Thumbing My Nose at Winter

Thumbs up:  IRL meetup.  Recently I had another chance to meet face-to-face with someone I’ve only known online.  This time, someone from my “diet” forum.  She posted that she was in my town for work and I asked if she wanted to meet.  She did.  We did.  And we chatted an afternoon away.  So fun.  And this is the first person I’ve met from my “online life” who follows the same “diet plan” as me.  Thumbs way up that I have another blogger meet-up on my calendar for this Spring!!!!  (You can read about my first two here and here.)

Thumbs outstretched:  Help!  I’m thinking of changing my blog’s host to Bluehost.  If anyone has experience with them and would be willing to share or answer some questions, please let me know.  (And much thanks to those who’ve already been sharing with me via email!)  My contract with Godaddy is up soon so it’s now or (maybe) never.  But maybe the devil I know is better than the one I don’t?  And, huge thumbs down that the technological knowledge needed to make the switch is beyond me; my brain hurts just thinking about it.  I guess I’d need some “technical expertise” to guide me though.  Thumbs down thinking about that.

Thumbs down:  Bad car day.  Really, really bad.  The kind where the “bad” just kept coming.  In one day I… got lost driving to a location I’ve been to many times over the years but never when the police had a major road blocked off (and our GPS was in the other car); fought with a pillar in a parking garage that wanted to trap me in a too-tight space, and lost, leaving behind a lovely “scar;” and, icing on the already-crappy-and-stomach-ache-inducing cake, had someone flip me the bird when I really, really did nothing to deserve it.  (Trust me, I learned to drive near Boston; I own up to my road rage and/or idiocy when warranted!)

Thumbs amused:  Pee and me.  Because the search term that is most often used to find my blog is the word “pee.”  Yep.  “Pee.”  I can lay blame on give credit to one of my favorite posts:  Pee-o-Meter.  I can only imagine what someone thinks when this is where their search lands them:)  Thumbs up that it’s making me smile, just thinking about their surprise.  Last week alone I got 47 hits!  (As a comparison, variations on my blog’s name got only 6 hits!)  Maybe I should give a bit more thought to the words I use on my blog.  Maybe.  And maybe, thumbs down, I should finally pay some attention to things like SEO.  Maybe.  But probably maybe NOT.

Thumbs up:  Experimenting in the kitchen.  With “Better-than-tuna-salad.”  Rather an odd recipe that uses chick peas in place of the namesake tuna.  You’ll have to decide for yourselves if it’s anything like the original because all I can say is it was “interesting” tasting.  Yep, that’s the actually word I kept saying.  And, it really grew on me over the few days of leftovers.  I can see how it’s like tuna salad, but then again, it isn’t.  If I eat it expecting tuna, my taste buds and brain don’t match up and it throws me.  I ate mine on a green salad.  If you try it, let me know what you think.  As for me, I’ll be eating it again.

Thumbs undecided:  Experimenting in the kitchen some more.  This time, it was Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili.  I had very high expectations because I really like sweet potatoes and am a black bean fan.  But what I now realize is that I like my sweet potatoes, well, “sweet.”  And in this recipe they are “savory.”  The first night, with the chili still mouth-burning-hot from the crock pot, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it again.  But the flavors developed over time and now I’m thinking it’s worth a second try.  Maybe the same recipe or maybe a different version.  If you have one you like, please let me know.  Thumbs up that the calorie count (not that I really track that anymore but it’s always sort of lurking in the back of my mind) is pretty low.  Thumbs up for warm, cozy food on a cold winter day.  Thumbs up that the winter here has been wayyyy less cold than usual.

Thumbs down:  Mystery stuffiness.  So… I have a stuffy nose.  It’s been going on for weeks now.  It’s not a cold.  I actually thought for a while there that it might have been a side effect of my overeating “bad” carbs during the holidays.  Don’t laugh – it’s possible; I looked it up on Dr. Internet!  Then I next self-diagnosed it as a side effect (well documented online) of the huge dosage of Aleve that my doctor had me taking for my calf strain.  So, with the mystery seemingly solved, I weaned off the Aleve and put away my Breath Right strips in eager anticipation of clear nostrils.  But no.  Still sniffling.  Still wondering why.  Maybe my formerly seasonal allergies have decided to visit for a new season.  Sigh.  Sniff.

Thumbs wondering:  Fitbloggin ’12.  Anyone going?  Anyone who’s been want to tell me why I should consider spending all that money for two days in Baltimore?

Thumbs up:  Empty nest.  Again.  College winter break has ended and my sons have both flown back to their respective sides of the country, and, if they are reading this, I miss them horribly.  If they aren’t reading, I’m once again rather enjoying my empty nest:)

Thumbs flipped:  Dark chocolate.  Used to be that the only way I liked dark chocolate was coating strawberries:)  But for some reason it had been on my mind lately and I was kinda craving it just a bit.  (The “maybe I want to try it” as opposed to the “I want it BAAAAAAD” kind of craving.)  The dark kind that is actually supposed to be healthy.  So, I bought some.  And I liked it.  More than I expected.  Which was a bad thing.  Because liking something a lot is what leads to me overeating most things that I tend to overeat.  And I’m now adding dark chocolate to the list.  So, thumbs up that I liked it:  my taste buds have matured:)  Thumbs down that I liked it so much that I ate more than one serving.  Okay, maybe more than two servings.  Sigh.

Thumbs up:  Going Greek.  I have absolutely no idea why I am suddenly on a Greek yogurt eating kick.  I’ve never been a yogurt fan and in the past ONLY ate it with cereal added for crunch.  But now I have a stockpile of Chobani in my fridge and am enjoying it cereal-free.  Thumbs up for the new apple cinnamon flavor.  Yum.  And while I’m talking Greek… thumbs up that this semester my teen is a “brother” instead of a “pledge.”  One less thing for me to worry about long-distance.

Thumbs up:  Yoga.  Still.  Not only have I been to class twice a week since I started back, but I am even trying some at home.  Thumbs down that I’m not quite motivated enough to do much on my own.  But it’s certainly more than I was doing before:)  Thumbs up that I even got my husband to try with me.  And yesterday my mom (who has a bad knee and can’t do traditional yoga) and I tried a local chair yoga class.  We took two on our spa vacation and this is the only one we have found near us.  It was a bit disappointing.   More of a “stretch for seniors” than yoga poses.  One woman even came with her walker!

Thumbs up:  You.  When I was reading your great comments on my post about my blog reading process I realized that I probably don’t tell you often enough that you rock my world.  Sure, I started blogging for myself.  But you are what keeps me blogging.  The community.  The conversations.  And, always, your comments.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  You complete me:)



Filed under thumbs

73 responses to “Thumbing My Nose at Winter

  1. Hi Karen – I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now and really like your writing! You always cover so many topics in your thumbs posts. I love dark chocolate and find that since it’s so flavourful I don’t need to eat that much to feel satisfied (as long as it’s the really good stuff!). I just started my blog about a month ago and already find it interesting to see the Google search terms that come up. I read your pee post – very interesting! I’m going to have to see if I notice the same trend. Hope you’re having a good week!

  2. Miz

    I LOOOOVE the format of these posts.
    and I, too, am thumbing my nose at your car 🙂 winter and giving the ONE THUMB UP ONE THUMB SIDEWAYS to bluehost.

  3. Hi Karen! I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen too–adding more spices and different spices to my food to get more flavor out of less food. Yay yoga! And, I also feel that same affection for you!
    🙂 Marion

    • Thanks:)

      Oh you are way more experimental than I am! For me, it is following a recipe. I always envy those who can just cook and try things and… voila!

  4. Thumbs up for your upcoming blogger meet-up!!! 🙂 I’m pretty certain you’ll have a wonderful time.

    The chickpea salad — interesting. I could try this, but honestly, I try not to buy ANY foods in cans… especially not tomatoes because of the BPA coating in the can that bleeds into the foods. I’d have to make my own from dry chickpeas.

    Hooray for Chobani!!! Pineapple!!

  5. Love this post… and the pee thing is hilarious!

    • I don’t usually pay attention to any of that stuff so I don’t know why I suddenly noticed it. There are some other very strange search terms that landed here.

  6. Sorry about the car. 😦

    I saw that sweet potato/black bean chili recipe and wondered if it would be good. I think I’ll stick to the sweeter version (I use pineapple) and make my chili the regular way.

    • Have you posted the recipe? I did a quick search (love that) but didn’t see it.

      Well, at least now the car is “matching.” We had a similar dent/scar on the other side from years ago. Not made by me!

  7. The one about the car scared me at first since we have that ongoing dialogue about which of our old (ancient) cars will die first! Still thinking about FitBloggin’……

    • I hope my car doesn’t die! It was the minivan and we want to drive it into the ground, but not too soon. And we don’t plan to replace it with another van so it’s handy for things like moving boys to college!

  8. Boston is one of the most challenging cities to drive in for me! Haven’t they heard of traffic lights there?

    Maybe that’s why the last time there, we walked from Harvard all the way through the historic trail in the city! More fun that way 🙂

  9. Thx for your reply to my comment from your last post! I am coming back after some sleep! Man, you get a lot of comments! 🙂

  10. I will have to go read your pee-o-meter post. I have similar searches stemming from the post about walking around with my zipper undone. When you think about it, your pee people and my zipper people could be the same people…

  11. I used bluehost for years and loved them! 🙂

  12. Even though we had an excellent winter break, like you, I’m glad to be an empty nester once again. 🙂

    I only started liking dark chocolate after dieting for about a year – and I like it enough that it satisfies a chocolate craving, but not enough to (usually) go overboard on it. Which is not the case with milk chocolate – that stuff is TOO good, if you know what I mean!

    My techie son wants me to switch from the “evil” GoDaddy – of course, I just renewed so it will be a while. I’ve texted him asking who he would use and will email you once he responds – he’s either in class or sleeping (gah, hopefully not doing both!).

    • Oh I have a techie son too! But he knows nothing about blogging. I wish he did! And that is exactly what I was hoping for with the dark chocolate. My usual fix is sugar free chocolate pudding cups. Those I can eat with moderation. Unless we have whipped cream in the house! Then all bets are off.

  13. My radar is always up for great key words — too bad I can’t quite see how to work “pee” in with personal finance!!

    Thanks for the giggle!

  14. I don’t even know what a blog host is! I need an on site permanent tech buddie to bring me into the 21st centure.

    So much good stuff in this post – I’ll never eat anything but Greek yogurt again – love it and have eating it excluseively for about 4 years. Haven’t tried Chobani’s apple cinnamon, but that sounds right up my alley (or down my gullet?).

    My professional opinion on your stuffiness is allergies to indoor irritants – dust, dust mites, maybe molds? I’m always worse with allergies in the winter because of the house being closed up. Have you tried OTC Zyrtec, 1 pill each morning? Get the generic, called cetirizine. It might just help. Buy a small amount in case it doesn’t work, but I buy the jumbo bottles now because it really helps me.

    I could go on and on! Thumbthing tells me you know that!

    • I’ll have to try that; thanks for the tip. I got out my Flonase but keep forgetting to use it:( I am also suspecting some allergen. I wonder what’s changed though since in the past I was fine through the winter. Maybe it is connected to the warmer weather! Aha. It is odd though, gets worst around dinner time. So then I wondered if it was a food intolerance.

      As for the host thing, you don’t use one with blogger. The big advantage to that platform:)

  15. You know I never thought about how people or if people randomly got to my blog. I looked up SEO. Interesting. I am not sure anyone randomly gets to me – I am sorta surprised still whenever I get comments! LOL

    Ellen (Fatgirlwearingthin) posted a soup of sweet potato and black bean that I tried and was really good. For variation options.

    Garbanzo beans will never taste like tuna. Maybe you would go from “interesting” to “well how Yumbly!” Yes, you might say yumbly… if you decide it is chickpea salad. Maybe then you can also decide if it needs tweaking to make it yumbly. Sometimes resistance to variation off of the original can stifle your imagination.

    • I read about SEO now and then. (Yep, some of the blogs I follow are about blogging!) But, I’ve just never done anything about it. I figure the people who are going to be faithful readers are probably finding me other ways.

      I will go search Ellen’s blog. I hope she has a search field on there!

  16. KarenJ

    I started setting up a blog on, but then realized I’d be better off starting with, since I eventually hope to monetize and wanted it to look more like a website. Well since I had already obtained my domain, I now have to move it to the new site which is hosted by Bluehost. I have not been able to work on the site since I registered. I have sort of a “deer in the headlights” feeling like it will be incredibly complicated and I’ll need a week off of work to figure it out. Of course, I can also hire someone to take care of it for me, but I feel like I NEED to learn this stuff. So maybe, just for you, I’ll dig in this weekend and find out it’s not half as complicated as I thought 🙂

    • Mine was with first. I had my domain name through godaddy. When I decided to self-host, I actually started on bluehost but with a different, free domain name that I used just to set things up before I want live there. But I had some things I didn’t like at all with bluehost that I’ve since learned were not what I thought they were. So I switched to godaddy. The biggest thing for me will be backing up my existing blog and moving it. Scary!!! Let me know your URL when you are up and running:)

  17. I *love* the apple cinnamon Chobani. It’s like guilt-free apple pie–I don’t like pie crust anyway.

    Interesting on the “tuna” salad. I think many “vegetarian” or “healthy” recipes would do better if they weren’t trying to be something else. Mashed cauliflower does NOT taste like mashed potatoes, but may be the best darn way to fix cauliflower!

    Yes on Fitbloggin, but I’ve never been and I won’t have to pay for a plane ticket to get there (but if you want to share a room … )

    • If I was as close as you I’d go for sure!

      I like cauliflower “rice” too but it doesn’t taste like rice. I think maybe you are right and the key is not calling it something in an attempt to trick ourselves into thinking it’s something it’s not. That way we just eat it for what it is, rather than being surprised when it tastes different from the namesake.

  18. I want to hear what people write to you on bluehost & anything else for that matter since I am tired of GoDaddy although my hubby likes the website side of it. I use the blog side & it is bad as you hear from me often!

    Driving here in southern CA reminds me of your thumbs down – it is craziness here!

    I love these posts!!!

  19. I’m still happy with GoDaddy (and just renewed), so I’m there for a while.

    • Mine is up in March. So I still have some time to think about it. Glad to hear that you’ve been happy with them:) Some stuff is much easier, from what I’ve learned, with bluehost. But I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle to change.

      • I know, that hassle factor is huge. And of course you can always renew for a year and keep thinking about it. I ended up renewing for a couple of years just because I didn’t want to have to think about it again. 🙂

  20. I’m a Bostonian. The best way to drive is just close your eyes and put the petal to the medal. 🙂 Boston is like no other’s a disorganized set of old cow paths turned into a big city.

    I’m dying to try that sweet potato black bean chili!! Definitely on my “to try” list!

    • It was rather an adjustment moving out here. My dad was here first and I remember him telling me “Do NOT turn left in front of oncoming traffic when the light turns green.”

  21. Hmmm, Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili… yeah, not sure I’d belly up to that with a smile, but I do have a very open mind and would certainly try it. Of course a bottle of hot sauce would very close at hand.

  22. I love these lists of yours Karen… they’re like a little insight into your life and what’s happening in it.


  23. Wow, that’s a lot of thumbs! First of all, how cool that you got have another IRL meetup. I have yet to do so.l I hear you on the car trouble – that’s a major thumbs down. As for the thumbs undecided, I really was considering going to Fitbloggin. However, there’s another blog conference (Relevant for Christian bloggers) that I really want to go to, and I don’t think I should spend the money for two conferences that are only a month apart. But if I happened to find a bunch of money, I would definitely go. Last year, I really seriously considered but ultimately let my fear of being in place where I knew no one and not fitting in stop me. I’m tired of letting of my fear stop me, hence why I am going to a conference.

    • I would have gone last year but it conflicted with my son’s graduation. Funny thing is that this year I’m feeling more like you felt last year! Thinking I might feel like an outsider. But how cool would it be to put the faces to the bloggers:)

  24. Oooo…I hate it when someone flips me the bird when I don’t deserve it and I too own up to my road rage and/or idiocy when warranted 🙂

    Re Fitbloggin…I’ve been going since the beginning and love meeting all my bloggy friends!

    I went Greek quite a while and and I will never go back!

    And thank YOU!

    • I am rather a type A personality driver, but I am also a very considerate driver. My husband used to joke though that I’d be the victim of road rage because I do like to honk my horn to show my displeasure. I learned that in Boston! Here in the Midwest, people don’t honk much.

  25. It’s amazing how many online friends you meet in reality! And so far it seems you haven’t had a bad experience. That’s so nice to hear about.
    I left godaddy for HostGator and it’s so easy and great. I’ve had no problems and great support and it’s super cheap. I couldn’t believe how much godaddy took me for
    anyway, I knwo you aren’t asking for “Other” suggestions, but I don’t knwo anything about bluehost. Only that godady disappointed me too.
    The Pee thing cracks me up. I have to figure out how to check those things.

    • I’ve heard of hostgator too. Somehow I seem to hear more from bloggers on bluehost. Maybe I’ll be emailing you questions about how you did it since that part scares me a lot!

      As for the meetings, I’ve been nervous each time. Wondering how it would go and if we’d find things to talk about. But I think the key is that I’ve met with people that I’ve “known” online for a while, so that I suspected already we’d get along IRL. But it is funny how each time I also think that if my kids did this I’d so warn them against it!

  26. So many things I could comment on but will stick with two: 1. Stuffiness. I’ve been totally stuffed up as well. I always am this time of year. I blame an allergy of some kind but have never been able to figure it out. Maybe mold or mildew from our rainy winter? Have you tried a neti pot? Gross but effective! 2. So excited you’re still loving and regularly practicing your yoga! 3. Cuz I can’t resist. That pee thing is hilarious!!

  27. I feel the same way about sweet potatoes! I like em’ plain out of the oven so I can enjoy all their gooey sweetness. I also just tried the new apple chobani. I always mix any flavored yogurt I eat with plain so it’s not too sweet.

    And glad we rock your world, you have a great and honest blog. I love reading your posts!

  28. Nicole

    Oh how you make me smile!! As for your stuffy nose, maybe a nettie pot or salt water will clean out your nose. My hubby swears by it but it reallly looks horrible to me, lol. I am also aquiring a taste for greek yogurt. I really like it in my smoothies. Congratulations on your teen becoming a brother and lastly you rock my world. You always put a smile on my face. Have a beautiful weekend.

    • Thanks, Nicole. This makes me smile. I’ve tried a neti pot and hate it! Makes me feel like I’m drowning. My husband also has no trouble doing it. But maybe I should give it another shot.

  29. I would love the opportunity to meet some of my blog friends in real life. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only blogger in my area and not many that I keep in touch with regularly visit. It would be such a nice feeling to finally meet some of the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know through my computer screen.

    As for bluehost, i’m with them. I actually switched over to them from godaddy. If you have any questions I’d be happy to help you out!

  30. Pingback: They Are So Sweet… | afoodaddict

  31. Those real life meet ups are so much fun.

    Bummer about the car, but things can always be fixed.

    I like the chobani yogurts and the fact that they are a good source of protein keeps them from making me crave carbs even though they do have sugar in them.

    I think a lot of dishes are better the second day or even the third! Good for you for trying some new recipes.

    It’s good to know you are enjoying the empty nest. My nest might be empty next year but just for the school year. Even so I am looking forward to the break from cooking for so many people and cleaning up after them too!

    • My husband and I have discussed whether or not we officially are “empty nesters” while the boys are in college and still coming home for breaks. I say – yes! As for the car, it is 11 years old so we don’t fix anything we don’t have to fix! It is our minivan and we don’t plan to get another big car so hope it lasts a longggg time.

  32. Remember how nervous you were before you met Sharon? Now, you are a PRO!! There’s no hesitation in your posts anymore. Yay!!
    I use Bluehost, Karen. I just extended my contract with them for another year. In all I’m very pleased with them, mostly because they now to an automatic backup of my site every night and I don’t even have to think about it. Very good customer service, too. Email me if you have any questions. While I have never had to transfer a blog from one platform to another, maybe I could help with some other questions? Either way, you know I’m always here for you.

    • I will email you! And, yes, I was nervous. Actually, I’ve been nervous before every meet up, even the one mentioned above. Maybe partly because I’m shy and not great at small talk and wonder “what will be find to talk about.”

  33. I love your thumbs posts!!! I also am a little too fond of the dark chocolate! I’m not sure if I’m ready to add it back in to my diet yet, if ever…it’s like a gateway drug…

  34. I love reading your thumb posts. I wanted to comment to let you know I read daily, but usually do not comment since I usually have no idea what to say. Heck right now I have no idea what to write in my own blog. 🙂

  35. Yes on Fitbloggin 12′ I have gone both years. I live in Maryland so its easy for me to go. I will pick you up at the airport if you decide to come 🙂

  36. Love this creative post! Boo to the thumbs down sections though!

  37. I adore a Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s with honey. It is just divine. I have to eat it carefully because at 300 calories it is TOO much for my calorie budget.Usually I eat half a container (150) at a time. I LOVE it in smoothies, too.

  38. I love your thumbs up/down posts 🙂
    I *keep* making sweet potato curry because I like sweet potatoes, and I like curry. But somehow they just never work together. I assume the same would apply to something like sweet potato chili. Not bad but… blah.

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