Sunday, November 30, 2014

When Your Planning Goes Awry...

As I look around my apartment and reflect upon my week, nothing I had originally planned to do got done.  Another instance of "Oooo...I cannot wait for my week of vacation!  I will be able to do blah, blah, and blah".  Yeah - pretty annoying when that just does not break down as you hoped.

To varying degrees, some stuff can wait.  I mean, is it really going to walk off?  I am fairly certain that is "no."  However, I have tons of laundry to do, clean the kitchen - it really needs it, clear out the clutter, and get rid of the paper clutter that has accumulated.

I am more disturbed by the other plans that actually meant something to me to get done.  For instance, I was going to cook my own Thanksgiving dinner.  I went to another person's house for Thanksgiving this year.  It just was not a Thanksgiving dinner that I am used to having. 

Last year, Thanksgiving was spent with just the dogs.  I was in the kitchen cooking my own little heart out and when it was all said and done, I was truly fat and happy.  I was thankful to have the time alone as well as feeling that the dinner was a tribute to my mother.  Had she been here, I think she would have been shocked not to have been in the kitchen doing any of that cooking.  (Actually, a few years before she passed away, I did cook for her and I know she appreciated it.)

Anyway, since I went off course there, I had planned on preparing a turkey breast with all of the trimmings today.  Unfortunately, there were no fresh turkey breasts to be had - only frozen.  In order to defrost, I would have to let the turkey breast sit in the refrigerator for 2 days.  Yeah - I do not see that happening.  

It really bummed me out!  I had all of these plans and *poof*, all up in smoke.

Maybe that is something I can do for next Sunday.  The bonus there is that I can eat leftovers all the next week which is a money saver and a blessing for me.

After my experience with Thanksgiving this year, I think I will make it a point to just stay home and enjoy the holiday with the dogs.  No matter how exhausting both of them can make me, I am terribly thankful to have them in my life.  They are a reality check when I feel down - sure I had a bad day, but you know what, they don't know and they are damned happy to see me.

As for Christmas, I am still pondering what to do there.  I have a real urge to stay home.  The only thing I truly want for Christmas is just peace and quiet.  I do not need drama or what have you from someone else's home.  Also, I would love the time to reflect and think about what I want to achieve for the upcoming new year. 

The downside is that I need to get gifts over to those who gave me presents the past couple of years.  I feel badly because I do not know what to get for them and honestly, I am not part of their lives.  However, I feel an obligation to get them something in a way of saying "Thank You."  I do not expect anything from them and they should not feel that they need to get me anything.  I simply want to give this one last gift, then be done with it.  After that, spend that $15-$30 on someone else.

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

encouragement is important.

Everybody needs to be encouraged, including you. Keep doing the best you can, you've got what it takes and you are going to make it. Remember to encourage others to pursue their own dreams. Build each other up, encouragement is important.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Giving Thanks...

Yesterday, I never really got a chance to make an entry.  For most holidays, when spent away from home, everything is so hectic and planned.  I think it might be easier to stay home for the holidays.

I know most people will think I am crazy, but I would prefer to spend that time at home with the dogs.  After all I have been through with Chloe and her medical bills, I need to be thankful to have this borrowed time with her.  

Same is true for Bo.  He is truly a sweetheart.

Last year, I stayed home, cooked my dinner, and laid on the sofa with the dogs.  It was our way of celebrating - taking it easy and just relaxing.  For that, I was thankful.

I do wish my mother was still here.  I miss having her around and wished I had handle things differently when I was younger.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thoughts and Feelings Regarding the Current Events...

I have had different opinions regarding the events that occurred in Ferguson, MO.  I believe in peaceful protests and open dialogue to sort out the issues we have regarding racism.  When people loot and riot, or even like here in Dallas, shutdown a freeway with your protesting, the mass majority of the public will not take you seriously.  

Why not?

Look at it from a person on the outside looking in:

You think nothing of destroying someone's business, their livelihood because you are angry.  You feel entitled to steal merchandise because people are considered racist and those business owners might actually side with your beliefs.  Who pays for all of that destruction?  Not you.  The insurance companies might be able to cover the destruction, but at what cost to the owners?  How about thinking of the employees who work in those businesses?  They have no job, now.

The whole incident, I believe could have been prevented altogether.  Had the young man not made the poor choices he made that night, he would be alive today.  Some of you may feel that is not being fair.  I think it is.  Had this young man been what his parents and others portrayed him to be, he would not have been out late at night robbing a store.  I truly believe that had the young man stayed home or done something other than rob a store, he would be alive today based upon choices made.

We all take a chance based upon the decisions we make.  Every action we take has some sort of reaction.  We have to decide which one is the right one.  The one thing I have learned, there are some decisions that put you in bad situations, such as this one, and those are the ones that I avoid.

That sentiment should be true to anyone no matter what your skin color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.  

One last word on the subject of racism.  While this country still has issues with racism, the people are open for change and that has allowed this country to come a LONG way to get to where we are today.  We still have a long way to go, but keep this in mind, in many places in the world, racism still exists and is an accepted way of behavior.  This is not just our country's problem, but a world-wide issue.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Health Update...

This Saturday's weekly weigh-in showed a 2.8 lb loss.  Finally - to see some progress, it was certainly refreshing.  On the downside, I am still feeling a lot of aches and pains.  To a certain degree, I understand the "No Pain, no gain" where my muscles are concerned.  What bothers me is that neither advil or aleeve are helping to relieve the muscle pain I am feeling after a workout.

Do not get me wrong.  Since switching over to using weight machines, I have been able to get through my workouts with my trainer.  My arms and/or legs will feel like limp noodles after lifting.  The next day, I can feel the soreness in those areas.  This past week, the trainer was able to sneak in some squats and that made it more difficult to get up and down without feeling a lot of pain.  I even did a lot of walking in hopes to reduce that pain last week.  

Now, it is not so bad, but when I stand after a period of sitting down, I stiffen up and there is a lot of pain.  I am looking for ways to stretch those muscles in order to get that part to stop.

I am thankful that I have this week off from work.  I just want to enjoy the time off and hope to get some cleaning done around the apartment.  I have my work cut out for me on this part, but I will work to get some dent done.  

Here is hoping that Thanksgiving does not dent my health changing efforts.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why We Need to Look Back at the Past...

So often, we hear people talk about letting go of the past, moving forward, and so forth.  However, this advice needs to be in regards to not beating one's self up over mistakes made or situations out of one's control.  We do need to remember the past and learn from the mistakes and situations presented.  It is this point where we, as a global society, fail.

Now, you are probably wondering why I say that.  For the past few days, I have had several discussions regarding the education of people and those that are in control.  IS and other religious factions take hold of a community by storm and enforce laws and values that are not deemed reasonable by no stretch of the imagination.

Recent discussion was spurned by a conversation I had with a co-worker, where we share similar musical tastes.  Earlier in the week, I had said that "Friday cannot get here fast enough."  This Friday, she sends me a YouTube link - The Cure performing Friday, I'm In Love.  I loved it and mentioned the first and last time I had ever seen The Cure perform in concert was June 2008.  The section of the show that stirred me not only from a musical aspect, but from an emotional aspect was when the band performed Hundred Years.  

The song has a very eerie feel to it.  Similar to what Shirley Manson had said regarding Siouxsie and the Banshees, for bands that could produce this sinister sound, that sound would draw me into it in a curious fashion.  However, the image backdrop displayed for the song was unimaginable.  Various old photos taken from various, I would presume, European areas where you saw what genocide was really about.  It was not simply holocaust photos as many were not from that area, but other places.  The whole performance would click on that weird fascination I had regarding Nazi Germany and how, as a young girl, could not understand how so many people were unaware and even allowed that to happen.

My friend had mentioned that she visited a holocaust museum and there was a section that display the various medical tests performed on people.  The room had a warning on it regarding the photos on display.  My friend said she only lasted a few minutes looking before she just had to leave - the photos were that disturbing.

Today, the one thing I realized is that many political/religious factions have some sort of hidden agenda that many followers are unaware.  I considered ISIS in this case and another friend simply said that they were uneducated.  I had to disagree as many of the followers and leaders were well educated.  Those people were sent to the best schools.  Yet, those people ignore the past/history.  Granted, they prefer to feel that they have a stronger case for performing some form of genocide based upon ideals.  The world is seeing this and people refuse to stomach that sort of behavior.  Then, again, other places in the world ignore it.

So, I am again at that crossroads, wondering how a world having experienced these types of behaviors over and over simply cannot get past that sort of stupidity/savagery.  I realize that one cannot fix stupid, but obviously, it multiples in high numbers.  I also realize that religious factions such as ISIS thrive on the uneducated - it is a higher form of bullying, if you will.  

It causes me to stop and wonder:

Is God really a mad scientist and he creates various schemes and life forms, goes off to do something else, and when he returns, he sees what destruction lies before him and takes care of it?

None of us really know, do we?  So, as a global society, we should bear the responsibility of looking back at the past.  Quit thinking that history is boring.  It really is not boring when you realize that this world continues to do the same thing over and over.  Would it not be incredibly amazing if it stopped simply because we know the outcome is not what we desire?  Then, again, for those groups, I suppose it is the desired outcome.  I do not think I will ever truly understand it.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Change Up...

While having my bi-weekly meeting with my trainer, she made a suggestion to change up my diet a bit.  Rather than having a shake for breakfast and lunch, have the shake for lunch and dinner.  Make sure to eat a decent breakfast.

After looking at my food journal on MyFitnessPal, her suggestion came when it seemed that the bulk of my calories were taking place at the end of the day.  She figured I had to be starving by the time dinner came.  Unfortunately, that part was true.  I was starving, but trying to stay within limits.  

So, today, I prepared scrambled eggs, canteloupe, and watermelon to eat for breakfast.  I will have a shake for lunch and dinner.  I will see how I handle that.

Actually, I cannot wait for next week - I can go back to eating food for all three meals.  I feel I am just not getting up and moving around enough.  My FitBit shows it.  However, for some reason, I got knocked down with a lot of fatigue yesterday.  That is rather unusual, but it could be that I am not getting enough sleep with the dogs.  Since the time change, Chloe is just killing me with when she needs to go.

I suppose when I really think about it, it is probably due to depression.  The holidays always get me down and even more so since my mother passed away.  I really did not realize how much she was such a huge presence for the holidays.  It was always just our small family, mom, dad, the dogs, and myself.  I do not feel close to any of the other family, but that is just how it was with our family.  Everyone else lived in another state and if someone on my father's side lived in Texas, we rarely saw them.  Not really sure if there is any blame.  I have tried in the past and put the proverbial ball in their court, but it simply sits there.  

Now, I will be thrown into a family that is not mine.  It is my father's new family, but I am just the outsider.  I have never felt more uncomfortable in my life and it is not that they are mean.  It is just not my family.  

Last year, my father and his companion decided to go out of town for Thanksgiving.  I was bitter about that for awhile.  However, when I thought about it, what was to happen when he leaves?  I decided to make the most of it.  I bought a fresh turkey breast and everything that needed to be prepared for Thanksgiving dinner had my mother been alive.  It was almost like she was with me and guiding me along.  It was the best Thanksgiving I had in the years that she had been gone.  

I need to try this "family" thing one last time.  If I feel just as uncomfortable as last time, it will be my last.  I will have to struggle to have that talk with my father about how the "family" is not inviting me, but his companion.  The "family" may not want me there and that is okay.  It is their traditions and not mine.  Holidays should be about having fun and enjoying yourself.  Not feeling like you are walking on eggshells.  Furthermore, by any grace of God, no one should feel that they need to invite me because I will be alone for the holidays.  Quite honestly, it is okay.  Having that peace of being alone and not having to answer to anyone is pretty much welcome all of the time.

Well, the good thing - next week, I am off for Thanksgiving!  I am actually going to be happy about that!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Last night, I saw the following posted on Twitter by my friend who also happens to be a chef:

RT @HealthyPost:  Forget about getting skinny.  Eat well & exercise, the weight will take care of itself.

Nutshell, I need to keep this in mind all of the time.  My biggest problem is the exercise piece.  I just need to be more consistent with being more active.  Making sure I get at least 30 minutes of some sort of exercise in each day, even it if is walking vigorously in front of the TV.

My friend reminded me that we are both on the "long haul" and we can do it!  We are going to lose this weight, but do it the healthy way.  I really need to remember that the fat did not get on my body overnight, so there is no way it is going to disappear overnight, either.

My problem, I think, is that I lose my motivation for one reason or another.  I still see my trainer twice a week and quite honestly, I welcome the strength training exercises.  After being there, I get so motivated to do more - to get more steps done and so forth.  

All negative thoughts and views need to be left behind because in the end, all they do is prolong reaching the ultimate goal:  Be healthy and feel better.

Now, as my horoscope mentioned for me today, I need to figure out where I am overwhelming myself and restructure my schedule.  I need to be able to do certain things that I have wanted to do, but I need to make sure that I do not overwhelm myself.  When I do, I get depressed or feel fatigued.  I need to realize, I cannot do everything.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Finding Comfort in the LIttle Things...

After sitting through another Dallas Stars loss on Saturday afternoon, then dealing with some ugly DART rail aftermath (wet bottom caused by a previous rider who spilled their drink - I hope), I had decided to make mom's hamburger soup.  There is no real recipe for the soup - it was something she threw together and quite honestly was very delicious on cold days.

For whatever reason, I lost all energy I had in the morning and was tremendously sluggish in getting anything else done.  However, I did manage to get the potatoes peeled and the soup on the stove.  The outside was very cold and in some areas, there were some snow flurries.  

The last time I ran the dogs outside for their final potty before heading to bed, the outside air was tremendously chilly and biting.  During our walk, I began to feel something hitting my face.  While the dogs were sniffing for what other messages had been left behind, I began to realize that it was snowing.  I stood there for a few moments just watching the simple beauty of the flakes swirling down from the sky.  

There was a certain beauty of seeing the flakes slowly float to the ground.  Heavy snow flurries are beautiful when viewed from inside a warm home.  However, this held somewhat of a magical spell, similar to what you might see in the movies.  

I walked the dogs home quickly since Chloe was visibly cold.  Still, I really enjoyed getting to savor that moment of watching the flakes just float in the air.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Story Leftout...

Everyone has their ideal image of themselves.  What we wish we could look like to others and so forth.  Ever seen those weight-loss commercials on TV - how they show you the "before" and "after"?  How your life will be so exciting and such after your weight loss.  The problem is - those commericals are missing one thing - the reality of having dropped a massive amount of weight.

No one tells you the real story.  Sure, you are healthier and your quality of life will increase.  However, no one tells you about the excess skin.  Basically, when one is very overweight, such as myself, and loses a large amount of weight, the skin is probably stretched too far to contract.  Therefore, that person is left with a large amount of excess skin.

At the beginning of the year, I was working hard to drop weight and this whole excess skin business hit.  I remembered my mother telling me that it would probably happen.  As I look at my body in the mirror, I know it to be true.

The thing the weight loss centers always tell you is that insurance will pay for your surgery to lose weight.  What they do not tell you is that once you lose the weight and you have excess skin, insurance companies will not pay for the surgery to remove the excess skin.

I saw this video today and it made me cry.  I sympathized with this kid, but I was so proud of what he had accomplished.  It made me sad because if he can do it, why can't I?  Why can't I get past all of these images in my head and just be happy with myself?  That is where the real issue is.  I wish that people would continue to talk about this because in the end, it will help more than hurt.  It will encourage more people to learn to be happy with themselves and not find themselves more damaged when weight loss does not turn out as promised.

Better yet, if you choose weight loss surgery, remember - you need to be happy with you and in your own skin.  Even if you lose weight the old fashion way, by eating healthy and exercise, that business of the excess skin will still be there.  

I am never kidding with myself - I will never look like some model or actress.  I am me.  I have got to fight every day to feel comfortable with myself.  This will be a daily battle - whether or not I have excess weight.

Thirty Years Later - A New Cause...

It was November 1984 and starting my trend of enjoying British music bands.  I was going to TCJC at the time and was looking like I was actually getting into some sort of shape.  The physical education course was at the point of doing strength and circuit training.  I was never happier because I was tired of running all of the time.

At this time, the biggest bands/singers of the British music scene were gathering together to record a song.  There was a cause behind it - helping to feed those in Africa who were not getting any assistance from their own governments.  The song was called Do They Know It's Christmas? and the band compiled called themselves "Band Aid."

Bob Geldof wanted to do something after seeing a documentary on TV regarding the crisis in Africa.  He contacted Midge Ure and the two artists developed the song.  After that, there was the organization of those artists willing to contribute their time and talents to helping develop the record.  All of that work took place in a 24 hour time frame, then the record was released.

I was truly in awe of what Bob had done and the song actually had an effect on me.  I bought the 45 RPM as well as the 33-1/2 RPM.  I did what I could do on a student budget.  The same was true for when Bob gathered the same artists and more to do Live Aid in July 1985.

Here it is - thirty years later - Bob and Midge sit before a group of journalists to say there will be another Band Aid - Band Aid 30.  Bob appears weary in this setting, but his words make a lot of sense.  One can tell that this business of doing the socially good is becoming a huge burden on him as people are always expecting it from him.  I completely understood his comment about how embarrassing it was to call people you do not even know to ask them to help.

However, this time - the cause is very different.  Sure, it is for the people in Africa, but this time, the people in West Africa who are dealing with the ebola virus.  While I should not have lived in any fear of this disease when the Dallas area was managing it, you cannot help but feel what sort of fear those people have there.  When I read of people here talking about wanting to flee, that is what makes that situation worse - it is what spreads it because of "fear".  

So, for anyone reading this, in the next few days, an updated version of this record will be released to the world.  Even if you do not like the song, buy it.  Give of yourself this small amount as it will be a tremendous amount to help those health workers and such in West Africa.  The situation there is dire.  We here in America are very lucky.  Maybe get past the commercialism of Christmas and make yourself feel good - give to something that can make a difference.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ever Had One of Those Days?

Seems like I have been having one of those "days" for about two weeks.  As I sit here, I am reminded of those things I needed to do and totally forgot.  Ugh!  My brain has been in a fog for quite awhile.

I think part of my problem has been that I have been experiencing a great deal of exhaustion.  Next, stress and frustration.  Nothing is more deflating than to have a schedule to do something, but you just cannot seem to get it together for whatever reason.  It is pretty much a bummer.

I am trying hard to get several things done, but just seem to have this drain on my energy.  For example, I took a 3 hour nap one day after I got home from work.  The dogs ran me down when I took them for a walk and I felt like I needed another nap!  

To make things worse, I feel like I am constantly rushing around and there is no sense in that.  

Something tells me that I could be experiencing pre-menopause.  I am cranky and easily irritated.  Once I get past that monthly deal, life calms down and stuff can get done.  That is annoying.

Maybe, I will get a lot of rest this week, that way I can concentrate on getting some chores done that I have put off over and over.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Special Little Girl...

Today, Chloe turns 14 years old.  Pretty difficult for me to imagine that she is that old, let alone hanging in there with me all this time.  I should say, she had a good start in her life with Dr. Welch, then with the best momma a little dog could have, my mom.

In September 2009, my mother asked me to take Chloe and take care of her.  My mom was completely bed ridden and there was no way she could properly give the care that Chloe needed to her.  My mom cried when I left that night with Chloe and her things, but Chloe was never very far away from my mom.  

The day my mom passed away, I made sure Chloe got to be with my mom for a little bit.  I know Chloe knew mom had passed away, but she huddled up close to my mom in that protective way she has.  I had to bring both Bo and Chloe into the bedroom as the funeral home staff took my mom out of the house.  I think it broke the both of us because now, it was a reality.  Momma was gone.

I only had Bo for 2 years and I worried how I was going to do with taking care of two dogs.  Chloe had knee surgery a year or two later and together we got past that.  Currently, she has been dealing with a badly diseased gall bladder and Cushing's disease.  I make sure Chloe gets her food, exercise, and treats.  I cherish all of the times where she cuddles up to me in bed while I sleep.  

It is difficult to believe my mom has been gone for almost 5 years and Chloe is hanging in there with me all of this time.  I love Chloe dearly - as much as I love Bo.  There are times I worry I tend to love one more than the other, but I try to make sure I share attention between the two.

I will never forget that little puff ball that greeted me at the front door when my parents got her.  She was all play and licks.  Everything was on her terms, though.  You learned pretty quickly that she was the bossy, vocal one and you needed to obey.  LOL 

Happy Birthday, sweet Chloe!  I am blessed with every day I get to spend with you!  And, yes, I will get some vanilla cupcakes to celebrate your special day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Numbers Game...

I have designated Saturdays as my "weigh-in" day.  First, the endo suggested either Friday or Saturday because Mondays have such a bad rap.  Second, even health articles suggest any day, but Monday.  Granted, I usually start my shake weeks on a Monday, it is just easier for me to ease into the week drinking two shakes on that day. My whole week could be crazy, so I do not have to worry about preparing breakfast or lunch - just grab a shake and drink it.

Today, I weighed and saw I gained two pounds.  Yes, I felt defeated.  Then, again, should I really feel that way?  For the past three evenings, I have gotten lunch and dinner out and did not pick out anything healthy to eat.  I should not expect anything other than some weight gain.

However, I did notice I was losing on my BMI (Body Mass Index).  For the past month, I have been about 52%.  Today, I was 49.5%.  So, maybe my body is beginning to start adjusting and I just won't see much loss on the weight side.

I have made it to see my personal trainer both times this week.  We met in the afternoon while I swung out of conference calls at work.  It actually felt good to go into the gym in the afternoon.  No one is there.  Hardly anyone at all.  Maybe, on the weekends, that is the time I should go.  I may try that out.

Anyway, by doing what the endo suggested, working out with the machines and some free weights, my back is not hindering me from exercising.  This part is actually fabulous.  Also, I am lifting some pretty heavy weights, according to the trainer.  I am more excited about not being in pain while I work out.  Nothing was more deflating than to go see my trainer, who is a very positive and supportive person, then have to cut short the work out because my lower back was just killing me.  I suppose that indicates I need to locate some sort of back support to help with further free weight exercises.  I do admit, I love working with the machines.  My form is good and you know what, I can generate a good sweat while working out with those just as much as when I was doing the free weights.

I need to be sensible about this whole deal.  I am only a month into making changes.  I need to improve on my eating habits.  That will help a lot.  Also, it will help my pocketbook.  I do feel a great accomplishment when I have prepared a meal and it tastes great, but I know that it is good for me as well.

Having been a bit down in the dumps the past few days, due to stressful situations, I think the best thing for me is to make some comfort food.  Tomorrow, I am going to cook a roast with potatoes, onions, celery, and mushrooms.  

Tomorrow is also Chloe's birthday, so I need to pick up some mini-cupcakes to share with the dogs.  We won't eat the whole thing, but I feel good about doing something special for the dogs on her birthday.  It is a shame I do not know Bo's birthday - I may just pick a day and let it be his day.  


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Accepting Change...

I have been working on slowly subsiding from all of the social media.  Facebook is more difficult, but I have noticed that my latest updates are primarily because I am ticked at smoke alarm situation within my apartment.  However, I work more on my g+, FitBit, and MyFitnessPal applications.

This past month, I got a bit of a slap in the face regarding social media.  The company wants employees to embrace their new "Workplace 2020".  Employees have to set up their profile and such on a Facebook like interface.  There are places to share documents on the web site.  You should blog and so forth.

And here I am trying to reduce the amount of social media...

It gets even better.  In an effort to make sure you are getting yourself acquainted, whoever is in charge has developed monthly challenges.  If you are not making an effort, there is someone sending out updates showing everyone else where you are in making your effort to complete the challenge.

Earlier this year, I started some work in that area.  I set up a profile, but I did not put a photo out there.  I did not fill out completely everything in the profile because people at work does not necessarily need to know every personal aspect of my life.  I put work-related information out there.  I also made requests to follow various people in their networks.  I tried using the document sharing area and it failed miserably for what I needed for it to do.

When I got this challenge and my first notification that I had not gotten my piece satisfactorily done, I was a bit taken back.  Their challenge had not taken into account anything that I had already done.  Furthermore, it indicated I had no network contacts when I did!  

I am not beyond accepting change.  Generally speaking, I try to embrace it unless I have my doubts.  I have tried this methodology and found faults.  I will continue to work on this effort, but the one area where I will probably take a stand is installing their products onto my own personal devices.  I have been provided a company phone and laptop.  I am afraid that by putting those products on my personal items, that gives the company more access into my personal life, which I am trying desperately to keep separate.

I  have my concerns, but with anything, I will give it a shot.  I just need to set my own boundaries.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Using Dieting As An Excuse...

Today, I went into the office to work.  Not because I can get more done, but because I need to spend a certain amount of time in the office.  I usually work from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  

I packed my lunch and made my way to work.  Before I got to work, I had already had my fill of people scheduling conference calls and either delaying them or not even canceling them as they were out for the day.  I had just dialed into a call as I was discovering that the requestor had scheduled time off and no one to cover.  I got an instant message from a co-worker.  She was asking if I wanted to go out for lunch - something homemade since it was a cold, dreary day.  I decided to forgo my packed lunch to spend time with this co-worker.

Once all conference calls were settled, we headed out for lunch.  There was a place that served homemade comfort food down the street from where we work.  As we were seated, I laughed and said I knew what my co-worker was going to order - chicken fried steak.  I know her all too well.  That was exactly what was on her mind to eat.  We both laughed.

After we placed our orders, she asked me why people won't go out to eat because they are on a diet.  She stated she knew I was trying to watch what I ate and understood, but I would go out to eat.  I sort of laughed about it by saying that the honest truth is I need to cut back on eating out so much and not just due to dieting.

My response to her question was basically this:

Most people, when they start changing their lifestyle, start being very strict on themselves.  I explained that by preparing my own meals, I have a greater control over what I eat.  I have measured it, observed what ingredients were used in the preparation, and know there are no surprises.  Also, I have noticed the savings I get in the end.  I am not spending $10-$15+ for eating a single meal.  

However, most people start off by being too strict and they set themselves up for failure.  The struggle is very real.  Some people have trouble with portion control.  Others tend to order a lot of fried food.  There is also the penchant for wanting something sweet after eating.  It all adds up

Other times, people will say that they are on a diet to avoid going out to eat at a particular restaurant or avoid certain people.  I admit, I avoid Indian food.  I have tried it about 4 times and 3 out of the 4 times, I sustained some nasty after effects.  Let's just say, I am not so keen to spend the rest of my afternoon in a bathroom stall.  So, a lot of time time, I would say I was on a diet or brought my lunch - my saving grace.

She actually thought that part was funny, but understood completely.  I mean, if you have tried it and 75% of the time you ended up not feeling well, it is best to leave well enough alone.  Besides, do I really need to be rude and say "No thanks - I rather not spend the rest of my afternoon locked up in a bathroom stall?"  Yeah, that does not go over very well.

For myself, I really try not to be too rigid regarding diet.  I do not mind going out to eat with my friends.  I just like to know in advance so that I do not pack a lunch and waste food.  The key to going out to eat is knowing the place you are going to eat and checking out the menu before you go.  I love doing this because it enables me to make proper choices.  Also, it speeds up the ordering process.  I know exactly what I want.

In the end, I told my friend not to get upset over it.  There are many reasons why people do not want to go out to eat.  You just have to accept it and understand that they do not want to hurt your feelings.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Religious Freedoms and Oppression...

I have never been a very religious person.  I do believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and he is our savior.  In a very generic sense, I am Christian.  Honestly, I am not one particular denomination - I am just me.  I believe in everyone's right to worship whatever religion desired.  I do not believe in having my rights infringed by another party's belief.

When I saw a video from a British reporter regarding her home town and how the Muslims there were attempting to over take the town with their beliefs, I was rather surprised.  Great Britain does allow for religious freedoms for their people and to have this one group deciding to enforce their beliefs on others because they feel infringed.

So, this Sunday, while I started cooking dinner, I watched part of 60 Minutes.  Again, a reporter was talking to a British Muslim citizen accused of recruiting others to fight with ISIS in Syria.  It seemed to me, yet again, another example of a group of people imposing their beliefs upon others, rather than allowing the freedom of choice.

I pondered awhile if such a thing could happen in the US.  For all of the different radical factions, there is one thing that does stand out to me:  Freedom.  That was the reason why the Pilgrims came to America - to flee religious persecution.  Throughout the centuries, this country has remain held fast to the belief of freedom - the right to choose.  While someone may try to bribe their way into making changes, no one wants their freedom/right to choose to be taken away from them.

The 60 Minute report can be found here:

The first report I saw:


Sunday, November 2, 2014

My "Novel" Idea...

At the beginning of this year, I had started working on a novel.  I figured, I should give writing a shot.  I do not feel I am much of a writer, but I do write on this blog.  I had started doing journals during my junior/senior year of high school.  I continued through college, then I got pretty sparse with it.

When I moved into my first apartment in 2001, somewhere along the way, I was introduced by a friend to LiveJournal.  I started "blogging" there.  When I met with Random Cathy, I moved from LiveJournal to here.  I wanted to make a break and look at rediscovering what I could change about myself.

Anyway, I started working on the outline and had some ideas.  Some days, I would be able to write quite a bit and other days, not so much.  Work required more attention, so the novel would get pushed to aside quite a bit.  I even signed up for an on-line writing course, which I was doing quite well in the beginning, but due to work, I ended up putting aside and never finishing.

I was scanning posts on Facebook the other day and one friend made the comment about having read a free book from and was fairly critical of the book.  What she discovered was that she could write her own novel and have it published as an e-book on  So, she asked her friend-list what to write.  My response was "Try anything."  Heck - you were so critical of what you read, why not write something similar and see if you can do better.  What is it going to hurt?  You have to accept the critics and their remarks - good or bad.

That got me to thinking, then I remembered back in my LiveJournal days, there was a competition that took place where the challenge was to write a 50,000 word novel during a month.  Ironically, another FaceBook friend posted the organization's name,  I reflected upon one friend taking the challenge and she had loads of fun doing it, even if she did not win.

So, today, I have signed up and decided to take that challenge as well.  I have to wonder - what is wrong with me accepting all of these challenges?  I may not win, but at least, I will have something out of it.  That is my philosophy.  It is not a challenge for me; it will be an adventure.  Do something I really have not seriously done - be out of my comfort zone.  Who knows what happens after that?

Time to get started - definitely using the MacBook Pro for doing the writing, then uploading to the web site.

The Fall Clean Out...

When the cold front came through on Friday evening, it made my whole week.  Now, the "Texas heat" has left for the season and the cool, crisp air is flowing through the environment.  I could not be happier. 

Unfortunately, very early yesterday morning, the smoke alarms started going off in various rooms.  It makes no real sense to me why that happens.  It is not the "chirping" that indicates a low battery.  This is the full blown alarm sound.  

Needless to say, I ended up not getting a whole lot of sleep yesterday morning.  It finally stopped around 7 AM.  When I took the dogs out for their walk, I had to battle with Bo on coming back home.  He simply was not having any part of going back home.  I ended up winning the "tug of war", which is seriously embarrassing.  To add insult to injury, there is a tenant with a set of chimes that sound very similar to the smoke alarms going off on the very path I take to get the dogs home.  That is truly annoying and makes the situation with Bo worse.

As I pondered what I really needed to do, I decided it was time for the "Fall Clean Out".  Take this month and really work on the apartment and start throwing out stuff I have not used/need.  Get the place clear of the dust and such.  I took Bo for a ride over to Lowes as his official start for fall.  (The dogs love going for rides and when it is cool like it is now, they really like to people watch as I am in the grocery store).  The main purpose of the Lowes' visit was to get cleaning materials as well as a supply of batteries for these blasted smoke alarms.  As I walked past several smoke alarms in the store, I had the temptation to buy them and ask a former co-worker to come into the apartment and disable the ones I have in favor of using these.  It is pretty apparent that the system is faulty and heaven knows, I have gone to management several times about it and all that gets done is battery change out.

Anyway, I really could not do much cleaning yesterday as I had to get ready for meeting some friends for dinner.  However, my plan is to sit with my planner and mark each week for a specific room for attention.  Sure, spending a week on one room seems like overkill, but my point is to really clear everything out and clean it.  By the end of the month, I should be able to just spend a day cleaning the apartment by doing smaller clean ups.

Basically, I am tired of not being able to find anything.  Also, I have let this situation go since my mother had been very ill in 2008.  It has just gotten progressively worse.  Furthermore, I have so many multiples of things that I cannot keep my head straight.  Most of that was due to spending time at my parents house while caring for my mom and I only got to come back to the apartment on Saturdays to get mail and pay rent.  

So, putting my best foot forward, I am going to get this place cleaned out.

Being Technology Dependent...

I have noticed that the more and more I have become dependent upon technology, there are those times where I am completely beside myself when it fails.  Being that dependent on technology is a bit scary, to be honest.

There are so many points of failure and believe me, if you have a single point of failure, you can bet your life's savings that it will happen and all will be lost.  Small wonder people are in fits when their hard drives crash and there is no back up.  I have been through that episode a few times.  Believe me, I was not very happy.  I have even cried because of what I lost.

As many know, I use the FitBit Flex to get 10,000 steps in a day.  Believe me, there is no way I could possibly keep count of the number of steps I take in a day, so I need a pedometer.  The FitBit Flex has been a great help, but I have come to my technology dependency stage.

You have to recharge the FitBit Flex to make sure it properly measures your steps.  Not a problem, but lately, my FitBit program is not sending me a notification that my battery is low.  Usually, when I get that, I will plug in the device and let it recharge.

A couple of months ago, I went to recharge the FitBit Flex one night and when I woke up, it had not been charged.  Talk about frustration.  I had bought an extra Flex for a gift and decided that was not a good idea, so I kept it.  I got that one out and used that device for measuring my steps.  I thought I had a great back up plan - if one ran out, I would have a charged back up.  I just need to change the device on the website.

This week, I experience the situation where both devices were drained.  I tried charging both and neither were working.  I used the iPhone for getting steps in, but the numbers were off because I am not used to carrying my iPhone all over the place.  It was frustrating.  Next, to realize that maybe I had a situation where one device was probably fried as well as one of the chargers.  I got one charger to show up to be working, so it charged the current FitBit device I am wearing.  I tried the other charger and it did not work.  So, I connected the charger that worked and it charged the other FitBit device. 

Overall, it was frustrating because I was on a roll and this really threw me off my game.  I was getting my 10,000+ steps in each day and feeling pretty good about it.  (You know how it feels when you make a goal and you achieve it).  Well, now, I am back to being on my way to do my steps.