Thumbs up:  Google reader.  I reorganized mine recently, inspired by the gals in Little Rock.  I unsubscribed from several blogs, some because they had not posted in months or even years, and some because I just really never read them.  I also added new folders and moved blogs into them so I can read them more efficiently.  It was quite helpful when I was traveling and had very little internet time.  Thumbs up that, thanks to Cammy’s post, I learned some fun facts.  From my 175 (and that’s after I cut many) subscriptions, over the last 30 days I read 1,405 items.  And since January 2009 I have read a total of 28,614 items!

Thumbs up:  New food.  I tried broccolini.  I was a bit worried when I saw that it’s a cross between broccoli and kale because I haven’t much liked the latter the few times I tried it.  But this was fine.  I just wish I actually loved or craved veggies rather than having to consciously add them to my daily diet.  Thumbs up that one of my most consistent positive eating changes in the past two years has been a huge increase in veggie consumption.  My favorite is probably still my “green bean fries.”

Thumbs disappointed:  More new food.  I finally tried making cauliflower pizza.  Twice.  It came out okay, but wasn’t nearly as tasty as what I sometimes make on whole grain, high fiber flatbread.  And I did the math and figure that the calorie count is about the same.  The cauliflower version is a lot more work and takes much longer to cook.  Not sure I’ll be making it again.  But maybe.  It’s a great way to get in more veggies.

Thumbs exposed:  Visiting the dermatologist.  I had my annual mole check and couldn’t help but reflect on how very vulnerable and exposed I felt sitting there partially covered in a crunching paper robe, having someone examine every inch of my skin.  Thumbs up that everything looks fine.  (In case you missed it, I’ve had three skin cancers.)  Thumbs up that my doctor was willing to put me back on a medication I used to take for acne that she’d taken me off of when it got a black box warning.  Life’s not fair when you have gray hair and zits at the same time!

Thumbs up:  New workout tops.  I’ve been shopping.  And I found two cute, well-fitting (which is tough given my lack of endowment), comfy cami tops that were a great price.  I think combined they were less than $25.  But, thumbs down that I had a very hard time finding short sleeve tops, which I really need.  My old ones are all snagged or stained or torn.  I did find two tops at our new Lululemon store.  Thumbs up that they will shorten them for free.  (Thumbs down that everyone is making tops for someone much, much taller than me!) Thumbs down that the tops cost more than I would like to have spent.  Thumbs way down that I don’t like shopping there:  the sales staff is very young and makes me feel very old and not comfortable in the store and they are always trying on clothes and chatting with each other when I’m looking for help.

Thumbs down:  P90X.  Okay, here’s the background…  I asked for and got if for Christmas last year.  I couldn’t use it then because I had a hernia at the time.  Once the hernia healed and I was cleared for full exercise, I was working out regularly including twice weekly with my mom and our trainer.  P90X is designed to be used daily, so it sat unopened.  But recently my trainer was out-of-town so I put the first DVD in the player and… darned if I couldn’t figure out how to get it to play thanks to my husband’s fancy universal remote!  (He wasn’t home at the time.)  The DVD is still in the player.  My moment of motivation has passed.  I hope to change this one to a big thumbs up someday.

Thumbs up:  Television shows.  Wow, our two recorders are jam-packed with shows!  We’re never at a loss for something to watch while doing cardio or in the evenings.  Big thumbs up that we caught up with the last season of Bones and now my mom can go back to talking about it during our workouts without giving anything away.  I won’t tell you what she let slip just in case anyone else is as far behind as I was:)  We also caught up on Dexter this summer and waited to start the new season until my teen got home from college.  Serial killers create family bonding moments:)

Thumbs down:  Sad news.  Our neighbors’ 28-year old son unexpected passed away recently.  It left many reeling.  Thumbs up for the love and support of friends and family who rallied around to comfort and help.  I consider us very lucky to live where we do with such a strong community around us.  We ourselves provided a meal and hosted out-of-town guests whom I’d never met, after coordinating beds on our street for many others.  My husband and I had many conversations as a result of the young man’s passing.  About death.  And what we’d do.  And emotions.  And wanting to help.  And telling our sons we love them.  When they came home for the holiday I hugged them extra long and tight.

Thumbs up:  Soup’s on!  What I like most about the cooler weather is a return to making and eating soup.  I’m not known for my culinary skill, but I do have a few soups that I’ve easily mastered and can recommend.  Two we had recently are:  Cabbage Beef Soup (and don’t be scared off if you don’t like cabbage, you really hardly taste it) and Lentil Soup with Lemon.  Thumbs up for, my go-to site for recipes.  I love being able to see rating and read reviews.  Although sometimes I’m confounded that different reviewers make different modifications and I never know which to try myself.

Thumbs on the keyboard:  Technology failure.  Recently, the top row of number keys on my keyboard stopped working.  It actually took me a while to figure this out, as I tried over and over to type some dollar amounts into a spreadsheet, wondering why I kept screwing up.  But what most frustrated me was not being able to use the parentheses – I guess I am a bigger fan of emoticons in my writing than I realized:)

Thumbs down: My poor baby.  What did my teen get for his birthday this year?  Strep throat:(  Thumbs up that he was home (since it was Thanksgiving) at the time and we were able to take him to the doctor the next day.  Thumbs up that he had me to nurse him, rather than being stuck in his dorm room with no one to bring him drinks and kiss his forehead to judge his fever.   Thumbs up that he, a college freshman, has finally finished pledging his fraternity so maybe he can actually get some sleep when he’s back on campus gearing up for finals.  Thumbs crossed that no one else in our family gets it!

Thumbs up: Gainfully employed.   My oldest, a college senior, got a job offer!  Seems like a pretty good one and I suspect he will accept it, and be very happy not to do any more applying or interviewing.  Thumbs down that this means he is officially not moving back here and will be settling halfway across the country.  I knew it would probably happen, but this makes it “real.”

Thumbs amused:  Strange compliment.  I have to tell the whole story for you to understand how it even came up.  I was working out with my trainer (and mom), doing lateral raises with heavier than usual weights, wearing my new $11 cami top.  I commented on how unattractive it was to have the flesh on the underside of my arms jiggling with the effort.  My trainer told me that all she could think of when she watched was that I had nice armpits!  She shared that another client had pointed out to her that some armpits are more concave than others, like mine, so now she notices.  How funny!  Nice to have something to balance out my cankles.

Thumbs down:  Muscle pain.  Not the “I worked out hard and am feeling it the next day” good kind of pain.  But the “something is wrong with my calf muscle and it twinges when I walk” kind of pain.  I suspect a minor strain.  But the really big thumbs down about this is the timing.  In less than a week I’ll be leaving for a very active vacation!  Not sure if this will slow me down or not.  I may try to see a doctor to find out if I need to restrict activity.  For now, I guess the smart move is to lay off my workouts for a few days and hope for the best.  Sigh.



Filed under thumbs

58 responses to “Thumbsgiving

  1. Hi Karen!

    Re followers: I too have knocked off all blogs I followed who did not reply at all to my comments and never went to my blog at all. We only have a finite amount of time–to encourage and be with people who appreciate us.

    Re son with job offer: Super great! Isn’t that your son in Engineering? My daughter in Engineering got one a few months ago! It’s a local company, but with branches around the world, so she might be moving too. Moving expenses are in her contract.

    Re son with strep throat: I had that before! 10 times worse than a normally awful sore throat. I hope he gets
    better soon.

    🙂 Marion

    • Marion. You raise an important issue here. I’ve had many discussions with people over whether it’s more valuable to have people leave comments or for people to visit the blog, read, and go without commenting. I still don’t know exactly what I think on the topic, but I do agree with you that it’s nice when people take the time to comment… at least sometimes.

    • Yes – dual majors in engineering and computer science. I think this job is more the latter, which he likes better. I tried to explain to him how good he should feel about this and that many who graduate in May will be unemployed.

  2. THUMBS UP I love the broccolini!!!

    THUMBS WAAAY DOWN Im not a fan of your pain. How are you feeling now?!

    • Feeling better:) It was really more a tightness than a pain. But clearly something “wrong.” So far I’ve laid off cardio for two days and actually miss it! I did, however, keep my date with the trainer and my mom and just didn’t do anything I thought might aggravate the calf.

  3. Okay, these posts always amuse me so… I know they do others too. You’ve got a hit series! Emmy time… er, Bloggy time perhaps.

    Anyway, I opened my Reader this morning after all these days home to find 196 unread posts. I nearly passed out. There’s no way I’ll be reading all of them.

    Glad to read you had a good weekend, and I need to check out Dexter — I love serial killers on tv too. Criminal Minds is one of the best shows EVER.

    I’ll be anxious to hear what you think of P90X. I’ve heard it’s like the no-equipment version of CrossFit, which as you know, I found too aggressive on a variety of levels.

    Have a great day! I’m off to Zappos to see if there are any Cyber Monday sales.

    • Glad you like them, Michele:) Did you use the “mark all as read?” I just can’t ever bring myself to do that!

      If you try Dexter, you really should go back and start from the beginning of the series. And give it a few episodes.

      I bought a pair of shoes myself online yesterday:)

  4. Love love love this! I don’t use a reader (gasp) but rather pop in and out as much as I can to those blogs that inspire me! (Like yours.)

    • Diane, I’d be really interested in hearing more about how you manage your blog reading. Do you bookmark favorite sites? Do you click over when you see comments from people you like? These are things I’ve considered when I’m in Culling Mode.

    • At first, way back when someone first told me about it, I didn’t want to sign up for one more thing online and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. But now I can’t imagine reading blogs without it! It is a big time-saver for me and lets me organize things. I do love organization:)

  5. I love when you do these lists Karen. I need to organise the blogs I follow via Google reader but am yet to do so… just have a heap marked as favourites and check through them every day or so!

    I could also relate to your TV shows… I’ve gone off Bones a bit but love Criminal Minds and Dexter.

    PS. Congratulations by the way, on your armpits!

    • I’ve never tried Criminal Minds or any of the CSI shows. I am one who likes to watch from the beginning of a series. With Dexter and Bones, after they were recommended to us, we went back and started at the beginning. Takes a while that way:)

  6. I recently cleaned out my reader too.

    Love broccolini.

    Re P90X (well, not really, just re DVDs and DVD players): I had to ask my husband to type out the instructions for our new-fangled system…it’s that freaking complicated!

    I have a friend who’s seemingly fine college-age son killed himself a couple of weeks ago…such a tragedy!

    Congrats to your older son and I hope the younger one gets better soon!

    • Oh – so sorry about your friend’s loss. Seemed to be several teen (HS) suicides here in the past years. It is so scary as a parent to imagine you child being that unhappy or lost.

  7. Fun post as always! So back to a quiet house and “normal” today, is it? I’d planned to do some shopping, but with 2 inches of rain predicted, it may be a stay-at-home and pamper the new “inner cook” day!!

  8. I can’t believe you read so much on the blog world side! WOW! I am like Diane – no readers for me but I do email blogs to me if that is offered or otherwise I pop in. I have enough time keeping about with my own blog! 😉

    OH NO on the pain – I hope it gets better & your vacation will be fine!

    Glad the skin is OK & I so understand the complexities of older age, acne with gray hair & hair on the face & things constantly changing so I can’t keep up o figure out what to do! 😉

    YES to compliments!

    • I totally depend on the reader. Which is why I get frustrated when yours doesn’t pop up. I do know you post daily, but I don’t ever think about it or which blogs to visit. I just use the reader as my guide. Yesterday there were like 5 of your posts in there that never showed up over the long weekend!! I used to subscribe some by email but much prefer the reader; my email is cluttered enough. AND, someone explained to me how you can add any blog as a subscription even if they don’t have that option on there. Love that.

  9. Lots of awesomeness here…funny I also tried cauliflower pizza, AND cauliflower “mock potato salad”, and found both sadly wanting (for flavor, texture, satiety value…). Regarding tv shows – love Dexter – #2 son gave me the first season for my bday – am quickly becoming addicted. Another show I’m loving is Body of Proof.

    Also a soup lover, and a soup maker – both those recipes sound good. Congrats to your son on his job offer – my collge grad has yet to get a “real” job (doing construction), but given his majors – Philosophy, Religion and Spanish, it’s not surprising. He’ll be going abroad to teach ESL for a year and then grad school to hopefully become more marketable.

    Love your thumbs!

    • I never tried the “potato salad” but the faux mashed potatoes are not bad as a base under something. Same with the “rice.” My SON was the one who got us onto Dexter too! We record Body of Proof but haven’t watched all season; just not a favorite. I had hoped that my son’s majors (engineering and computer science) would make him employable:) I know I wasn’t at that stage of my life… so I went to grad school and got an MBA and an MRS.

  10. 28 – wow – very sad. I’m so sorry.

    I’d kill to have nice arm pits. Well, maybe not *kill,* but it would be nice. Mine will keep me out of sleeveless tops for quite some time until I can get everything firmed up.

    • Funny thing is my mom looks amazing and never thought about her armpits until the trainer said something about mine. Then my mom went home and tried on her workout tops and realized some are much more flattering up there than others depending on the cut. She is one mid-70s woman who proudly bares her toned arms:)

  11. I have 4 kids just a little older and I guess that’s what I noticed in your post. My heart goes out to your friends and I pray for their comfort during this time. The hugs do seem to get longer as time goes by.

  12. Awesome!

    I’m not sure if I’d like cauliflower pizza. I do like cauliflower, but dipped in ranch.

  13. I love this post. So much information and good stuff all at once. A few sad things too, that I am sorry to hear.

  14. So glad your son was home so you could “mommy” him! I still call my mom when I am sick!!!
    I love serial killer books and movies- however… I have never said serial killer and bonding in the same sentence! 🙂
    I always love these posts! Keep em coming!!!

    • I still remember my oldest texting me from college his freshman year about which medication to take when he had a cold. Sometimes it’s nice to be needed:) Now if only they’d listen to their mom and get flu shots!

  15. I’m so sorry to hear about your neighbor’s son. How tragic that is. We just had a 40 year old doctor, well known in our town, die from a massive heart attack. Things like this always puts life into perspective and how precious it is. My sincerest sympathies.
    YAY for an all-clear on the mole check. I go in two weeks. A couple years ago I had 4 taken off at once. Always something, it seems – although last time I got an all clear, too. That’s always good news 🙂

    • I actually changed doctors a couple years back to one who doesn’t take as many off. The other office was very aggressive and anytime a “freckle,” of which I have many, grew above the size they like, they took that off too. Unfortunately because of my melanoma history, my boys have both had several moles taken off. I am taking them in again when they are home in December.

  16. I love the idea of thumbs up or thumbs down. A great way to express your opinions!

    It’s difficult when your kids move out of town. I am finally moving back to be in the same town as two of my four daughters. So thrilled.

    • Wouldn’t it be nice if our kids settled near us instead of us having to settle near them?! I suspect my youngest will end up in California, where HE goes to school, which means I’ll have one on each coast. So maybe I’ll stay put in the middle:)

  17. Hi Karen! Congrats on your awesome armpits and eldest son’s job offer. Glad to see life is giving you mostly thumbs up these days. Hope your youngest is feeling better now and that your muscles aches diminish soon. Are you headed for CR next week?

    • Yes!! I’ll be there on Saturday. I’ve been thinking of you:) So bummed about my calf though because I might need to take things easy so I don’t really injure myself and then have to sit around and do nothing but eat:)

  18. Despite some sad thumbs down, I’m delighted to read this and feel like you’ve got way more thumbs ups than the opposite!

    • I used to pay attention and try not have more “down” since I quickly realized that some readers where paying attention to that. But this post, I just wrote.

  19. I am so glad that this checkup showed no skin cancer! That is so scary! I imagine with your red hair you must get checked frequently. A good friend of mine has red hair with lots of freckles. She too has to be checked regularly.

    Cauliflower pizza…blek. 🙂

  20. Thanks for the mention–I’m glad the tips and discussion helped!

    Yaay for a good check-up! That’s always a relief, I know.

    I gave up on cooked cauliflower in any form. I’ll just eat it raw, on my salad. 🙂

    • I love when I learn new things that are either fun or actually useful or both! Pretty much everything I know about google reader I learned from someone sharing with me.

  21. Congrats on the great (but uncomfortable) appointment. I hear what you’re saying about grey hair (or in my case) wrinkles and pimples! Why does no one tell you this?? Hmm…as a fellow redhead a check might not be a bad idea…

    Might try your suggestion for folders in Reader too. It DOES get a bit unmanageable. Since you’re only one of about 5 people that ever comments on my blog that could make my Reader list really, really short! 😉

    • Honestly, I had some folders for a while but never “used” that as a way to read more efficiently until recently when I added more. For example, I have one that is for “college” blogs that come from my boys’ school newspapers. And I have one for “dieter/healthy living blogs” and one for things like online tips.

  22. When I was on my last biz trip I wrote a “thumbs” post in my head while killing a few >hours< at an airport — you've invaded my thinking and gotten me to look for the "thumb's up." I hope your calf recovers for your vacation!

  23. Wow so much good stuff here Karen. I like broccolini although it can be pricey so I usually do broccoli.

    We have had two deaths to deal with in the past week. Attended a funeral today and it does make you realize how short and precious life is.

    What a blessing you and your hubby are to your neighbors in thier time of need.

    Congrats to your son on his job after college. That is amazing.

    Better get that pain checked out before vacation. Congrats on a good check up with the dermatologist.

  24. I love Dexter so much. I got the DVD’s for my husband but instantly became hooked. That show is addicting.

    I did P90X for a few months but got burnt out pretty quick. Don’t worry if you can’t work the remote, it’s a good excuse to go for a bike ride instead of the cruelty that Tony dishes out.

    • I think it helped that we watched a bunch at once when we started so that we could actually follow the story. I had read the books years ago and not been very into it. But our son got us turned on to the show when he went back himself last year and started at the beginning.

  25. Love these posts!
    and yes…I almost depend on my reader but use FB and Twitter as prompts toward posts too. I, often, am not much of a commenter, but work on that.

    I have my reader sorted in categories and folders and clean out my reader about every 3 months.

    As far as Mark all as read…yes, I do use it, I scan through it and those that do not catch my eye, I mark but that only is because of the folders and I do go back and read through posts that I have marked as read..

  26. My daughter’s keyboard recently lost the N key. At first she was ok with it, but now she’s realizing she uses the N more than she had imagined. We just aren’t sure on getting it fixed or not.

  27. Wow, you have a lot going on right now…good and bad. I’m sorry to hear about your son getting sick but good news about the new job. I also wanted to thank you for the link about google reader…so easy now to cut inactive people.

  28. I’m sorry to hear about the 28 year old’s passing, that’s so scary when I realize I AM 28! 😦

    I’ve got all the ingredients I need to make that lentil soup with lemon (just need a carrot actually)…. sooooo… I’m making that next weekend to have something to take to work with me.

  29. Oh Giant thumbs up on your son getting a job. I hope it is fulfilling and well paying and that his boss is amazing.

    If you find the broccolini too bitter, blanch broccolini for a minute and then shock it to keep the color – then cook it – saute it or what not. I grow it. Yum with garlic or a bit of balsamic.

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