Category Archives: thumbs

O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

Surprise!  It’s me:)

For anyone counting, it has been 144 days since my last post.  You’ve been on my mind, as has what would be my three-year blogoversary this month.  The time has come to say “hello” and update anyone who might still be following the errant life and Waisting Times of the former blogger known as Karen.  So, today I once again bring you my thumbs:)

Thumbs up:  Life is good.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  My disappearance from blogging doesn’t reflect anything negative in my life.  No weight gain (as is so often the case when a blogger of this genre goes missing).  No major stressful life incidents.  No emotional upheavals or crisis.  Just the continuation of whatever cosmic shift brought a sudden end to the words flowing from my fingers to this page.  I haven’t missed it.  Oh, I missed YOU!  And sometimes missed the creativity as I would find myself blogging snippets in my head.  And, no, since several of you have asked, I have most definitely NOT missed social media.  Thumbs up at how much more time I have now and how much less of it I spend online.

Thumbs down:  My health.  So the big news is that I’ve been recently diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Pemphigus Vulgaris.  Basically, my body is attacking my skin, specifically my mucous membranes, and for me, the symptoms were all in my mouth and throat.  I found it incredibly ironic that someone who has struggled with food and eating for so long should suddenly find herself in a position where her mouth becomes the focus of her life and every swallow hurts.  I could have blogged volumes about the mental aspect of suddenly truly appreciating true physical hunger and food as fuel and nutrition.  Thumbs up that from what I can tell, my diagnosis came much earlier than most.  Thumbs up that I have responded to medication amazingly fast and with minimal apparent negative side-effects to a heavy dose of Prednisone.  I will continue to take it for months to come, maybe indefinitely, along with a recently added antibiotic.  Thumbs up that I have never had as much willpower in my life to stick to a healthy eating plan, bound and determined to stave off what seems to be an almost inevitable weight gain from steroid use.

Thumbs up:  Getting smart.  A phone, that is.  After (four days short of) four years of faithful service, I retired my still-working dumb phone and copied my husband in his purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S iii.  I cannot say enough about how much I love my new phone.  Oh, the continual joy and convenience from this shiny, inanimate object.

Thumbs up:  Number one son.  My oldest seems to have settled easily into life in the real world.  He is established in his new state (halfway across the country from me, but, thumbs up, he has many friends near him).  He seems to enjoy his job as much as any recent college grad can enjoy any job that rudely interferes with what was so recently a life filled with free time and limited scheduling.  Thumbs down that he’s decided not to spend his vacation time at home this month.

Thumbs up:  Number two son.  Just turned 20, thus my inability to continue to refer to him here as “my teen.”  He is comfortably ensconced in his frat house and was recently elected to an executive position for the coming 12 months.  He has already been snowboarding this season and plans to spend part of his winter break in CA doing more.  Thumbs down that his major is still up in the air.  But he at least thinks he has a possible direction now.  Thumbs up that I am doing very well at “letting go” and not being a long-distance helicopter mom.

Thumbs down:  WordPress.  Really?!  It just logged me out in the middle of this post.  Thankfully it had been auto-saving as I typed along and I didn’t lose much.  That might have really put me over the edge of never blogging again!  And while I’m thinking about WordPress, I wonder if I can import all my content from this self-hosted (i.e. costing money) blog into my old  WordPress.com (i.e. free) blog.  Hmmm.  I can!  Done.  Someday when I shut down this blog, the old content will still be here.

Thumbs up:  Work.  Still enjoying it.  Have finally almost conquered the register!  (Amazingly, after nine months, I still sometimes encounter something new, like having to modify the tax rate for a return from another state.)  Have gotten past the constant backaches from standing.  My feet don’t even hurt unless I do a longer than typical shift.  (Remember – I get to wear my workout shoes to work!)  Thumbs up that I have exerted self-control and not spent every measly dime I earn on clothes.  Thumbs up that working makes me appreciate my time spent NOT working all that much more.

Thumbs up:  Yoga.  Still going.  Twice a week when my schedule allows.  I like it a lot.  For me it is about the flexibility (of which I have very, very, very little) and the strength of holding the poses.  Thumbs down that my mind still wanders and I probably should pay a lot more attention to my breathing.  I still think about being zen, now and again.  But not very often.

Thumbs down:  My body.  I have seemingly entered the “my body is falling apart” years.  Thumbs up that my calf injury from last year has finally mostly healed although it was close to nine months and some starts and stops before I really got back to doing consistent cardio again.  Thumbs up for cardio!  Thumbs down that I woke up one day in July with an apparent pinched nerve somewhere between my neck and upper arm.  That brought me months of discomfort, finally leading me to see a chiropractor for the first time in my life.  Thumbs up that said nerve is much better now, although not totally resolved, thanks, I think, to time, since the chiropractor, to her surprise, wasn’t able to improve things over the course of a month.  Thumbs down that the two therapeutic massages I tried didn’t improve things either; I’d have loved an excuse to pamper myself.

Thumbs ironic:  Blog offers.  In the months I’ve been missing, I’ve gotten a slew of offers related to my blog.  Crazy, that.  Some have even been ones for products I’d have tried if I’d been posting.  Oh well.

Thumbs up:  I loved LA.  (Sing it with me now.)  Hubby and I went out to visit our son for Parent’s Weekend at his university.  This trip we stayed at a condo instead of a hotel, complete with a view from the balcony of the Hollywood sign.  We saw our son briefly each day (dinner out, parent’s tailgate at the frat, Costco run, Lakers’s pre-season game) but spent most of our time playing tourists.  Fun.  Thumbs up for frequent flier miles.  We’ll make the long drive out to visit our other son in PA some time this spring.

Thumbs up:  Vacations.  I’ve got two great ones coming up.  I had not intended to leave you with a cliffhanger in my last post about next summer’s big trip.  We are going to Alaska.  With my brother and SIL.  Small cruise ship on the inner passage, then a day in Anchorage before we head to Denali National Park.  Thumbs up that I got my first pair of hiking boots (after spending an hour and a half in the REI store in LA) and am very slowly breaking them in.  Thumbs up for my return to Canyon Ranch Spa (thanks again to my mom) in February.

Thumbs up:  Purple.  Long my favorite color.  I wear it often.  I even have incorporated it into decor in my home.  (Okay, let’s call that eggplant or, hmm, aubergine.)  And now, a new purple love – sweet potatoes.  YUM.  My SIL, an amazing gardener, brought me a sampling of sweet potatoes when she and my brother recently visited.  Some were purple skinned but light fleshed; one was dark purple through and through.  They were so delicious that I’m almost inspired to take up gardening for myself.  Almost.  Maybe I’ll finally try purple cauliflower:)

Thumbs undecided:  Blogging.  In the back of my mind I am still considering starting a new blog.  I have no idea what I would write.  But the words for this post, once I finally sat down and started typing, came so fast and felt so good flowing out, just this little bit of creativity again.  If I do return to blogging, I think it will be a new home with no connections to this blog.  If you would like to know my new URL, if it happens, please tell me in the comments below or via email (since I do not intend to link or publicize my new location here).  And I’ll be in touch when/if I start anew.

Thumbs thankful, joyful, peaceful, wishful:  Life is good.  My boys were both home for the Thanksgiving.  I was actually so much more aware of being thankful on the holiday this year.  Funny how having something bad happen can make you so much more appreciative of all that is good.  Thank you for being here.  I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season and the best of everything in the new year.

 

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Thumb-thing's Missing

Thumbs down:  Gone missing.  I’m still here:)  Barely.  Still haven’t made any decisions about my blogging future but I did accidentally think of a possible title if I go with a new blog.  Mostly, I haven’t had the urge to write ANYTHING.

Thumbs up:  You.  For your kind words and shared wisdom and continued support as I waffle and ramble on about blogging.  Or not blogging.  Thank you:)

Thumbs up:  Long-distance mothering.  My son, now officially a resident of a state halfway across the country, reminds me now and then that it’s nice to be still needed.  Last week he called to ask how to get chocolate out of a shirt.  This past weekend he texted several times to get details about a recipe.  He seems to be settling into his new life just fine.  Thumbs down that when I hugged him goodbye, after spending almost a week helping him shop and set up his apartment, I broke down into unexpected tears.  I guess it finally hit me:(

Thumbs confused:  Too much of a good thing.  My other son, on the other hand, is still home, although we mostly just see a trail of pizza boxes and dirty clothes since he sleeps until the afternoon then stays out until the wee hours of the morning.  Recently we had him take a sophisticated (which also means expensive) aptitude test to see if it would help him with his struggle to change college majors.  It didn’t much because, drum roll, he’s pretty much good at everything!  Makes it rather hard to narrow down a direction.

Thumbs up:  Work.  Going fine.  I’m enjoying it.  Mostly.  The register still confounds me.  I’m shaking my head just thinking about it.  Thumbs down.

Thumbs up:  Summer reading.  I’ve been really going to town on books lately.  Two of the ones I’ve most enjoyed are Gone Girl (despite a thumbs down on the ending) and the Steve Jobs biography (despite the fact that I have never owned an “i” anything).  Thumbs down that it is still a constant battle to not mindlessly snack while I lay supine on my couch with a book propped up on my mid-section, my favorite reading position.  Thumbs up for the book I just finished, The Stonecutter, which I wouldn’t have even started since, yes, I do sometimes judge a book by its cover, or at least, by the “inside flap,” had my mother (aka book supplier) not known me so well to think to call me to tell me that I’d like it.  Sometimes mother really does know best.

Thumbs up:  Summer TV guilty pleasures.  Two of my favorite shows right now are Design Star and Food Network Star.  Pure fun with no concentration or thought needed.  Thumbs up at getting caught up on chick shows while my guys were out-of-town.  Thumbs down at the brouhaha over House Hunters being staged.  I wish it wasn’t, but I still enjoy watching.  And speaking of brouhaha, thumbs down that the world cares so much about TomKat.  Or that the media thinks the world cares so much!

Thumbs still waiting:  Personal training.  As some of you already know, for years I have been working out every week with my mom and a trainer.  FUN!  But not for the past month while our trainer is between gyms.  I miss it and I miss seeing my mom and catching up twice a week.  But thumbs up that I’ve been pretty consistent with getting to MY gym (where I also do yoga) for strength training group classes.  Thumbs up that it doesn’t even cost me anything since my fee pays for unlimited classes.

Thumbs down:  The weather.  Hot.  Hot.  Oh, did I mention it’s been hot?  And dry.  So dry that the gas line leading to our friends’ house broke in the dry ground.  We spent time hanging out in their yard, waiting for the “gas man,” after we dropped them off from dinner recently, because an observant neighbor smelled the gas outside.  Thumbs down that I ended up with a slew of mosquito bites and right now I am ITCHHHHY.  And, thumbs down, apparently I’m allergic.  To the mosquito bites, not the heat.

Thumbs down:  Car trouble.  Almost the minute my husband (aka liaison to all things car related) left town, the check engine light came on in our minivan.  Thumbs up that thanks to some internet research, I discovered an auto parts store nearby that would check it for free and read the “error code,” even on a Sunday evening.  Thumbs up that it ended up being nothing serious.  The irony was that as my teen left home (for the overnight trip to take the aptitude test mentioned above), he admonished that I should NOT drive his car while he was gone; for a few hours there it looked like I might have to!  Thumbs up that he’s pretty excited about his new (used) wheels and that his college roommate will be flying here so that they can make the long drive out to California together.  Thumbs up that I’m only just slightly worried about two teens in an SUV taking a road trip cross-country.

Thumbs down:  Food.  For the last month I have eaten more crap than, well, than in a really long time.  There are several reasons, or call them “excuses,” but I don’t plan to write about that stuff anymore.  Just want to be honest, given how and why I started this blog, and say that, yes, oops, I did it again.  But I am once more back on track.  Thumbs down that it is very clear to me that I will ALWAYS need to be diligent to not slip into old habits and to not lose focus of the new ones that serve me well.  Thumbs down that I really should feel motivated to write a blog post about that habits stuff, but, nope.

Thumbs up:  New recipe.  The vegetarian and the “good carb-er” happily met in the middle with grilled, marinated portobello mushrooms.  Meanwhile, the carnivore, aka our teen, had a steak.  Thumbs down that our son has been getting lots and lots and lots of Chinese food while he’s home.  I’m pretty sure that even the healthiest sounding of options are not actually healthy.  Probably even the broccoli that I nibble from his dishes (heaven forbid he ingest a vegetable) is laden with sugar and salt and…

Thumbs to be determined:  Blood pressure.  Whenever I see my internist, as I did last week for my annual exam, my blood pressure measures high.  I’m used to this anomaly so I have gotten smart and track it for a while at home before I go in, so that I can show her the very good readings that are typical for me.  This year she wasn’t taking my word for it and wants me to bring my home machine into her office to be sure it’s accurate.  Meanwhile, my husband’s pressure, which he also tracks at home, has been reading above normal for a while so I’m happy to report that I think he finally is accepting that he should implement some lifestyle changes to see if he can bring it down before his own appointment in a few months with the same doctor.

Thumbs up:  Future plans.  I have something very excited planned for next year.  A fabulous trip.  A “my nest is finally empty and I’m going to splurge and say I’m celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary and 50th birthday so I don’t feel guilty spending all that money” trip.  I don’t want to say more about it yet until dates are officially chosen and deposits are paid.  But if I actually had a bucket list, this would be one of the top items on it:)

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?  Read any good books lately?  How’s the summer treating you? 

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Thumb-thing’s Missing

Thumbs down:  Gone missing.  I’m still here:)  Barely.  Still haven’t made any decisions about my blogging future but I did accidentally think of a possible title if I go with a new blog.  Mostly, I haven’t had the urge to write ANYTHING.

Thumbs up:  You.  For your kind words and shared wisdom and continued support as I waffle and ramble on about blogging.  Or not blogging.  Thank you:)

Thumbs up:  Long-distance mothering.  My son, now officially a resident of a state halfway across the country, reminds me now and then that it’s nice to be still needed.  Last week he called to ask how to get chocolate out of a shirt.  This past weekend he texted several times to get details about a recipe.  He seems to be settling into his new life just fine.  Thumbs down that when I hugged him goodbye, after spending almost a week helping him shop and set up his apartment, I broke down into unexpected tears.  I guess it finally hit me:(

Thumbs confused:  Too much of a good thing.  My other son, on the other hand, is still home, although we mostly just see a trail of pizza boxes and dirty clothes since he sleeps until the afternoon then stays out until the wee hours of the morning.  Recently we had him take a sophisticated (which also means expensive) aptitude test to see if it would help him with his struggle to change college majors.  It didn’t much because, drum roll, he’s pretty much good at everything!  Makes it rather hard to narrow down a direction.

Thumbs up:  Work.  Going fine.  I’m enjoying it.  Mostly.  The register still confounds me.  I’m shaking my head just thinking about it.  Thumbs down.

Thumbs up:  Summer reading.  I’ve been really going to town on books lately.  Two of the ones I’ve most enjoyed are Gone Girl (despite a thumbs down on the ending) and the Steve Jobs biography (despite the fact that I have never owned an “i” anything).  Thumbs down that it is still a constant battle to not mindlessly snack while I lay supine on my couch with a book propped up on my mid-section, my favorite reading position.  Thumbs up for the book I just finished, The Stonecutter, which I wouldn’t have even started since, yes, I do sometimes judge a book by its cover, or at least, by the “inside flap,” had my mother (aka book supplier) not known me so well to think to call me to tell me that I’d like it.  Sometimes mother really does know best.

Thumbs up:  Summer TV guilty pleasures.  Two of my favorite shows right now are Design Star and Food Network Star.  Pure fun with no concentration or thought needed.  Thumbs up at getting caught up on chick shows while my guys were out-of-town.  Thumbs down at the brouhaha over House Hunters being staged.  I wish it wasn’t, but I still enjoy watching.  And speaking of brouhaha, thumbs down that the world cares so much about TomKat.  Or that the media thinks the world cares so much!

Thumbs still waiting:  Personal training.  As some of you already know, for years I have been working out every week with my mom and a trainer.  FUN!  But not for the past month while our trainer is between gyms.  I miss it and I miss seeing my mom and catching up twice a week.  But thumbs up that I’ve been pretty consistent with getting to MY gym (where I also do yoga) for strength training group classes.  Thumbs up that it doesn’t even cost me anything since my fee pays for unlimited classes.

Thumbs down:  The weather.  Hot.  Hot.  Oh, did I mention it’s been hot?  And dry.  So dry that the gas line leading to our friends’ house broke in the dry ground.  We spent time hanging out in their yard, waiting for the “gas man,” after we dropped them off from dinner recently, because an observant neighbor smelled the gas outside.  Thumbs down that I ended up with a slew of mosquito bites and right now I am ITCHHHHY.  And, thumbs down, apparently I’m allergic.  To the mosquito bites, not the heat.

Thumbs down:  Car trouble.  Almost the minute my husband (aka liaison to all things car related) left town, the check engine light came on in our minivan.  Thumbs up that thanks to some internet research, I discovered an auto parts store nearby that would check it for free and read the “error code,” even on a Sunday evening.  Thumbs up that it ended up being nothing serious.  The irony was that as my teen left home (for the overnight trip to take the aptitude test mentioned above), he admonished that I should NOT drive his car while he was gone; for a few hours there it looked like I might have to!  Thumbs up that he’s pretty excited about his new (used) wheels and that his college roommate will be flying here so that they can make the long drive out to California together.  Thumbs up that I’m only just slightly worried about two teens in an SUV taking a road trip cross-country.

Thumbs down:  Food.  For the last month I have eaten more crap than, well, than in a really long time.  There are several reasons, or call them “excuses,” but I don’t plan to write about that stuff anymore.  Just want to be honest, given how and why I started this blog, and say that, yes, oops, I did it again.  But I am once more back on track.  Thumbs down that it is very clear to me that I will ALWAYS need to be diligent to not slip into old habits and to not lose focus of the new ones that serve me well.  Thumbs down that I really should feel motivated to write a blog post about that habits stuff, but, nope.

Thumbs up:  New recipe.  The vegetarian and the “good carb-er” happily met in the middle with grilled, marinated portobello mushrooms.  Meanwhile, the carnivore, aka our teen, had a steak.  Thumbs down that our son has been getting lots and lots and lots of Chinese food while he’s home.  I’m pretty sure that even the healthiest sounding of options are not actually healthy.  Probably even the broccoli that I nibble from his dishes (heaven forbid he ingest a vegetable) is laden with sugar and salt and…

Thumbs to be determined:  Blood pressure.  Whenever I see my internist, as I did last week for my annual exam, my blood pressure measures high.  I’m used to this anomaly so I have gotten smart and track it for a while at home before I go in, so that I can show her the very good readings that are typical for me.  This year she wasn’t taking my word for it and wants me to bring my home machine into her office to be sure it’s accurate.  Meanwhile, my husband’s pressure, which he also tracks at home, has been reading above normal for a while so I’m happy to report that I think he finally is accepting that he should implement some lifestyle changes to see if he can bring it down before his own appointment in a few months with the same doctor.

Thumbs up:  Future plans.  I have something very excited planned for next year.  A fabulous trip.  A “my nest is finally empty and I’m going to splurge and say I’m celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary and 50th birthday so I don’t feel guilty spending all that money” trip.  I don’t want to say more about it yet until dates are officially chosen and deposits are paid.  But if I actually had a bucket list, this would be one of the top items on it:)

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?  Read any good books lately?  How’s the summer treating you? 

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Thumbtimes I Have Nothing to Say

Thumbs missing:  Blogger’s block.  I haven’t had much to say lately.  Well, maybe that’s not exactly right:  I think of stuff to say but then can’t think of how to say it.  But maybe this is a thumbs up because for the most part, I just haven’t felt a “need” to spend as much time in the blog world.  Okay… maybe that’s what I’ll write about!

Thumbs up:  Blog recognition.  I’m much belated in saying how tickled I was to be included in Cranky Fitness’s list of Best Weight Loss Blogs for 2012.  Super thumbs up “thank you” to those who voted for me.  I had no idea this was even going on!

Thumbs up:  Work.  Still going well.  Thumbs down that I get nervous still with the “register.”  It’s not at all intuitive IMO and we have to manually make price adjustments for our frequent promotions.  And there are so many exceptions or unusual situations to learn.  I know I’ll eventually learn it all.  Thumbs up that I am at least now ringing my own sales.  And making sales!  Thumbs down though that I still have self-doubt creep in regarding so many aspects of the job.  I need to get over that.

Thumbs down:  Work.  So… my biggest complaint about work has to do with scheduling.  Not knowing when I’ll be working, having to ask for dates off for things like my many trips lately and a variety of appointments.  Thumbs down that it has made life rather more complicated.  Thumbs down that I cancelled my blogger meet up in April:(  Thumbs up that my boss does allow us to take time when we need it.  Phew.  Otherwise this just wouldn’t work for me.  (No pun intended.)

Thumbs up:  Zucchini pizza.  LOVE!!!  Thanks to Caron for introducing me to this delectable meal.  You can find the recipe I use here; my only change is to cut it into round slices, not horizontal ones.  My mom’s been loving it too:)  I had this for lunch every single day last week.  And I don’t even like zucchini!!!!

Thumbs down:  Heartburn.  It started one afternoon and continued for several days.  Not horrible, but consistent.  Worse when actually swallowing food or liquids.  It was very reminiscent of what I experienced when I started on an aspirin regime several years ago.  So I talked to my pharmacist (who happens to also be my friend) and switched one medicine from before bed to mornings with food and, voila, no more heartburn.  Or the burps that were accompanying it.  Thumbs down that I really struggle to remember to take it in the mornings, since all my other meds are at night.

Thumbs down:  Brain fart.  I went to my twice-weekly workout with my mom and trainer an hour early.  Twice.  Now in my own defense, we workout at different times on different days.  But still.

Thumbs up:  My calf.  Maybe?  I’m being optimistic but I think it is finally noticeably improved!  I’ve stopped wearing the calf support.  When I get back from my upcoming road trip, I hope to finally gradually start back with cardio.

Thumbs up:  Being a mom.  One son is home from college, although I don’t see him much.  But I’ve gotten some fantastic hugs.  The other son graduates this coming Saturday and I know there will be all sorts of hugging going on then:)  I believe that my greatest accomplishment in life is my boys.  And being a mom.

Thumbs up:  Eating.  I’m considering myself maintaining.  Mostly easily.  Mostly.  I’ve even done well lately with eating out and special events.

Thumbs down:  Eating.  So… this past week I had my first binge in months.  I’m not sure what set me off, but I know exactly the first thing I ate that was not what I’d typically eat.  And it was followed by a slew of “off plan” food that is in the house right now, thanks to my nest no longer being empty.  Can you say “bread?!”  It was ugly.  I had a stomach ache.  It never ceases to amaze me that when I eat crap I feel like crap, physically and mentally.  Okay, confession and bingeing are both over.  Back on plan.

Thumbs pending:  Road trip.  We leave Thursday and return the following Monday or Tuesday.  So you won’t see me around much in the coming week.  I’m not the least bit worried about my eating this time, even though eating well on the road will be complicated with the addition of my boys (and their snacks and needing to stop with them for meals when otherwise I’d just pack them) in the car.  And another road trip is planned for early June when my son officially moves east.

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One Thumb, Two Thumbs, Red Thumb, Blue Thumb

Thumbs up:  Dr. Seuss.  Just wanted to pay brief homage (since tomorrow is his birthday) to a man who brought me many a happy moment as a child and a then again as a mom.  One of my all time favorites books, which I can almost recite from memory, is Green Eggs and Ham.  I love the analogies and wisdom hidden in Seuss’s many wonderful, crazy rhymes.

Thumbs blue:  Job news.  I didn’t get it.  I can’t tell you why because I don’t know, having only received a canned form letter via email.  I admit it – I’m bummed.  I don’t know what it was that had me so excited about this.  And, all modesty aside, I think I’d have been good at it and they’d have been glad they hired me:)  Oh well, such is life.  Someday I’ll think through all this and the emotions involved and ask what, if anything, I learned and what, if anything, I’ll do next.  Huge thumbs up to all of you for your very kind and encouraging words when I shared the story.

Two thumbs:  New words.  I had no idea that there were actual names for the great punctuation combination of a question mark and an exclamation point.  I use that often!  But, thanks to the wonders of Twitter, I now know that !? is an “interrobang” and a “gnaborretni” is the same combination turned upside down or backwards.  (As is the word itself!)  Fun!

Thumbs red:  Yoga toes 2.0.  In my last thumbs post I told you how my toes had apparently suffered from the disinfectant I was using on the gym’s yoga mats.  Now I have new toe issues.  (Yes, it really is always something!)  On both feet, the toes next to the pinky are, well, something is wrong with them.  They are sometimes sore, as if bruised, and uncomfortable in shoes and tender to touch.  But sometimes not.  They are sometimes white with lack of circulation while the other toes are nicely pink.  But sometimes not.  And lately the tips are quite red looking!  My trainer (who I shared this with since the toes were bothering me during a recent workout) thinks it’s from pressure on those particular piggies during certain poses.  I knew I didn’t like doing barefoot planks!

Thumbs up:  Technological learning.  I’m almost impressed with myself that I was able to use HTML coding to change a font size within a post on my blog!  Some of you have the option to easily change fonts from your editing toolbar but my particular blog theme, or so I assume, doesn’t let me do that.  After an internet search, I went through a few scary steps and held my breath and… voila!   Almost makes me wonder what other blog technology stuff I could figure out if I put my mind to it!  Almost.

Thumbs missed:  The blogger meeting that wasn’t.  One morning I read on a Roni’s blog that she was going to be in my town!  Just for the day.  I commented that I wish I’d known in advance because I’d liked to have met her.  She surprised me by quickly replying that she’d have some free time at the airport if I was nearby.  I wasn’t:(  It didn’t work out that day, but maybe next time.

Thumbs up:  Social eating.  If you have been reading long, you probably know that social eating is one of my dieting downfalls.  Not only the meal itself, but also that I am prone to pre-cheat.  In the past couple of weeks I have eaten out THREE times.  That’s in capital letters because it’s more than I would usually eat out in three MONTHS.  Each time I stayed on plan with my meals, ate with moderation, enjoyed myself and the food and the company, and nary a pre-cheat in sight!

Thumbs down:  Blogger captcha verification.  Darn Google and their changes!  The new word verifications are very hard for me to read and apparently I am not alone.  Thumbs up for the bloggers who have responded by taking that requirement off their blogs:)  Hint, hint.  Thumbs up that Google seems to have gotten the message and at least modified things by taking off the circle background and making things a bit easier on the eyes.

Thumbs up:  My personal photographer.  Just wanted to publicly thank my dear husband for taking photos of me to use on previous posts.  And for his patience as I over-thought the staging for each.  I’ll take credit though for today’s photos, since I was able to manage both at arm’s length by myself.

Thumbs down:  Seaweed snacks.  I read about these online and was eager to try them.  As I stood before the display in Trader Joe’s, a woman commented to me that, as a seaweed fan, she had tried them but didn’t like them.  She said they taste “fishy.”  She was right.  Thumbs up that at least they didn’t cost very much.

Thumbs down:  Pilates.  Which would usually get a thumbs up in my book.  But I tried a new (to me) class at my gym and didn’t really like it.  Something about the instructor, how she led us, what exercises she chose, etc.  And I was not very comfortable with the Saturday morning crowd.  They don’t seem nearly as friendly as the weekday exercisers.  Anyhow, I’ve taken pilates in the past from other instructors and liked it a lot, so I’ll look for another option.  Eventually.  Thumbs down that a few of the moves aggravated my calf.  I hadn’t expected that.

Thumbs new:  Speaking of my calf.  I decided to contact the manufacture of the calf sleeve I’ve been wearing daily since early December.  (Don’t worry – I take it off to wash it!)  As I expected, it was rather past its life expectancy.  So I got a new one and found it was about an inch smaller around than the old one!  Yep, as I suspected, I’d stretched the heck out of that darn thing.  Thumbs down that I still need it.  I do have a plan to really rest my calf when my strength training partner (aka Mom) leaves town in a couple of weeks.  Not even a squat!

Thumbs up:  I’m honored.  And surprised.  And blushing.  All thanks to Carla, aka Mizfit, featuring me on her blog recently.  As I said in my comment there, words fail me.  And thumbs up that it came at the end of an unusually stressful day that had me feeling rather blue.  When, out of the blue, well… there I was!  Carla’s was one of the first blogs I read and she is the epitome of a healthy living blogger.  One of the things I most love about her is that she nurtures the “little” and “new” bloggers and Tweeters and supports everyone, all with her amazing personal style and sense of humor.  And she is unapologetically herself in everything she does.  Coincidentally, she was on my mind when I was writing this post because I know she is a huge Seuss fan:)  Thanks, Carla.  Thumbs up to ya!

 

 

 

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My Thumby Valentine

Thumbs alert:  Google Friends Connect.  In what appears to be a continuing effort to control the (blog) world, Google has announced that, as of March 1, it will discontinue Google Friends Connect for any non-Blogger blogs.  That’s me, folks!  What does this means for YOU?  If you “follow” my blog using that feature, you will no longer be able to do so.  I encourage you to subscribe either with RSS feed or via email.  You can find both options just to the right on the sidebar.  (Click on the orange icon for RSS feed or the green envelope icon for email subscriptions.)  Alternately, you can subscribe to the feed by clicking on “Entries RSS” under “Administrative Stuff” further down the sidebar.  Please email me if you have questions or need help!  And a huge thumbs up for Ellen@FatGirlWearingThin for bringing this to my attention and sharing what she knows.  And 298 thumbs up for those of you who have honored me by “joining my site” with this little feature.

Thumbs down:  Valentine’s Day.   Call me Scrooge – I don’t like Valentine’s Day.  Society and the greeting card companies lead us to believe that we are unloved and unloving without the exchange of material gifts (not to mention highly caloric chocolate and suddenly overpriced flowers) to mark this day.  I say, “Bah Humbug.”  But I cannot resist sending treat-filled care packages to my sons.  (How’s that for perpetuating the custom of showing love with food?!)  And a valentine to my mom:)  And, because he’s not nearly as unromantic as me, will be enjoying lunch out with my husband.  Hopefully they all know how much I love them every day of the year, not just this one.  And to you, dear readers – I will break with my Scrooge-like traditions and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.  Every day is sweeter with you in it; no candy needed:)

Thumbs up: Jerky.  Yummy low-cal find, thanks to my mom, who saw a new product mentioned on TV.  Simply Snackin jerky comes in 3 chicken and 3 beef flavors, all very non-traditional with the addition of interesting ingredients.  And all only 50 calories.  I think my favorite is the Terikayi Chicken Breast with Papayas and Mangoes.  Thumbs down that you can only get them online from the manufacturer.  Thumbs down that when I emailed to ask for some freebies to give away here, I never heard back.  If you order, maybe you should let them know (in the note at the end of the order) that you read about them here and would love a giveaway!

Thumbs down:  Yoga toes.  I noticed recently that a few of my toes had mysterious red patches.  Then, next thing I noticed was that all 10 of my toes had dry flaking skin at the tips!  What was going on?!  Aha!  Yoga toes.  Germophobe that I am, I had been using the sanitizing wipes provided at my gym on my borrowed mat twice a week and then doing poses like a plank that pressured my little piggies against the mat  Apparently, whatever chemical is strong enough to kill germs were also strong enough to kill skin cells!  Thumbs up that the problem was easily and quickly solved by toting my own mat to class.  Thumbs up: no more yoga toes.  Thumbs still up for yoga🙂

Thumbs down:  Aches and pains.  So… just when I thought my calf injury might finally be healed, it seems I re-aggravated it.  So, still no cardio.  And now I have other various aches and pains in my leg and foot, which I think are the result of unconsciously compensating for my calf.  BTW – the calf doesn’t hurt, it just aches or is tight or is “wrong.”  If that makes sense.  Thumbs down that some days I feel like my body is falling apart.  Thumbs up that it could be soooo much worse!

Thumbs down:  Other peoples aches and pains.  In this instance, my MIL.  She’s been diagnosed with bursitis in her “good” knee.  It has been horribly painful for her to get up and down and she can’t help but gasp or whimper with the agony.  Because her other knee is her “bad,” non-replaced knee, and since she has a weak shoulder and literally no core or upper body strength, she was struggling to even get herself off the toilet.  Thumbs up that I was able to talk our way into an orthopedic appointment despite her initially being told it would be weeks to get in.  Hubby and I spent a lot of time with her last week because, thumbs down, we didn’t feel that she should be left alone in her condition.  Thumbs up that she finally seems to be improving and that this should be a temporary condition.

Thumbs up:  What she said.  (The other) Karen had a post recently that I read several times as the meaning evolved in my brain and I could see how it related to my life.  You can read it for yourself here.

Thumbs resisting:  Pinterest.  I’m seen some of you talk about it.  I’ve even visited some of your pages.  (Do you call them pages?  Maybe you call them boards or some such thing.)  I don’t get it.  I don’t want it.  One more place on the internet to spend time.  Eek!  But then I see someone else jump on the bandwagon.  And I wonder.  So far, I’m resisting.  Are you on there?  What do you think about it?  Thumbs up in gratitude to Cammy for sharing with me how to put a “pin it” button on my blog, just in case anyone wants to use it:)

Thumbs up:  Purple cup update.  Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my post about my now infamous purple cup.  I am happy to report that I have not even thought of using it once since!  But, neither have I thrown it away; Hubby reminds me it is actually HIS cup.  (Coincidentally, it was his cereal that I last put in the cup.)  If the cup plagues me in the future, I will try your great suggestions.

Thumbs down:  Technology.  Do I ever get through one of these posts without having at least some technology issue to share?!  This time it has been my email.  Twice in the past weeks there has been some issue with my internet provider – some server thing or other that no one seems able to explain.  Or fix in a timely manner.  I will get emails from a certain time frame delivered to my Outlook inbox over and over and over.  Maybe 25 or more times!  And I WON’T get any current emails.  Oddly, my husband, who has the same internet account, has not been impacted.

Thumbs unmoving:  Maintaining.  Yep, that’s me.  Despite some very inconsistent eating, (no) thanks to breaks in my routine (which I’ll blog more about another day), I’ve been pretty much maintaining my weight for months now.  This would be a thumbs up, BUT, and this is a big but, I am doing so above my “happy weight.”  Thumbs down for my holiday bingefest and the inability to do cardio.  Since I can’t burn more calories right now, if I want to move the scale downward I’ll need to suck it up and eat less.  Ah, such a novel idea!  But, I’m really not overeating (mostly) so that will take some real motivation and willpower on my part.

Thumbs up, up, up:  Exiting news.  Today (if you are reading this on Monday) I am doing something very unexpected and exciting.  And that’s all I’m going to tell you for now!  But I promise that I will blog more about it later, after the fact.  Sorry to end with that cliffhanger but I just couldn’t resist sharing a tiny bit of my excitement:)

 

 

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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:)


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