Since I’ve been home for a bit, I’ve gotten a little creative in the kitchen. I had broccoli and some pre-cooked bacon in the fridge, and it reminded me of that yummy broccoli salad. So I put together my own version of it, using yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and counting the calories. So yummy. I ate all four servings of it (one at a time :) ) so you know it was good. It keeps really well for several days. Here’s a link to the recipe. 


I found a little more of that 85% dark chocolate in the pantry, and made some walnut-raisin clusters. I just weigh out each ingredient and add up the calories, and then make as many clusters as I need to end up with the right amount of calories per cluster. In this case, I ended up with 8 nice sized clusters for 100 calories each. I put it on popcorn so you could see what size they are. Since the chocolate is so intense, this is a very satisfying portion.


I also whipped up a batch of my “Winter Fruit Salad” for the sewing ladies that came over this week. That is a really really good recipe. And of course you can vary the amount and types of fruit you include.

Butternut squash! I got a big one at the store, and I made butternut squash “fries” (baked) and had plenty left over to make some of my mac and cheese with butternut squash. There was still some left over, so tonight I am going to combine that with some onion and potato and chicken breast and MARSALA SPICE!! Yum yum yum. Thanks again to Lori for gifting me with that wonderful spice blend.

Oh, and an example of a recipe that’s not quite what it seems… I bought a package of chia/flax seed blend, and they had a recipe for one of those one minute muffins on it. It was pretty calorie dense–about 350 calories–but I decided to try it this morning. It came out so pretty that I took a picture of it.


Then I tried it. VERY dry and not worthy. I put it in the compost pile, and had one of my cinnamon rolls. 200 calories and most worthy :)

What is Normal?

So this is how a blogger’s mind works. I’m always thinking about everything in terms of what I would write, even though I don’t always take the time to write it out. Monday I was going to write “Back to Normal,” about how I went to the gym, and then to the grocery store to get a ton of vegetables. Tuesday I was going to write “Day One,” about the beginning of the two day prep/fast I had to go on for my five year colonoscopy check. Wednesday, I was going to write “Notes on Fasting,” about all that I learned in my big two days of fasting. By Thursday at noon, I thought I’d be writing “Back to Normal” when I got home from the colonoscopy, and by Thursday evening, I decided all this stuff happening in my life was just my normal life, and what I was craving was a bit of my calm routine life. The life that happens in between all this other “normal” stuff.

So here’s the long version. Let’s see, you know I went to Texas for a week, ending that week with a visit with Shelley. You know I came home and spent two days just resting up so I could leave again to go to Santa Cruz for a quilt workshop. That was a really great weekend. I loved the whole thing. But I was looking forward to coming home and getting back to my “routine.” So Monday I went to the gym, and then to the grocery store, where I bought as many vegetables as my heart desired :)

But Tuesday morning I had to start a two day prep for my colonoscopy. I had one polyp on my first exam, so had to have this five year repeat. I groused a little about having to do a two day prep, but decided that after two weeks of travel-eating, I’d better be compliant.

Its so much easier to fast when its forced upon you. I put away all food, and even left my water pitcher on the counter so I wouldn’t have to look in the refrigerator that often. I had a low-grade headache most of the day. But I slept GREAT.

On Wednesday, I didn’t really think about eating that much. I was, ummm, otherwise occupied. Also, I wasn’t hungry, which really helped. Here’s the things I did “eat” on this fast: black coffee, green SF jello, mint tea, a few hard candies, and some apple juice.

Wednesday night I looked at Petfinder, and there at the local shelter was the CUTEST little dog. I have been inquiring about a few dogs, but they haven’t worked out. I was going to go and check out a male shih tzu, but the Butte Fire came along, and I had to cancel that idea. Then I was inquiring about a male Pug in a town a few hours away, but the rescue coordinator couldn’t seem to commit to a time to meet.

Thursday morning, bright and early, my good friend (who is also dog-obsessed,) met me to drive me to the doctor’s. I told her about the little dog I’d seen online. When all was done (no polyps-yay) we went out for lunch, and on the way home, she said, “Do you want to stop at the shelter?” Well, YES I did! We have a history of enabling each other with our doggie acquirements. When her last Lakeland Terrier died, I took her to the shelter, and we found a terrier mix who is her favorite dog of all time. She took me to the shelter one day, and that’s when I found Miss Bess.

Anyway, it wasn’t hard to decide to take this little dog. She was even cuter in person, and so calm and friendly. So now you have to look at a million pictures of my newest doggie :)

Here we are just after I got her. My friend said she wanted to find out what those drugs were that they gave me, and keep me on them. I was VERY happy and animated after the procedure.


These next two pictures are last night, on either side of my lap. Sophie is doing her best to pretend that this interloper is just a bad nightmare and will disappear very soon.



This morning I was writing emails, and looked around to see where she was. Oh, she might be small, but she knows how to jump up onto furniture.


Photo op. The old groomer in me is really looking forward to spiffing her up!


DSCN3477So, this is just my normal life. But I am looking forward to several months of my nice routine–going to the gym more often, and eating good healthy food for a while, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables!

The Best

My new dental hygienist has convinced me that I NEED a better tooth brush. She specifically recommended the Sonicare toothbrush. So of course Sonicare has about a million options. One of the things she talked about was the UV Sanitizer as an additional way to decrease bacteria. The Sonicare with the UV Sanitizer is about $200. That ain’t happening. I have narrowed my choices to the Sonicare Series 2 because it gets rid of SIX TIMES the plaque, and its only $49. The other option is not a Sonicare. Its called an iBrush (clever name, apparently no relation to Apple products.) It has the huge number of rotations per minute just like the Sonicare, AND it has the UV Sanitizer, and it is priced at $69. For somebody who spends a lot of time trying to choose between the toothbrush that is $1 and the ones that are 2/$3, this is a big investment, and I want to get THE BEST! Anybody out there have any opinions or experience with these products?

Next, and interestingly enough, it just might be part of the reason I need the super-deluxe toothbrush, I need to know which is THE BEST brand of candy corn. I never buy candy corn, because I am afraid I will get bad candy corn, and I will still eat it and be disappointed. Weird, huh? Anyway, which is the best tasting, freshest candy corn out there? I might need to get some before the season ends.

How Do Thin People Eat?

So. The other day I was sick and fed up with myself. ALWAYS thinking about food. Always wondering how long til the next meal or snack.

Normal people aren’t like this, are they? So I googled “how do thin people eat?” And I came across a decent article. I even wrote down the eight bullet points from the article. So I could study them and become a thin person :)

  • They choose satisfied over stuffed.
  • They realize hunger isn’t an emergency.

    Bess and Noah waiting impatiently for me to fix their breakfast. They think hunger is an emergency.

    Bess and Noah waiting impatiently for me to fix their breakfast. They think hunger is an emergency.


Sophie uses a bone to cure her anxiety. I don't do that.

Sophie uses a bone to cure her anxiety. I don’t do that.








  • They don’t use food to cure the blues.








  • They eat more fruit.

    Yes please!

    Yes please!








  • They’re creatures of habit (they have a food template.) Heeeyyyy…
  • They have a self-control gene (I can practice this.)
  • They’re movers and shakers (on their feet more.)
  • They sleep–well.

So, I have some of these traits down. Others I made a note that I could practice. I’m pretty sure I can get all eight of these practices into my life and I still won’t be thin. But maybe I won’t be so obsessed with food?

Sometimes its very hard for me to make changes (see previous post about my food template.) I like to eat at the same time, and there are certain foods I don’t want to change (see Quest bars and lately, low calorie popcorn.) Right now I’m working on waiting until I am hungry before I eat my next meal or snack.

Well, at the end of this, I guess I’m just saying I’m not finished yet. I still need to work on my relationship with food. I can take comfort in the fact that for the most part I make very healthy choices (see Quest bars and low calorie popcorn.) I mostly eat fresh whole foods. And regular exercise is an established part of my life. I’m blessed that I don’t have a ton of stress in my life right now. I sleep okay–it could be better (please, Mr. Skunk, will you find another route to take?)

How long til my next meal? What am I going to eat then? :)

I Have a Food Template?

Recently I’ve noticed that it doesn’t matter much whether I write down what I’m eating for the day ahead of time, or as the day goes on, or even if I rebel and don’t track what I’m eating, but only write it into LoseIt at the end of the day because I’m curious. It almost always comes out to the same amount of calories. Now, this could be because I know how to “game the system” and am fudging on the calorie count of the food I eat. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have a certain way of eating. A certain size meal, fitting into a certain amount of calories, and usually consisting of a certain amount of protein, veggies, and fruit, with the occasional grain thrown in for good measure.

Me having a food template–I don’t know why this surprised me. I guess because I eat a wide variety of foods, and I don’t really restrict any food groups in particular, I didn’t think of myself as having a food template. But after many years of choosing to eat a certain way, I guess some of those good habits have finally taken root. Whew. Some things are going right. Later I’ll write about some of the things that aren’t going so right.

In The Garden

It seems like there is a lull in the garden. Nothing looks quite as bright and shiny as it did in the first flush of spring. And then I read on a garden blog that June is often like this for gardeners–a down time between the beautiful spring flowers and the bright show of summer flowers. I hope so. Because I’m doing a lot of watering just to keep the plants happy.

So here are the happenings worth reporting in the past week or so.

MLG was here working on yet another building project. I am pretty excited about this one. I saw a picture of a “patchwork path” in a garden magazine and wanted to make that. This was one of the few flat areas in the garden. But in order to make it work, we needed to make a raised bed to the left of the path, so that is Phase One. There were a few of the stones left over, so MLG put them on the other side of the path. I am always so pleased when he comes up with these little extras.



The pots won’t stay there. We just put them there so it wouldn’t look so bare. And to try to keep me from buying more plants to water :)DSCN3026

I went to Home Depot to get some of the stones for the patchwork path. They mucked up my online order, so I ended up loading about 100 stones weighing over 400 pounds onto a cart, and then lugging that to the checkout counter. Where I asked that they call someone to help me load them into the car. No one ever showed up, so I loaded all of these into the car by myself. I took this picture and texted it to MLG, with the caption “I now officially hate Home Depot!”


Of course, once I got home, I had to unload all those stones one more time. Since I was already too hot and too sweaty, I decided to finally add the coat of stain to the wood surrounding the Japanese maples. I really was glad to get that done.


This purple-blue flower is a type of wild geranium. I have had it for years, but have never had it in the right location. Looks like I finally got it right this time. I was so happy to see it blooming.


Here’s a better look at the yellow flowers behind them. It is a gaillardia. They are perennials, and quite cheerful.


And yet another plant that I do not know the name of. It is a very interesting plant. I thought the spikes were supposed to be red, and I thought that it bloomed in late summer…


Another “morphing” plant. Last year this daylily had a white bloom on it. I moved it, and it is doing better in this location, but the flower has changed color!


The hydrangea is getting into full bloom. It wilts every afternoon, but it looks pretty in the morning and evening.


An early morning photo–the Teddy Bear sunflowers look like they’re in a parade! All facing the same direction–towards the east, where the sun rises. Do all sunflowers do this?


The double daisies have started blooming. You can see where I keep trying to get a blue and white thing going here. I had some delphiniums here, but they did not make it. So I planted some little lobelia this spring. And then I just got another salvia to put in here, since they have done very well for me in the sun garden. I thought I’d try them over here.




Sophie caught in the act of flower munching.



She likes to walk along the top of the stones. Cracks me up–it reminds me of how kids like to walk on ledges or curbs.
We have hit a real hot streak out here. I spend a bit of time most mornings and evenings, just trying to make sure each plant gets enough water. Stay cool, wherever you are, and enjoy your weekend!