The Journey

It’s not reaching your destination

That keeps the fire in your heart burning.

It’s the journey.  (from the song The Journey, by Lindy Gravelle)

I’ve been thinking about the topics of my posts  for the past week or so.  And I came to the conclusion (again) that all of these different areas of my life (spiritual, quilting, eating, exercising, doggying) are all journeys.  Once in a while I forget that the journey really is the whole deal.  It sure makes everything more enjoyable when you remember that, and don’t get focused/obsessed on reaching the ‘goal’ in any of these areas of life.

And this song came to mind.  I had grand visions of downloading all these songs into this post, but alas, I am also on a journey learning how to use my computer, and downloading music is one area I am sadly lacking in.  So you will just have to do with links.  It will be worth your while to link on over and listen to this gal, though.  I absolutely LOVE her music.  She is a favorite part of my journey to visit the Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show.  The first time I heard her was about four years ago.  Oliver was just six months old then, and of course  he wasn’t with me.  I was walking down the street,  and I just burst into tears when I heard her belting out ‘I Love My Dog.’  Lindy Gravelle composes the music and lyrics to a lot of her songs, and then adds in a lot of classics.  She is a combination of jazz, country, and honky tonk, and maybe a little rock too.

Every year that my BFF Robin and I visit the Sisters Quilt Show, we spend a good part of the day sitting out in front of the coffee shop listening to Lindy play and sing.

Here’s me and Robin at the picnic in the park last year.

Which reminds me.  Opinion please.  I haven’t gotten my hair cut for a while because I was missing my longer, curly (permed) hair.  But I kinda like my hair in this pic.  Whaddaya think?

So, I am on the downstretch for this vacation, and everything seems to be falling into place.  Noah has a good place to stay. I don’t have to worry about him barking and bothering the neighbors.  I have my projects organized and ready to go.  And, I have 14 quilts that I am going to take up to put on consignment in a shop that sells quilts during “Quilt Week”  in Sisters.  We are renting a house to stay in. Have I told you guys lately that this is the way to travel?  Home Away is one organization that has vacation rentals available.  Just google   ‘vacation rentals, city of choice.’

Well, this wasn’t much of a post, but I must get to bed.  Work tomorrow.  See you in a couple of days!

Ten Things I Love

Hello all!  Again, thank you all so much for your kind comments.  It sure is good to have pals all over the country!

Today I am just going to show some photos that have been adding up.  Maybe I will combine these photos with another blog award I got from PJ.  Thank you for the award, PJ!  I’m supposed to share 10 things I love. Let’s see if the photos can fit the bill!

1.  The  blog award qualifies for one thing I LOVE–Color!

2. How could I not love this guy?

3. God’s creation: a perfect bouquet in the middle of nowhere:

4. Ooh, this next one is a strange one, but I love it!   When I was at my heaviest, you could not see any veins in my hands or my arms.  If I had to get blood drawn, there was one tiny vein in my hand that I would always instruct them to use, because if they tried for a vein in my arm, they NEVER got it.  When I started to lose weight, the veins started to appear.  Now, they look gigantic.  I like to think it is because I am lifting weights and exercising in general.  But it could possibly be because I am getting older.  (I actually used to have nightmares about an old lady with big veins chasing me everywhere…) Anyway, I get a kick out of the the veins in my hand and arm.  No more worries about a difficult blood draw!

Okay, this next picture doesn’t count as something I love.  It is a set-up for the next picture.  On Friday I took my dad out for Father’s day.  We went to Coyote Point (was that a recommendation I read on your blog, Pubsgal?)  It was a delightful day.  Mostly it was geared toward educating kids.  But my dad really enjoyed it.  We watched the bobcat feeding.

I told Dad he was the oldest kid there.

5.  I love my Dad!

6.  I love  nature, I love waterfalls, and I love my little ‘private’ waterfall.

7.  Oh, y’all knew this one was coming.  I LOVE food!

That delicious balsamic honey chicken on my simple salad, with a side of ripe cherries!

Tonight's dinner: brussel sprouts with a sprinkle of walnuts, cranberries, and bacon. Yumm!

Tonight's dessert--that lovely concoction of my homemade greek yogurt, muesli, and chocolate chips.

Ruh Roh.  Ran out of pictures before I named 10 things I love.   Gotta dig into the archives.

8.  I love Tofini  (don’t ask me how I come up with these nicknames.)

9.  I love Monkey Man.

10.  And of course, I love quilting!

Well, again it is late, and I must bid you a fond adieu!  And again  I have more to say.  Come back tomorrow for my musings on ‘The Journey.’

Back on Track

In case you didn’t know it, I’ve been in quite a funk for a wee bit of time.  Noah seems to get the lion’s share of the blame for my problems, but I actually don’t think he is the main problem.  Work has been EXTREMELY frustrating and stressful for me for quite a while, I haven’t been sleeping as well (this is a big factor for me,) there are a few other things that I don’t talk about on the blog, and I think stopping my ‘accountability’ with Vicky might also be adding to the mix.  I stopped journaling my food,  and basically, as I have said to almost everybody, ‘I’M TIRED AND CRABBY.’  Fun, huh?  Noah’s barking has been part of the problem, and the amount of time I need to spend with him also factors in.

Well, today was a red letter day!   I decided to track my food this morning, just as a matter of discipline and ‘training.’  I actually wasn’t making poor food choices, just eating too much, and eating when  I wasn’t hungry, which is extremely frustrating to me.

AND,  (insert trumpet blast)  Noah now has a personal trainer!   And I bet most of you guys guessed this already.  I am the problem.  Oh, you know I loved hearing that. I evidently am not a good pack leader.  So Noah is confused and is trying to be the pack leader for me.  Anyway, I really really like this trainer, and can  you believe it, she lives about 10 minutes from me!  I have known about her for years, but for some reason, I thought she was located 45 minutes from me.  We had one private session today, and then  she is going to keep Noah and  work with him while I am on vacation, and then we will just join  in  the regular open  training classes.  I asked her specifically if she thought he was ‘too high energy’ or ‘needed to be a working dog’ and she said no.  She thinks our problems are relatively simple to resolve. Boy, I sure felt good after that.  When we came home, Noah was so tired he laid down next to me and slept VOLUNTARILY for a couple of hours.  THAT has never happened.

To celebrate, I went to the gym for a super workout –2 tabata  intervals, and increased weights on most of the machines I do, I tried those Arnold presses that Lori showed us (oops, I just reviewed the video, and I did a VERSION  of the Arnold press…), and then I got in the pool and just swam and swam.  Then I went and got some frozen  yogurt (planned.)

Hey, tonight I tried a new recipe, and man oh man was it delicious!  Christie’s  balsamic honey chicken.  I followed the recipe as is, except that I use that garlic that is already crushed for you, and I used just a little less oil.

Don’t you love it when  SOMEONE YOU’VE NEVER MET senses you’re feeling down, and sends you a cheery email and gives you a bloggy award?  Thanks, Jillie, you made my day.  Although you made these questions pretty darn hard.

  1. What do you do in the privacy of your own home that you would NEVER do in front of anyone? If I am doing something in private that I would NEVER do in front of anybody, what makes you think I will spill the beans here??? That  said, here are a couple of things I do that I feel  ‘comfortable sharing.  1.  I eat stuff with my hands A LOT.  2.  I use very bad language when I am mad that I do not approve of ANYONE using.  It is a very bad habit that is very hard to break. I am actually afraid that I will go nutty in  my old age and use bad language and people will be shocked that I talk like that…
  2. If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be? This is actually something that I never think about.  But how about a prima ballerina?  Yes, I have always wanted to be a ballerina, and to have ballerina legs.  I don’t want to have a ballerina appetite or ballerina pain.  But to wear the pretty clothes and have amazing legs and dance one dance perfectly.  Yes, I would like that.
  3. What’s the bravest/scariest thing you’ve ever done? Oh, since this award is from Jill, I will tell my Oklahoma story!  When I was younger and stupider  and not that independent, I decided I would assert my independence and drive up to Norman, OK from where I lived in Keller, TX  to go to our professional handler’s house so I could go to some dog shows with them.  Off I went in my Dodge Demon with my Standard Poodle puppy in the back seat.    Umm, at that time, I did not know that you were supposed to ‘maintain’ your car.  I don’t ever recall getting the oil  changed.  So somewhere around 10pm on the dark and windy roads in Oklahoma, my car started acting up.  But there was no place open  to get it checked out, so I just kept driving.  Until it just stopped.  On the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.  Have  I mentioned that I am scared of the dark?  Well, pretty soon I saw headlights behind me. Oh, good, I thought.  That is the cop car I passed a while ago.  He is coming to help me.  The headlights started pulling off the road behind me.   And then they RAMMED INTO ME.  It wasn’t a cop, it was a stone drunk woman.  Our cars were attached to each other and shoved off into a ditch.  Have I mentioned I am scared of the dark?  THEN, pretty soon some more headlights showed up.  Oh good, its the cop.  No, it was two ‘farmers.’  Who offered to take me  and this drunk woman to the police station.  I GOT IN THE CAR, even though I had been warned all my life not to get in cars with strangers.  Then, the ‘farmers’ started driving  AWAY from the town.  And then they turned off the main road and started saying incoherent things like, ‘do you girls like mari-juany?   I’m not kidding you, I sounded like a broken record   ‘please take us back to town please take us back to town please take us back to town….’ I’m telling you, it was a complete miracle that they turned around and took us to the police station.  WHICH was empty.  So I GOT IN A CAR with another man, who also was of questionable character, but he eventually took me (and my poodle puppy who was with me this whole time)   back to my car, and somehow a highway patrol guy showed up, who was rude to me, and who KNEW  the drunk woman, and who wrote the accident up as MY FAULT.   I am not kidding.  I went back to Texas, and just didn’t drive in Oklahoma for 10 years.  NO KIDDING.   Who could make this s#^t  up?  Oops, evidently I thought I was in the privacy of my own home…

Wow.  That was a little off-topic.  As always, I have so much more to say.  But aren’t you glad I am tired and am going to end for now.   Check in  tomorrow for a post with a few assorted pictures.

I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can

Which seems like a better title than ‘My Mind is About to Explode.’  And just so you know, the title is funny since I have to be dead drunk to actually dance (which explains my non-existent ballroom dancing career.)  And, just so you know, surprisingly this post is not about Noah.  Well, maybe a little bit…

A couple of weeks ago I realized that I was reading three books at the same time that were really challenging the way I think.  All three authors were very sure that what they were presenting was the truth.  And all three books were presenting an alternative reality to what I have accepted as the truth for a very long time.  This might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but stick with me here.

The first book was Radical, by David Platt.  Of the three books, this one was the most familiar to me.  Because I have been listening to David Platt speak for a couple of years, and basically what he is presenting is what I always thought Jesus meant.  It is just different than what the average American church (of which I have been a part my whole life)  has accepted as ‘the gospel.’  The subtitle of David’s book is ‘Taking back your faith from the American dream.’   ‘Nuff said about that.  If you are interested, check out the book, or listen to David online.  He is the real deal.  Still, its a challenging message to apply to your life.

The second book was ‘Culture Clash,’ about training dogs without ‘adversity.’   This is when I thought I would really lose my mind.  I sat in the living room and listened to Noah bark for an hour non-stop.  The author is not wrong in what she is presenting.  But Noah has not read her theories.  And either I am not talented enough or patient enough, or have enough time to train Noah exactly the way she explains it.  It makes me feel like a very bad dog owner and a failure.  All rolled into one big fat overeating  person.  Ooh.  That sentence just rolled right on out of me, and it leads into the next book, which is the main topic of this post.

The third book was Intuitive Eating.  Which you all have heard me refer to a number of times over the past few months.  I finally finished the book, and here are my thoughts.  This is a VERY GOOD BOOK.   The vast majority of the information in it is sound.  It checks out with much of what I have read over the past five years since starting in Weight Watchers in January 2005.  Actually, a LOT of what W.W. attempts to teach you is exactly what I.E. proposes.

Here’s my thoughts about how this applies to me.  (Note to all:  these are my thoughts.  They are about me.  Even though I spill my guts am open and honest on my blog, you don’t completely know me.)

  • I was kinda intuitively eating when I got all the way up to 255 pounds and stayed there for 20 years.
  • This book was written before all the information/theories about the addictive qualities of the sugar/fat/salt combo came out.
  • I have a problem with liking food so much that I eat when I am not hungry.
  • It will take a lot of work to be able to practice all the guidelines they propose.  That is where their definition of ‘diets’  might be wrong.  The structure of, say, W.W. can help you practice their guidelines as you learn about what is for most of us a drastic change in our lives.

So, for all of these authors’ theories and information, I realize that my most favorite author, Dallas Willard, has some very wise words that can apply to all these topics.  Of course, when he speaks, he is specifically talking about your spiritual life, about following Jesus and becoming like him.  And he always says, grace is not opposed to training.  In other  words, if you just say you are going to ‘try’ something (like I.E.) you will no doubt fail.  But there is nothing wrong with TRAINING to become something different (a disciple of Jesus, a dog trainer that doesn’t use adversity, or an intuitive eater.)   And that is what I intend to do.  To continue to train in all of these areas of my life.  And to give myself just a fraction of the grace that God offers me when I fail.  And when I fail, just like I have learned over the past five years of dieting lifestyle change, I will get back up, and continue to train  in all these areas.

Also , I feel I must add, that just because someone is very sure that what they are saying is true, and just because their thoughts have been published in a book, does not make what they say THE TRUTH.

So there.  Now you know what I really think.  For today.  And that’s the truth.

P.S.  Just got this sign and this card and loved the messages on them and wanted to share with you all!


There  were quite a few questions in  the last post-comments.  What?  You all haven’t read EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY POSTS since I started this blog?

Jenny asked about custard oats. I think Lori coined the phrase.   I had tried it before, but she perfected the technique (if there can be a technique to adding egg whites to oatmeal.)  And, she also did a tutorial on it.   Just make your oats however you want.  I almost always use steel cut oatmeal and a little quinoa.  I don’t mind at all that it takes half an hour to cook.  Sometimes I cook two servings so I can take one to work.  It re-heats very well.  Follow the directions on the box–1/4 cup grain to 1 cup water.  When the oats are cooked, add in two egg whites, or 1/4 cup of egg beaters  (per serving.)  If I am using real egg whites, I have them already in a bowl and I have whisked them a bit.  Mix the whites in slowly at low heat or off the heat.  Then continue to cook for a minute or two, stirring the whole time.  They should ‘puff up’ quite a bit.  I think they puff better with real  egg whites.Of course there are a million add-ins, but my favorite is cinnamon, splenda, raisins, and walnuts.

Loretta asked about tabata intervals.  I am definitely no expert on these.  But I will give you the gist of it.  They were developed by Dr. Tabata (imagine that, a doctor naming something after himself…)  The idea was to get the maximum  impact from exercise in (I guess) the minimum amount of time.  He was using these techniques to train professional athletes.  The way you do it is simply to do an exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds, and repeat eight times (total of 4 minutes.)  The best exercise to choose would be one that works your entire body.  But in looking around the net, really any exercise could be done.  And, one site even showed a woman alternating two exercises.  Which to be honest, I have done.  I can’t do push-ups for the entire time, so I would do 4 sets of pushups and 4 sets of step-ups or other similar exercise.  You will see when  you try it that it seems relatively simple to do something for 20 seconds.  But 10 seconds does not allow your body to completely recover, so each set gets progressively harder.  It is also supposed to raise your metabolic rate for quite a while, which is another reason I like doing them.  I would encourage you to try them at whatever exercise level you are currently at.  Just something as simple as stepping on  and off a stair or a 4-inch riser.   That is how Vicky started me, with something simple that I could actually achieve.  Here is a link to a video of a woman doing the dumbell swing alternating with ‘mountain-climber.’ I do that dumbell swing with more of a real squat.  I’m always trying to improve my squat and my lunge form.  Don’t worry about how many reps you do.  Just position yourself where you can see a big clock with a second hand.  Believe me, you will be watching and won’t have any trouble stopping after 20 seconds.  So I am starting when the second hand is at the 12, and counting ‘one.’  Stop in 20 seconds, start when the second hand is at the 6, and count ‘two.’  Just continue that way until you have counted to ‘eight.’  That’s it.

Susan said “Your dogs always look so cute and well behaved too!”  Oh.  That wasn’t a question.  But it deserves an answer anyway.  That, my dears, is the deceptive power of the internet.  You only get to see what I want to show you LOL.  Of course, in the interest of honesty, you have heard all about my insanity.  [Hey, re-reading this post was very encouraging.  We have all made great strides since that day!]   Well, we are all working on it.  And to be really fair, Mr. Monk is practically perfect, and of course , Sophie thinks she is absolutely perfect.  The jury’s out on that one.

Tish commented on the roasted cauliflower.  Lynn is the master of roasted veggies.  I highly recommend following her directions. Here’s how I do it (pretty much Lynn’s directions.)  Cut cauliflower into chunks.  Spray a cookie sheet with pam, salt and pepper, put cauliflower chunks on cookie sheet, spray again with pam, and more salt and pepper (or whatever spice you want.)  Put in 375 degree oven.  Cook 20 minutes and turn pieces over.  Cook another 20 minutes and turn again.  Cook 10 more minutes.  Soft on the inside, crisp and chewy outside.  Yumm.

Dehydrator comments:  Various suggestions were veggies and fruit, beef, tomatoes, and macaroons.  Guess which one I WANT to try first?   But I will be good and try veggies.  I have some zucchini and I am thinking about marinating it and then dehydrating.  Off to look up some recipes.

Pay it forward challenge: Okay, this wasn’t in the comments, but I am pretty excited about it.  I  bet you guys thought I wasn’t going to get around to paying up, huh?  Well, I still have until December something-or-other , but I am really excited that I finally came up with an idea and I am more than half done.  Can you believe  it? With all three projects.  Oh, I wish I could show what I am doing on the blog. But that will have to wait.  I’m off to dehydrate something and get on with the day.  Lots to do, and Noah is sleeping off our long morning walk, so must make hay while the sun shines (or get work done while dog sleeps.)

A Long Ramble

Hi guys!  Not a lot of important stuff to report.  But I’ve got a bunch of pics to share.  Here’s  my one interesting thing I noticed in the past few days.   There was way too many snack foods at that two day conference (what’s new–it was put on by nurses.)  And I indulged in way too many snack foods. The second day I tried to avoid it by taking my own ‘healthy’ snack foods.  I ate them AND the other snacks.   Aaaaargh.  But then I just went back to eating as normal (I mean  healthy good foods)  the next couple of days.  And I even ate a little lighter than usual.  I didn’t really crave cookies or sweets, even though I ate two cookies each day at the conference.  I have been noticing that there is something very mysterious about cookies and other sweets.  I don’t know if its in your brain or in your teeth, but the MINUTE  it is gone, I IMMEDIATELY want more.  I have to chew gum or something to ‘break the spell.’  However, I am not finding that I am craving sweets the next day or over the next week like I used to.  I actually crave veggies if I have a low veggie day.

Yesterday started out with a bowl of classic custard oats–straight up.  I mix a little quinoa with the steel cut oats, and cook as normal.  Add in the egg whites, some cinnamon and splenda, and mix in raisins and walnuts.  This is the very best way to have custard oats.  And I was surprised that it lasted me until lunch time.  Which was a marvelous beet salad.  No pics for those of you who have beet sensitivities.  I have to say, it is a complete mystery to me how anybody could not LOVE beets.   I feel like trying to convince you all to try them.  But I won’t.   More beets for me!

Classic Custard Oats

Sophie is not supposed to get in my lap when I am eating.  But she is a very stubborn little girl.  This is her trying to be cute so I will let her stay on my lap.

"You know you love me."

"Who could resist such a face?"

I finally got to the gym yesterday afternoon.  Seems like I did my usual type of workout, but man oh man was I sore today.  I’m guessing its the tabata interval that I did.  I do squats with a forward swing of a dumbbell on the way back up.  I increased the dumbbell to 10 pounds yesterday.

Dinner last night was the last of the fried rice along with a bowl of very ripe strawberries.  That is the first time in a long time that I have only eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner without snacks  in between.  I did have my new favorite dessert of greek yogurt with a sprinkling of muesli, walnuts, and chocolate chips.  Me and Noah got in two good walks, but I just found out that the camera was on ‘movie mode’ when I took those pictures.  Oh well.

So this morning, I started out with a fabulous protein pancake.  Classic.  I put walnuts in the pancake batter, and use my mashed banana cubes with a teaspoon of maple syrup to top them.  (You all know about my mashed banana cubes, right?  Let your bananas get really ripe, then peel and mash them with a potato masher.  Pour the mashed bananas in ice cube trays and freeze.  Each cube is about 1/2 a banana.)

Me and Noah headed out for a long walk.  But like I said, I was REALLY feeling tired.  Poor Noah.  That is the slowest ‘walk nice’ he has ever had to do.  We made it 3 miles, but it took an HOUR AND A HALF!   That did include some obedience training, some picture taking, and some ‘stick work,’ but still.   That was some slow walking.  It was really funny near the end.  Noah was getting tired too.  And there was a moment where we just stopped and looked at each other like,  ‘I am so DONE with this walk.’  Cracked me up.

Stick number one:

Stick number two:

All the way home on that long walk I was thinking about what I wanted to eat AND what would fuel my body the best.  I came up with this bowl of pineapple, sprinkled with walnuts, granola, and coconut.  Pretty good!  I also ate a little slice of ham for some protein.

Lunch was a remake of  the little fat cheese-filled tortillas with a bit of enchilada sauce, and a lot of plain old salad.  Told you I craved veggies!  I put a little Trader Joe’s low-fat cilantro salad dressing on the salad–pretty good!  (The tortilla thingie is under there somewhere.)

I had to get a little work done on my new car  while it was still under warranty–just got it in under the wire!  So after I picked it up I went over to Starbuck’s for a coffee with a couple of my lobars amdsome magazine reading–yumm.

I was too tired to take Noah for his second walk, so I just threw his toy for him for a while, then I decided to brush him, and then I got a little burst of energy and went ahead and gave him his bath.  He is the only dog I have ever bathed in four quadrants!

Fluffy Noah!

I did end up taking Noah for a short walk while dinner was cooking.

Roasted cauliflower and a strawberry banana smoothie!

I’ll end with an action shot of Mr. Monk doing what he does best.

And that is what I should be doing.  So I will bid you a fond adieu and head for the bed.  Gotta work tomorrow.  Happy Father’s Day to Ron (the only  father I know who reads this blog!)

P.S.    Ooooh!  Guess what I got at a yard sale for $2?  A dehydrator!  I’ve been wanting to try one.  I think.  Now I can’t remember what I was so hot to trot about.  Anyone have a dehydrator?  Anyone have any ideas what to do with it?

Simply the Best

That ‘s  you guys!   When I do one of those ‘shoot from the hip’ ‘whatever’s on my mind’ ‘brain dump’ posts (who am I kidding, that’s what most of them are)   its always so fun to get your comments and see which part you comment on.  When I think of all the blogs that are out there to read,  its always amazing to me that anyone takes the time to read my crap writing.   Which reminds me.  I have been far afield in the world of blogs lately.  Did you know that OTHER DOGS besides Noah write blog posts?  Harumph, as Noah would say.   And, I noticed that some blogs seemed to include a lot of pictures that were just transferred from other places on the internet.  And I want you to know that every single one of those pictures of Noah and his sticks is an ORIGINAL.   LOLLOLLOL.  Again, the later it is the more I crack myself up.

Well, the barking crisis with Noah is over (in my mind.)  If you knew the stuff that people get away with up here in the sticks, its pretty laughable that someone would think to complain about a barking puppy.  Now, if they had complained about his insane screaming owner I could have understood that.   Anyway, it is almost like Noah has turned the corner, or is channeling Oliver the practically perfect black standard poodle (for new readers, that is Noah’ s predecessor.)  I believe its an answer to prayer.  I really did pray about it because I just didn’t know what to do.  It was after that that I read something in that Latchkey Dog book that clicked, and Noah seemed to just magically stop barking as  much, and behaving better overall, and I stopped losing my temper.  Okay TMI  about Noah and his insane owner.

Maintaining.   You know, I  was going to write a whole post about this.  I read an article in the Nutrition Action Healthletter a while ago that had some very sobering facts in it.    It said that a woman who weighed 170 and lost 20 pounds to get to 150 would have to eat 15% LESS calories than the woman who was always 150 pounds.  Because your body thinks it is starving and your metabolism slows down to ‘save’ you.  And this combined with the constant environmental cues to eat more make it very difficult to maintain a weight loss.  Even when all you’ve lost is 10% of your weight.   In one way, this is VERY discouraging.  But in another way, it makes me very happy that I have been able to maintain my 100 pound weight loss for  four years now!   I said when I was starting out on  the weight loss journey, knowing the dismal stats for being  able to lose weight and keep it off, that I would consider that maintaining a loss for five years would be like a cancer patient who was cancer free for five years–in remission.  Not 100% free, but you could feel a little safer.  So I only have one more year to go until I am in  remission!  This same issue also cited a study of 34,000 women whose average age was 54, and they required an hour a day of exercise to avoid gaining weight.  Sigh….  I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing.  There was a funny statement at the end of this article:    Does an hour a day seem like too much?  Think of it this way:  Largely sitting or sleeping for 23 hours a day is too much.

Well folks, its off to bed.  Sorry I had no ORIGINAL photos to include with this post.

Noah and Me and Fried Rice

I’ve been BI-ZEE.  So don’t have much interesting to report.  But feel the need to check in anyway.  I’ve been reading The Latchkey Dog (thanks, Juice!) and she suggested that obedience training was a good way to establish yourself as pack leader.  (instead of yelling, cajoling, chasing, throwing things, etc.  Not that I ever did any of those things.  Just a point I found interesting…)  Anyways, I don’t know why I never put that together.  And I’m not sure when I developed an aversion to formal obedience training.  I obedience trained dogs for years.  But in the past few years there has been some major slackage in the area of obedience training.  So, I took Noah out with the little package of treats (I never used treats before either.)  And is that boy smart!  You never saw a dog catch on so fast!  He knows sit, down, stay (a little) and ‘walk nice’ (well, he kinda knew that one already.)  And, I think it gives him another thing to do, so he is more worn out and less likely to bark.  We had a couple of really great days.

Then last night on my way home from work, I got a message on my answering machine from my next door neighbor (whom I am fairly friendly with) telling me that another neighbor was snooping around to see which dog was barking, and he said, ‘Noah was barking quite a bit in the morning.’  Well, that is not entirely unexpected, but it really put me into a funk.  I mean, what am I supposed to do?  I work long hours. I only work one day at a time.  The truth is (which I have not told you all) Noah already wears a bark collar.  But if it gets moved around it doesn’t work.  Anyway, last night (of course I am already too tired after work) I had the thought ‘if I just go completely insane, they will have to lock me up and take care of me and I won’t have to worry about anything ever again.’ Surprisingly, when I mentioned this to a few people, they actually thought it sounded pretty good.

Anyway, I talked to my babysitting neighbor (the one who has taken care of my dogs when I am gone for many years) and not only did she catch me up on all the neighborhood gossip, but I think we have worked out a plan.  Not ideal, but I think it will work.  Noah can stay in the crate in the house when I leave at 5am, and then she will let him out in his yard mid-morning, and then put him back in his crate at about 6pm which is when he can be particularly noisy about all the goings on in the neighborhood.  This is all a little frustrating, since we all live on 3-5 acre plots in the country.  But I also don’t want to be a bad neighbor.  And I don’t want to give up on Noah just when we are doing so well.

More info than you probably wanted about my doggie problems, but obviously it was on my mind.  Here’s the latest stick pics of Noah.  We alternate between formal walks and obedience training, and more casual sniff-and-stick ventures.  Works well for both of us, I think.

Foodwise, I am doing more and more ‘intuitive’ eating.  Meaning I don’t count calories, make healthy choices the majority of the time, as well as have a treat once in a while, okay, once or twice a day.  This works well as long as you also pay attention to that most important component of eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied.  Right now I’m pretty much firmly in the camp of just trying to maintain my current weight of 154-157.  Pubsgal named it the ‘summer of sustaining.’  BTW, Pubsgal wrote an excellent post on Type 2 Diabetes. Everyone should read it.

Tonight I made another version of my fried rice recipe.  This is really a great recipe, if I do say so myself!  I followed the main recipe, but used what I had on hand.  Veggies were:  onion, carrots, zucchini, edemame, and corn.  Meat was a little leftover ham that I got at that little market in Pescadero, and some little shrimpies.  Its so easy to cook something like this when you have stuff already left over.

Yes, I’m still exercising.  Sweating because its been HOT here!  Swimming a few more laps when I get in the pool, which is still averaging only once a week.  Gym still averaging 3X/week, and walking/running…well, you know.  Lots of that going on in the neighborhood.

In my downtime (haha) I am re-reading an old classic ‘Celebration of Discipline,’ by Richard Foster.  This book is so encouraging and comforting.  Not at all what the title makes it sound like.  It is the kind of book where, when it talks about praying, you actually want to put the book down and pray.  I highly recommend it.

Got a couple of class days this week, so days will be a little shorter.  Vacation is coming up, and it can’t get here soon enough.  Hope y’all are having a great week.  Hey, to leave this post on a little more positive note, don’t you just love all the birds singing so cheerfully early in the morning.  When I am driving out at 5am, I open the moon roof on my car so I can listen to them.  So cheerful.  THEY never worry.   And the smell of honeysuckle right outside my window.  With the bumble bees and the hummingbirds buzzing around it.  YUMM.