Sunday, November 30, 2008

Live and Learn....Again.

One would think that after seven months, I would know better than to push things, but Noooooo.

I do a really good job of keeping foods I should not eat out of my house.  Though I try to be strict with myself, I am not above slipping if temptation is right under my nose.  But today was my pearl party so I had to have munchies for my guests.  I did a pretty good job of not going overboard with sugar.  I had shrimp and cocktail sauce, crab dip made with crab, lowfat mayo and light cream cheese, reduced fat Triscuits and reduced fat Wheat Thins and fruit and fruit dip.

Fruit dip is an addictive thing for me.  I love it.  LOVE IT.  I made it with light cream cheese but there is no escaping that marshmallow cream, baby!  During the party, I had a few bits of with a little dip with no ill effects and of course, this makes me want to push the envelope apparently.  Tonight, I decided on grapes and dip as a snack.  Usually only the grapes would be my snack, but hell, there is DIP!

So now that I have spent a half hour spitting up dip over the sink, I think I have learned my lesson.  Getting away with a taste or two is not bad, but if sugar is involved, one must learn to STOP.  It has taken  my pouch a good thirty minutes to settle down.  Fruit dip in my house is not good!

I have pictures from Lancaster yesterday, but am too tired tonight to resize them.  Can anyone tell me where a four day weekend went??

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Real Terrorists are out on Black Friday

Let me preface this by saying that I am not in any way trying to make light of terrorist attacks by by title.  The title just worked for what I am writing about today.  I am caught between angry sarcasm and deep sadness by what my mother told me this morning, and as soon as I got home I had to look it up for myself. 

A Walmart worker died early Friday after an "out-of-control" mob of frenzied shoppers smashed through the Long Island store's front doors and trampled him, police said.

The Black Friday stampede plunged the Valley Stream outlet into chaos, knocking several employees to the ground and sending others scurrying atop vending machines to avoid the horde.

When the madness ended, 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour was dead and four shoppers, including a woman eight months pregnant, were injured.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Wal-Mart worker Jimmy Overby, 43.

"They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me.

"They took me down, too ... I didn't know if I was going to live through it. I literally had to fight people off my back," Overby said.

Damour, a temporary maintenance worker from Jamaica, Queens, was gasping for air as shoppers continued to surge into the store after its 5 a.m. opening, witnesses said.

Even officers who arrived to perform CPR on the trampled worker were stepped on by wild-eyed shoppers streaming inside, a cop at the scene said.

"They pushed him down and walked all over him," Damour's sobbing sister, Danielle, 41, said. "How could these people do that?

"He was such a young man with a good heart, full of life. He didn't deserve that."

Damour's sister said doctors told the family he died of a heart attack.

His cousin, Ernst Damour, called the circumstances "completely unacceptable."

"His body was a stepping bag with so much disregard for human life," Ernst Damour, 37, said. "There has to be some accountability."

Roughly 2,000 people gathered outside the Wal-Mart's doors in the predawn darkness.

Chanting "push the doors in," the crowd pressed against the glass as the clock ticked down to the 5 a.m. opening.

Sensing catastrophe, nervous employees formed a human chain inside the entrance to slow down the mass of shoppers.

It didn't work.

The mob barreled in and overwhelmed workers.

"They were jumping over the barricades and breaking down the door," said Pat Alexander, 53, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. "Everyone was screaming. You just had to keep walking on your toes to keep from falling over."

After the throng toppled Damour, his fellow employees had to fight through the crowd to help him, police said.

Witness Kimberly Cribbs said shoppers acted like "savages."

"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, 'I've been on line since Friday morning!'" Cribbs said. "They kept shopping."

When paramedics arrived, Damour's condition was grave.

"They were pumping his chest, trying to bring him back, and there was nothing," said Dennis Smokes, 36, a Wal-Mart worker.
Damour was taken to
Franklin Hospital and pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m.

Hank Mullany, president of Wal-Mart's northeast division, said the company took extraordinary safety precautions.

"We expected a large crowd this morning and added additional internal security, additional third-party security, additional store associates and we worked closely with the Nassau County police," he said in a statement.

"We also erected barricades. Despite all of our precautions, this unfortunate event occurred."

The 28-year-old pregnant woman and three other shoppers were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, police said.

In a news conference after the incident, Nassau County police spokesman Lt. Michael Fleming described the crowd as "out of control" and the scene as "utter chaos." He said Wal-Mart did not have enough security onhand.

Fleming said criminal charges were possible but that it would be difficult to identify individual shoppers in surveillance videos.

Items on sale at the Wal-Mart store included a $798 Samsung 50-inch Plasma HDTV, a Bissel Compact Upright Vacuum for $28 and Men's Wrangler Tough Jeans for $8.

The Long Island store reopened at 1 p.m. and was packed within minutes.

"I look at these people's faces and I keep thinking one of them could have stepped on him," said one employee. "How could you take a man's life to save $20 on a TV?"

So I guess nothing says Merry Christmas more than a stampede of people who can't take the time to summon up common sense and what should be an ingrained sense of concern for other people.  This situation disgusts me and though they will probably never catch the individuals who trampled this poor young man, they know who they are.  You can't knock someone over nor step on them without remembering that, unless of course, you are truly a savage.

And if that is not bad enough, this also happened yesterday:

 Two men were shot and killed Friday inside a Toys R Us in Palm Desert, Calif., during a confrontation apparently involving rival groups, city officials said.

Palm Desert Councilman Jim Ferguson said police told him two men with handguns shot and killed each other. Ferguson said he asked police whether the incident was a dispute over a toy or whether it was gang-related. He said police told him they were not going to release further details until the victims' relatives were notified.

"I think the obvious question everyone has is who takes loaded weapons into a Toys R Us?" he said. "I doubt it was the casual holiday shopper."

City spokeswoman Sheila Gilligan said police told her the shooting broke out between "two groups of individuals that have a dispute with each other."

Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez said Palm Desert police got a call saying shots had been fired inside the store around 11:35 a.m.

Gutierrez confirmed there was a fight but said it was not over a toy.

He released little information at a news conference five hours after the shooting but emphasized there were no outstanding suspects and that no one was arrested. Detectives were reviewing security video and interviewing witnesses, he said.

The incident occurred near the front of the store in the check-out area. Gutierrez said

Witnesses are calling the incident a murder-suicide, but that could not be immediately confirmed.

Bob Friedland, public relations manager for Toys R Us said the company is working closely with local law enforcement to determine the specific details of what happened at the store.

"We are outraged by the act of violence that occurred...and by the fact that anyone would compromise the safety and security of our customers and employees," Friedland said. "Our understanding is that this act seems to have been the result of a personal dispute between the individuals involved. Therefore, it would be inaccurate to associate the events of today with Black Friday."

Shopper Sarah Pacia, of Cathedral City, Calif., told The Desert Sun that she was browsing through the coloring books in the store with her two young sons, ages 4 and 6, when she heard a ruckus coming from the next aisle.

At first, she thought it was a Black Friday scuffle over a toy on sale, the paper reported. Then she heard three or four shots ring out. Store employees quickly escorted her outside.

She said her terrified 4-year-old son Jayden clung to her leg and told her that he didn't want to die.

"This is Toys R Us. There are kids shopping in there," Pacia told the Sun.

Immediately after the shooting, about 20 people rushed into the World Gym across the street from Toys 'R' Us, the gym's assistant manager Glenn Splain told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

"They were crying, tearing and shaking," Splain said, adding that one woman came in cradling a baby.

"Some people got into a fight," said Splain, who spoke with some of the customers. "One of the guys here thought it was over a toy but it got louder and louder and then there were gunshots."

Palm Desert is about two hours southeast of Los Angeles.

Okay, so maybe this one was gang related, but HELLO??  Toy store!!!  Kids everywhere!  Where is anyone's common sense anymore?

C'mon people, isn't it time we stopped acting like animals who have to save a few bucks and start acting with respect and grace towards each other?  When did it become okay to break down a Walmart door?  When did it become okay to not leave the store when employees announced someone had DIED?  I would expect this kind of behavior out of elephants, being wild and all, but people?  What is wrong with the human race? 

My heart aches for the people who lost a loved one yesterday because of the selfishness of people.  Is Christmas really about getting that deal? Funny, I listened to Christmas carols all day today on Sirius on the way to Lancaster and back and none of the songs talked about killing other people in order to purchase an item.  For that matter, I shopped today and neither myself nor anyone I was in the stores with got so much as bruised by unruly individuals. 

Sadly, human beings should really be beyond such behavior.  It absolutely sickens me.  Christmas isn't about "stuff" and at what price you can get it.  A few people really need to remember that.

Friday, November 28, 2008

No Longer Hiding

I have written in this blog before about my closet desire to become a published author.  I have also written about my deep-rooted fear of rejection in doing so.  I have no idea why it scares me so much, but it does.  After all, there is that whole "nothing ventured, nothing gained" quote and all. 

The fact is, I love to write.  I write all the time and have been doing so since middle school, most of it some kind of fan fiction, but the stories are original, even if the characters are not.  I have probably spent enough hours, days and years writing things that can never be published to equal a couple of full length novels. 

I kind of feel like I have been coming into my own ever since my surgery, a sort of stepping into the ring instead of watching it from the sidelines.  Are all my insecurities gone?  Of course not. Are anyone's insecurities ever all gone?  Probably not and if you are one who has none, please tell me your secret.  But nonetheless, this has been a coming out period for me.  There are days I feel downright daring and full of life as if I am completely unstoppable.  It isn't always easy, but I no longer feel that there is a barrier holding me back from things that I want.

One of the things I want is to be published and I am slowly convincing myself that 2009 is the year for me to begin writing seriously.   I have about a million story ideas floating around in my head and they sometimes make me feel like screaming as I can't seem to pick one, but I'm working on controlling that bit of insanity.

So, here is my little secret.  I entered a small writing contest that is put out by a Christian organization.  They give you the story title and you have 750 words or less to write a little story.  I sent mine off last night.  I don't expect to win as I really don't think short stories are my specialty; too hard to find emotion and intent in so few words and especially difficult to develop characters in a handful of paragraphs.  I wasn't going to tell anyone, but I'm coming out after all.

I think the fear lies in finding out that I'm not good enough.  I've always felt that I am a halfway decent writer, but what if I'm not?  That is not a statement to solicit kind remarks or validation, but simply a factual question.  What if publishing companies tell me "You're crap."? 

That's the scary part, but I'm going to try to put the fear aside and just write, without concern for consequences; just for the pure love of it.

We'll see what happens.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

So Thanksgiving is almost officially over and it was relatively successful from a WLS patient's first one.  Ate more than I normally would at a meal but I don't think I overate.  Majority of what I had was turkey, then a taste of stuffing and sweet potatoes and a bite or two of saurkraut (which I love).  The cranberry sauce was good and the pumpkin roll looked weird but tasted pretty good.  The problem with it, I think, is that we had to buy a jelly roll pan and I think I bought one too big.  When you spread the batter out on the pan, you have to spread it evenly all over and that made for a pretty thin layer on the pan, thus, it didn't rise too much.  A smaller pan and I think the desired look will be achieved.  I'll try again for the Christmas party.

I did something bad to my right arm, I think.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned doing work at the gym with free weights and ever since then, things have not been right.  I thought I just pulled a muscle, but we're looking at two weeks now.  When I lift anything, even a cup of coffee, there is dull pain in my forearm.  Huh?  Any idea what I did?  And those of you familar with my "grace", this is not the arm I broke a few years back.

Tomorrow the car goes in for an oil change, the old Dyson goes to the vacuum place to see if they can fix it and we pick up the boat from the guy who fixed the hole in it.  Then we head to Tod's to help him get his artificial trees up.  Kids are away for a few days so we will be enjoying the peace and quiet.

Hope you all had a great day today!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Adventures in Thanksgiving

So, tonight I have made cranberry sauce with Splenda and The Brit says it is a little tart, so I guess I'll add a bit more Splenda.  I am currently in the midst of a Splenda Pumpkin roll which I have definate concerns about.  I know it isn't supposed to taste exactly like the real, full fat thing, but I'm still a little worried.  The cream cheese filling is pretty good though, so I'm hoping that will fix anything else that may

It's a total and constant learning experience, this new way of life.  I know that I cannot sit down tomorrow and devour my normal Thanksgiving dinner.  Stuffing?  Nope, not going there?  Gravy?  Maybe a little.  Sweet potato?  A bite.  Turkey and veggies, absolutely.  Sheesh, all this and there is still Christmas to get through!  Why are these holidays so food centered? 

We always have an Open House during the holidays, which means, FOOD!  So the challenge becomes a mix of stuff we can eat, my weight watching friends can eat, and my anything goes friends will eat.  The problem is making sure temptation doesn't strike me to cross over into the Anything Goes catagory.  I really need to start thinking through that menu.

Then on Sunday is the pearl party, which involves, again, FOOD, as hosting tends to do.  Not a clue what to serve for that one.  Healthy munchies, without going overboard as I have no clue who is coming.

Oh well, off to finish off the pumpkin roll.  I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving tomorrow!  I'm thankful for:

My husband (I have to put him first as he insists he always comes after the cats) who I don't know what I would do without.  He is truly the love of my life.
My family; kids and siblings, etc, who always keep me on my toes
My cats who love me unconditionally and help keep my stress intact.
My amazing friends, who are always there when I need them.
My God, who has given me all the above gifts as well as a new chance at life.
My RNY.  So life changing.
My God

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wish List 2008

So I got this from our friendly, neighborhood Rebel and it seemed pretty neat...maybe even some paying it forward involved if you all want to play.

The Rules:
Make a post to your blog.
The post should contain your list of holiday wishes.

The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a header that's made just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.") Or they can be life situation specific or wishes for other people's lives. Nothing about this has to be about material objects if you don't want it to be.

The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.- If you wish for real life things, make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.-

Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines on your blog, or link to this post (it'll be public) so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two - Surf around your blog roll to see who has posted their list. And now here's the important part:- If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is anothers treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use--or even know where you could get some one's dream purebred Basset Hound for free--do it.

You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf--to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not--it's your call.There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached.

Just...wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.

My Wish List for Christmas 2008

1) To reach my goal weight of 150 before my one year surgical anniversary

2) To continue to pull patience at being a mother out of my rear end or straight from God.  Whatever works.

3) For The Brit to not need the second part of his surgery as the Sleeve is so successful for him (especially as his company killed our insurance plan that covered WLS and we had to go with another company and rumor has it they exclude WLS).

4) For my kids to grow in grace and wisdom

5) For me to always be on the lookout for ways to make someone else's life better in any small or big way I can.  Make me aware.

6) To have a personal trainer at the YMCA for one I can learn to work the big boy weights in the middle of the room without fear of killing myself.

7) That our economy improves and the people who are without work are able to find work once more.

8) To finally find the confidence to try to write for in for publication.

9) For my little church to grow

10) For my friends with marital problems to get some help, in the hopes of making it work and not just by "maintaining".

11) For my family to come together and grow closer; not just certain people but everyone.

12) To have a really amazing vacation this summer

13) For the war to end in Iraq and for peace to prevail

14) To have some kind of positive influence on the youth group kids that I am entrusted with for a few hours a week.  This is so important to me.  I need to know I made a difference for them.

15) I still want those horseback riding lessons

Monday, November 24, 2008

Church life

I am in the process of Christmas decorating.  My nativity is up and my snowmen are out, I have garland running up the steps, but still have to add some embellishments to that (I did my own little creation with garland, lights and pinecones.  I need to add some pseudo-cranberries, I think).  I don't want to do anything outside until after Thursday as I am jumping the gun a little due to helping Tod.

I honestly have nothing of real interest to say today.  Our church lady came in today; the one who drives me bonkers, and she remarked on the artificial flower arrangements that the choir had purchases for the sanctuary.  Sometimes we have a week where no one has requested altar flowers, so the artificial ones can go up on those weeks.  So I mentioned to our church lady that I was putting them in the bulletin for Sunday as a dedication from the choir and she informed me that the arrangements were far too big and that God didn't care about size (So many jokes can be said on that one, but I'll leave it alone!) and He wouldn't be impressed. 

Now see, the reason the choir got these gorgeous arrangements was because the church lady's (CL from this point on) solution to weeks with no flowers was to save the arrangement from the previous Sunday, put it downstairs in the dark (I still don't get that one) and then use it again the following Sunday.   The last time she did that, I almost added the altar flowers to the prayer list.  They were drooping and as so many of the flowers had died and she had taken them out, the arrangement was really rather sad.  I'll never understand the way this woman thinks.

Of course, this is the same woman who last week informed me that Obama may be the anti-christ and the same woman who told me two weeks ago that colonoscopies were just a raquet for doctors to get money.  Same woman who has never had a mammogram nor a pap smear because she doesn't believe in them.

Nothing should surprise me anymore.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Are We Just Cut and Paste Girls?

As sort of a continuation from the newspaper article and my points about why the guy did not tell the reporter up front that he'd had gastric bypass, you have to read Jil's experience last week

This bothered me a lot and though it also made me thankful that such a terrible remark has not so far been directed at me, it also makes me A) wonder how long it will be before someone does make a hurtful remark in my direction and wonder if anything similar has been thought in my direction from anyone I would consider a friend.

I'd like to think not.  Fact is, my friends and I are in an older age bracket than that of Jil and her friends (I think Jil is in her twenties, where I'm in my forties) and think we are above that.  I know that Jil is also above that, as I have had glimpses of Jil's heart by reading her blog, but I have no idea how old her co-workers are, nor their maturity level.  But i I know my friends are above such comments; what about my acquaintances? 

Not that it really matters and I know that.  What matters the most about the fact that I had gastric bypass surgery is that I am happy and healthy.  Anyone else's negative vibes are just that; their own negative vibes.  But it still gripes me that Jil or anyone else has to suffer such a terrible remark.

One of Jil's commentors remarked that some women had treated her the same way about her cesarean section!  Excuse me?  So not only does gastric bypass not count as real weight loss, but a C-section doesn't count as a real baby?  Or does it not count as real delivery?

Why can't people think before they say such awful things that can be hurtful to someone else?  Why do people think that the way they do things is the only way they can be done? 

And what exactly does "cut and paste girl" mean?  That we cut our stomachs and pasted...what?  What's really sad is that I doubt the girl who said it just thought of it on the spot. 

Jil, like me, Kim, Lacy, Meghan, Susan and every other WLS patient earned their weight loss every bit as much as anyone who does Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or whatever. We work at it.  We work out.  We watch what we eat. Just like they do.  Maybe all people who lose weight any way are a form of "cut and paste".  They cut things out of their diets...the paste part remains a mystery to me though.

Jil, hold your head high.  You are now living your life and you have so much to offer the world.  Cruel comments from immature people don't deserve any of your heartache.  We C&P gals are sticking together and sticking it to anyone who wants to hint that we did things "the wrong way".

Oh and how much does My Brit love me?  He bought me a new vacuum today.  He figured it was money well spent for his sanity as the dirt on the carpets was really freaking me out.  I was nearly giddy once he unboxed it and I got to use it.  The twitching has finally subsided.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Loooong Thirty-Something hours

My night last night did not end until well after midnight (which is late for this gal anymore.  I'm usually up via my body clock shortly after 6:00 am, so by 11:00pm, I am ready to sleep!) and started right before 7:30 am this morning.  The day started with cleaning up puke as Kaitlyn and JJ decided last night at about 11:00 that eating grapes and pickles was a great idea.  As Kaitlyn had not eaten much prior, other than a slice of pizza and part of a piece of cake, I allowed some of it, though I put back MANY of the pickles they'd heaped upon a plate.  Apparently the grapes did not sit well with Kaitlyn (who is my boy's biological little sister).

Following the puke, Adrianna came downstairs holding her socks in her hand and proclaiming that someone had peed on the bathroom floor and she had stepped in it.  As The Brit doesn't do barf, I had him take piss duty (especially as it had to be a boy.  Why can they not aim?) while I washed out the socks and then continued with making pancakes. 

It was finally all over around noon, once everyone was home and we were on our way to Mandy's to have our yearly photos taken.  I'll share once we have them.

So, tonight I am tired and thinking that a ten 'o clock bedtime would be divine.

Oh and I am currently in the midst of a tragedy.

My Dyson is on the blink.  Won't pick up a damn thing and y'all know how I am about the vacuuming thing.  I may have to find someone who has a vacuum I can borrow for a week until we either A) send back the Dyson to see if they will repair it, but the warrenty I am fairly sure is over as it has been at least five years or buy a new Dyson.  Without a vacuum, I may lose my mind, especially as I have that Vantel Pearl party next Sunday, for which I must have I could live without it until then anyway!  HA!

The girls from last night, minus Kaitlyn, from left to right, Adrianna, Delaney (JJ's future wife) and Lauren (who if she has her way, she will be Aaron's future wife )

Kaitlyn with her blue frosting tongue.

The Brit and Delaney with their blue frosting tongues.

Out of sequence but JJ blowing out the candles on his Nascar cake (and no, I am so not a Nascar fan!)

Mandy, God bless her, who stayed to help, with her other two kids (Delaney is also hers), Noah and Paige.

Present time!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Slumber Party

So in honor of JJ's 9th birthday on Thanksgiving Day, we are having a slumber party tonight for his birthday.  Four girls and two boys.  We have done a pinata, cake, pizza, gifts and s'mores.  They are now very noisily playing Monopoly and I am waiting for them to start winding down so I can seperate the girls from the boys for sleeping purposes.  Yes, they are in 1st through 3rd grade, but I prefer to err on the side of caution.

From the sounds coming from the living room, it could be a loooooong night.

Pictures tomorrow!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Paying It Forward

A few folks shared with me their paying it forward stories from this week.  Now, while any kindness we extend to anyone is nothing short of wonderful, I want to propose something more.  I don't want to diminish the things we do out of the goodness of our hearts for our loved ones in any way.  Kim has been helping numerous friends and co-workers and I have made it a point to spend time with Tod every day as he still can't drive.  These kindnesses are not difficult or out of our comfort zone because we know and love these people.  Spending time with them is a gift for us.

Here is what I want to propose for the season of Advent:  Paying it forward to total strangers.  Doing some small kindness to help someone we don't know, as often as the opportunity presents itself.  We all know and have experienced the rudeness of the human race lately.  So often I am appalled by the things people do to each other, total strangers, because what?  If we don't know them, it's okay to be rude?  We've all been victims of this and Lord forgive us, we have probably all done our share of being rude, either intentionally or unintentionally. 

Imagine the good it would do to simply say something kind to a mother struggling to shop with a child throwing a tantrum, or to help an elderly person unload shopping bags into her trunk, or to help someone get something down from a top shelf.  What about anonymously? Where are the opportunities to do something for someone without telling them about it?  To do it completely selflessly.  How can we make someone's life a little easier during what has become the busiest and most commercial season of the year?  I'm thinking that a random act of kindness is a way of bringing Christ back to the season. 

I would love for someone with some know-how to create a little button for bloggers who would like to participate, that they can place in their sidebar.  I have no clue how to do this, but I'm betting one of you knows how.  Maybe something Christmas-ey with a slogan.  Then we can pass this onto our blogging friends and see how many people we can get involved. 

You are just looking for opportunities to practice random acts of kindness as you go about your normal day.  It doesn't have to be huge; change can begin with something small.  Share your random acts here or on your own blog (but please drop me a comment with a link so I can read!).  It's time to spread a little love throughout our worlds instead of the ugliness we so often see.

So, who is in with me?  And who knows how to make a badge??

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My iGoogle is set up to daily pick up news feeds on gastric bypass surgery.  Today, it led me to this article:

Wednesday, November 19

In the Nov. 15-16 weekend edition of the Bennington Banner, I wrote a story about a young man from White Creek, N.Y., named Jason Burdick. The story recounted the past three years of his life and his journey from someone so morbidly obese he could barely leave the house to his current state - a man nearing full recovery and embarking on an amateur boxing career.

The story was one personally inspiring to me and to many readers. The crux of the entire piece, however, was false. Jason's road back to health was not a simple matter of diet and exercise, as I had reported. Two years ago, he underwent gastric bypass surgery, a procedure which was, in fact, the starting point for his tremendous weight loss: 280 pounds and counting.

For any readers who were misled by the story, I'd like to take the time now to explain how it made its way into the paper.

I have been a regular member of the gym where Jason works out for two-and-a-half years. I have watched him train hard, exercise and lose weight before my eyes. I finally introduced myself this past summer, remarking that I was impressed with what he had accomplished, and curious as to how he had done it. I was a stranger then, and I can understand why he wouldn't want to divulge his personal medical history. But when I approached Jason two weeks ago about the potential for a profile about his weight loss and boxing career for the paper, I made clear that for such a story to work, he needed to be 100 percent honest with me, and talk about things he might find embarrassing. I would, of course, want to know all the details of how he had allowed his life to deteriorate. In this regard, I believe Jason was honest.

When it came to his weight loss, however - through two lengthy interviews and several background conversations - Jason never once mentioned that he had undergone gastric bypass surgery. When I asked him if the procedure was something he ever considered, he replied, "That wasn't for me."

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws would make it impossible to obtain Jason's medical records to verify such a statement, but I am not absolving myself of guilt. I trusted him and did not ask him to present his medical records. In hindsight, had I asked, he might have revealed the whole truth. The result was this past weekend's story, built on the false pretense that Jason lost 280 pounds solely by working out religiously.

I want to first apologize to our readers. Indeed, many of you knew the full truth behind Jason's weight loss and commented on our message boards. Those comments prompted me to call Jason again and confront him with this information, at which point he revealed that he had undergone gastric bypass surgery.

I have been sick over this glaring omission since it came to light, and I don't expect the feeling to abate anytime soon. I take great pride in my work, and have never before experienced anything like this. The thought that the days spent producing this story were not only in vain, but misled our readership, is an extremely bitter pill.

As bad as I feel right now, I know that Jason feels the same way. He has apologized to me, and I realize that he never intended to mislead the public. He had erected a personal barrier when it came to his surgery and it was something he wasn't willing to share. I wish he had told me that he was uncomfortable sharing his entire story. Such a revelation wouldn't have scrapped the idea, but merely shifted its focus to what he has done and continues to do to keep the weight off.

In closing, I would like to ask anyone familiar with this story and with Jason personally not to judge him. He has been through more than I can begin to fathom for someone of his young age, and I wish him the best of luck on the road ahead. He didn't ask for a story to be written about his life. I approached him, and with that in mind, I can say he didn't know what he was getting into. He is still a remarkable human being with an fantastic story to tell.

I regret that I couldn't tell it the way it was meant to be told.

This article upset me a little bit.  So as there was an email address for this sports editor, I sent him the following email:

I find it sad that you feel the need to apologize at all.  Jason made a choice to remain private about his surgery and as someone else who has undergone gastric bypass surgery, I'm guessing at least one his reasons is that so many judgmental people look at WLS as "the easy way out", which it is not.  For some people, it is the ONLY way out. 
With that being said, Jason still worked hard to lose the weight and exercise is a HUGE part of that.  I spend five days a week at the gym, one and a half to two hours each day, working.  Yes, other people do that who have not had surgery, but if Jason lost 280 pounds, I'm assuming he maybe weighed to start out (I did not see the original story you wrote) somewhere in the vicinity of 500 pounds.  Exercising at that weight is nearly impossible; everything hurts, you get out of breath easily, not to mention the ridicule from cruel strangers that see you making an attempt to change your life.  Though I started out at 315 pounds, working out was so difficult and when you feel like all laughing,mocking eyes are upon you, it is hard to be inspired to continue, especially when the weight drops off so slowly.
When humans accept the fact that obesity is a disease and that surgery is one viable option to treat it, then maybe people like Jason won't feel the need to hide the information.  I have lost 91 pounds since April and feel I have every right to feel every bit as proud as anyone who loses weight "the old fashioned way".  I've worked my butt off for it and put my life in jeopardy by undergoing surgery.  It has hardly been easy.

Now, let me end by saying that I don't know what Jason's reasons were for not being forthcoming with the fact that he had surgery.  But I do know that when I see someone that I am not close to and don't see often, who remarks on how much weight I've lost, I am very hesitant to tell them how I did it.  Fear of judgment goes a long, long way.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guess What?

I only have NINE more pounds to go to reach that 100 pounds lost mark!!  

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had dropped two more pounds this morning, making it a total of five in the last week and a half after a few weeks of nada.  I look for things to slow down now again but as I am switching things up in the gym a little, I'm hoping it might help keep things moving.  I think that maybe a gym routine can become stale after awhile as my muscles no longer felt as if they were responding.  I think maybe they were getting as bored as I was.

I also need new underwear.  I just realized as I was walking through the house that I feel like I'm wearing a wet diaper....only I'm not wet thankfully...we'll save that one for much later years.  I just feel a little saggy in the rear area.  It's a very odd feeling; not entirely unpleasant but still odd.

With Advent literally right around the corner, I can already feel things picking up at work.  There is suddenly more things to plan and candy making going on and Advent readers to chose and a living Nativity script to tweak.  Bulletins to order and little plastic candle holders and bills to pay and a December newsletter to get crackin' on.  Lots of stuff going on.

I came to the realization as I sat down to blog tonight that I love this new life I am living.  No, it isn't all new; there are constants that keep me grounded and thankful: The Brit, the kids, my friends, but yet it is all new at the same time.  I don't think there is anything that is not easier once extra weight is gone.  Life is just easier and even the moments that are stressful or hectic are still easier than they would have been seven months ago.

I also realized yesterday that though I have always been an extrovert, I was still not as outgoing in the ways that most mattered.  Yesterday, I stood in line at the grocery store, picking up sugar for Tod and behind me was an elderly woman in one of those motorscooters with the basket in front.  Seven months ago I'm not sure I would have done this; I might have felt too awkward or too self conscious, but I asked her if I might unload her basket for her while I was waiting in line.  She seemed a little shocked but quickly agreed.  I was the one who felt really good about helping her; probably better than she felt being helped.

I saw on a news story today at the gym that one of the Starbucks locations, I think in Texas, has been doing a Pay It Forward; customers paying for the drink of the person behind them.  A random act of kindness.

So, I challenge my handful of readers to Pay It Forward to someone tomorrow, then comment here and let's see what y'all did and how you felt about it.  I love this kind of stuff and tis almost the season!

Looking forward to hearing your stories!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I worked my arms today with the free weights and now can barely get my coffee cup to my lips.  Guess it did something that the circuit machines were missing!

Today was insanely hectic at work.  Whenever the place is hoppin' with people, it keeps me hoppin' with folks wanting "out of the norm" things, which is fine and I love all of these people, but man, it made a Monday crazy! 

Haven't heard anything from Susan since she got out of surgery, but I'm unsure if she has email at home or only at work, and obviously, she isn't at work right now.  Hey, Stephanie, have you seen her?  How's she doing?  Keep her walking!  Hopefully Susan is moving right along and getting acclimated to her new life, though the beginning is really rough with food and trying to get in anywhere close to enough protein and by close, I think I maybe got in 20-30% of what I needed in the early days.  Though some folks will say "Oh it must be wonderful to not be hungry at all!" the answer is "No, not really."  The reason being is that our bodies still need food, and more importantly protein, so not being hungry makes it hard to eat but then our brains are constantly badgering us with that "60 grams of protein" number that we know we aren't getting, and blah, blah, blah. 

Don't stress it, Susan, it will come.  Do what you can right now, as much protein as you can, but don't stress over the magic protein number.  You're going to be striving for it over time.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Kim just celebrated her one year surgery anniversary, so go and check out her Before and Afters and see how far she has come and then leave her a comment! Congratulations, Kim!  You're rocking the weight loss!

Tod is doing really well!  I stopped by after the gym today and brought him some sugar and stayed to visit.  It's been wonderful to catch up with him after so long of barely seeing him due to schedules and cats.  We really need to do better!

Okay, I have to head out to fix eggs for the kids for dinner (The Brit has a council meeting tonight so I brown bagged his dinner for him) and then make my To Do list for the week with JJ's slumber party.  I don't want to get behind this week or the end of it will be hell!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Switching It Up This Week

I came to the conclusion that I am sick to death of working the circuit machines at the gym.  So at the library yesterday, I checked out two Biggest Loser books; one on the diet program and one on the exercise program. Tonight, I got out a little notebook and made notes of instructions about the exercises, many of them using free weights, because what kind of nerd would I look like taking in my Biggest Loser book for my workout?  So, we'll see how that goes, starting tomorrow.

The Brit apparently threw down the gauntlet tonight by saying he was going to beat me to the 100 pounds lost mark.  We'll just see about that.  Right now, I have a four pound lead, but in his defense, getting to the gym is hard for him due to work.  I love me a good challenge.

My desk is a mess of stuff I have going on.  This weekend, I decided to:

  • Try to handmake a few gifts for Christmas

  • Work on finding holiday recipes

  • Start catalogue Christmas Shopping

  • Put the choir cantata on my ipod (as I am singing with the choir for Christmas)

So my desk is full of receipe and craft books, a cantata score, notebooks of notes and catalogues.

I've also tonight created, for any of you who care, a photo sharing site that I like better than flickr.  Many of you will get an email inviting you to come play with me and those of you who don't know me in person, I assume can still visit.

Okay, back to the mess on my desk....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Pattern Continues

As predicted, my scale did what I thought it would do and I dropped two more pounds this morning, which means only 11 more pounds to go before I reach that 100 pounds lost point!  Once we both get there, we are off to Vegas for a few days!!  YAY!

Tod is hopefully being released from the hospital tomorrow as he is doing really well.  Tod always has a really nice Christmas party and does incredible decorating but due to just having had surgery he was going to be unable to get his decoration boxes out and would have trouble doing parts of the decorating.  So, though I usually decorate the long weekend after Thanksgiving, I'm going to do mine next weekend instead, so that the day after Thanksgiving, when the kids are with their grandparents, The Brit and I can go and help Tod out with his decorations.

And speaking of decorations, I want to make one of these:

I'm pretty sure I can pull it off.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Catching Up

Today, my scale officially showed me at (FINALLY) 228.  This is now official as I have not been starving myself to have my back side examined.  Though I know it doesn't matter how much the scale moves as long as my clothing keeps getting loser and I keep feeling fabulous, it is still a bit of a relief when it starts to budge.  What has been the norm is that it won't move for a few weeks and then in a matter of days, it will suddenly drop a few pounds.  We'll see how it goes this time.

I was going to complain about The Biggest Loser, but as it has been several days since I saw the episode, I've calmed down considerably.  Let's just say, that though I started out completely despising Heba, Vicky has now taken the front position on my Do Not Like At All list.  What a wench.  My children are more mature than this woman and I hope she gets kicked to the curb next week.  Her hubby was sent home this past week because Amy, the only member of the Blue team I like, decided to vote in a way that would most benefit her,which was to send the guy home as opposed to sending home a member of the Black team just because they can.  Now of course, poor little Amy will be enduring the wrath of Vicky next week.  What I really think needs to happen is that Bob needs to pull the Wonder Twins (Vicky and Heba) aside and read them the riot act.  I really think Jillian would have already done that had these two back stabbing bitches been a part of her team.

So glad I was not going to talk about The Biggest Loser.

A while back, I commented to someone that I was fairly certain that even once I lost weight, I would not want to wear dresses as I was just not a girly girl.  This person told me that once I lost weight I would change my mind about that.  Now I wish I remember who told me that as they were way wrong. 

I still hate to dress up.  Give me jeans, a sweater and my favorite knitted clogs from American Eagle and I am one happy girl.  It's simply who I am (though I did buy a dress for Christmas as that and Easter are really the only times you will see me dressed up) and fat or smaller, that is my comfort zone.

The gym is going well despite the fact that I had to miss two days this week due to colonoscopy stuff.  I'm continually amazed by the whole process.  For those of you just starting out at the gym, don't get discouraged and don't be afraid to try new things.  If you recall, I started on the elliptical at 90 seconds max.  Then I worked my way up to 20 minutes and doing hill intervals, but I would work the hills really hard keeping it about 130 strides per minute and then when I wasn't on the hills, I would rest at about 112 strides per minute.  The last two weeks, I have been between 142-152 strides per minute for the whole 20 minutes.  The secret?  Start out with what you can do and build on it.  I started out small and tried to do a little more either each day or each week.

Now if I could just learn to like to sweat, I'd be ok.

I've also come to the conclusion that I would like to attempt running at some point.  I've thought about it on the treadmill, but that would be like trying to run on a crate of lit dynamite.  A recipe for disaster.  I can see me killing myself.  So, I'm thinking that maybe in the Spring, I will have a few outings with Tod of the appendectomy fame and see how it goes.  He started running a handful of months ago and loves it.  I won't know if I like it unless I give it a shot.

Last item for discussion tonight.  I have been pondering hair again.  I love my cut right now, but I am looking ahead to a summer mission trip, in which no blow dryers or curling irons are allowed and I don't like this current cut straight.  I need a little poof to it.  My dream cut came about in the late 80's or maybe early 90s and there were two celebs who sported it.  Some of you may remember Wilson Phillips?  Sister Chyna, had that short, adorable, pixish cut I adored:

The other actress was the chick who played Jane on Melrose Place:

My fear is my hair is too thick for this style or I'll look like a dork.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Off Schedule

I had planned on talking tonight about The Biggest Loser (because I need to vent about the meaness of Vicky) and about an urge to run, but things got a little bit crazy tonight.

The original plan was that Aaron and The Brit, along with several other church members, were going to work the local homeless shelter in serving dinner, and JJ and I were going to go to the library, then I was going to drop him off at my mom's place and then I was going to praise band rehearsal.  I had worked (and spent most of my shift downstairs helping folks make hard tack candy for Christmas), then went to the YMCA to work out (I had wanted to talk about that too) and then went to get my nails done.  So, I didn't get home until about 3:50.  I had just settled into The Brit's recliner to relax, watch Dr. Phil and let my nails dry, when my cell phone rang.  It was my friend, Tod, who lives a street behind us, telling me he was really sick and asking if I could take him to either Urgent Care or the ER.  So after arranging for the kids to be at a neighbors, I picked up Tod and asked what was wrong.  He said he had been having severe abdominal pain since yesterday.  That made the decision for me that we were going to the ER, as much as I hate that place because if by chance it was his appendix, we would need to be at the hospital.

Sure enough, it was his appendix and during surgery, they found it had ruptured.  But Tod is doing well and was resting comfortably when I left the hospital just after 10:00.

So now, I am grabbing a bite of dinner and plan on heading to bed.  What is it about sitting in a hospital that makes one exhausted?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Losing it over "I Lost It"

I think it was Monday, when I was food deprived that I sat in front of the television, channel surfing and ran across a show on Discovery Health called "I Lost It".  The premise of the show is about people who are overweight or obese and lose the weight in any way, whether it be WLS, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, whatever.  I turned it on because though the episode was half over, one of the stories was about a woman who had RNY.

However, that was the story in the first fifteen minutes.  The second fifteen minutes that I saw was about a married couple and she was obese.  He was no slim Jim, but the wife was definitely bigger.  When hubby had to have some kind of back surgery, and had complications, he confronted his wife about her weight because he didn't want to see their children grow up without a mother if anything happened to him.

Sounds good enough, right?  Well, that was where the warm fuzzies ended for me.  The narrator then went back into their story and hubby talks about how slim and beautiful his wife was when they met.  He listed all of her physical attributes, which immediately put me off.  Then after they had been married a couple of years, he decided he was homesick for Colorado, and so he moved his wife away from her entire family so he could move closer to home.  Then he traveled with his job all the time.  So, he left her alone in a strange place, with no friends and no family and heaven forbid, she put on weight.  Add to that, two children and the wife just got bigger. 

Hubby, being the chivalrous *gag, cough* man he was, went out and bought her all sorts of exercise equipment (no, she didn't ask him too.  He was all about subtle hints, apparently), which, and he seemed surprised about this, had the opposite affect on her.  I guess it pissed her off (can't imagine why, can you?) and she refused to use it.  Then when hubby's neck or back issues started, he used that as an "excuse" to sleep on the couch so he wouldn't have to share a bed with his fat wife.  This went on for months.

Now, after his narrow escape in surgery, she did decide she needed to lose the weight for her kids and she joined WW and did it.  Of course, now hubby shares her bed again and thinks she is beautiful and they are all happy, ad nauseum.

Dang, that story pissed me off.

The only thing the wife didn't do correctly was to divorce his sorry ass once she took the weight off.  She can so do better than a man who is more concerned with what she looks like than who she is. 

Ugh, the whole thing left a bitter taste in my mouth and I really don't think I am being overly sensitive, do you?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post Script

Susan's huband, Tim, just called me and she is out of surgery and did just fine.  Her liver was a bit enlarged and they biopsied it, but I told Tim that they did the same thing with The Brit.  So, keep praying for Susan's recovery and transition into being a post-op!

Laura has also updated her blog and her hubby came through his surgery as well, but he still has a second surgery before the end of the week, so keep the prayers coming!

All Clean and Tidy

For those of you who have been keeping up with my colon, all is well.  He removed a couple of polyps, but no indication of cancer anywhere.  Of course, while we were in the waiting room, waiting (duh) for them to call my name, The Brit's cell phone rang and it was the alarm company, telling him that our alarm system had been tripped by the motion detector in the kitchen, so he had to leave me in order to go meet with the police.  So the whole time I was back there being prepped and waiting for my turn, I was all worried about if we had been robbed again, and if someone had broken in, were my cats and camera all right.  My nurse, Karen, was wonderful though and kept checking the lobby for him and when he finally got there, right before they were going to take me back, she let him come back to update me. Seems one of the felines must have tripped it by being up high somewhere and jumping down.

As it turns out, my nurse in the prcedure room I graduated high school with, so we chatted before they gave me that wonderful I-don't-give-a-shit cocktail and then I was aware of nothing else until they were wheeling me back.  Man, I wish I could sleep that deeply every night!  So no more colon stuff for 3-5 years depending on the biopsy results.  The procedure itself is so easy; the prep sucks.  I could have eaten my own arm this morning.  The good news is that my scale read 228 this morning, though I'm not going to change my ticker just yet!  I look (and hope) to be no further up tomorrow than 229 which was the last time I updated my ticker.

No news from Susan yet.  Her hubby is supposed to call me, but she should be out of surgery by now, but maybe still in recovery.  I know she has a friend, Stephanie, who reads here, so Steph, if you are reading and have an update on how Susan's surgery went, please drop me a comment.

Prayers also going for Laura's hubby, who had surgery today at Hopkins.  Still waiting to hear some news on that one as well.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I don't LIKE it!

You have to know PK to really understand my title, but there ya go.

I figured I'd blog now as later I won't be up for much other than bathroom running and being a couch potato due to lack of food and supplements.  My energy was already waning last night from no iron, so by tonight I should be about one step away from a coma by my configurations.

So, I didn't want to say this here, but I'm going to because when I started this journey, I vowed to be honest and to paint a really real picture of life after WLS.  So, I am going to honor my vow and just spit it out.

Somehow last week I gained two pounds.  Due to being really careful yesterday, I am back down one of those pounds today and after a night of poop, I'm sure the other one will be gone too.  Yes, this could be just the games my scale is playing with me, but I also know a few other things too.

I've been eating way too many carbs.  Celia warned me about carbs as a pre-op and the further on this journey I get, the more I see the wisdom in those words.  Yes, I buy healthy pasta, but last week I ate way too much of it.  A lunch out with friends and crab alfredo of which there was leftovers for my lunch the next day.  Crab alfredo for dinner one night.  Chicken parmesean Saturday night complete with spaghetti.

Far too much pasta and I know it.  I love it, I do, but the consumption is now being cut back...way back.  Once a week if at all.  Last night, I only ate chicken for dinner; all protein.  I had cottage cheese for breakfast and a protein bar.  Lunch was out and I had chicken pot stickers.  A better day all in all and a pound was gone this morning. 

I know this is all about learning a new way of life and I am learning that.  Sometimes the lessons are hard, but I'm good with that.  I can handle it. 

I'm going to go to the gym after work and really try to get my workout in despite total protein deprivation today.  But I missed Friday's workout due to leaving for Revolve, so I want five in this week.  Though I have this stupid colonoscopy tomorrow, I know I will be fine to workout by tomorrow night. 

I'm learning.  I'm so on it.

ETA: Susan's surgery is tomorrow!  Please keep her in your prayers!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I'm assuming that the reason I am dragging so badly today is because for my Tuesday colonoscopy (for which the prep begins tomorrow..blech!) I had to come off my iron and my multi-vitamin.  I am just really tired and I'm sure starting an all liquid diet tomorrow will help....NOT!

So I work tomorrow and than am hoping to go to the gym before my energy really starts waning and I start the pill prep/keep me near a bathroom part of this whole ordeal.  Tuesday, no work as I have the test at 12:30.

So, a few photos of my girls from the Revolve Tour.

Closest person is Tracey, PK's mom, who helped me out so much by being my second chaperone.  Really enoyed getting to spend more time with her!  Tracey is also in the midst of her six month structured diet program for RNY!

Pk, next to the wall, and her cousin, Kara.

And then two of Rachel (nearest the wall) and cutie girl, Corrina.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Take Aways

The lowdown with more elaboration tomorrow, but tonight, I'm really tired as we just got home; lots of driving.

  • Got lost last night in downtown Philly.  Fun!

  • Made it to the conference just in time

  • Didn't have dinner until like 10:00 last night

  • Got to the hotel to find out they had given our rooms away, despite the fact that I had called them on Thursday to confirm.  Thankfully,they had two rooms left, though they were both smoking rooms....BLECH!

  • Found marijuana in the girl's room this morning, left from the last person who stayed in the room (not from my girls!).  Turned it into front desk, who I was already angry with for giving our rooms away the night before.  They acted like it was no big deal, so I called the Brit on the way to the conference and he called them.  That room was free for the night in the end.

  • Ran into some very nasty people in that part of the country.  Thankfully, if the girls want to go again next year, it will be in Baltimore.

  • Fake birthdays are fun.

Pictures tomorrow.

Take away:

Love God.
Love people.



Friday, November 7, 2008

On the Road Again

So in a few short hours, I am Philadelphia bound with one other chaperone and four teenage girls to the Revolve Tour.  I've been really looking forward to this event and am happy to say that my youth girls have been as well.  PK has texted me a few times this week with a countdown, ie "Two more days!" and I'm doubly excited by their excitement.

We have an amazing youth group.  Though small, they are just the neatest kids and I will be sorry when they all grow up and move on with life.  I'll miss our guys this weekend as this is the first thing that we have done that just involves the girls, but the opportunity to take them to Revolve was just too great to pass up.  I think they will take so much away when tomorrow is over; at least that is my prayer for them.

So pray for a safe trip for us.  I have never driven to Philly before and am not the biggest fan of big city driving, even though I do just fine with it for the most part.  Pray for the girls to get the messages that God wants them to get this weekend.  Each girl is different and each teenager carries their own issues and insecurities and I just pray that something in the next 30 hours touches each heart in a positive way.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pearls of Wisdom

Last night, I went to Lisa's to attend a Vantel Pearls party.  I have to say it was really neat.  You actually choose your oyster, the consultant opens it and you see what you get.  Your pearls are $20 each and mine, a black pearl, retailed at $78.00.  Then you pick a jewelry setting for your pearl (I picked a ring) and it is sent off to be made for you.  I agreed to host a party on November 30th at 1:00, so if you know me personally, and would like to attend, please let me know, though you may already be on my invite list.  But I don't always know who reads here and I don't want to leave anyone out who may be interested!

My scale is a slow moving machine but apparently, my body is continuing to change and rearrange.  Kelly told me last night at the pearl party that from the back she hadn't even recognized me.  So, I suppose I need to continue to be patient with my scale weight which for over a week now has only moved from 229 to 230 and back again, over and over.  Some days it makes me insane, but then I have to remind myself about how good I feel and that the scale is simply a number that will move again when it is ready.  In the meantime, I just need to keep on, keeping on.

Everyone keep reader Susan in your prayers as her surgery is Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


History was made last night and I could not be more proud.  Regardless of what side you were on, it would seem everyone should feel amazed at how far this nation has come in the last 100 years.  From slavery and segregation to our first African American president. 

I woke up my youngest son this morning and told him, "One day you will be able to tell your grandchildren that you were a kid when history was made and the United States elected their first African American president."

His little face lit up and he asked "Obama won?"  When I nodded, he stretched his little hands over his head and said "Yeah!  Obama!"

I love the fact that schools use election time to teach the kids. 

I'm happy.  But more importantly, I'm hopeful.  No matter who won, the road to US recovery was/is going to be long and difficult. 

I'll be praying for him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Watching election projections trickle in is like watching paint dry.

I was hit on yesterday by Strat's father.  Not seriously of course, but this is just an amusing story for her as she has been having a rough time lately with a missing cat and a hubby gearing up for two surgeries.  Anyway, Buss, as he is called, came into my office and he likes to sit and chat and the man is so funny, I never mind.  So while we were chatting, I got up to go put paper in the copier and he said "You are looking good.  I may fall in love with you."

Of course, I laughed and then Barb, Buss' wife, came into my office and I told her what he had said.  She laughed and said, "Oh good, you can be Laura's stepmother!" 

Okay, back out to the living room to watch the paint dry.

Monday, November 3, 2008

On the Eve of Election Day 2008

I am about as non-political as you can get.  I know tidbits about each candidate and have done a wee bit of reading on both candidates.  I am registered Republican; yes, I voted for Bush and even liked him the first year or so before he started to turn my stomach.

This year I am going to vote against my party and vote for Obama.  My reasons are probably a little bit naive, but that's how I roll as I have no desire to submerge myself into the political abyss.  I'm not all that sure of either candidate, but I am very sure of one thing.  One thing has cinched my vote in this election.

Sarah Palin.

I don't like her.  And I'm sorry to say that McCain is old and my fear is that under the stress of being in office something will happen to him and Palin will be running the country.  That's a pill I don't want to swallow.

When it comes to being a Christian, I am way more liberal than some.  I don't believe homosexuals are condemned to hell and I don't think the choice of abortion should be taken away.  Now, before anyone shuts down my page, let me explain.  I have to rank myself as pro-choice, though I am not always comfortable there.  I hate that women use abortion as a means of birth control.  Think about it.  I'm an adoptive parent.  If the biological mother of my boys had aborted them, they would not be in my life, so I have a vested interest in pro-life.

However, with that being said, I have told you all before that when I lived in New York, I was almost raped.  No matter how much I may want a child, if I was raped and wound up pregnant, I don't know if I could carry that baby for nine months, even to give it up for adoption.  To awaken everyday with a reminder of my pain and my shame.  No woman should have to endure that if she chooses not to.

Yeah, I know you all are saying that if Roe vs Wade were overturned it would exclude those women.  Okay, how does one prove it?  There are thousands of unreported rapes that happen for whatever reason.  Then you have the women who would be using abortion as birth control saying they were raped even if they weren't.  There is no easy solution.

If Roe vs Wade was overturned, we then go back to women going to butcher shops essentially if they want to get rid of a baby.  C'mon, drugs are illegal but anyone can still get them if they know where to look and the same would be true of abortions.  So then we have teenage girls getting their bodies maybe mutilated so they can never have children again for a mistake that they made because they were young and foolish.  Is this really worth it?

God allows us to make our own choices every single day.  Life is precious; I totally agree, but the answers are not easy in the abortion debate.  I may not agree with many abortions but I do agree with choice.  McCain/Palin want to overturn Roe vs Wade and I can't support that. 

However, I'm not saying that my reasons or my choice is the right one.  In fact, after my workout today, God and I had a little talk and I told Him something like this:

God, I have no idea who the right person to vote for is.  All I can do is make the best decision I can based on what I know, but I don't know if my decision is the right one.  So, this is in your hands, Father.  Let the right man to run our country win, because you know who the better choice is, if there is indeed a better choice between the two.

Bottom line about this post is that you have to go out tomorrow and vote for whoever you feel is the best man for the job.  I'm not a girl to sling politics or get mad because someone is not voting the way I am.  Most all politics are corrupt anyway, so why lose friends over elections or add tension to relationships over elections?  It seems silly.  But you all have a right to choose how to vote, so go out there tomorrow and vote what you believe to be the right way. 

It's important.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Movie Review

Tonight, The Brit and I along with Paula, John and BFFF Kirk, went to see "Changeling" after hitting our new favorite Italian restaurant for dinner.  Great movie, a little long, and to be honest, I spent most of it pissed off.  As a fairly liberal female, seeing how they treated this woman back in the 1920s enraged me.  I guess having always been liberated, I don't think too much about how women were viewed years ago and when being faced with it in this film I felt like I needed an extra hit of Zoloft to deal with my rage.

Basically, mother has child vanish, reports it to the police, who then find "her child" who is really the wrong child and the police make her out to be the whackjob.  I won't give away what happens, but if you want a good story, by all means go see it.

I was also enraged by the insane prices the theaters charge.  Yeah, I know this is old news, but I don't go to the movies all that often and when I pay $4 for a bottle of water that cost 1.25 at a convenience store, it kind of rubs me the wrong way.  Had I planned better, I'd have taken a bottle with me and put in my ginorous purse, but I wasn't much into planning today. 

At any rate, nice evening, the kids are gone till Tuesday night and I plan on enjoying some downtime!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Christmas Wish List

The Brit is always asking me about this time of year "What do you want for Christmas?", so in light of that upcoming conversation, I am starting a little wish list on September 7th to post November 1st (when you all will be reading it).  Usually, when he asks me this question, I have no suggestions, so this way, when I see something I like and would not purchase for myself, I can post it here and as he always reads the blog, he can pick and chose what he wants or none of them at all if he has other ideas.

Now, if I could just get him to do the same for me....

1. When Robyn and I were at Union Station in July, I ran across this:

This is from The Body Shop, though Amazon also sells it.  It was pricey for me and I couldn't bring myself to spend the $20 for a large container, but the sample....oh my!  It smelled wonderful and made my hands so incredibly soft!  Besides, though I hate eating coconut, it is one of my favorite scents.

2.  I love jewelry and it doesn't have to be diamonds or any other expensive precious jewel.  One of my favorite places to buy jewelry is Route 5 in Chambersburg.  There is no specific piece of jewelry there I am currently eyeing and they have way more items than what is on their website.  This is the store where I bought my "Embrace the Moment" necklace and my little horse earrings I adore.  They just have some amazing things and I also really like this:

My earrings are anything but organized.

I recently ran across a website called The Happy Woman and they have some lovely items just for us gals.  I don't know what it is about women that make them want to wear their beliefs on their sleeves or in this neck, on my neck, but I love this: 

Anyway, girls, they have some great stuff, so be sure to check them out!