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 allrecipes.com, 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.