Thursday, March 29, 2007

Random and I'm afraid rather dull Thursday..

It's one of those days where I really don't have anything to write about.  Nothing wonderful, irritating, sad or exciting happened today, which leaves me pondering why I'm even here in front of the screen writing to you about nothing.  So, we'll be short and random...

Monkee has requested to meet the kitties so we'll be doing that next week here on Knitten Kittens. 

I did do a workout at Curves today and survived it.  Tomorrow will be #4 this week, but in retrospect, I'm not sure I'll be making five for awhile.  You see, Tuesdays are grocery day and I am Miss Heel Spurs Girl, and the Walmart floors do me in.  Then of course, I have to get home, unload groceries, put them all away and then decide what to make for dinner.  Just not sure a workout is going to fit into that day.

Oh and speaking of Monkee, she became Auntie Monkee!  Pop over to congratulate her!

What was up with Sanjaya's hair this week?  It's bad enough we have to hear him sing, but to have to endure what he believes is "fashion" with his "do" is just too much.  I was really, really skeeered this week....very skeered.  That hair was the stuff nightmare are made from.  *shudder*

Going to see one of my very favorite teenagers in "Grease" tomorrow night.  Yes, I saw it last weekend too and it was incredible!  I don't often expect a lot from high school productions, but the director and these kids really outdid themselves.  Watching Kirk up on stage was like watching someone else and not the kid I've known since he was ten years old.

Okay, really...that's all I got! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Upping the Ante

So, people are starting to notice, even if I can't really see it yet.  My mother has commented on how much better I look and Paula can see in my face that I've lost weight.  And even though I can't see it in myself, I do know that I no longer to have one of the side buttons undone on my bibs for breathing room.

I have never been a patient sort of person, which probably pretty well sums up why weight loss in the past has been so difficult for me.  I'm all about instant gratification and with some things in life, I just can't have that, but that still doesn't stop me from wanting to get the job done as quickly as possible. 

I think I'm going to up my Curves days from three to five.  Tomorrow should be an off day, but I'm going to go and then go again Friday and we'll see how it goes.  No workouts on the weekends...or at least no intentional ones.

I'm still really amazed at how good I feel already and how much more energy I have.  There are times when I've been out and I've seen really large people using those scooters to shop or having to be pushed in a wheelchair and I'm unable to help but wonder that if I had continued to eat the way I once did and continued to be so sedentary, if in ten years, I would have been one of those people.  In all honesty, I can't stand the thought of it; losing my health, my ability to walk, my independence, just because I refused to reinvent my lifestyle.  I would like to think that I never would have become one of the folks who can't walk through a store, but I doubt any of those people thought it would ever be them either.  I seriously doubt any of them wrote in their journals, "I want to lie on the couch and eat until I need a scooter to shop at the Walmart because then I can die happy."

The thing is that we all have a certain responsibility to our families and those who love us.  If I'm not taking care of me, then I'm not going to be around to take care of my kids or my grandkids.  I certainly don't want to die early because I couldn't quit eating crap and refused to move my rear end.  What is that teaching my kids?  And because I'm female, I just don't want to be the kind of mom my kids are embarrassed about.  I mean, I think they'll love me no matter what, but you know what I mean.  Other kids can be cruel and it isn't the overweight parent who is going to get teased by my son's friends.  No, they'll say those things to my kids.

I'm not going to say that it's easy to change, because it isn't.  There are days when I fight the urge to slip back into my old ways; to skip Curves and come home instead, or to pick up something delightfully sugary and fat loaded from the Dutch Market.  But instead, I keep reminding myself that I'm not a quitter and that though I thought there was comfort in food, there is no comfort whatsoever in being fat.  To change my life I have had to step outside of my comfort zone and become involved with myself.  You would think that was not a difficult thing to do, but it is!  We are always so involved...too involved with our jobs, our spouses, our kids, our friends and the kabillion things we think we "have to do".  But don't you see?  If we don't invest in ourselves first, none of the other things matter because we are not going to be around for the people who depend on us.  Being overweight, I am much more at risk for a heart attack at a much younger age, I'm at higher risk for certain cancers, and diabetes.  Wow!  Who wants that?  And all because I won't eat healthy foods and move thirty minutes three to five days a week?  Ya know, it would be very easy for me to feel sad that I didn't invest in myself sooner but there is no point in regrets.  They don't change anything.  Instead, I'm just going to keep pushing forward.

Because I'm worth it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sleeping with Bread and other things

They always say "Be careful what you wish for." and there is definate truth in that.

I really and truly want to like our new pastor.  I do.  I totally do.  Yet I struggle with that want and hope every single day.  He's new.  I know this.  He is probably trying to find his footing and that is all well and good but he needs to step a little softer and tread with a little more of an open mind and willing spirit.  I would really like to see him start getting to know people instead of just preaching at them.  I'm a firm believer in "You should listen twice as much as you talk" and I'd like to project that belief onto him, because he talks.  A Lot.  Yet for someone who talks so much, he rarely greets anyone and he really doesn't seem to care if he gets to know anyone on any kind of personal level.

My kids are scared to death of him.  JJ says "He yells, mom." JJ is referring to the pastor's need to become very dramatic and rather loud in his sermons.  In fact, now that I think about it, I'm not sure I've ever seen him talk to any of the children.  Teens,  yes.  Kids, no.  Children's sermon, yes.  On a personal level, no.

The last Saturday of the month has always been our church's Fellowship Breakfast, where we meet at a local restaurant and dine together.  It's always fun to be away from the church communicating with people.  So, this Saturday, the pastor also decided to ask folks to volunteer to go door to door to invite the neighborhood to our Easter services.  Now, that is all well and good, but on a personal note, I am in the church six days a week.  Even on Sundays when I am there for a service, I am often asked (and I don't mind) to do this or that for someone, because I am the church secretary.  That being said, I am completely unwilling to give up my Saturdays to do church work.  It has nothing to do with God; it has to do with having a husband I see for a few hours in the evenings during the week, two young children, six cats and a house that needs attention.  If that is selfish of me, so be it.  I can live with being labeled "Selfish" because I don't want to spend time at church seven days a week.

Now, the pastor set up this door to door time at the same time the breakfast was scheduled.  The breakfast annoucement ran on the powerpoint for the last two weeks.  He just announced the door to door yesterday.  Had it been me, I would have chosen to work with the breakfast, such as scheduling the door to door at a later time in the day, or maybe even saying to the congregation "Hey, let's go to breakfast and then those that are able can come back to the church and we'll do this flyer thing."  That would be working with us.  Instead, when I called outside after a friend who was leaving the church and asked her if she would be attending the breakfast (she always did and did not sign up this time), he was there listening.  When she told me to sign her up, I walked back inside with the pastor following me and he was saying "Evangelism, breakfast?  Evangelism, breakfast?"

I'm not sure if he was trying to tell me that I was making the wrong decision or if he was making a general remark that anyone going to the breakfast was making a wrong decision, but either way it was judgemental, immature, and I basically just ignored him and walked back into my office.

Things like this are the reason I'm having so much trouble liking him.  I like people a lot, but he has yet to show me a human side.  All I get is the preaching side and the bigger problem is that the way he makes me feel all week is sliding over into my reaction to him on Sundays during the service.  During his sermon, I found myself having trouble even looking at him and instead I looked up at the cross and thought "Lord, you have to help me out here.  I wanted him to be our new pastor, but Lord, right now, I don't even like him!  Right or wrong, God, it's how I feel!"

So that is where it stands.  I want to like him.  I pray every night for God to open up my heart or even maybe the pastor's heart, so that I can begin to like and respect him.  Respect has to be earned and so far, it just isn't happening.  I still have hope that he will eventually settle down and allow people in, as opposed to him trying to be a one man show of "All about me".  I want him to walk beside us, instead of running ahead or worse yet, tailing us while telling us we are slow.  I want him to stop hurting people that I care about and to start listening twice as much as he talks.

I continue to sleep with bread.

And worth a little mention

At Curves today, the lady who was working said to me "I have to tell you that you really work hard here.  A lot of the ladies don't work the equipment hard enough." 

I'm not one to really accept much praise like that, and I just explained to her that I needed to work it hard to meet my goals and that many of the other ladies liked to chat and so did I, but when I'm chatting I don't work nearly as hard.  So, I'm making the choice to work the machines hard and chat when I'm finished.

Losing weight is all about making choices; what I eat, when Ieat, what I do.  On Mondays, I never feel like working out, but I do it.  It just has to be done and I'm not willing to give up.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Slacking? Who? Me?

Okay, so maybe I have not been the most consistant blogger in world these past two weeks.  I've been really busy!  I have not forgotten about Sleeping with Bread or Women are Fantastic Fridays.  What I did decide is that if every Friday, I honor one of the wonderful chicks in my life, I would soon have no one to talk about.  I have a lot of good friends, but not an endless supply to blog about!  And with as busy as I've been, I honestly don't have time to go out and solicite for more girl friends so I can talk about how fantastic they are!  Way exhausting!

The weekend is shaping up nicely.  The kids are headed out with one of their grandmothers for the whole weekend and are leaving any minute now.  I'm going to see "Grease" which Paula's son, Kirk is in tonight, and with any luck Pastor Phil will be there tonight too, because I am a sap who misses him very much!  Tomorrow, yarn shopping with Lisa and some time with the Brit. 

The Brit has the responsibility tonight of euthanizing Tess, our seven year old Angelfish.  She started going downhill two weeks ago and despite all I have tried to do to make her better, she continues to decline.  However, she is stubborn, and is refusing to let go of life.  I fear she is suffering so after a tip from Kelly, and finally my own ability to believe she will get better finally turning into acceptance that she won't, I bought some Clove Oil today.  This puts the fish to sleep and once the fish is sleeping, you add clear alcohol, like vodka to the water (the fish is removed from the tank before this whole process begins).  It's all very sad, but she lived a long life with us, ate well (she is our only fish as she lunched on anyone else we tried to place in the tank with her), spent her days trying to attack the cats who got too close to the aquarium and generally was a holy terror.  So, she's now going to move to that big aquarium in the sky and after a good clean out, we'll get more fish (Wow!  More than one?  Really?) and make sure that none of them are cannibals.

Let's see, what else?  Weight loss?  Yes, still happening.  Working out at Curves?  Yes, still happening.  Knitting?  No, not really in the last two weeks, but I'll get back to it.  American Idol takes up a lot of knitting time and I borrowed a book from Sheri that I've been enjoying called "The Friday Night Knitting Club".  Good read so far.

Okay, off to finish up laundry!  If I'm not around this weekend, ya'll have a good one!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Living with Men

You know you live with three males when you are the last one to enter the bathroom for the night and you find:

One full roll of TP on the counter next to the sink.
One full roll of TP on the toilet tank.
The TP roller on the wall completely empty
The empty cardboard from the last used up roll on the floor in front of the trashcan.

Welcome to my world.

Oh and any of you who either enjoy American Idol or love the kitties, go and visit Monkee.  She does a weekly review in her own words and hysterical way of AI that had me laughing until I cried.  She is also getting us up close and personal with her cats.  Go visit.  She is much fun!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I like feeling amazing

So I do.  I totally feel amazing. 

Peronally, I don't think that anyone can look at me yet and say "Oh my gosh, you've lost weight!" because I haven't lost enough yet.  But when I realize just how good I'm feeling...well, it's just amazing.  My energy is up so much and I can now finish my workout without wishing I was dead.  Where five weeks ago it took all I could do to keep up a fast walk on the recovery boards, I now jog on them and feel really good about it. 

I like feeling this way and I need to always remember that, because there are times when I think about how long this journey will take in total and then I become overwhelmed.  There are moments when I get really impatient.  I want to shop for regular sized clothes NOW!  But I can't yet because there is still much work to be done.  I didn't do this to myself overnight and I can't undo it overnight either.

So I have to remember how amazing I feel right now.  I have to remember the sense of accomplishment that I usually feel in those really good moments when I think about the way I used to eat compared to how I eat now.  I have to remember how much I like feeling tired at nine 'o clock at night instead of feeling exhausted and needing a nap when I get home from work at 12:45. (There were many times I didn't get the nap but I almost always wanted it!).  I like the fact that my workouts are becoming a priority.  Friday it was snowing like crazy beginning at seven 'o clock in the morning but they had not called off school. However, I knew they were going to get out early because it was forcast to snow all day.  I also knew that if they got out early, I would not be getting to Curves because #1 I would have kids at home and #2 Cruves would probably close early.  So I made an executive decision to go do my workout before going to work.  I could make up the thirty minutes I missed at work, but I would not get the last workout of my week back if I missed it. 

So, it's good.  It's all good.  I'm even pondering the possibility of adding a fourth workout on weeks that allow the time for it.  But you know what really feels amazing? 

Feeling in control of who I am becoming and that is someone who is comfortable in her own skin.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's all good!

So!  Robyn's test results came back NEGATIVE!!  I'm still a wee bit miffed that the doctor didn't  call her on Wednesday when he said he would, but at least the extra wait was for good news (not that it made any difference at all for those of us waiting!  Not like it made that 48 hours bearable!).  Thank you to all of you who said prayers or thought good thoughts!

So today, the eNell bras arrived.  I have been like a kid looking forward to Christmas over these things!  I've been tracking them on and finally this morning they were out for delivery!  You have to understand...when you are pretty well endowed, working out can be painful without the right support, therefore, my excitement.

They arrived and I promptly bolted upstairs carrying both of them, still in the plastic packaging.  There was going to be no waiting until tomorrow!  I had to test this thing out now.  As the Brit would say, they are "Front loaders" meaning they hook up the front, so I slid this thing on like you would a button up shirt, and was horrified to discover that it really didn't fit!  How on earth was I supposed to get the girls in there?  I was not to be deterred however, and I worked furiously to hook up the ten or fifteen little hook thingys.  Then I stood there and realized that where the girls were supposed to be in that thing, well, they were a bit low.  When I threw my shirt back out, I could clearly see the bunching up of where things were supposed to go and it didn't look good.  Could I exchange them?  Would the eBay seller allow that?

My eye caught sight then of the plastic packaging I had ripped the bra from in my haste to try it on and inside was a bright yellow paper.  Nothing subtle there.  Taking it out, the title screamed at me: PLEASE READ BEFORE TRYING ON.  Yeah, okay.  I way didn't do that.  Taking a seat, I proceeded to read the little yellow paper which started out something like this:

"Your ENELL is not like any other sport bra on the market today. It is going to fit and feel completely different.  Your first reaction may be that your ENELL is too small (yeah, got that right!) but it probably isn't! (I brightened up a bit there).  You are just not used to this much support!"

Then the bright yellow paper starts to get a little personal...

"Your ENELL should feel tight, yet comfortable.  When you have the hook and eye (what, they aren't called thingys?) in hand and before you start to pull to fasten, your hands should be under your breasts, slightly to the outside of the center (gotta love a paper that is telling you how to handle the girls). This is for high impact fit, which is the standard fit."

"Start to hook up your ENELL from the bottom and go up (Right...if I could see the bottom, hook and eye, I probably would not need this super industrial bra in the first place), this gets easier with time (let's hope so).  Once you get your ENELL fastened, you need to reach in and adjust your breasts (Excuse me, little yellow paper...are we dating now?) in the bra by pulling them up and out towards the underarm (so now the girls are supposed to be contortionists) so the bra lays flat under the breasts.  The breasts should then be held firmly in the upper/fuller portion of the bra.  Your nipples should rest just below the arch seam (I'm sorry, but the instructions aren't this explicit in self breast exam pamphlets!!)."

But once I had adjusted my world in concordance with the little yellow paper, I can honestly say it is the best bra I have ever had the privilege of wearing.  And yes, we are now dating.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Turning a Corner

Sorry about the lack of post yesterday, but in all honesty, I was way too emotional for most of the day to think of anything coherant to say.  For the record, Robyn's test results have not yet come back, or at least the doctor hasn't called her.  She's going to call the office tomorrow to try to find out what the score is.

But for now, onto other things. 

I have turned a huge corner this week with the exercise.  This marks week #4 and the first three weeks were incredibly miserable.  I have never enjoyed exercising and for three weeks, I forced myself to walk into Curves three times a week.  I hated it the whole time I was doing it, though I can admit to feeling pretty good about myself after finishing.  However, this week, today specifically, I realized how it was not as difficult anymore.  As I drove to Curves, I was not dreading it; it was simply something that I had to do.  I have also found myself working harder, such as managing a light jog on the recovery boards (Can't wait for those eNell bras to get here, lemme tell ya!) instead of a fast walk.  I am now able to hold up a conversation on the recovery boards (I don't really attempt to talk on the machines) without struggling for air. 

I'm not saying that the workout has gotten easy...Noooo....nothing further from the truth!  I guess it's more that the exercise is working.  It's working well enough that yesterday, a non-Curves day, I walked the mile around the park, just me and my Nano and I enjoyed it.  My knees were not terribly crazy about the uphill parts, but I just slowed them down a little and got the job done. 

I think that getting healthy is hard work.  I also am finding out that it is worth it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sleeping with Bread #3

Sleeping with bread is about hope and todays post is about hope, and watching my meme Friday, meet my meme Monday and intermingle with a relay.

Two Fridays ago, I gave you the story of the fantasic and incredibly brave, Robyn.  Robyn saw the doctor today and the news was not necessarily good, though nothing is yet definitive.  A suspicious area, right at the spot of the last tumor removal.  Another biopsy had to be done today and the doctor will call her on Wednesday with the pathology results.  The area looked "granular" which is not a good thing.  It has thrown me for a loop, so I cannot begin to imagine how Robyn feels.

As my mind reels, I feel angry, wanting to shout out about how young my friend is to be going through this.  My next thought is that cancer doesn't discriminate.  All the children who have it, the teenagers, young adults, middle aged, elderly...cancer doesn't care, and my anger doesn't do anyone any good.

I watched my father suffer from and eventually lose his battle with cancer at the age of 60.  I sat by his bed that last night with my sister and my mother, and urged him that it was okay to go.  We watched and held his hands as he took his final breath in this world, to awaken in a new world, without pain...without cancer.  It was one of the most compelling, thought provoking moments of my life.  Dad never showed he was afraid.  I'd imagine he had to be at least a little, but through his battle, he kept his faith and his hope very much alive.

My dad had a favorite piece of scripture which has since become a favorite of mine.  I actually gave this piece of scripture to Shell yesterday on her birthday as she fights her own battle.  I love these words: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Isn't that beautiful?  God already knows how everything is going to turn out.  He has a plan, even when we don't have a clue.  God can make sense out of the senseless and he knows the answers to all our questions.  When he says "plans to give you hope", he's encouraging us to sleep with bread; the bread of life.  And as we hold onto that bread, we can know without a shadow of a doubt that he is holding onto us.

Pastor Phil once said that he tried to imagine the comparision between God and us, because God is so much bigger, knows all, he has it all worked out.  Pastor said that the best analogy he could come up with was himself holding an ant in the palm of his hand.  Imagine that.  God can hold us in the palm of his hand and we don't have any need to fear anything.  All we have to do is trust him.

So why is that so hard to do?  Maybe because it means letting go of our own need to be in control and that so many times in our lives, we think  we are in control.  Maybe God lets us think we are, kind of like we let our kids think they are winning the game of cards, just so they can feel good about winning.   He lets us think we're in control.  But we aren't!  We never are!  And then one day, we're hit with something really big.  Huge.  And we scurry around, trying to do the right things, trying to fight our way to the surface, trying to beat cancer, trying to do it all our way because we have got to be in control. 

And just maybe God whispers to us, "You can't control this.  Let go.  Let me."  How hard is that to give the reigns of our lives over to someone we can't even physically see?  It feels damn near impossible.  God tries to take those reigns from us, but we still hold on tightly, afraid to relinquish that last little bit of control and he isn't going to force the issue with us.  We have to give it up all on our own, or it doesn't mean anything. 

"Let me."

"I can't."

"Let me."

I think his voice is soft and oh so patient and we sink a little bit deeper as we struggle to hold onto to the reigns, but we finally realize that we need to let go and let God handle it.  It's bigger than us; whatever we are battling; cancer, bad marriages, troubled kids, diseases, bad health...whatever it is, it is bigger than we are...and God is bigger than any of the battles we try to fight.  He's the only one who is! 

"Okay, take it...I can't do it anymore.  I'm tired."

"It's already been taken.  You rest now.  I have a plan, you'll see.  Sleep with bread; my bread.  I have you in the palm of my hand."

And it's only then that we can experience true peace in the face of whatever it is we're facing.  I want Robyn to remember that, and anyone else who is going through something that is incredibly hard.  God has a plan.

Part of God's plan for me, is that I walk in Relay for Life on June 2nd.  Our team will walk from noon that day until sunrise the following morning to raise money for a cure.  One of the things I love about this is that it is not cancer specific.  We're not walking for breast cancer, colon cancer or oral cancer.  We're walking for cancer.  To raise money to find a cure so that hopefully one day in the near future, people won't have to face this disease that knows no discrimination.  Yes, God is always in control, but often he uses us to give hope and maybe one day a future to those who may not otherwise have one on this earth because they are fighting this horrible disease.

I don't believe for a second that God created cancer.  I think the world we live in, full of imperfections, toxins, pollution etc has taken care of that all on its own.  But I think that God can use even cancer, to make a bunch of self absorbed, cell phone chatting, electronic loving people, care about each other, even those we don't know.  Love and caring don't have to have a face, and in this case, those we are fighting for have millions of faces.

If you haven't already, would you please take a moment to visit my Relay page and make a donation for a cure?  God is having this out of shape, forty year old, who can't keep her eyes open past 11:00pm, walking for cancer.  My goal is $500 of which I have $110 thus far.  I'd love to exceed my own personal goal, as well as to see Relay for Life, top their best past numbers.

Thanks for listening.  Sleep with bread.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Women are Fantastic Friday #2

Todays fantastic woman is a very special person in my life, whom I have known for nearly nine years.  She is partially responsible for the Brit and I meeting each other, though several people had unintentional hands in that one.  This is a girl who will do anything for anyone and not ask for a thing in return.

This person has always been wonderful but what has made her fantastic is the hand that life has dealt her over the past year.  Her husband cheated on her because he had no idea what an incredible gift he had in her.  When confronted, he lied and promised to stop conversing with this other woman, and when he was caught once again, Shell rightly kicked him out.  It was the hardest thing she had probably ever done in her life.

The months that followed brought many tears, insecurities, feelings of worthlessness and an overall despair as she wondered how she would ever make it emotionally and financially.  Yet, even as Shelley wondered if she would ever be "normal" again, I could easily see the subtle growth of tiny wings that she never knew she possessed.  From somewhere deep inside of herself, Shell began to show an inner strength that was never there before and more recently, I get the feeling that she is growing much more comfortable in her own skin.  She is discovering things about herself that I don't think she ever knew before and is realizing that she really is strong and worthy and that she can be defined as a whole on her own as opposed to being part of another person.

She walks with a stronger faith now as well and is learning that she is not always given the answers on a timeline that suits.    Shelley is an incredible mother, a loving daughter and a giving, and caring friend.

Shell, on the left, with Lisa.

And you know what else?  Shell's birthday is this Sunday so it was only fitting that this be her week to be celebrated as a fantastic woman.  Shell, I love you and even when you don't believe in yourself, know that I believe in you.  You'll get through and you have an incredible, blessing filled future ahead of you.

For your birthday, please consider this your coupon from Lisa and I for one afternoon or night on the town, our treat.  Whether it be lunch and a yarn shop crawl, or dinner and a movie, it's on us.  You just let us know when you're free and we'll  make it happen!

Oh, and Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Random Wednesday or I still got nuttin'

So despite the fact that last Friday it was a marvelous 62 degrees outside, today, Old Man Winter laid another couple of inches of snow on us.  Needless to say, the kidlins were home and I'm hoping it doesn't freeze tonight so they have school tomorrow.

1. When schools are closed, my Curves is also closed, so no workout happened today, which means that to get three in this week, I have to go both Thursday and Friday.  I hate going two days in a row because my muscles protest strongly the second day.  However, it must be done.

2. I did manage to find two really good sports bras at half the price I would have payed for them in a store or online.  The eNell sports bra came highly rated at 3FCs for us chicks who are a bit more endowed than is always comfortable for working out and it retails for $60.  I did some searching on eBay and found someone who must work in the factory or something because she was selling "slighty irregular" eNell bras and in reading her comments, most women could not even find what was irregular about them!  She didn't have any in my size, but being the go-getter I have recently become, I emailed her and asked if she had any in my size coming down the pike and she said yes, and she just posted them!  They were Buy it Now items, so I did!  My girls are looking forward to them!

3. And next week I need to add walking to my regime on my non-Curves days.  The Biggest Loser competition starts on Monday, and if I'm going to play, then I'm going to play to win.  I might not, but I plan on giving it 110%.  I need to spend the weekend loading up my Nano with good songs to walk to!

4.  You AI fans out there, I hope you are voting!  Vote for the Worst has targeted Antonella and Sundance this week (sorry, Lisa).  The good news is that unless the teeny bopper population really throws down the votes, then Sanjaya should be leaving us tomorrow night.  He's a cute kid, but he really lacks the voice and stage presence of many of the other contestants.  My votes remain the same: Chris, Chris, Blake and Phil and in the girls, Melinda, LaKisha and Jordin.  I even threw Haley a few sympathy votes tonight in hopes of skewing with Vote for the Worst throwing their votes Antonella's way.  She really needs to go.  If she doesn't, I'll have to be ranting here tomorrow night....

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I don't wanna dwive or wind yarn!

The "I don't wanna dwive" quote comes from playing Hearts at Lisa's many, many times and never wanting to go first because of not knowing where the queen of spades was who could land you with a buttload of points!  I am also not a knitting swatcher.  Hate to swatch. In fact, if I knew how to make those handy dandy buttons for my blog, I would make one that said "KAS" (Knitters against swatching).  The other thing I can't be liking to do is to take a hank of yarn and wind it into a ball because it ALWAYS GETS TANGLED UP!

I was at Shell's Sunday night and that was exactly what happened.  I was operating the ball winder, while Shell held the hank and it became a mess.  It has nothing to do with the fact that at times I get a little bit full of myself and wind faster just to watch Shell have to juggle getting the yarn unwound from her hands.  Noooo.  Nothing to do with that!

Anyway, eating and exercise is still going well, though I have not weighed in this week.  I'll get weighed and measured tomorrow at Curves hopefully as I have to have it done to start the Biggest Loser contest, which runs March 12th-June 12th.  I only say "hopefully" because I want the same girl who originally did my measurements to do them as being done by the same person I would think ensures more accuracy.

I am determined to try my darndest to blog five days a week, but then there are days like today when I really have nothin'.  Nothing big or exciting happened today, unless you get turned on by shopping at the Walmart. 

Monday, March 5, 2007

Sleeping With Bread #2

So as Sleeping with Bread for me symbolizes hope, I'm going to tell you a little story with a hopeful, though not yet resolved ending.  Any similarities to anything going on in my life are purely coincidental.  Purely.  Coincidental.  Really.

Once upon a time there was an old shepherd.  The old shepherd had worked his entire life herding many different flocks across the fields and meadows.  He was a good shepherd and he knew how to protect his flock,.  He knew when they needed to be fed and he knew when they needed to drink.  He knew just how many sheep he had and because he paid such close attention to his flock, there was never a chance for one of the sheep to go missing.  But the old shepherd knew more about his flock than just what their basic needs were.  For example, he knew that Cindy Sheep was having problems with her eldest lamb, Sam.  He also knew that Savannah Sheep was helping to care for her aging father, Simon Sheep, and that she was struggling with this while trying to raise two lambs of her own. 

You see, the old shepherd took the time to get to know his flock; he listened to them twice as much as he spoke to them.  When he did speak to them, his voice was gentle and caring and when he listened to them, he listened wholeheartedly.  He heard the things that they were saying and he read what was left unsaid in their eyes.  He loved his flock very much and his flock loved him as well.  They knew that they were safe and cared for and in return for all the things the old shepherd did for them, they gave back to him tenfold.

The old shepherd stayed with his flock one last spring, watching the wildflowers burst into colorful life upon the hills.  He stayed through the summer and fall, and just as winter began, he knew it was time for him to move on.  He was old and he was tired and though he loved his flock, he knew that they would benefit from someone new who had more energy.

The flock was saddened deeply by the loss of their dear friend, yet they still waited with excited anticipation for their new shepherd.  They had heard he received top honors in shepherding school and they were very pleased that he was coming to care for their flock.  They had dreamed of this new shepherd being the one who would come to them because they had heard such great things about him.

But dreams and reality have a way of not turning out exactly as the dreamers hope they might.  Yes, the new shepherd did come to the flock and they greeted him happily and he smiled and went about herding them.  He spoke to them often about herding and sheep and other matters that he found to be of great importance, and perhaps those matters truly were important.  But the sheep were greatly troubled for though their shepherd spoke to them, he never really listened to them.  Cindy Sheep continued to struggle with her lamb, Sam, but the new shepherd never even knew there were any problems.  Savannah carried on her burden with nary a word of encouragement and it made her terribly sad.  She felt so alone and she missed the old shepherd and how he knew the right words to say to make her burden feel not so overwhelming.

The sheep began to withdraw from the shepherd, feeling hurt that he didn't seem to care about each one of them as the old shepherd had.  Twas true that the new shepherd knew a lot about tending to a herd, but he really didn't have any idea of how to relate to each individual sheep and he seemed to lack a will to try.  Some of the sheep wandered off and the shepherd never noticed they were missing because he was so busy talking and planning ways that he could better himself as a shepherd.  Some of the sheep tried to talk to him, but the shepherd never really seemed to be listening to anything they were saying.  The flock withdrew further.

In their woolly hearts, the sheep were hoping that maybe their new shepherd would realize what was happening and what was missing in their relationship between him and them.  The sheep wanted that sense of family that they'd had with the old shepherd, the one who had walked beside them, instead of in front them, never bothering to turn around to see if they were following.  The new shepherd ministered to his flock but not to each sheep; he didn't even know all of their names.  The sheep felt lost, insignificant, and not worthy of being noticed or cared for.  They didn't want their new shepherd to pander to their every whim, they simply wanted to feel a sense of belonging.

The flock still watch the new shepherd from afar.  They hear him speak and they hope that one day he will learn to listen.  They still have their hope.  They still sleep with bread.

To be continued at a later date....

Friday, March 2, 2007

Women are Fantastic Friday #1

When I saw this new meme on MarillaAnne's blog, I immediately loved it.  At forty years old, my life is made up of some incredible women, if for no other reason, because they put up with me .  No, really, they are just all good people who have touched my life in one way or another.

Ever since deciding to partake in this Friday meme, I have been pondering who to use as my very first fantastic woman and though you are all wonderful, if I named all of you in the first Friday, it would be a short lived meme!  But honestly, one person stood out amongst the rest right now at being so utterly fantastic and that would have to be my oldest friend in the world, Robyn.

Robyn and I met when I was a freshman in high school and she was in the 8th grade and her older sister, Cathy, was who introduced us.  Cathy was a junior when I started high school and we met because we were both into drama club.  It didn't take too long for my friendship with Cathy to transfer to her younger sister, Robyn and before too long we were relatively inseperable.  We both loved theater, writing, Days of our Lives and music.  We wrote together, had sleepovers at each other's houses ("Robyn, where is your other sock?"  This was her mama at like 7:00 in the morning after we had been up talking all night.  That sock being in the laundry was a life or death situation), bicycled all over the place until I got my driver's license and a car.

Our friendship took many twists and turns, from me moving to New York, to Robyn going away to college...and going away to college....and moving to Baltimore to go to more college, but we remained close through nearly all of it.  I only say nearly, because we did have a spat or two, but they always blew over.  Our lives took different directions once again when I met the Brit and got married and Robyn was right beside me on the beach as my maid of honor. 

We have seen each other through moves, loves found and lost, the deaths of parents and numerous twists and turns in the road.  Now, these are all reasons why Robyn is fantastic, but not the reasons why I chose her as my very first Women are Fantastic meme.  The reason I chose her is because she is probably the bravest person I know.

Robyn has been in a battle with cancer for the last year and a half and has remained upbeat, optimistic and has never lost sight of her faith.  She has been through surgery, both to get the tumors and to reconstruct, has battle scars that she deserves to wear like trophies just to show the world how hard she has fought, has dealt with a feeding tube and a trach.  Through all of it, she never quit smiling or laughing and though I know that there were moments where she had to feel positively terrified, she never gave into the fear; she never let it rule her, destroy her or take her hope.  I personally think that if it had been me going through this, I would have drowned in the terror I'd of felt, but Robyn never waivered. 

She is currently in remission and waiting for test results to come back.  The doctor warned her in advance about the possibility of a "false positive" in her PET scan because of the healing that is still occuring and he doesn't want to see her until March 12th.  Though the doctor doesn't appear to be too terribly concerned, I know it has to be worrying Robyn.  But she's brave, and oh so strong and I know that no matter what happens, she will rise above it, trusting in God and smiling.

Robyn, I don't always know the words to say to express my amazement at your attitude in the face of so much, but just know that I love you and that you are incredibly brave...not to mention fantastic.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

America, you have to VOTE

Okay, I cannot believe that I am giving American Idol another plug and truly exposing the depth of my geekiness, but it just has to happen.  I know that many of you watch this show, and if you are like me, you prefer to see the people go each week who have the least amount of talent.  Supposedly, that is what makes the show what it is and in a world that worked the way it was intended to work, the weaker singer(s) each week would be the ones to go home, leaving us with the best and the brightest as the number widdle down.

However, there is an evil force in the American Idol universe and it's name is "Vote for the Worst".  That is exactly what they do.  This is not new as it has been going on now for a couple of years, but I have really seen the impact it has made on the AI world over the last two weeks.  Let's be honest; Antonella should have gone home last week and she did not and after another weak performance this week, she should have been shown to the door.  But Vote for the Worst. com targeted her as the contestant to vote for, so she is still there.  Sanjaya is another one who should have gone home tonight but is still with us.

As someone who has always had a love of theater and music, I just find what this website does to be despicable.  I truly believe that the people with the most talent should be the ones to stick around longer and skewing with the numbers this way is not how AI intended it to be.

So here's the deal people.  You can no longer just sit and watch this show.  YOU HAVE TO VOTE to keep your favorites; the ones with the talent, on for another week.  Most seasons, I watched this program just for entertainment purposes and because of my love of music, but this season, I am SO voting!  So please, if you are a blogger who loves AI or a blog reader who loved AI....VOTE.  It only took me about 15 minutes each night this week to place votes for 7 people.  It is toll free.  Dial in the number and then hit redial until you get through.  But don't be complacent!  You have to VOTE.