Sunday, January 18, 2015

In The Land Of The Blue Hairs

Just a quick note that we have run away for a week.  

Fort Myers Florida...The land of the blue hairs!

SM has family here and we've come down as the first step of a habit we hope to continue.  

Our hope for retirement is a "part time kind of life."  Winter trips to warmer climes factor into this big time.

I might check in from time to time but if the blog is quiet this week...Well, now you know the reason! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

SM Saves The Day...Again!

So it's Saturday morning and I'm cleaning the kitchen.  

I've got 4 sticks of butter hanging out on the counter softening as I want to make a double batch of Oatmeal Craisins.  I want to give some an elderly neighbor (who has the flu) and also to give some to Deb as a thank you bribe for taking care of the dogs while we're in Florida in a few weeks.

Anyway...I've had a pot of water steaming on the stove for humidity all morning and for some reason I look up to watch the steam rise and I see what appears to be a fairly big bug sticking his head out from between the ceiling and the crown molding.  

"Son-of-a-bitch."  I exclaim.

"What?"  SM hollars from the other room.

"I've got a freakin cockroach taking a steam bath right over the kitchen stove!"  

"It's probably dead."  SM calls out unconcerned.  Clearly dead roaches in my kitchen are not that big of a deal to him.

"No it's not!  It just waved it's antenna's at me!!!"  I say as I zing by SM to get the vacuum cleaner.  

"I can't be making cookies with him looking down on me!"

SM wanders into the kitchen to investigate the crime scene.  "It's just a stink bug."  He says as I uncoil the electrical cord.  "What are you going to do with that?"

"Vacuum him up."  I say and try to suck the little bastard into the vacuum with the extender thingy. 

"He's holding on for dear life with his little stinky legs."  I say over the roar of the vacuum.  He's stronger than my Dyson.  I must say I'm impressed.

I flip the vacuum off as SM grabs a kitchen chair and my plastic cup from the table.  "Hand me a toothpick." He says climbing up on the chair.

"Flick him into the cup." I advised...I didn't want boiling stinkbug in my kitchen.

SM flicked Mr Stinky into the cup where he buzzed around angrily and went out to the back porch where he tossed him outside into the crisp 20 degree morning.

"You saved the day again, Baby!"  I told SM with a kiss.  

SM has a history of this sort of thing.

Isn't it nice to know that my cookies are baked without extra preseravtives?


Saturday, January 10, 2015

House-Husband

SM has been having a bit of a slow month.  It's not at all uncommon that the phone stops ringing around the holidays and this first full week of the New Year is continuing the trend.

So SM has been filling his hours with repairs and To-Do's and household tasks that are usually left to the Lady of The House.

The other morning I'm standing there fluffing my "do" and slapping the paint on before heading into work when SM pops up at the bathroom door.

"Anything you need done or need me to pick-up today?"  He asked, mug of coffee in his hand and slippers on his feet.

I paused thinking..."No, I can't think of anything.  And by the way, I really do appreciate everything you're doing around here."

"Yeah...I'm a regular House-Husband around here."  He replied with a trace of sarcasm.

Since the holiday down-time began SM has:
Built shelving in the garage
Repaired my coil-top electric stove so that ALL my burners are working now 

Hauled yard debris to the landfill
Repaired the Jeep window motor
And cleaned the bathrooms not just once but every week for the past month!!!!

Besides all that he has done the weekly grocery shopping, run some laundry and has taken my car and filled it with gas for my work week.

I could get used to this.

It does make me wonder though...Is this what retirement will look like?

 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Freaken Brrr...

Yowza...It's cold outside!!!

11 Freaken degrees and the wind chill is at 5.  

My first thought is that "This is not why we moved South" and then I looked up the current temps of where we used to live in Ohio.

Ooooo... -5 and it feels like -22.

Well then!  I guess I'll be grateful for the sub tropical temperatures we have right now.  I won't be walking in this.  (So sorry, FitBit.)

And I must say the dogs hustled to do their business this morning.




I would too if I had to go out there.  Thank you modern plumbing!

I hope you and your pipes are all surviving this cold snap as well!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dust Bunnies and Cherry Pie Filling

If you should ever come to my house, you'll see something interesting on my kitchen floor underneath the chair where I type my thoughtful prose.  

Something besides the dust bunnies that is.

It's a can of Comstock Cherry Pie Filling.



It has a stamp on it that says "Best By Jan 2011".  That means it was likely purchased by moi sometime around 2009/10 ish.

Now you might wonder what is an old can of cherry pie filling doing underneath my chair.

Good Question!!!!

I use it every morning before and after my walk to stretch the muscles and tendons of my feet.  Back and forth, back and forth...I roll that can under each foot.

God, it's feels good! 

As we get older, it's very common to have plantar fasciitis develop.  I expect it's one of the most common foot complaints out there.

A thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases.

I've experienced that pain getting out of bed and when I take my first steps out of the car after a long commute.  I hobble along for a minute of so before things start to relax.

Why Cherry Pie Filling?  
Why not a can of corn instead?

Couldn't tell you why but aren't you glad you know?  

Just in case I decide to serve you Cherry Pie @;)
 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This Weak Willed Woman NEEDS FitBit

As I said in the last post, FitBit is considered to be a pedometer by most people.  A very expensive $99 pedometer.  

But it's really not.
I would call it an activity tracker. 

In other words people who are active are generally trim people.
People who are sedintary are prone to plumpness.
There are exceptions of course.
I would consider myself an exception.  
Active, but plump.

Blame all the potato chips, cheese, ice cream, nuts and wine for that.  
I love junk food.

SM pointed out to me a long time ago that my diet consisted of high calorie / high fat foods.  The only time I eat vegetables is when I pull them out of the garden.  (I'm buying more store bought veg now though.)

Anyway...A long time ago I drove the car around to estimate my walking route and determined what it takes for me to acheive 5 miles which equals 10,000 steps.

One of the biggest complaints of pedometers in general is that they have a tendancy to count any movement as a step.  The FitBit does too.  If you're standing there folding laundry, it counts the movement as a step.  Fixing your hair, putting on makeup, knitting, cooking, scrubbing the tub...It counts these as steps which is inaccurate in theory.

I'm OK with this inaccuracy since I excercise first thing in the morning.  I basically keep walking until my wristband vibrates.  That's when I know I've hit my 10,000 steps for the day.  Everything else is just gravy.  

FitBit encourages users to see your level of activity as a trend.  

You want to maintain a level of activity that helps you burn calories.  It's that simple.  FitBit allows you to customize your fitness plan with the free online app.  You can "sync" your information to the app and watch your progress.

It monitors intensity of your activity.
It monitors your "miles".
It monitors your sleep. 
But the best thing about the app is the food log.




FitBit has an easy to use drop-down food menu and portion size program.  It collects all that data and even breaks out the calories, protein, carbs, fats, sodium...that you've eaten for the day.  And then it updates how many calories you have left to eat so it's easy to see when you need to stop eating or change what you planned on eating.  (Which is perfect for me.)

You download the App without any special codes to your smartphone, iPad or computer. 

 

What's even more amazing is that you supposedly can use this App even if you don't own a FitBit.  

That's right, my friends.  If you are looking for a good online fitness tracking and diet program I would tell you to look into FitBit.  All you would have to do is enter your data manually if you don't have the FitBit unit telling the App what you've done. 

 


After 6 days of using the FitBit Flex I started to question if I really even needed the FitBit unit itself.  I thought about returning it and saving myself $99.   

I mean, really...I already walk the walk...What I need is the discipline to measure and log my food intake.

So I put the FitBit back in the box to take back to the store and then I typed up this post.

And thought about it.
And got nervous.
And decided to keep it.

Why?
It's easy.
It's fun.
But it's mostly because I'm a weak willed woman and I need to have that physical reminder to be a good girl.  And that is worth any price.

It just might keep me on the straight and narrow.

Oooo...Straight and Narrow.  I like that thought.



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Why FitBit?

Welcome to the New Year.  It's time to loose weight isn't it? 

According to the every other commercial on TV..."Yes" it is!

I've been thinking about loosing weight the whole time I was gaining it. 
Lets face facts.  It pretty simple really.  The only thing you really need to know in order to loose weight is this...



That's right.  Know Thyself.

Stop and think about the kind of person you are.

Some of us like the interaction of a group.
Enter Weight Watchers.

Some of us hate to cook.
Enter Jenny Craig and Lean Cuisine.

Some of us are lazy.
Join a Health Club.

Most of us look for that magic pill.
But it doesn't exist.

I know lots of people that belong to Weight Watchers and are successful with it.  Debbie across the way lost her weight on it.  She's so tiny now!  I'm not used to it.  Deb invited me to join a year ago but the $35 a month price tag was too steep for me plus I couldn't make the meetings.  I know that you can join online but I always figured "Hey...it's just counting calories.  How hard can that be?"  

But did I do it?  Nah...

I prefer to eat my own food.  My trouble is that my Full Switch disappeared along with my hormones.  I don't get full anymore.  Really.  Did that happen to any of you?

 

So portion control is a BIG issue for me.  It comes down to discipline.  Count it and measure it.  And "No" a half carton of Blue Bunny is not a serving size.  I will start buying some frozen meals to keep in the freezer at work when I forget to bring something to eat for lunch.  It's better than a bag of chips and a handful of M&M's.

I don't have a problem with exercise.  Never did.  I used to love Jazzercise back in the day.  A few years ago I got a free trial to a health club and they had some 5am classes that I tried.  That was when Tae Bo was all the rage.

 

After a few days of that I discovered that I really wasn't into the group kick and sweat thing anymore so I adopted the 10,000 steps a day plan.  Sometimes I would jog but my feet didn't like that.  Now my problem is that my body is accustom to it.  So I have to do a little more mileage than a beginner would.

So after thinking about what my specific needs are I came up with two major wants.

I think my biggest problem is not measuring and logging my food intake. 
Pure and simple, I'm overeating.
So I was looking for an easy way to log food data.

I also like to have a physical reminder on me.  On my body.  Something to say "Hey...Think about what you're about to eat.  Are you sure you want to go there?"

I've been considering a FitBit for awhile now. 
FitBit is what they call "Wearable Technology".

 


It's a pedometer pure and simple.
But it has an Online App that you can customize to suit your needs.
And that's the best part of it in my opinion.

 

The more I researched it, the more I felt it might be a useful tool that could help me loose some weight.

So I bought a FitBit Flex last week and I've lost 5 lbs already.
Just like that.
And I'm pumped.

Tomorrow I'll talk a bit more about the details in how I use the FitBit Flex and the online app. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bit By Bit With FitBit

I'm a type  a kinda girl.

I like to know things.

But only things that i want to know.  
You know?

I've been resigned these past 3 years that The Menopause would create a new me and there was very little I could do about it.

I let my hair go salt and pepper.  It took a year for me to grow it out but in the end I looked at myself and said "You'll be grey for a lot more years than you'll be blonde."  

So I went ahead and colored my hair back to it's normal shade.  For now.

I got moody.  I tried to hide it for the longest time, internalizing my anger, until SM pointed out that I was pretty generous with dispensing my bad attitude to not only him but the world in general.  

So I got on a happy pill and all is well.

I've watched myself become fluffy these past 3 years.  That's how I describe my weight gain.  Fluffy.  I've been a pretty active person most of my adult life and I've been able to eat pretty much anything I want while maintaning a fairly trim fiqure.  I've read articles about the 30 lb weight gain that commonly occurs to menopausal women.  Spot on!  Ding Ding Ding!  That's exactly how much I've gained.

Now I'm tall...5'8" and I've always carried extra weight pretty well.  But I don't have much of a shape.  Long arms and legs with my hip bone and ribs sitting right on top of each other.  No waist.  I've always described myself as a 2x4, stick straight, a brick.

Now I look kind of like Kermit. 

 

And to be honest, seeing my ass in the mirror last week was the straw that broke my back.  That and fact that as I went through my closet the other day and seperated donatable items from things that I just don't fit in anymore...

Well, it made me realize that I at least want to try and find Skinny Tami once again.

So I bought a FitBit.




I plan on posting my FitBit experience over the next few posts.  
So stay tuned.  
There's a lot to talk about.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

We'll Be Counting Stars...





One of my favorite thing to do at New Years is to poke around the internet for predictions.  You know Astrology, Numerology...stuff like that.

I don't pay much attention to this stuff on a daily basis anymore.  I've never had my chart done.  I mean, come on...I live a very boring life!

I went to a party once (thirty years ago) and they had a young gal reading palms who told me that I'd be divorcing my new husband in a few years.  

HA...was she ever wrong. 

Anyhoo...I was poking around the internet for predictions for The Year 2015.

This numerology site had a good analysis of 2015.   

I guess this year is an 8 year.  Here's a quote from the site...

The essence of the 8, first and foremost, is balance. (Like all symbols, including letters and numbers, its shape tells you much about its nature -- the 8 stays upright only when it is in balance.)

I'll let you link to the site to read more about "the prediction" part of it. I thought it was interesting so I wondered what 2015 would bring me personally.  

My "life path" number is a 6 and here is what I read about what 2015 will bring me.

2015 is the year of changes and a good time for taking new risks and moving in new directions. Personal Year 5 for lifepath 6 and 33 also signifies a period when your curiosity will show itself fully. Find time for travelling, satisfying your inquisitiveness and exploring new interests.

Well, that's a safe enough prediction.  SM's "life path" number is a 5.

  In the year 2015 you will take on the role of manager, as you'll need to put things finally in order and build the foundation for you future. Make sure to pay close attention to your health too.

I wonder what he'll say about that?

Astrology-wise 2015 is The Year Of The Sheep.  In general the...

2015 is a year to use mental abilities over brute force. For those who wish to be aggressive, expect to be out-maneuvered by strategy and common sense.

For me personally (See the above links sidebar for your sign) I'm a Tiger...

The chaos of the past is coming to an end and although nothing ever runs smoothly in your life, there will be fewer surprises this year. You should be concentrating on finishing what you start and broadening your creative horizons. You can count on others for help this year so don’t hesitate to ask for favors.  The very people that you approach will not only give you the support you need but will bring knowledge, ideas and cash to the table. Your cash should be put away for safekeeping this year.

Hm...Well, that speaks to my nature for sure.   
How about SM?  He's a Dog...Woof! 
He's all about his career.


In this field things may not be as easy or simple.  You will not overcome eventual obstacles by the use of force. Above all, it will be decisive to act with intelligence and not loose sight of the situation as a whole. You have to put first things first and not react under the effect of emotions.

Hm...Well, that will be challenging.

And then the tried and true.  I'm a Taurus.

 All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ The Four of Pentacles says that you’ve toiled your way through 2014, now sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Strike a balance between work and personal life. Take your leisure time seriously and spend more time with family. Money won’t buy you happiness.

True That!
And SM?  He's a Scorpio.

 There are many possibilities of you relocating or migrating to start life afresh in a new country. It is very difficult to let go of the emotional ties that bind you to an old ache though.

What???
Unless SM's finally ready to give up the "Sticks and Bricks" and start our RV'ing Journey I just can't see us leaving our home.

Well...I'm going to wrap this post up.  
Let me know if any of you have an interesting "forecast" for 2015. 




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve

As scrolled through all your blogs this morning, I noticed a bit of a theme.  

There's a lot of sunrise pictures being taken on this last day of the year.  Is it because we somehow want to document the last day of 2014 with a picture?



Well, here's our morning sunrise.  It's a crisp 30 degrees with a heavy frost @8:30am and the day promises lots of sunshine and a high of 47 degrees.  

I'm off from work until Monday so SM and I are plotting our to-do's for the next few days.  

We had enough rain that the ground is too soggy to work outside and more rain is promised for this weekend.  

I know SM will be busy watching the Bowl Games and College BBall and I hope to sort through my closet and say goodbye to clothes and shoes that I will never wear again.  

I expect that I'll fall asleep WAY before midnight but I can count on my hotflashes to wake me up before the ball drops so...

Goodbye 2014 and Hello 2015!!!  
See you Next Year!