’t go out to eat and I rediscovered that my body is happiest when I’m eating at 8 – 11 – 3 – 7 .  Needless to say, I don’t do that on normal days because the times don’t work when I’m in the office and cannot eat at my desk.   I like my food but I’m not particularly excited by it, nor am I anxious to plan and eat meals.  No wonder I’m kind of in a rut with my food, but it’s one of stability and simplicity rather than lack of creativity.

I’d scheduled several sessions this week with my trainer but only ended up making it to two of them, due to her illness and my wicked bad back mid-week.  I did walk every day, though – easier in the cooler weather – and enjoyed doing it mid-day instead of squishing around the edges of a long day at work.

I treated myself to a new flat screen TV.  It’s not mega-giant size but it’s perfect for my space.  One benefit of being off of work was being able to schedule “windows of availability” to have the TV delivered, cable guy come to set up said new TV for HD, and the Geek Squad come on general purposes to make sure everything was hooked up properly and I knew how to use it all now that it’s connected to a single remote.  I know, I’m technologically challenged when it comes to this stuff.

On the other hand, I spent Lab0r Day watching the A&E Hoarders marathon which was great motivation to clean some stuff out.  I got rid of 2 old recliners, a coat tree, clothes, a box of cookbooks, and a box of miscellaneous stuff.  Of course, I also hit some sales and got colder weather clothes since I have nothing to wear from last year.   Makes it easier to weed out stuff for the thrift store.

I also took naps, and treated myself to a 90 min. deep tissue massage and a spa pedicure, and a new set of soft fuzzy sheets.   There was much piddling around to do, resting and vegging out while reading trashy novels, and always a furry cat who needed petting and cuddles.

Vacationing at home:  priceless.

On Vacation on a Quiet Monday

Here I sit on a quiet Monday morning, Sipping coffee with my wet hair wrapped up in a Turbie-twist (these things are awesome and have freed me from that heavy towel wrapped around my head that kept falling off).  I’m on vacation for the next 10 days and love days when I don’t have a race from task to task to keep on a work-day schedule.  Of course, Tessie is there to remind me that, “yo mama, give me crunchies” comes early whether I think I can sleep in or not.

Today’s agenda is finding a swim cap (hoping that drug stores have them because I don’t want one of those racing caps that squeeze your brains out), getting my hair colored and cut, going to the gym for an hour pool workout with my personal trainer (hence the need for a swim cap with newly colored hair).  My outside stuff finishes up with a fresh pedicure.  Then it’s time to actually think about what to pack because tomorrow morning I head to Texas for a week’s visit with my family.

Left to my own devices I wouldn’t go to Texas at the end of June.  Do you know how hot it is there??  I am a New England girl now and don’t have a high tolerance for heat.  Plus I’m shifting sizes again so who knows what will fit and be appropriate for the weather.  The trip was originally timed so I could go to my nephew’s wedding next weekend, but it was called off and the engagement ended (by the bride) so there is no wedding.  But my aunt and I had non-refundable tickets, and we hadn’t seen the Texas fam in quite a while, so we’re making this a mini-family reunion.

Lapband update – my doctor told me he did NOT think I needed a fill, especially with two trips coming up.  He reminded me that as I get smaller, the weight will come off more slowly, and that 5 lbs a month is a good rate.  I’ve now lost 108 lbs and am 3 lbs away from breaking 200 for the first time in over 30 years.  Believe me, I’ll keep you posted on that.

Since I’m going away for a week, naturally I needed to clean this weekend.  Ever since I spent a summer as a hotel maid, I’ve hated cleaning.  I know how to do it, I just hate doing it and procrastinate amazingly well.  Yesterday, though, I vacuumed up enough cat hair to make a kitten for Tessie to play with, scrubbed the bathroom, cleaned the stove and sink, and did 3 loads of laundry.  I still have to dust and finish cleaning the kitchen.  I always forget how much nicer it looks after I do this.  Maybe I should do it more often 🙂

Quick Vacation Check-in

My parents arrived at 6:30pm, a day and a half after their original schedule.  We had a nice visit in the car (they loved my new little Prius and I was shocked to find out that Dad thought I had a blue one) and a late dinner of Crockpot Salsa Chicken.  Yesterday was a lazy day with lots of visiting and a driving tour that included a stop at the Union Station, where  Dad got a dry run for today’s train trip to D.C.  Word is that he was reassured and found today easy.  Good thing, coz we could just drop him off and keep going.

Mom and I drove down to meet an old high school friend of hers that she hadn’t seen in 61 years.  They met each other in kindergarten, which kind of boggles my mind.  They reminisced and told stories and had a great time.  It was fun to watch them.

The kitty is still pretty spooked by the company, spending a lot of time under the bed or crouched in meatloaf position on the floor of the bedroom listening to voices and checking out the situation.  I hope she gets comfortable soon coz they’re dying to cuddle her and I need a pic of us together!

Honey, I’m Home

Christmas Stockings Handmade by MeDid you miss me?  I’ve been in Texas for a week, spending Christmas with the family.  The plan was to travel one day, visit five days, and fly home on day seven.  That was the plan.  The reality worked out a bit differently.

I left home last Monday, climbing over banks of concrete-like snow and black ice in 14 degree temps.  Trust me, roller suitcases aren’t their best under these conditions.  I swapped out my snow boots for clogs and stashed the boots in the car, knowing I wouldn’t need them in Houston.  Roads were clear and the sun was shining, but on the way to the airport, I spotted about 4 vehicles off the road stuck in piles of snow.

My on-time 1:30 flight started getting delayed and delayed until they quietly started transferring us to another flight at 3:30 – which was only big enough because they swapped out equipment and sent a jet instead of one of those little mosquito-sized planes.  We boarded but then sat on the runway for an hour before departing for Newark.  Which meant that everyone on board was stewing over possible/probably/definitely missed connections.

I missed mine and ran like crazy to the next one, only to find there were 40 people waiting for standby, some of whom had been there since Friday when the first wave of snow/ice came through our region (the second storm was two days later on Sunday).  The reality is that whenever airlines cancel flights due to weather conditions, there simply is no way for passengers to rebook on other flights because there are fewer planes and the ones that fly hold fewer passengers because they’re smaller.  Add in holiday crowds and you have a lot of unhappy travelers in crowded airports.

My friend Jen wrote some time back about her experience buying an airline club pass while traveling.  I remembered her experience and decided to do the same.  That $45 for a day made a huge difference in my sanity.  I got someone to help me look at flight options immediately and not after a 3-hour wait in line with surly agents and unhappy travelers.  There was free wine and snacks, comfy chairs, free wifi, lots of power outlets, privacy, a sense of humanity.  I would do it again in a heart beat.

First real option was to be high on the standby list for the 5:30am flight the next morning, after spending the night in the airport (area hotels were booked already with other stranded travelers).  The club wasn’t open all night so I hung out by the gate with other poor standby hopefuls.  Unfortunately, there were 45 of us and only a few options so I went back to the club – where they took pity on me, thanks to a note written on my receipt by an agent the night before.

The problem was that all flights to Houston for three days were booked solid.  There were some options in First Class, and that was how I was flying, since it’s more comfortable – and because I figured someone would take better care of me if anything happened to my flights.  Good Idea, Grasshopper.  I ended up booking a confirmed seat on Christmas Eve afternoon, found a room in a local hotel (people having left for the airport freeing up room), and crashed early.  Got clean, good sleep, real food (heavy on the protein), and watched TV.

My final outbound travel day was crowded and there were lots of standby passengers still, but I had a real ticket in my hot little hand and was happy to finally be on my way.  My bag was already there (I guess there is no standby status for suitcases) and my nephew met me – tho I needed help climbing up into his truck.  We short non-athletic types with bad knees usually stick with shorter vehicles.

It’s funny but I knew that something was going to be wrong with flights, just not which direction.  I packed stuff in the carry-on bag that I’ve never really taken on board before, including power cords for everything, extra underwear in a baggie, and meds for 3 days.  Not to mention my new iTouch which proved to be a godsend with its built in wifi access to the web for browsing, email, and Twitter.  Since I didn’t travel with a computer for a change, having this little pocket device kept me sane.

Now I’m home and have a million things to catch up on, but mostly have a cat attached to me with velcro.  I think she missed me – and I know I missed her.