Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sloooooow Progress, But Progress......

I had mentioned last time how discouraging it was to have gone to TOPS a couple weeks ago and had their scale show no weight change, when my home scale clearly showed otherwise. But the following week, a week ago Monday, made up for it. This time it showed a loss of 3.75 pounds and I was tied for top loss of the week in the chapter! I sure wasn't expecting that. I got a basket with goodies such as 3 mini-bags of popcorn, 2 servings of Crystal Light, a can of tuna, 2 pieces of fruit and some change (you don't keep the basket, just what's in it). This week, I only lost a half-pound, which was disappointing considering I have literally been walking an extra 3 to 4 miles every day, including weekend days. But Rex did grill mushroom and swiss burgers one day, which are incredible but not exactly low-cal, and Dianne and I were together over the weekend and had a big appetizer platter at Applebee's for lunch on Sat.; not exactly low-cal either. So, though I have been doing good, I need to do even better. Rex has been very encouraging about all the walking I have been doing, and I WILL at long last lose this weight not just for myself and my health but for him; he's in great shape for, ahem, his age, and it's not fair that he should have had this sluggish tub of a wife all these years. I WILL have progress every week, and NOT just a half-pound!! He bought me some fruit (plums, nectarines and peaches); now the next trick is that I need to actually start eating it! Am SO bad about eating fruits and veggies.....

A week ago at work, Justin the IT guy walked in the door and startled me just as I was walking out of the kitchen with my yummy chicken-fried steak entree with potatoes and corn (which, I also used to have an English muffin with cheese along with it, oink, but no more). I dropped my yummy entree on the rug, which was bad enough since all I had to eat was a Zone bar and sunflower seeds, but some of the gravy dropped on my left ring finger and burned it (as in a second-degree burn). I hoped it would heal without the blister breaking, but it did break. So it's going to be quite visible for some time and take quite awhile to heal!

Have completed 87 rows of the green/teal/taupe ghan; it's going to have 140 to 144 rows depending on when a couple of the colors run out. The "sand dollar" soft peach ghan, I have 10 motifs done so far (worked on it a bit at Dianne's; the other ghan was getting too big to bring there to work on) so it's getting bulky to fit in my purse, but I can still work on one motif at a time on my commute up to the part of the last row where it gets joined. So I'll do that for awhile before starting the next small take-along project (possibly the spiderweb runner I want to make for my dresser). Speaking of spiders, a HUGE one was walking across the rug yesterday right by Rex's foot; I yelled and he stomped on it, ewwwww!! I keep telling him not to leave the danged front door wide open and risk letting in every insect in the neighborhood! I already lost count of how many dead bugs I've had to clean off the windowsills!

Haven't been to church now for three Sundays in a row, which I'm not happy about. The first two were mainly due to oversleeping because of having been so crazy-busy at work, which I realize is not a good excuse. This past Sunday, I did have a good excuse. I was staying over at Dianne's, and 15 minutes before I left, her mom called and was distraught due to tremors she was having, which in turn made Dianne distraught. So I went with her to mom's townhouse and prayed with her and mom and spent time with both of them. On one hand I felt I needed to go to church, but on the other hand I know this was more important.

Well, this Saturday was SUPPOSED to be our housewarming, but I realized a couple weeks ago we would not be ready. So I talked to Dianne about what Saturdays in Sept. or early Oct. would work for her. Sept. 22 won't work since she is getting together with a couple of high school friends, one of whom she hasn't seen for 40 years (!). Sept. 29 would have worked for her but not for me, since my employer is putting on THREE seminars the day before, so all the managers will be out and I couldn't have the day before off to prepare. Oct. 6 is her eldest daughter's birthday. Sooooo......I didn't want to go into mid-October, but Oct. 13 seems like it will work for both of us and give (I hope!) hubby adequate time to get the dogs' fencing repositioned to the side door/porch and get everything inside assembled, hung, etc. And the days still won't be too short or the weather too cold, and it's not too close to the holidays. So Oct. 13 it is, and I'm not moving it again! I requested the 12th as a vaca day to prepare, and I'm still taking off this Friday, which I originally scheduled when I thought the housewarming would be this Sat. Work has continued to be crazy and I NEED a day off! Looking very much forward to the upcoming 4-day weekend! And now it's 12:21 so I NEED to end this and go to bed!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Hours in My Day, Please!

Well....I went to my second meeting on Monday at the TOPS Chapter I originally planned to join. I really do like it; the ladies are really nice, and I do think I should join. I was going to on Monday; I'd already filled out all the paperwork, and they gave me my membership binder. But I didn't turn in my dues yet since I am still so stunned by my weigh-in. I started walking from the park n'ride to the ferry dock and back most days at the end of last month, which totals about an extra 3 miles walking each weekday. The walk in the morning is relaxing (and getting up 1/2 hour earlier has been surprisingly doable) while the walk in the evening -- when I am tired, hungry, the sun is beating down on me, and there is an ever-so-slight upward incline -- is exhausting (especially a day like yesterday when it was in the mid 80s; today went better). But I vowed to do it each day I possibly can. I also have definitely cut back on my portions and snacking. I knew I had lost about 2 pounds, based on our new digital bathroom scale. But to my shock, their scale showed no change (a "turtle" in TOPS lingo). How does a person weigh themself on the same scale, with the same amount of clothes (or lack thereof) at the same time of day, and one shows a loss and one doesn't?? Makes no sense, and it was very discouraging for their scale to lie and show me no encouragement for how good I've been. I totally plan to keep on keeping on and do even more than I have been. At the same time, part of the reason one goes to TOPS is to receive recognition for what they have done right. But I'll go back this Monday and see what happens. I had even taken a 3-mile round trip walk last Sun. afternoon, and it's unheard of for me to do that on a Sunday. I really do like walking. But when the days get short and the weather gets wet and blustery, sadly just a couple months away now, I will need to shift my walking to my Nordic Track Walkfit for the next several months....

I just found out this afternoom that the lady my employer hired to handle the hotels and the conference sponsorships, who has been having health issues and has only been at work about half the time lately (if that), was advised to resign by her doctor. We have been very shorthanded as it is, with one of the Program Directors on maternity leave and not scheduled to return till late next month. A young woman had been hired to take over her work and didn't give the job a chance; she lasted two whole weeks. (Then she had the nerve to expect reimbursement for the bus/ferry pass my boss agreed to pay for when she was an employee.) Now my boss is on vacation this week, and the owner (his mom) is about to go on vaca. She and the office manager were running a seminar today and again tomorrow, leaving just the office assistant and me. I am trying to confirm the last few speakers for several conferences that are not going to get done on time (for marketing purposes), meaning none of us will get the extra on-time bonus for those, and dealing with two program chairs who are acting like primadonnas. I am doing my best and my bosses totally know that, but I hate missing those bonuses. But what can I do; we can't twist peoples' arms to join our faculty or doubt them when they say they have a conflict. I am also trying to get mini-bios written for several upcoming brochures, get the proper accreditations sent in for each, call speakers to find out when they are sending their materials for the course books, and somehow answer calls from people registering or asking questions, which the assistant usually does, but he has to watch the live feed from the current conference and handle issues regarding that. I do like my job and am treated well, which is a nice switch from other places I have worked, but this is one of those weeks I wish I could clone myself!

I just signed up with a new web host tonight for my site (and likely my church site as well), and I am already blown away by their service. I have been pretty much satisfied with, the host I've used the past four years. Their uptime and customer service has been very good. But they are in Egypt, of all places, and sometimes there's been a bit of a language barrier when I've had questions. I also decided I wanted a Christian web host. And I wanted one that had the ability to host more than one site on one account, so I could consider moving the church site there too. After much online searching I found a small host called and was impressed with their prices and features. But I was even more impressed to receive prompt, courteous and understandable answers from the owner (!!!), Scott, at all hours of the day or evening!! I got my complete instructions on accessing my new file manager less than an hour after signing up! WOW!! I can already say I highly recommend, and likely wll have even more glowing things to say once I've had the pleasure of using their service!!

I was very glad to finally finish my pretty peach afghan with the burgundy popcorn flowers and green leaves (wove in the last of about 380 ends Sunday, yuk -- I think that's the last time I pick a pattern with that many ends to weave in). It came out really pretty. But it is still in a plastic bag on our new couch; I'm afraid to display it lest the dogs (especially Heidi) mistake it for a chew toy. So will have to decide what to do about that! Picture coming when I ever decide what to do about my camera situation! On the new ghan I started in the Fanfare stitch, which was supposed to be soft green, soft peach, deep teal and soft taupe, I ended up ripping out about 30 rows since I decided the peach (while beautiful on its own or with the soft green) clashed with the deep teal and the taupe. So now this ghan will be soft green, deep sea green, deep teal and soft taupe. I hated to rip all that out, but I like this combo much better, and plan to make a solid color ghan (likely the Sand Dollar join-as-you -go hexagons pattern) using the peach! Wel, enough of this gab for now and on to trying out my new web host!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

This and That

Well...I have had all positive responses to my short haircut. But I don't think I want to keep it this short. And the bad part about that is, it's going to be awkward to grow out. Well, if it starts looking really weird in the process, I'll have Valisa even it out. She did do a nice job; she always does. It doesn't look anywhere as full on the sides as the girl in the picture, but that's due to my fine-textured hair and not how she cut it. I'm not going to have a picture taken of me with this cut, what with being at my all-time high weight (well, about the same as the more recent pics on my site, but that's bad enough...). It's easy to take care of and will feel good in whatever remaining very warm days we have this season, but I prefer it chin length. This cut just feels too extreme. I always wanted it long, but don't see that ever happening, since I can't do anything with it when it gets past shoulder length.

On Monday I got a good idea for getting in a lot of extra walking before Rex gets my Nordic Track Walkfit ready to go (and while the weather is warm and the days are still long). I told him that night, "Tomorrow's the 31st, so don't buy my Kitsap Transit pass (to get the mile and a half from the park n'ride to the ferry dock. I'll get up a half-hour earlier and walk from there to the dock in the mornings, and walk most evenings unless I have somewhere to go or the weather's too warm." He thought it was a great idea and will also save us the $31.50 for the monthly pass (which. with the mortgage we have now, every cent counts). Even on days I need to take the bus in the evening and pay the $1.25, that won't be more than a few times a month. So I've done the walk the last three mornings and really enjoyed it. I allow myself plenty of time and the weather is so pleasant and cool that time of day. In the evening with the sun beating down on me, the walk is a lot harder. It got to 85 today so I took the bus today (but they still take the previous month's pass till the 5th!).

I went to the TOPS meeting last night. The people were very nice. But it just didn't feel right. I can't put my finger on why. But I felt I wanted to try at least one of the other local chapters that have evening meetings before deciding which to join. I contacted the Area Coordinator and told her the number given for the chapter I originally wanted to try (which is a bit closer and easier to get to) was out of service. She gave me the correct number and assured me that the chapter does exist. They meet on Mondays, so I will go there this coming Monday. I don't know if I have lost very much weight yet, but I plan to continue to be very careful with my portion control and continue the walking, which I can already feel in my legs. I pray I start seeing some results before too long, because I just can't stand to look at myself any more. I need to lose about 55 pounds to get to my goal. I WILL do it this time; I have to. Not just for my health and for Rex and others that care for me, but for my self-esteem. This has gone on waaaaaay, waaaaaaaaaaaay too long...

I have all 63 squares of my peach ghan with the burgundy flowers and green leaves completed and joined, and am working on the edging tonight. Then I will have about 380 ends to weave in, YUK! I always leave the ends till last; too much stopping and starting otherwise. So I'll chip away at that over the weekend. I also started another ghan today to carry along on my commute till it gets too big. It will alternate soft green, soft peach, deep teal and soft taupe (Bernat Berella) in the "Fanfare" stitch from my wonderful out-of-print "Adventures in Crocheting" book.

I'm concerned about (my best friend) Dianne's adorable little dog (a chihuahua/pom that looks like a chihuahua with a mask), Josh, age 7, who has been acting depressed and cries when she has to go out, which he never used to do. I urged her to see the vet today and she did. Will be anxious to hear what the vet has to say. I pray it's something that can be remedied quickly so the "pocket pooch", as I call him, will be his old self. She is SO attached to him...

I have some furniture news, but I will post about that in a few days on my other (home chronicle) blog that I'll be wrapping up soon! Back to my edging...