My Homemade Mother's Day Gift

Sunday, November 20, 2011

One more day...

Well, this is my last day of drops.  I officially made my goal weight this morning thanks the advice of a young friend on Facebook, to drink more water. Thanks Adah!!  I was pretty excited this morning when I got on the scale as I had utterly given up hope of making it.  I had to keep myself from just quitting altogether. I was pretty discouraged.  But today is a new day and despite the rain and gloom outside, it's all sunshine in here.  So today is the last official drops day and then the 3 ugly days of the diet but no drops.  You can do it!!!

I've been praying a lot about being able to stick to my diet, that I wouldn't be like Esau and throw it all away for a morsel of meat... or cheesecake, or macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes and gravy.  It's really been pretty easy these last few times.  I've not really had the bad moments like I did the first time.  

I almost ran out of drops but ordered them in time from Northoods Massage Therapy (  He has them cheaper than anywhere else I had found online.  They are only $20 for a 2 ounce bottle.  I had bought some for this last session from Vitacost that were not homeopathic.  I misread the ad and thought they were.  They were $25 and the shipping and handling was free so I thought as long as I was ordering vitamins, I'd get them but it was a 1 ounce bottle and they were not homeopathic and despite their claims, they were no better than what I had been taking.  Well I still had a bit of the HCG from Northwoods at work so I would take morning and lunch time from that bottle at work and then the other HCG at night but I found no difference... except they are more than double the price!!!  I am most grateful for his  generous attitude to keep the price down.

I have the exciting task today of going Thanksgiving Dinner shopping today.  I'm going to make a couple of ducks for my mom who isn't too fond of Turkey for Thanksgiving.  Since I'm doing my dinner on Friday, that will give me time to go over to her place on Thanksgiving Day and spend some time with her and sit and chat for a while.  Wish my sister and my daughter and her family could all be here too.  Nothing a lot of money wouldn't take care of... 

I suppose to win the lottery, you'd actually have to buy a ticket or coupon or whatever it is you buy.  Maybe I should get a second job?  Wonder how you get that job where you just stand there and say, "Welcome to Wal-Mart?"  I think I'm about old enough to get by with it.  Wonder what it pays?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coming Along

Well one more week of dieting is all I get in before Thanksgiving.  It almost sounds like I'm disappointed to stop but I was hoping to hit a certain mark on the scale before I left off... the likelihood of acheiving that goal is looking pretty dicey.  I suppose I could just blow off Thanksgiving and make a top your own salad bar for Thanksgiving but I'm thinking the family would turn into the indians and I'd be Colonel Custer... They're expecting a full blown turn out with all the fixin's... Turkey, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, gallons of gravy, Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Pecans, Corn Pudding, Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie and Pecan Pie with mounds of Whipped Cream and all of us in a diabetic coma after a fabulous feeding frenzy.  It's no wonder I got fat.

I'm not sure how I'll do on turkey day as far as sticking with the maintenance but if I need to, I guess I can do a steak day on Friday... or well, actually, I think we're going to have our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday since all my kids are going to their in-laws first and they come to my house already stuffed.  I suggested to my elder son last night that maybe they'd rather have dinner on Friday?  He seemed good with the idea.  That gives me Thursday to cook and set a nice table... etc.  So I'm not quite done yet.  I was really hoping to drop twenty pounds this time, which I probably have if you consider the weight I put on at the Feast... about 5 lbs.  But all the food there was phenomenal.  I even tried to do a steak day there but it was crazy busy and everything revolved around the meals. So I was hoping to be a little further along by now but we'll see how the week plays out.

 Here is me when I first started and me now.  There is a bit of change visible if I put them side by side.

That's pretty encouraging.  

I had sort of hit a wall for about a week where I'd lose 2 lbs and then the next day I had gained them back.  Once I even lost it again and then in the morning, I had put on about 5 lbs.  But I knew I wasn't cheating and that eventually, there would be a break but it really got into the way of my goal weight I'd set... I was really hoping to be down by a full 100 lbs before the weight loss contest started again next year.  Well, no matter.  I'm a long way from svelte.  I'd really like to be out of the morbid obesity range, though.

Tuesday Erin and I are supposed to go to the Monet exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum.  I got free tickets through work for a corporate evening.  Erin was an art major and I thought she'd really enjoy going with me.  I just love his paintings.  It's quite amazing how his best works were done as his eyesight dimmed from cataracts, much like Beethoven's greatest works were written when he was stone deaf.  He was called an impressionist and his works were not popular in the beginning but I love the feathery texture of his scenes, the vibrant colors he puts in a sunset and the way he paints a flower.  I often ponder, how does an impressionist know what it's going to look like at a distance when he's right up by the canvas as he's painting it?  I'm not artistic at all but I do appreciate that others can create such beauty out of a several pots of color.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bedroom Banshee

It was the middle of the night.  A storm was raging outside.  The lightening was flashing on the curtains, thunder was rattling the windows and the wind howled eerily.  Everyone had long since retired for the night when my youngest son padded into the room in his yellow blanket footed sleeper, carrying his doll and sucking on his pacifier.  He reached his little chubby hand up over the side of the bed and patted my husband on his cheek. 

"Daddy!"  he said in an alarmed voice.  "I'm scared."

Imagining it was a ploy to avoid sleeping in his own bed, my husband told him there was nothing to be afraid of, picked him up and explained that storms were just a part of nature.  He held him a few moments to comfort him and then sent him back to bed.

"He could get in bed with us." I said sleepily.

"No, I don't want to start that again." He said, as we respectively recalled the last time he  had slept with us.  He spun around all night like a compass in the Bermuda Triangle.  And then there was all the kicking, scratching, and thrashing about as we both struggled just to stay on the bed.

We were just getting back to sleep when I heard, smack, smack, smack. SMACK, SMACK, SMACK.
"Daddy!" the lightning flashed and I could see his big eyes widen in fright as he spoke around the pacifier in garbled words, "Daddy, I'm really scared," he mouthed around his pacifier.

My husband groaned.  "I'll get him," I said.

"No!" he said a little too firm.  "Sam, Son, what is it you're afraid of?"

"I hear noises." 

My husband sat up and explained about thunder and lightening, ionization, electricity, the necessity of rain, the protection of God and anything else he could think of that would appease a frightened little boy during a thunder storm.  "Now Sam," he said, "you go on back to bed.  There is nothing to be afraid of.  I'm right next door.  Nothing can get to your room without coming past mine."

Sam wiggled out of his daddy's arms, holding his doll, sucking rather noisily on his pacifier and padded bravely off back to bed… with the renewed confidence of his Father's assurance of protection and vigilant attendance to the least offense.

Five minutes later Sam came running into the bedroom, this time the pacifier was yanked out of his mouth with a loud pop and the doll had been dropped to the floor along the way and left to its fate.  "DAD!!!  MY BED IS SCARING ME.l"

My husband's patience was nearly at an end.  "Sam!  There is NOTHING to be afraid of.  He stood up, yanked Sammy up impatiently and they headed off down the hall.  About 15 seconds later, as curiosity got the better of me, I got up in time to see both of them backing back away from the bedroom into the hall.  My husband, a little disconcerted, looked over his shoulder and said quietly to me, "come here"

He, Sam and I crept back down the hall. By now the twins had gotten up to see what the commotion was.  

As I reached the room, Sam, feeling far braver with his whole family behind him, led the way saying, "See, see." Sure enough, the bed was literally floating around the room and dreadful howls were emanating from it.  It was like something from the Amityville Horror movie.  We all huddled together in the doorway,  staring at the aberration while I fought the urge to imagine Sam's head twisting around 360° and heaving projectile vomit.

Sammy, pointed at the bed with his chubby little finger and said wetly from the sides of his reinstated Binky,

"See." Steve picked him up to keep him back from the floating bed.

My elder son, pushed past us unnoticed, intrigued by the anomaly.  He knelt down, peering under the bed, hoping to catch a glance at the howling banshee levitating the bed.

"Dad, LOOK"

My husband realizing Danny was in the room quickly handed off Sam to me and bolted in the room to yank him up and out but as he knelt down, he began to laugh.

Our old border collie had become frightened by the storm and had wedged himself under Sam's bed but when he discovered he was unable to get back out again, he began to howl.  Unable to crawl out from under the bed, he kept trying to stand up.

Sensing the hope of immediate rescue, his moaning stopped and the bed settled back down.  My husband lifted the bed, the dog waddled out, glaring at the incompetent oafs that were supposed to take care of him as we leaned on each other laughing until we were too weak to stand any longer and finally retreated to our respective beds. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Round Three with HCG

Okay, here I am again, starting up my third round of drops.  Actually, I've already done a week of drops and have lost about 13 lbs but if you subtract where I was BEFORE I went on vacation, then I suppose I've lost about 6... not including the weight I gained at the Feast of Tabernacles and the load days... 

My friend Kay told me that it gets easier and I was pretty skeptical but she's right.  It does get easier.  I guess the first time, your whole life is centered around meals and especially if you love to cook and to taste your wares, like me, then its such a culture shock to suddenly be reduced to two tiny meals with no snacks.  How can you survive that?  I think it wasn't just a matter of being hungry as it was a matter of adjusting to the changes.  

Speaking of which, the trees are really changing and the colors are so vivid this year.  I love fall but hate what comes after it.  I'm not fond of winter or tromping through snow or navigating my car over icy roads or shivering or dressing in layers.  Big Mama sure don't need to pile on layer upon layer to further accentuate an already portly frame.  Three layers and a coat and I can't even fasten the seat belt.  Then I get to work and spend the whole day deleting and re-adding the layers as they seem unable to find a happy medium to the thermostat.  The leaves are so pretty but they do always carry and air of foreboding and the threat of all things dreary.  

And that reminds me, I still have my frozen strawberries with Vanilla Cream Stevia to eat.  Yea!  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Taco Bell Music

A friends son, Courtney, was riding with us one evening from a basketball practice when the radio began playing a symphonic piece familiar to anyone with so much as a passing interest in the classical genre.  My eldest son, Danny, began humming along and waving his arms as a guest conductor of the obscure orchestra with the timing and precision of one well rehearsed beckoning the entrance of each violin, each stroke of the keys, each reverberation of the harpsichord.  Courtney watched with amazement as Danny gestured with the crescendos and decrescendos exhibiting all the grace of a belted in and overcrowded mad conductor, batting his fellow passengers about their collective heads in perfect time while Sammy bounced from one lap to the next dodging the wave of his brothers wildly swinging arms.

Finally Courtney couldn't take it any longer.  "Do you know this song?"

The twins exchanged a perplexed glance of contemplation, as Courtney was a couple of years their elder and they were uncertain of the purpose of the question but  finally Danny says, "Yeah, it..  It's Pachelbel."

"Taco Bell?"

The twins had a good laugh as did Steve and I and Steve explained it was Canon in D by Johann Pachebel.  So for the remaining time in our car, every piece was met by a flurry of queries as to whether the twins knew the composer or title or anything about it and the twins complied by giving mostly accurate answers to Courtney's further amazement but to what would surely be much to Mr. Pachelbel's consternation, from that day forward, we always refer to Canon in D as Taco Bell Music.

Its such a lovely haunting piece that seems so melancholy and sad to me.. like the music you would hear play while doing the most natural ordinary things in the midst of all that you love dearly, precious tasks that would be done for the last time for the rest of your life or at least for the foreseeable future.  I heard that music playing in my head as I watched Jenny, during her last few days gather up all the children's items and box them up to take back home and wondered why anyone would choose Canon in D for their wedding as it always sounds to me like a heart swelling up to the point of breaking but proceeding as life requires one must do.

I much prefer Beethoven.  Sometimes his piece was harsh or sad or melancholy or emotional or beautiful or exciting, perhaps even oppressive-- but his music was always presented as what it was meant to be, not pretending to be what it was not, like gnawing devastation hiding behind the facade of a resplendent triumphant aria.  It is beautiful but heart rending...

I know life can be like that...  but somehow, in my music, I need it to be more frank, more precise and reliable.  

It's a beautiful piece.  But second string in the background plays off so sad.  I can imagine it being played as they marched off Mary Queen of Scots off to her beheading... noble, regal and doomed. It's like Un bel di vedremo from Madame Butterfly, without the words. Sounds so triumphant but the underlying melody is the welling up of anguish beyond expression.

Give me straightforward shoot from the hip Beethoven every time.

Friday, September 30, 2011


I was supposed to be cleaning house on Sunday.  It is my only day off and the only day I really have to get very much done and I vacillate between regretting spending it having fun and regretting spending it on mundane tasks that absolutely must be accomplished. For several weeks, the mundane had been pushed aside until there was no pushing it further—we were running out of underwear and it was becoming difficult to find a bare spot on the table in which to set one more thing out of place. 

The table was strewn with unopened mail, contents of my husband's briefcase, books he had been studying and books my mother had given me as she was streamlining her overabundance of impulse purchases.  I had completely forgotten they were there and flipped through them with interest.  The last book I came to had the words, "DON'T PANIC," written in big friendly letters, on the front cover. 

I had no time to peruse the book that morning, but later on that evening, I retrieved the book from the shelf and began to read.  Poor Mr. Dent, it begins, was spending most of his morning lying in the mud in front of a huge yellow bulldozer to prevent the scheduled demolition of his house when his friend Ford Prefect suddenly showed up with the undisclosed intention of saving his life, for unknown to the rest of the world, the Earth, also, had also been scheduled for demolition in twelve minutes. 
Later, in the spaceship on which they had hitched a ride, Ford Prefect shows Mr. Dent a book, sort of an IPod, called, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Ford, an alien, had been stuck on the Earth for fifteen years because he took an assignment to include some of the lesser known planets into the footnotes of the book, and found himself unable to catch a ride back until the fleet of destroyer spaceships showed up to dematerialize the Earth.. And as a very troubled Mr. Dent examined the book, he noticed on the front cover of the book, written in big friendly letters, were the words, "DON'T PANIC." 

It was those very words that had caught my attention in the first place because given the present state of the world, the present state of my life, the realization that time is moving faster and faster and less and less is being accomplished, I find I am continually fighting down waves of panic, myself so I was quite interested in the contents of a book sporting an annotation larger than the book's title, warning it's readers to remain unruffled. 

The words, "DON'T PANIC," written in big friendly letters, were to remind the carrier of the book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, that since the book provided qualified advice to successfully navigate through every conceivable situation, they need only consult the book for guidance that would see them through any and all perils which would, therefore, free them from further dread and trepidation. 
I thought about those words on the way to work as I passed a truck driver pulled over by a highway patrolman who was meticulously scrutinizing the driver's paperwork while three other patrol cars waited behind them, should any  of his affairs be discovered out of order.  I thought about it as I drove slightly faster than I thought prudent because I was afraid I would be late to work and again as I looked across the road and passed a well dressed man,  briefcase in tow,  hitchhiking beside his brand new expensive but apparently inoperative car, looking as though he needed a copy of Prefect's book. I considered that most everyone needed a copy of a guide book with the words, "DON'T PANIC," written in big friendly letters to guide them through the oft occurring misadventures of life. 

When it just came to me…I already have the book and it cautions you over and over "DON'T PANIC," written in big friendly letters. 

Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid, not of the terror by night or the arrows that fly by the day, not of evil tidings or sudden fear or desolation or of war or of any man that can kill the body, or of their faces, or prison or words or scorpions or briers or thorns or death or whatever life throws at you because you have got the book and the book, if you read it, if you apply what it says, if you just "DON'T PANIC," then you'll come out on the other side safely.  

And just like Ford Prefect, it will be our job to add to the book, the bits and pieces we have learned along the way and to lay down a reliable, tried and true,  gateway to the unknown so that when they see the words, "DON'T PANIC," written in big friendly letters, they will have something to guide them on in their travels through the Universe. 

Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. …  I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people. (Isaiah 51:1,16) 

Just like Ford Prefect, we are hitchhikers through the Galaxy, making the way easier for those that come along behind us,  proving the Book is not only invaluable in making our way through the universe, but proving it works as perfectly as it says it does... so long as we follow the instructions and heed the warning, "DON'T PANIC," written in big friendly letters.