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!


10 thoughts on “Everything Takes Time

  1. Great post, Debbie. I’m about half way through my journey and I appreciate your reflections on what has brought you success this time. I think the crate is a great idea and it sounds like Noah does too. Our dogs always liked to have their own personal “dens”, under a table or snug in a corner somewhere. You’ve just given him his own den and he’s comfortable in it. I love the picture of you two–I know just what you mean about short arms! Have a great day.

    • Yes, I am surprised at how comfortable Noah is in his crate already. He had a crate when he was younger and he panted and never settled down, and that is when he started spending more time outside because I thought he was hot…

  2. the last dog I trained – I used a crate it worked very well. he was either in the crate or on a leash at my side – and you are right – it is a lot of work for a short period of time (focus) but then once it is done – have a WONDERFUL/MINDFUL/FOCUSED dog for the rest of his life.

    if you were raised with a salt shaker at the table and a family that salted before tasting – then that is a really big step for you! my husband was raised with sugar bowl and salt shaker. so I know the adjustment. And he went cold turkey (maybe that was easier, I don’t know). it is pure habit – but a hard habit to break. So good going!!!!

    • Yes, I’ve always crate-trained all my dogs–a big believer in it. But because of his size and because I thought he was too hot, I resisted getting one that would fit him.

      And yes, I was raised with a salt shaker, and I was a confirmed salt lover. So I am very happy with my progress in this area.

  3. What a great post. It does take time. Patience truly is a virtue.

    I am actually very glad to see that crate. The crate really is your friend and will make life so much easier for the 2 of you. Dogs need boundaries, and the crate is a great tool for teaching that.

    Your house always seems so cozy to me. I have this vision of a little cabin in the woods.

    • Thanks, Lori. Oooh, patience…

      My house IS cozy, especially when I keep it picked up. Being small, it can get cluttered very quickly.

      I’m really enjoying NOT having a tv. Very peaceful.

  4. I’m a big fan of the crate as well. Did you ever read The Latchkey Dog? If not, you really must pick it up now while you are focusing on Noah. It is so GOOOOOOOOD. And an easy read.

    Chloe uses a crate too!

    • I keep forgetting to tell you. I got that book quite a while ago on your recommendation. It has actually been very helpful to me already (like saying it was normal to think I was going crazy for being frustrated with Noah.) I need to spend a little more time reading it. I also have a new book called ‘Culture Clash’ that a friend recommended. Haven’t looked at it yet.

  5. What a sweet pic of you and Noah! Love it!!

    Sometimes I wish I had a crate where I could go and hide and everyone would leave me alone…c’est la vie!


  6. Paco is the first dog that we ever actively worked to be comfortable in a crate, and he loves it – best thing we ever did for him. When he is tired, he will bug us until we ask him “do you want to go night-night?” – and then he runs inside his crate, we give him a few pieces of kibble (got to have a bedtime snack!), lock the door and he’s done for the night – so easy!

    The picture of you and Noah is precious! You two obviously adore each other!!!

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