March 31, 2024

Happy Easter!

I saw an Instagram post with all sorts of creepy Easter bunny photos, and I knew I had one somewhere from when I was a kid! 

Hope everyone is having a great day :)

March 27, 2024

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 179

I was so sure that today was Tuesday. I even felt relieved that I had one more day before my Wednesday Weigh-In, hahaha. I knew I was not going to do well this week (well, it's actually been TWO weeks since my last weigh-in). Things have been so out of routine and the last couple of weeks was a challenge.

Jerry had to do a special project at work which temporarily switched his schedule again (naturally, it was right when we were getting used to the new schedule). Everything they had him doing was so *not* what he'd signed up for when he took the new position in December. It's back to normal now (including his schedule) but it gave him enough insight to reconsider the position.

He has an interview in a different department today. It would be a big leap for him, but he said he'd really like to learn new things. It would also give him experience that he can use outside of his plant--if something should happen and he needs to find work elsewhere, it will give him the skills that he can use in all sorts of settings. He said he'll be happy if he gets the position, but he won't be devastated if he doesn't.

The biggest change would be that he'd go back to working a screwy schedule--except it would be day shift rather than the night shift he'd been working for three years. After all he did to get the new schedule he has now, he said he kind of misses the longer days! He'd prefer to work three or four 12-hour shifts a week than five 8-hour shifts (which makes sense--it's nice to have three or four days off a week!). He also misses having random days off during the week, rather than just the weekends.

Anyway, I only write about this because while Jerry was working longer days the last couple of weeks, it affected our eating habits. Eating dinner later, staying up later, eating snacks after dinner... the habits I'd worked hard to get rid of! I wasn't surprised then, to see my weight was up today.

I think I was at around 143 last time and today I was at 146. I'm not happy about it, but I can't pretend I didn't know that would happen when I fell back into some old habits. No excuses here--just accountability.

My friend Emily texted me a few days ago to ask if I might be interested in running the Detroit Marathon with her this fall. After I laughed out loud and declined (which she totally expected), I started to think that maybe I'd like to start running again. (I don't mean the runs around the block, which are more for mental health than physical fitness.) I certainly have no interest in distance running again, but it would be nice to feel back in shape enough to run 3-5 miles a couple of times a week.

The very next day, I came across a movie on Netflix called Tyson's Run. I am sure I won't do a good job explaining it, so here is the trailer (below). While I normally prefer thrillers and horror movies, once in a while I love a "feel good" story--and this one is GREAT. I don't know if it's the movies or if it's me that is getting more emotional with time, hahaha.

Watching that movie was inspiring to me, and again, I thought about wanting to run. Jerry asked me if I miss running and the answer is that I miss running *when I was in shape to run*. Running when I'm out of shape is not at all fun; and unfortunately for me, the only way to get into running shape is to run! Over the last several years, I just haven't wanted to put up with the discomfort of training. However, I really miss the feel of coming inside after a good run and feeling great all day.

On the occasions I do go for a run, I can feel my leg muscles aching and my lungs begging for more oxygen, and it's so hard to think ahead to the point of how good I'll feel when I'm back in shape. Having patience with diet and exercise is so hard, isn't it?! If I truly want to find joy in running again, I have to put in the work to get back into shape. And that takes time and patience. I already know what I need to do if I want to get back there--I just have to go into it with the right attitude.

I'm going to give it some more thought this week. In the meantime, however, I am going to state my goal for this week as this: I am going to do a "test run" this week to see just how bad off I am! Hahaha. I'm pretty sure I can run three miles, but I am 100% sure it won't feel easy. I don't care at all about my pace, but I'm very curious to see how I feel. And then I can decide if I'm willing to make the commitment at this time in my life ;) 

March 15, 2024

Friday Night Photos #137

This is probably going to be a very long post, because I haven't done a Friday Night Photos since mid-January. I'm actually writing this in the morning, so it'll technically be Friday *Morning* Photos, but same thing. I'll get right into it...

On Sunday, Jerry and I took the kids to see Bill Burr at Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit. We bought tickets for Christmas (all of us really like Bill Burr). It was fun! I love spending time with the kids because it's rare now, especially for the four of us to be together at the same time.

First, we went to dinner. The place I'd carefully chosen--Bobcat Bonnie's--was CLOSED because of a St. Patrick's Day parade in Corktown. I didn't have a backup plan, so we just parked downtown and started walking toward the arena, hoping to find a place to eat before we got there.

We went into a random restaurant (I can't remember what it was called) and it ended up being a terrible dining experience. We were there an hour and a half because our server was new. I am always patient with new servers because I've been a server in several restaurants and I know what it's like! However, there were countless tables that came in after us, ate their meal and left while we were still waiting. Eli and I never ended up getting food because "they forgot" to cook it!

However, we still had a lot of fun while we were sitting there. Eli came back from the bathroom and said there was a bathroom attendant in there--he'd never seen one before. It wasn't the kind of restaurant that I would imagine to have an attendant (it was basically a sports bar), so I was curious. The attendant gave pumped the soap into Eli's hands and gave him a spray of cologne. Then offered for him to buy cigarettes or vapes (among other assorted things).

I asked Eli if he'd tipped him, because while I taught my kids about tipping for various services, I guess I never thought about bathroom attendants. He hadn't tipped, so he went back to the bathroom to tip him. Then he came back with a pack of cigarettes! None of us smoke, and while I don't want to offend anyone, I simply cannot stand being around cigarette smoke. I asked Eli why on earth he would buy them, and this was his response: "Because how many people will ever really be able to say they bought a pack of cigarettes from a possibly-shady bathroom attendant at a bar in downtown Detroit?" He had a point! We all laughed about it.

At the arena, it felt so weird--in a very cool way--that not a single person was allowed to use a cell phone once you walk inside. And to make sure of it, they made everybody put their phones in these special bags that lock; you can't get your phone out until you're leaving the arena and someone unlocks it for you. It felt like we were back in the 90's (the best decade ever) when people actually talked to each other instead of looking at the phones. (I don't care how old that makes me sound.)

Speaking of spending time together, Eli had winter break for a few days and I asked him if he would want to go see a matinee with me (fully expecting time to say no). His friends must have been busy that day because he immediately said yes, haha. I didn't even have any idea what was playing, but after looking it up, I thought The Beekeeper looked like a movie we'd both probably like. It was good!

Funny story: I was going to make popcorn one day because Noah had made some the day before and it sounded good. When I got out the air popper, I saw that the little measuring cup on top was cracked and slightly melted--I immediately knew what had happened, because it happened before. Noah had put coconut oil in it to let the steam melt the coconut oil while it popped.

The other popper that we use has a spot on top to put butter, where it melts and drops down into the popcorn while it pops, so he probably thought it was okay to do it with this one. But I've told him and Eli AND Jerry that we can't do that--it's not meant for it. So, when I saw that the bottom of the air popper had coconut oil in one of the holes, I realized that the coconut oil and gone all the way through the machine.

I was mad that he hadn't listened to me! So, I wrote a note on a Post-It saying, "Do NOT put butter or oil anywhere in or on this!" The note wouldn't stick well, so I put it inside the popper--how can you miss it when it's where you have to put the popcorn?

A few days later, I pulled it out again and measured out the popcorn. I started the popper and about 20 seconds later, there was a burning smell. At first I thought it was the coconut oil inside the popper--and then I remembered my note! HAHAHA, I pulled it out and it was burned. Oops.

I finally took the leap and deleted Facebook. I've disliked Facebook for probably 10 years now--people are SO MEAN to each other and I don't like the negativity--but I was worried that I'd lose touch with some people. A friend of mine deleted his and when I saw that, I decided I was going to get rid of mine too. The people who want to keep in touch with me can always contact me in other ways. 

I didn't just deactivate it--I went through and deleted every. single. thing. in my activity log going back to 2007! I saved a lot of my old status updates--ones that were funny stories about my kids or just random things here and there. This one made me laugh when I saw it--so random!

Before deleting Facebook, I saw this and I was so excited--I hadn't even read the caption and I thought, "THAT WAS MY FAVORITE MOVIE AS A KID!" I'll tell you the answer below the picture if you're interested ;)

This is the movie D.A.R.Y.L. (Data Analyzing Robot Youth Life-form). I could probably quote this entire movie, word for word.

I bought this fabric the day that Jerry and I went to JoAnn's (when I taught him to sew). If you're not familiar with the TV show Friends, then it won't make sense--but as you know, I'm a huge Friends fan. I want to do something cool with it, but I'm not sure what. If you have suggestions, please share! I have four yards of it, so it can be relatively large--my thought was pajamas, but I'd like to do something more fun.

One food that I have found nearly impossible to find a good vegan version of is cheese. I've made SO many recipes and haven't found any that really replicate the texture and taste. I read on Reddit about Miyoko's pourable mozzarella for pizza, and the reviews really made me want to try it. I couldn't find it anywhere around here (they didn't even have it at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor!) but Jerry finally found some at a Kroger near where he works.

We tried it on pizza and I was very impressed. It was definitely the best one we've tried so far. I don't expect vegan versions of animal-based products to taste the same (although a lot of them do!) and this one wasn't a perfect replica. But I'm not trying to find an exact replica; I just wanted something that tasted really good. And this one absolutely does.

Jerry and I recently bought four different brands of vegan cheddar so that we could do a taste test for my blog. The cheddar recipes *always* end up tasting like nutritional yeast to me (I like nutritional yeast, but it has a very distinct flavor--and to me, not at all cheese-like). So we're going to try out the cheese this weekend and I'll write a post like I did when I had a little competition between two vacuums, haha. 

I saw this Eggstractor at Goodwill and it made me laugh because of a brief moment ages ago that Jerry never lets me forget. There was a commercial for the Eggstractor on TV and I was only half paying attention. When they demonstrated it, they put the egg in the top and pushed it through, where it came out at the bottom (a hard-boiled egg without the shell).

For a second, my mind was baffled because I thought the egg was raw going in and hard-boiled coming out. I know that makes no sense and sounds completely stupid, but it was literally a moment's thought. I made the mistake of telling Jerry and we had a good laugh. Still, though, he loves an opportunity to bring it up ;)

I was looking for some pictures in a box from my parents' house and I came across this one of me, Nathan, Brian, and Jeanie (my siblings). If you can manage to ignore my bangs, you can see this is what early Photoshopping looked like--BAHAHA. I think my mom had mailed this to my dad's dad in Florida, who has since passed away--she must not have had a good picture of the four of us, so this was a solution. My hair though.

I was grocery shopping when I noticed the butternut squash selection (or "squatter-nut-bash", like Jerry and I call it--a Friends reference). When choosing a butternut squash, is it best to choose based on length or girth? Hmmm. (I'm pretty sure I have an inner 12-year old boy that gets a giggle out of things like this.)

I would never normally post a picture of my ugly feet, but I thought I'd show what Reynaud's looks like. When my feet get cold, they turn a translucent-white color. It's extremely annoying--it feels numb but painful at the same time and nothing helps except heat. It's the worst on my toes and my heels. I get it in my fingers sometimes, too. I love to show my family because it freaks them out every time, haha. This had never happened to me until I lost the weight in 2009-2010. I've had it ever since!

Jerry and I were playing a game called Decipher one day. It's kind of like a combination of the NY Times' Wordle (a word puzzle) and Battleship. There is a divider so you can't see your opponent's side of the board. You choose a five-letter word that your opponent will try to guess based on hit-or-miss strategy. After 5-6 turns, I noticed that our patterns were *very* similar. I paused for a moment before asking Jerry, "Is your word QUEST?" and he said, "How did you know already?!!" WE HAD CHOSEN THE SAME GODDAMN WORD. What are the odds?

I may have shared this already, but she's so cute that I'll post it again. My mom took Riley to a "princess" event (a sort of party for kids to dress in their princess costumes and do princess-y things). She asked me to style Riley's hair, and the costume included a long, blonde braid with a clip--I had no idea what to do with it. I ended up making two french braids and then clipping the fake one in the center. After she put on her costume, my heart just melted--she is SO CUTE. She was so proud to wear it, too.

Just another board game afternoon. We love Ticket to Ride and I noticed a version called Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails, which had a two-sided game board. One side is the Great Lakes, with Michigan right in the center! Naturally, I had to buy it. It was fun to play one of our favorite games and see the familiar areas.

The rest of these photos are of pets, so feel free to skip over if they aren't your thing ;)

When I saw this picture of Joey on my camera roll, I wondered why I took it--he's not doing anything special... just lying there.

After seeing the next photo, though, I remembered exactly why. It wasn't just Joey there; Chick was lying with him!

Chick *adores* Joey and, thankfully, Joey doesn't seem to mind.

I love watching Chick and Duck groom each other. It's so sweet! Chick likes to groom both Duck and Joey, haha. Until I took this picture, Duck was lying there with his eyes closed, looking super relaxed.

I was lying on my bed talking on the phone one day and Duck wanted my attention SO badly. It drives me crazy when he gets jealous of anything that takes my attention away from him. He clearly wanted me to notice him, because he climbed on my knees and managed to turn a couple of full circles like that. He stayed there until I was done with my call.

A couple of days after I missed making the flight to Hilton Head, I discovered that there really was a reason why I wasn't meant to get on the flight after all. Noah called me, very upset, saying that there was something wrong with Phoebe. He said she threw up 6-8 times that morning and she was hiding. When he tried to get her out from under the couch, she growled at him and didn't want to be touched.

Phoebe is 16 years old and has kidney disease, so this is going to happen sooner or later. But Noah felt so bad, thinking that he did something to cause her to get sick. I told him I'd come over and get Phoebe and take her to the vet. She didn't look good--I could tell she was dehydrated (remember what happened a couple of years ago?) and she had that same disheveled look that she had back then.

I told Noah to go to work and I'd call him from the vet's office. I had two thoughts: 1) her kidney disease took a fast turn for the worse and this may be the end for her, and 2) I hope this wasn't due to a pesticide. Noah had told me about a week prior that they had ants in the apartment (they're on the ground floor) so he bought a spray for them. I immediately asked about Phoebe and he said he followed the instructions on the can and he put Phoebe in another room until it dried (per the instructions).

Still, I was worried. I told him that if they need to spray in the future, that I'll just bring Phoebe over here for a couple of days. If her being sick was due to the pesticide, I did *not* want Noah to know that, though. He would never forgive himself. I told the vet about it and she asked about the ingredients. They did several tests and, thankfully, they found nothing to be wrong with her! She was a little dehydrated, so they gave her subcutaneous fluids. I went in there thinking she was going to die, and then $500 later, learned she was totally fine. Her bloodwork even showed an improvement since January when Noah and I brought her to a check-up.

The fluids did the trick (like they did last time) and she's back to the normal Phoebe. 

Jerry and I were watching The Lion King one afternoon and Chick was SO fascinated by it. He watched probably 75% of the movie while sitting on his scratcher. He especially loved the part when Simba and Nala reunited and it became kind of a romance between them. Jerry and I were cracking up, talking about how Chick is into romance movies and now he's going to wish he had a girlfriend.

I really wanted to build something one day but I had no wood to work with other than a ton of 2x4 scraps. I decided to make little night tables for Jerry and I because after lowering the bed, our nightstands were too high and it was annoying. They aren't exactly pretty--I haven't sanded them or painted them or anything yet--and when it gets warmer outside, I'll do it. But we really like them!

Anyway, the cats watched me build them (in my living room while watching a movie, ha) and when I was done, I brought one into the bedroom, then walked out to get the other. When I came back into the bedroom, I noticed Chick had already made himself at home in the first one. I set down the other, then grabbed my phone to take a picture of Chick. After I took the picture, I looked at the other and Duck was inside, just like Chick. To the cats, the tables were like cardboard boxes--they just just can't resist getting inside. It took all of five seconds before the cats were in there!

Okay, that's all I've got. And that's a LOT. Have a great weekend! xo

March 13, 2024

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 177

Well, that was a short two weeks!

I wasn't planning to stop blogging for so long, but it was really nice to let my computer collect a little dust over the last two weeks ;)  I'd like to do a "catch-up" post (for the last couple of months, haha), but I wouldn't even know where to start. When I was blogging daily, I started struggling to come up with things to write about; while I still don't have anything major to write, it feels good not to feel totally blocked when I sit down to write.

If I was to boil down the last two weeks into one main point, it's that I don't do well without having a routine (which we all know already). A couple of months ago, I actually managed to get into the most normal sleep routine I've ever had (and I've never had a "normal" sleep pattern--insomnia has plagued me for my entire life). I made myself turn off the lights by 10:00 pm, which is unheard of for me (my mind just doesn't shut off). At first, it was really hard to fall asleep that early, but as I get older, I prefer getting up early over staying up late. So I kind of forced it and eventually was getting a full six hours of sleep--10 to 4--almost every day. And only waking up once or twice during the night!

[Another reason I like going to bed early is because it stops me from snacking at night, which is a big issue for me.]

A couple of weekends ago, Jerry and I went to a friend's house to play some board games. I was a little worried it would throw off my sleep, but I don't want to be held hostage in the evenings on the weekend and not go out and do things! We had a lot of fun and it wasn't even a super late night; I think we got home at 11:30 ish.

I was wide awake, however, and didn't fall asleep until sometime after 3:00, and then managed to sleep in until 7:00--but all it took was that one day to mess with my sleep schedule. After that, my body wanted me to stay up late again. A week later, just as I was starting to get back into the earlier routine, we had another "late" night on Sunday (a few days ago). Jerry and I took the kids to go see Bill Burr in Detroit (a Christmas present). I *loved* spending time just the four of us and we had a lot of fun! Again, it wasn't a super late night, but now I'm struggling to sleep. Again.

For those of you that go to bed early ("early" is different for everyone, obviously; in my mind, I'm thinking 9:00-10:00 ish), how do you handle being out "late" on weekends? Does it mess with your routine? I'm thinking that if I continue to get up at the same time every day, even after a late night, it'll be easier to go to sleep the next night. I'll try that next time, instead of trying to sleep in.

Anyway, with my sleep schedule thrown off, it kind of threw off all sorts of other stuff. And on top of it, Jerry is doing a project at work that caused his schedule to change slightly (only for two weeks, thankfully!).

Even though I haven't been blogging, I've been keeping busy working on projects around the house (and a few projects for other people). Oh, and spring cleaning! We've had a couple of gorgeous, warm days recently--I love to open up the windows, crank up some music, and spring clean/organize. Cleaning feels like less of a chore on a nice day with the windows open. My house was so clean yesterday; a clean house always puts me in a good mood.

As far as my eating for the last couple of weeks, I did okay. Not great, because late nights always make me snack; for meals, though, I did pretty good. I guessed it balanced out well enough, because my weight was pretty much the same as it was two weeks ago.

I was at 143.2, down from 143.6; still about 10 pounds more than I'd like, but as long as I'm not gaining, I'm not complaining ;)

For this upcoming week, my main focus is going to be working on going to bed earlier (and therefore, not snacking). One of Dr. Greger's 21 Tweaks [for weight loss] suggests not snacking after 7:00 pm--and I've noticed it makes a big difference in my weight when I'm following that guideline. The last couple of times my weight dipped into the 120's was when I stopped snacking at night (or I had a piece of fruit or a few dates or prunes or something like that).

I also want to write more frequently. At the very least, I want to do Friday Night Photos because that's always been kind of a journal for me--recapping my week--and I like having that. I haven't done one in a long time so I'll just have to pick and choose what to share, but after that, I'd like to go back to doing it weekly!

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