The Done List

Vickie posted about the positive impact of a ‘done list’ as compared to a ‘to do list.’  I liked the idea.  And thought I would apply it to ‘The Plan.’  Because taken at face value, The Plan has been a dismal failure.  I am not following The Plan.  I am not losing weight.  But let’s take another look at The Plan before we go all gloomy gus on our fellow bloggers.

Here.  I just copied it here–easier for you and me.

  • Continue to ‘honor my health’   Check.  I choose very healthy foods I’d say at least 80% of the time.  Want to say 90% but don’t like to exaggerate.  I also am choosing more and more to pay extra for organic.  And cage free eggs.  I never go to fast food.  I don’t think about it.  Don’t obsess about it.  Okay, I am saying don’t instead of do, but you get the point.  This area is ‘done.’
  • and ‘pay attention to my hunger.’  I am really working actively on this one.  I have eaten a couple of times to overfull, and I really don’t like that.  Most days I still eat more or less ‘when it is time.’  But occasionally I will wait until I am actually hungry.  I am working on this one still.  Done.
  • Six days a week I will shoot for 1200 calories per day.  Maximum of  two grain servings per day on those days. This one’s not ahappenin’.  Probably about 1500 calories a day.  Enough to maintain.  I am not using the little journal.  Who knew?  I don’t like using it.  Oh.  I probably only get 2 grains most days.  Done.
  • One day per week, 1800 calories.  But still healthy food choices.  No doubt I eat 1800 calories at least one day a week LOL.  Done.
  • Minimize sugar and wheat. In other words, I am not going on a witch hunt, but I am not going to eat much of anything that obviously has sugar or flour added.  Partly done.  I’ve eaten some of my scones, which have whole wheat in them.  And of course, the cookie indescretions.  But I am still paying a lot of attention, and choosing to minimize sugar and wheat because I like how I feel when I eat this way.
  • One coffee per day.  Because I can’t drink coffee without half and half.  Ha!  I fooled myself.  I am having more than one coffee per day, but when my half and half ran out, I decided not to replace it, and am using whole milk instead.  It’s good enough.
  • Try to do 400 calories worth of exercise every day that I don’t work.  The little simplified chart in the journal says that you burn 4 calories per minute for light exercise, 7 calories/minute for moderate exercise, and 10 calories/minute for heavy exercise.  Aside from this weight loss challenge I was already planning on increasing my exercise a bit, so this will just be fun to keep track of it this way.  I am planning to take longer walk/runs with Noah, and to make a concerted effort to get to the gym at least three days per week, and to add swimming at least one day per week.  Okay, like I said, I don’t like the little journal.  I never did like counting my exercise points or calories.  But the main point was that I wanted to increase my overall exercise.  And I am VERY HAPPY with how I have done with that.  Because of my work schedule, I have consistently been able to get to the gym every other day or three days per week.  I work out hard there, and have steadily been increasing the intensity of the exercise that I do.  I noticed that I wasn’t doing enough cardio, and finally added in some tabata intervals.  On the days when I feel good enough, Noah and I run, and I am running up more hills than ever before.  DONE!

Oh, and then I put this at the end.  Which I had no memory of.

My goal is to stick with this plan for the next ten weeks, and to lose ten pounds in that time period.  If it looks like I am not losing any weight after the first two weeks, I will re-evaluate and adjust the plan.

Oh.  Okay.  A little late.  But re-evaluating nonetheless.  So really, I am going to continue to work on those very important issues listed above.  That is enough for now.  I do loosely figure out my calories most days, but I don’t really want to be tied to a journal, which actually may or may not be that accurate anyway.  I really mostly want to concentrate on healthy food choices, eating when hungry, and exercising regularly.  Oh.  Redundant.  I just said that.  How about switching gears and showing you some pictures?

Mr. Monk enjoys a good chew occasionally.

Noah FINALLY got a bath today.  And that always makes him ‘crazy happy.’  He found an old milk jug a very expensive toy from his childhood in the yard and had the best time with it.  Like a kid who likes the empty box better than the $200 lego set.

Finally, back inside for a good chew on the ‘toothpick.’  He likes tossing these little bones around in his mouth.  But he never gets to play with them unsupervised.  Same idea as leaving your two-year-old alone with a pile of peanuts (you don’t do that, do you?)

Hey, look what I’m having for dinner!  Vicky made gluten-free chicken enchiladas and asked if I’d try them out.  Served with a side of my simple salad–romaine lettuce and tomatoes with a sprinkle of garlic salt and pepper.

Okay, I already ate it.  Full of good stuff–beans, sweet potatoes, zucchini, a bit of chicken and just the cheese on top.  Don’t tell Vicky, but I’d rather just have cheese and chicken…the gluten free tortilla was good though.

Alright, people.  I am supposed to be having a rest day.  I’m headed out for a leisurely ‘stick hunting walk’ with Noah, and then maybe a movie before heading to bed.  Have a happy Memorial Day, and don’t drink too much.  I’ll be watching the babies at work.

This ‘n That

Thanks for enjoying Noah’s blog.  I got a kick out of it.

Just got a few things I wanted to talk about .  One is a tip that I got from Vickie.  Never heard or read it anywhere else, but I love it so thought I’d pass it on.  Vickie said that her daughter was a runner and wore two pairs of socks.  One thinner and smoother next to the skin, and the padded thicker sock on top of that (hope I am not misquoting, Vickie.)  I love it when I wear my socks like this, especially if I am going for a longer walk or hope to run.  They feel smooth and good on my feet and there is no rubbing or bunching or anything irritating at all about my socks.  Just feels very good.  Tell your daughter I said thank you, Vickie.

Also, that cheesecake recipe that I got from Georgie.  That stuff has a thousand uses!  I figured out today that for 80 calories (2 pieces or cups) you get 11 grams of protein.  Not bad.  I figured that out because I decided that this was what I wanted to eat when I got home from my walk, but I wanted to make sure it had enough protein.

cheesecake topped with pineapple, coconut and a bit of ginger infused granola.

I made a batch of Lori’s blueberry topping, and have used it a variety of ways.  It was also very good with the cheesecake bites.

So another thing that’s on my mind is something I read in the Intuitive Eating book this morning.  They were talking about reaching and accepting your ‘natural healthy weight.’  They included a series of questions about what your weight was at various times in your life, highest weight, lowest weight, how your weight compares to your parents, and then they asked this question:  what is your lowest stable weight without dieting?

To be honest, that really threw me for a loop.  I tried to think back to what my weight was when I was really young.  Looking at pictures, I would guess 145 at maybe age 15.  But I know I started gaining weight around then.  I was already as tall as I was ever going to be at age 13.  And I know I was trying various diets in high school and from then on.  I didn’t diet all the time.  But periodically I would give it the old college try, with various results.  I know it was when I was about 25-27 years old when I lost a lot of weight–84 pounds and got down to my lowest weight 124 pounds through a variety of ‘diets.’  And then I started gaining it back and got up to my highest weight (at that time) of 230 pounds.  That would have been in 1986 when I was 32 years old.  (I can remember that because I graduated from college that year and moved back to California.)  And then I just continued to gain a little weight over the years to a high of 255-257.  And I ‘maintained’ that weight for many years without dieting, except for one brief period of time where I went on a doctor supervised ‘fast’ and lost 60 pounds and gained it back IMMEDIATELY.   So the answer to that question is 255 pounds.  And that is not an acceptable weight for my ‘natural healthy weight.’  I don’t think I’ve ever been a ‘natural healthy weight’ for any length of time in my life.  This kind of makes me sad.  Oh well, I’ll think about that tomorrow when I can stand it better.

In the meantime, had a pretty darn good day.  It always seems a little weird to be home on a Saturday.

Noah and I got in a nice long (3+ miles) walk this morning.  We met a neighbor walking her dog, and her cat was following along behind.  Noah was a good boy. Using the Dog Whisperer’s calm assertive technique, we just kept walking.  We met some deer on the road TWICE.  He was quite excited about that.  Heard some turkeys and peacocks but didn’t see them.  No sticks today.  Just a nice brisk walk focusing on ‘walk nice.’

I liked the texture and dimensionality of the tree trunks here.

The road home (kinda looks like a little tunnel up there, doesn’t it):

After I did all the laundry and a little bit of sewing, I headed to the gym.  I alway go in the the little studio, which is usually empty, to do some warm-up exercises.  I like doing arm weight exercises on the bosu ball to practice my balance.  And then [drum roll please] I did two tabata interval exercises.  Yahoo.  Finally got over my reluctance to do these, and plan on adding them in to my beginning workout on a regular basis.  I did super sets of most of the weights today, and I am happy that I am increasing the weights I use slowly, and trading out a few of the machines for free weights.  Then I headed out to the pool.  The rain has finally ended, and it was a beautiful sunny day.  Just did about 10 minutes of lap swimming in the pool, and then hit the spa.  Ooh, I love those jets on my back and my legs and my arms after a good workout.  Then on to Starbucks.  This was a little plan I made this morning when someone was being very noisy and demanding and wouldn’t let me read.  And I had a lot of books I wanted to read.  So I took my book bag, got a big coffee, and brought my own treat (which might or might not have been healthy…)  THAT was an excellent time.

Well, I have so much on my mind.  But I will save it for another day.  The house monsters Sophie and Mr. Monk have asked for equal time on the blog, but that also will have to wait for another day.  Hope everyone is having an excellent weekend.

Noah Takes Blog World by Storm!

Its quite obvious to me that Noah has become more of a ‘big-time blogger’ than I could ever hope to be.  So I am letting him ‘guest post’ on my blog today.

Humble Beginnings.

I was born on a farm.  My most favorite toy was the blankets that we were raised on.  It was so fun to drag them around.  I don’t know why the lady gets upset when I grab her blankets [editor's note:  quilts] and drag them around.  It is comforting to me and brings back great memories of my humble beginnings.

One day the lady drove up in the mud.  I heard later that she almost left before she got out of the car because it was so muddy.  What did she expect?  It was a farm, for goodness’ sake.  Next thing I knew, she stuffed me in a box [editor's note:  crate] and we left the farm and my bio mom and dad and sisters.  Now I liked the wet weather and the rain.  But I could hardly believe it when she got me wet ON PURPOSE and then put this stinky white stuff [editor's note:  shampoo] all over me.  And then the indignity of having a noisy air thingie [editor's note: hairdryer] blowing at me.  Somehow this made the lady happy.

Note the stick.

Time went on and the lady (she likes to call herself mom–who is she kidding) liked to hold me up and take pictures of me in that stupid white square [editor's note:  computer] that she is always staring at.

The Joy of Sticks.

Then one day I discovered the joy of  sticks.’ Oh what fun!  The lady gives me these little miniature nylabones made for the two little house monsters*.  Those bones are like a toothpick to me.  Whatever.  Doesn’t she know I am a he-man?  Really, she has lived in an ‘all girl house’ for too long [editor's note:  for a long time I only had female pets.] Here’s a picture of today’s triumphs.  The lady told me I should take a ‘rest day’ and tried to encourage this mini-stick.

I humored her for a minute or two before moving on to a man-sized stick, worthy of my superior strength and skills [editor's note:  typical man, even if he is neutered.]

Actually, the lady and I are getting along very well now.  She still doesn’t appreciate my superior guardian skills [editor's note:  non-stop barking] when I try to warn her about the deer and the turkeys and the trucks and the goldfinches and that ant crawling across the floor… But today we had a great day.  I am very good about getting in and out of the new car.  And today we went to the dump, and I managed to resist chewing the garbage bags as long as the lady kept feeding me cookies to distract me.  We went for a walk in a new place.  NO STICKS there.  Hmmmmmph.

And then when it was raining, the lady kept me in the house and tried to get me to get on her lap and stare at that stupid white square again.  Talk about mixed messages.  Every other time she is yelling at me ‘no jump’ ‘get off.’  Yikes.  We have a bit of a communication problem still.  But I see mom (I call her that sometimes to humor her) reading books on how to communicate with me, so there is still hope.  [Editor's note:  Culture Clash, The Latchkey Dog.]

*the house monsters:

Oh can’t you just see the evil lurking in their eyes?  Especially that skinny-faced bitch. [Editor's note:  doggie talk does not count as swearing.] She steals my toothpicks and then hides under the chair and comes after me like a snapping turtle.  And that snuffly-faced one.  Well, he doesn’t even know how to be a dog.  Doesn’t believe in the whole ‘let’s get acquainted.  I’ll sniff your butt and then you sniff mine.’  Whatever.  House monsters are evil and must be avoided at all costs.  [editor's note:  hey, that's my mantra.  Insert 'doctors' in place of house monsters.]

All in all, I have fond memories of the farm, but this is a pretty nice place to live.   Here’s a view of the road where mom and I walk.  (Notice how I have cleared it of all sticks.)

The end.  Mom says ‘habanada.’  Whatever.

The “B Word”

And no.  I’m not talking about ‘blogging.’  Or ‘big-time blogger,’ like Tish called me–I’m still getting a chuckle out of that one (and I hope you know that I’m laughing at myself, and not at you Tish.)  And I’m not referring to the ‘b#%@ch word,’ a word that I use to describe myself frequently.  No, I’m talking about the “B word” in the comments this morning.  Go ahead, see if you can find it.  Georgie used it quite innocently, referring to herself, and to make a point.  But it really threw me for a loop.  She used the word BINGE. And all of a sudden I knew that was what I had done.  I know you all are probably going, ‘duh, debby.’  But truly, I had never applied that word to myself or how I ate before.  I thought that was something other people did.  Maybe because I usually associated it with purging.  And for sure, you don’t have to worry that I will EVER do that.  I hate throwing up so much that I didn’t throw up for over 20 years.  But I’m telling you.  For me, words have power.  And I think the words binge and diabetes will forever flash in my mind when I look at a bunch of junk in the breakroom, or anywhere else, for that matter.

All of y’all’s comments are so helpful and interesting.  Thanks so much for chiming in!

And to just put an end to the breakroom talk, I will say that our nursing staff (over 100 nurses on staff, usually 16-20 there on any given day) are all shapes and sizes.  Many of us struggle with weight and health issues.  Many of us are very health conscious, and work hard at trying to eat well and exercise.   And some of it is no doubt stress eating.  As I said to my poor mechanic the other day when he made the mistake of saying I didn’t look happy, “Babies are dying.”  And now I have to clarify that and say that there are way more happy endings in our nursery.  We have had a bad run lately.  But even when things are all going well, its still a very stressful place to work.  ‘Nuff said.

So today, I got called off, and I had a FAB-U-LOUS day!  Started out reading a variety of books and magazines–my Bible, Culture Clash (about dogs and dog training,) and the magazine ‘Real Simple,’ which I say is a magazine about how to make life real simple for real people with lots of real money.  But it has pretty pictures, and I usually get a few interesting recipes out of it.  Then I wrote out a list of what I wanted to accomplish, and by golly, I did it!  Cleared off my sewing table–it gets so stacked up that I don’t want to sew.

Then went to take Noah for a long walk, and by golly* if it didn’t start to rain.  I’ve walked in the rain before, so I kept going.  And then it started to hail, and then it started to pour.  So we walked home in a downpour.  I think Noah fared better than I did with his water resistant coat.

[I actually can't believe I post these unflattering pictures of myself.]

Then I spent quite a bit of time on a quilt project that’s been on the design wall for a while.  Boy that felt good.

Also, I mapped out my food this morning, and stuck right to my plan, except for changing lunch from a salad to soup.  ITS COLD here.  Can you believe it?  90 degrees in New York, and we are having cold, rain, and thunder and lightning.  We don’t dare complain about getting water in California, though.

The Return of the Stick.

Thought I was going to miss out on my second walk with Noah, but after dinner the sun came out, and so we went for a nice walk.  I guess there were new branches on the ground because of all the rain.  This was a heavy wet branch and he carried it all the way home.  He is so proud of himself when he can do this.  I have to figure out how to harness that into something useful.  Definitely going to go with the backpack idea, Vickie, but I will wait til he is done growing to put that on him.

Come to think of it, I also changed my dinner plans.  Same calories, and probably more nutritious.  Mostly had to do with changing from warm-weather foods to cold-weather foods.  Do you guys do that?

I want to give a shout out to the lowly mushroom and onion combo.  Hardly any calories, and they add so much flavor to so many foods.  I sauted enough so that I would have leftovers.  Here I put them over a baked sweet potato and some grilled chicken.  The leftovers will be good for any number of things–scrambled eggs, veggie stir-fry with rice, etc.  And to think that when I was a kid I would refuse to eat anything with onions on it.  If my mom put those dried onions on top of steak, I would scrape every last one off of the steak.  And when we had ragu spaghetti sauce, I would pick out every single one of those stinking little rubbery black things they called mushrooms.  Well, come to think of it, the real ones are a whole lot tastier than those rehydrated things.

Well, that’s all for now folks.  Habanada!

*WHAT?  Is it not okay to use ‘by golly’ in every paragraph?

Hello to my Penpals…and all those other unidentified people reading my blog

Holy moly!  Who the @&%$#&*# is reading my blog?!  It makes me a little nervous sometimes.  Because I think I’ve just got this little group of pen pals that keep in touch.

Anyways, my little group of penpals, that was such an interesting bunch of comments today.  Thought I’d just write a bit more or answer them here.

Vickie asks the questions everyone wants to ask.  Who the heck is bringing that junk into the breakroom, and wouldn’t most people say that it was a thorn in their side.  Well, the nurses are bringing that junk into the breakroom.  The nurses always bring the junk into the breakroom, except maybe at Christmas.  And yes, almost everybody that I talked to said it was a problem for them (as they ate it.)  And I am a right-fighter.  But there are causes more important than food in the breakroom, and I don’t even have the energy to take some of those on.  Like the immoral corrupt union that has a foothold in the nursing staff in our hospital.  Don’t even get me started on unions.  And don’t try to convince me that they are good either.  See. I am passionately anti-union, but I am unwilling to spend time fighting their corruption.  I only mouth off about them.  So food in the breakroom.  Not gonna fight it.  I might fight it on a personal level, like refusing to go into the breakroom on the grounds that it is an unhealthy environment.  That would mean I would miss our morning report.  Too bad, so sad.  Hmmm…this idea is growing on me.

And did you read Georgie’s comment about retirement?  GREAT information for me, Georgie!  Thanks.  How did one so young get to be so wise?

And Pubsgal reminded me that one of the reasons I took up this healthy lifestyle is because I was at high risk for diabetes.  To be honest, that thought had completely escaped my brain somehow.  I think that thought will help me to fight off the sugar monster a little better.  (And just for those of you who want to say, well its okay to have a little treat once in a while, I completely agree with you.  That is not what I did in the breakroom yesterday.  I had an upset stomach from eating so much junk, and I still ate a little more.)

Today was very fun, and I was very happy with my food choices.  A little heavy on the wheat, but otherwise well within limits.  I’m especially happy that before the quilt workshop (which was fabulous) I got in a RUN with Noah, and then afterward I went to the gym, and huffed and puffed my way through a weights workout (meaning I really challenged myself with the weights.)

Alright.  I loved everybody’s comments, and I love all of you my penpals.  I’d probably love all you unidentified hoards too if I knew who you were.  Keep those cards and letters comments coming!  Sorry about the no picture day.  I’ll try to get some up tomorrow.  I might get called off tomorrow!

Just Wonderin’

Just wondering about a couple of things.  Yesterday the breakroom at work was a lollapalooza.  I walked in at 7am and the table was covered with cookies, brownies and candy.  I made some comment about ‘will someone get rid of that sugarfest in the next ten minutes?’  But of course, no one did.  And of course, I HAD THE CHOICE to not go back in the breakroom, but of course I did, fully intent on eating some of that stuff (didn’t quite fit into my ‘minimize wheat and sugar’ goal…)  So my first wondering is about when I retire.  Because it seems like the breakroom at work is my achilles heel.  So when I retire, will my eating vastly improve, or will I find another outlet to eat way too many sweets and goodies?   And the way I ate yesterday– 3477869382 cookies and brownies– brings up the other thing I’ve been wondering about.

I have been seriously reading the ‘Intuitive Eating’ book since we had that little discussion a few months ago.  When I am completely done reading, I plan to do a review of it.  But this one point is really making me ponder my own self.  I’m not sure I can describe this correctly, but I’ll give it a try.  In the book they describe some dieters who have a ‘last supper’ mentality.  These dieters believe that certain foods should be banned forever, so that when they are confronted with those foods, they eat them like it is the last time they will ever get to eat them.  I’ve never thought I was like this.  I know certain foods are ‘triggers’ for me, and so I avoid them.  But I am wondering if, deep down, I do have this mentality, and that is why I eat ridiculous amounts of them at times.

Oh, the human brain is a mysterious and complex invention.

You all might be interested in how several of my co-workers reacted to the breakroom.  One girl is very slender ‘naturally.’  But she works at eating really healthy food, works out regularly, and had mentioned just a couple of days ago that she doesn’t eat sugar anymore.  This is the same girl that had ‘mentored’ me when I started losing weight by gently providing information about good food choices.  I don’t believe she touched any of the goodies.

The second girl has also been slender as long as I’ve known her.  She took one brownie and enjoyed it with a good cup of coffee.  We talked about the temptation of all the stuff, but that is all she took.  She had a second cup of coffee in the afternoon, but she walked out of the breakroom sans goodie.  She exercises regularly–yoga is her favorite–and she also actively works at making really healthy but tasty food choices.

The third girl is the most athletic of all.  In fact, when I was quizzing her, she said she went to the gym 3 days/week and lifted weights, and did spin class 2 of those days.  Two days a week she runs 5-6 miles.  And almost every day she goes out and rides her horse.  She actually looks like an athlete, like a body builder.  But when she came back from her morning break, she said, ‘well, that was a bust.’  And described all the goodies she had eaten.  I have talked to her about this before, and I talked to her again yesterday.  And she said it is a terrible problem for her.  And when she eats like that, it is difficult for her to get back on track.  (She eats EXTREMELY clean otherwise.  I have observed her for 22 years, and have never seen her bring anything to eat except a large protein filled salad for lunch, and an equally nutritious breakfast.)

I don’t know.  I guess its just interesting to me.  Encouraging that someone who is in such great shape and seems so disciplined, can still have a ‘problem’ and yet still maintains an overall very healthy profile.  I’d like to become more like the second girl [do you like how I call all my middle-aged lady friends girls.']  I’d like to enjoy a treat once in a while, IN MODERATION, and continue on.  Sometimes I do this and sometimes I don’t.

This working every other day is tiring.  But I’m off to a quilt class with a good friend.  Plan to relax there, so might not get too much accomplished, but it will be fun to hang out with my friend.  Gonna try to fit in a walk with Noah and a workout at the gym beforehand, so I’d best get a move on!

Everything Takes Time

Yesterday I walked into the breakroom and a couple of my good friends were deep in conversation.  As I walked in they said, ‘Except Debby did it.’  ‘Yeah, Debby actually did it.’  WHAT?  At first I thought they were talking about something at work, like being confrontational or something.  Turns out they were talking about losing weight and keeping it off.  We talked for just a couple of minutes and then I had to get back to work.  But they set me to thinking.  How DID I do it?  How did I manage to succeed this time, when I had had the same frustrating experience as them many times in the past?  And one of the things I thought about was how I (grudgingly at first) accepted that it was going to take a lot of my time.  Time fixing food.  Time reading/researching for myself what was true about permanent weight loss.  Time going to W.W. meetings.  Eventually time exercising.  More time reading.  Then the blog reading came along.  More exercise.  Experimenting with new recipes.  Eventually I decided that this was the most important thing I was working on in my life, and other things might have to go by the wayside for a while.  You can’t spin and knit very well while you are walking (believe me, I tried.)  So creativity took a back seat to exercise and cooking, for a while.  Even now, I spend a great deal of time trying to learn more and more about the best ways to eat, what the latest research is on permanent weight loss, and exercising almost daily.

Its really the same about anything that is important to you.  It took me a little while to work through it, but right now I have decided that working with Noah so he will become a dog that I enjoy living with is a priority.  That means that creativity is pretty much out the window for a little while.  But that’s okay.  I have a little handwork that I can pick up in spare minutes, and hopefully, Noah and I will be the better for all this time we’re spending together.

So I’m a little reluctant to show this next picture to you Noah fans.  But in the interest of being honest, I will.

Because a crate is our friend.  I don’t know why I resisted for so long.  Well, one reason is because a crate for Noah is GIGANTIC.  And did I mention that I live in a SMALL house?  But I looked around the house again, looking for a place for a crate, and I realized if I moved one piece of furniture, there would be room for Noah’s crate in the living room.  (If you’re trying to figure out where it is, its right behind the recliner that I often sit in.)  Noah is so calm in the crate.  Did I say to you that he never settles down in the house?  Did I mention that I have not seen him sleep since he was a very tiny very young puppy?  Its so nice to have him in the house with me and not be mad or frustrated.  It will only be a temporary measure, I am sure, until he grows up a bit more.

Here is where the piece of furniture went.  A little crowded, but not bad.  That’s the corner where I spend half my life a wee bit of time on the computer.

And here is a picture of my woodstove.  (Lori asked if I had a fireplace.)  This is one of the best things I’ve ever spent money on.  Its very small, but it can heat my whole house, and once it gets hot, you can close it up so it burns the wood much slower and more efficiently.

(hey, notice the dumbells in this pic?  I did, and I actually got in a nice weights workout, since I didn’t make it to the gym!)

Noah and I got in a couple of good walks today.  Another one on the main road, where we saw this character.  He wasn’t impressed with Noah’s guardian dog qualities.

And then a little while later we went out for another walk/run.  No sticks were to be found.  I’m afraid we are going to have to go far afield to find satisfactory sticks again.  Noah has the sweetest way of looking up at me sideways while we’re walking, and I had the great idea of taking one of those pictures where you hold the camera out in front of yourself.  Only thing is, my arms are pretty short.  How do you guys do that???   But I thought this picture was pretty cute.  Again, ignore the wrinkles.  As I said, the camera adds ten years to your real age…

While we were walking, I realized that I didn’t have all the ingredients for what I had originally planned for dinner.  Plus, it was getting late, and i wanted a ‘quick fix.’  So I changed plans, and this was pretty quick, and quite yummy.  The last piece of BBQ pork from the freezer, and that brussel sprout combo.  I figured out something that really works for me.  I always like my veggies a bit softer than normal stir fry.  So after I stir-fried the brussel sprouts for a bit, I added just a tiny bit of water to the pan and covered it and let them steam for maybe five minutes more.  Perfectemente!  While I ate, I thought about another good habit I am developing–not perfect yet, but working on it.  I try not to bring the salt shaker to the table when I eat.  That way I have to try the food without added salt, and it is a bit of an effort to get up and find the salt shaker.  This has really worked for me.  AND, I realized, while I was thinking about this, that the brussel sprout dish did not have ANY added salt in it, and I was enjoying it just fine.  Take that, high blood pressure of the future [my BP is perfect right now.]

I’m off to enjoy a half-serving of the Apple Blackberry Pie stuff (yay me–portion control!) and a cup of decaf coffee.

Back to work tomorrow.  Have a great Monday, everbody!