Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Third Time is a Charm? Or is it?

It's been said the third time is a charm. We shall see. I didn't feel charmed or even charming when I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting this past Wednesday, after having lost and quit two times in the past few years. I felt like....a failure. I was angry at myself. I kept replaying the results of the scale I'd stepped onto a few minutes earlier. Kicked my emotional rear end over having regained the weight lost previously PLUS 10 lbs. Yes. Yes I did!

There is a sense of failure that seems to automatically come with starting over. On the other hand, there is a feeling of empowerment that comes from the same. It's bittersweet, and in that moment the bitter was more pronounced to me than the sweet. The sweet will come later--when I step on the scale to see that I've not returned with all of me. The sweet will explode when I step on the scale to find that half of me has been lost. Oh, yes, how sweet it is. Excuse me while I pause to dream a moment or two.....

Four days into my new eating habits and I'm not really having that much fun. I am thrilled that I started off on the Simple Truth plan instead of the Points Plus method. I seriously did not want to have to measure, weigh, and count every little thing I ate! Who has the time? Ok, so maybe making the time is exactly what will save me, but with Simple Truth, I don't have to be faced with the bother. I eat what I want of the power foods and any extra, off the list stuff, counts towards a 7 point daily limit. I can count to seven! No problem.

I'm eating good and eating plenty and, unfortunately, finding myself wanting to eat lots more. Cream filled donuts or pancakes were screaming my name this morning. No, I did not give in. But I wanted to. I really did. I am craving the sugar and goo and all such stuff that helped me put the pounds on in the first place. I know this will pass. The withdrawals and cravings will pass. But, today? Today is a struggle. One cup of sugar cookie herbal tea at a time to help curb the cravings. A bowl of fruit. Sigh...

I told my husband earlier today that perhaps I needed to take up smoking the new electronic cigarettes! Maybe the nicotine would help curb my appetite. He laughed at my partly serious joke. Hey! Don't judge me! I'm desperate!

I will keep you updated on my progress. And, in the end, I will decide if I agree that the third time is truly where the magic is!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Let's Book It!

I currently need to go shopping. My mascara is past needing replaced. I’m out of hairspray. The last bit of my eyeliner literally fell out of the tube yesterday. I have been out of face moisturizer for going on a month. I suppose I’ve been a little too busy lately. Busy buying clothes for my son who managed to bust the knees out of all but one pair of jeans. Who somehow outgrew all his long sleeved shirts except for four. (And, I really don’t like having to wash clothes twice in a week just to make it through the school week!)

I’ve been busy planning and hosting meals for the teachers and staff at my son’s school. (I’m the PTA Hospitality Chair this year.) I’ve spent hours planning for our upcoming school Valentine’s party. I’ve had company. I’ve been overloaded with house chores and grocery shopping. Tied up running across town to pick up the ( purchased..cha-ching) food for our cat, Babs. She starts meowing the second she sees her empty food bag go into the trash. It doesn’t matter that her bowl overflows. Once she knows we’ve poured the last of that bag into her bowl, the non-stop, annoying cat mewing begins!

I suppose it is true that we moms tend to prioritize our needs to the bottom of our to-do lists. No arguments here. Which reminds me--I am also in serious need of some personal clothing items as well as clothes in general. And shoes. I keep wearing the same pair day in and day out. They are the most comfortable ones I own! About the only thing I manage to keep up with is my hair. Well, I mean, if you count waiting twelve weeks between appointments for my last cut, color, and highlights, keeping up. I’m not so sure! I think the fact that I begin to look like my son’s grandmother rather than his mom forces me to get on the ball and make that hair appointment.

With that being said, I find the fact that I went leisure shopping yesterday quite puzzling. Maybe amusing. I’m a bit torn as to what to label it. After getting my son off to school, picking up a rental car, seeing my husband off for his day-trip out of town, doing my volunteer work at the school, and my aforementioned haul across town for cat food, I had about 40 minutes to spare before pulling into the school pick-up line to receive my child. I drove through Starbucks to grab a bit of fuel in the form of a venti sized skinny latte and decided I’d spend my few spare minutes at one of my favorite places: Half Price Books. Browsing books with an iced latte sounded divine! I find myself daydreaming of such shopping trips at times when I seriously need a break. I adore books! And bookstores!

Flash forward thirty minutes later to me standing in the check-out line with SIX books! Yes, I found and purchased six books in a record period of time—for me. (I’ll have to blog another time about how it takes me forever to do most anything. Usually!) During check-out I casually mention to the clerk that I am getting a Kindle for Valentine’s Day. Yes. I am aware that a Kindle allows you to purchase books and download them right to your device, alienating the need to purchase the physical book! The irony! The clerk merely smiled.

Enter my split-personality. (Not really, but it works here.) The book lover side of me is elated to have found these particular books. Three are authored by Herman Wouk; I’ve taken such a liking to him and am on the road to collecting all his works. The other three were on my list of books to buy. I felt like I had struck gold. The practical side of me was busy kicking my intellectual backside for the remainder of the day over the fact that I had just spent money earmarked to purchase those desperately needed items, instead, on desired books! Now I’ll have to wait yet another payday.

I guess it is true what I have said so many times—I’d rather buy books than shoes! Or makeup. Or clothes. Or…well, you get the point!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Barnes and Noble--My Apology!

Last summer I decided to take a ‘short’ hiatus from blogging and focus more on my child and summertime fun. Thought I'd take a few weeks off and then hit it hard once again. Well, lesson learned the hard way! It's like breaking a diet and then trying to get started back. Now—almost one year later, I am finally attempting to pick it up once more. OK! No more summer hiatus here. If you are reading this, thank you for not giving up on me:)

My apologies to Barnes and Noble and those of you still wondering what ever happened as a result of my last post. And, to those wondering if I ever indeed received a response.

I did! And a very prompt one at that!

Mr. Jerry Warren called me on behalf of Barnes and Noble in response to my inquiry as to why they had ‘marked books’ in their stores. By marked, I mean books that bore an ugly black slash-mark on their tail edges.

(Please refer to previous post, 8/6/2010--‘A Venting Moment: Oh, No You Didn’t!’ for a detailed account of my discovery.)

Folks, Barnes and Noble has been redeemed! They are NOT responsible for the ugly marks. Mr. Warren traced this ugly mark back to its maker and found that it is the publisher that makes the mess! Can you believe that? A book’s own publisher? The horror!

Apparently these selected books—or ‘remainders’—are books that are in excess, for whatever reasons, and the publisher sells them to our bookstores at a reduced price. The black marks let the publishers distinguish the books as reduced in price and non-refundable.

I still think marking the edge of a book is simply the publisher taking the quick and easy way. Don’t tell me with today’s technology, there is not something less unsightly that can be done to mark these books as remainders! It is tasteless and a disrespect to the books and their buyers. Publishers are in the book business, after all! You don’t send your child off with a dirty face!

Oh, that they reconsider their ways!

A big thanks to Mr. Warren and Barnes and Noble for taking the time to look into this situation. And also for providing a helpful tip to anyone that may be bothered by those black slashes: Fine-grade sandpaper used ever so gently will remove the marks.

And now……we know!

I, for one, am happy that Barnes and Noble isn't the one behind the frustration, because I really do enjoy shopping there.

A lot!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Venting Moment: Oh, No You Didn't!

Ever been lifted high on one of those ‘aha’ moments only to plummet down again upon some secondary realization? Well, I just had one of those experiences. I know I write a great deal about books, but I really can’t help myself. I tend to immerse myself in those things that I particularly like!

I was so elated when I found four wonderfully priced books on sale at Barnes and Noble last week. I bought four books for $20! I felt I had almost stolen them away. I was happy and almost smug with my newfound treasures.

And then I got home and thought it over. I had already noticed the black marks in the store, yet for some reason they had not really registered. Not until I was home, stickers removed, and books stacked in front of me to admire, did I really began to get…..angry! I’m sure there is a good reason. But no matter what it is, it is not good enough for me. There along the tail edge of each book was a line drawn with black marker!! I seemed fixated on this mark for a bit. Noticing how it somehow sullied my books. They are brand new books. Sale books, but new nonetheless. Don’t they deserve the same respect as any other new book?

Why, oh why, would anyone put these marks on books? I cannot fathom an acceptable reason to scar a book with such black ugliness! I almost took them back. The more I looked at them and the more I thought about it, the more upset I became over such a gross injustice.

Okay! I know there are much weightier matters to concern myself with, but my love for books will not let me forget this mistreatment. (Come on, book lovers--I know you must agree??) I have not noticed if Barnes & Noble makes a habit of marking books in this manner. I do know that I will check into it on my next visit. And I also know that if I find this is their standard procedure, someone at the top will be getting a letter from me!

I’m serious! I’m still upset about it. And I’m not one to get upset easily or stay upset. But—they just rained on my look-at-my-great-bargain-of-books parade and I don’t like it!

And to think--I just bought a membership card!

On a return visit this week to Barnes & Noble, per two employees, I did find that it is a common practice for their warehouse to mark similar bargain books in this manner. I do not know if every B&N does this, but the store at Stonebriar Mall in Frisco, Tx. certainly does! I also sent a letter to the president of the company and await his response, confident that a solution can and will be found! I will update you as soon as possible!

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Quirky

(photo--complements of Curtis Thompson)

Ok! I confess. I have quirks! Who doesn’t? For a while now I’ve thought it would be neat to sit down and list my peculiarities that sort of….well….define me in some way. I hope you will enjoy these.

For the brave, I’d love to hear about your own quirks so leave a comment, if you dare!

Quirk 1: TIME--I simply must know what time it is or I cannot fall asleep. I can be comfortable and in that place of pre-dosing, almost gone, and remember I forgot to look at the clock, and then I must roll over and look. Yes, I will check the time regardless of the inconvenience to my comfortable position. I simply must know.

Quirk 2: POSITION & TOE HUGGING--When turning in for the night I must first lie down on my left side. (Of course--my clock is behind me.) My right foot big toe and the toe beside it part ever so slightly and proceed to hug the heel of my left foot. I don’t know why I do this. I guess it feels good. But…whatever the reason, I find myself consistently doing the whole toe-hugging thing as part of the sleep ritual!

Quirk 3: TOE FLEXING--I use toe flexing--or toe wiggling, whatever you want to call it, to put myself to sleep. But, I also use it as a form of relaxation and contentment as well as an expression of anxiety. I haven’t always noticed this about myself so am not sure how long I’ve had such a quirky habit. I have noticed that my dad has a lot of fancy moves going on with his feet as well—perhaps a family quirk?

Quirk 4: THIGH PRESS—I cannot--and absolutely despise--sleeping with my thighs touching. This is a newer quirk which developed while I was pregnant, thanks to all the advice to sleep with a pillow between my knees. Well apparently the pillow and my knees have formed quite a relationship. I now cringe if my thighs touch…even slightly….so hello pillow!

Quirk 5: WATER—I never leave home without it! I generally carry a plastic thermal cup (because they don’t sweat) filled with iced water, complete with a straw. I carry it from room to room at home. It sits faithfully by my bedside at night. I’m a wateraholic! When I am out and about and my water glass is close to empty, I begin to panic. It doesn’t matter that I can stop and buy more or that I’m only a few minutes from home. I panic. My son has developed this same habit. Strange, you say? Why yes--that’s why it’s called a quirk!

Quirk 6: THE NUMBERS GAME--I like to---need to—add numbers together. A lot. I add my house number, phone number, birthday, social security number….if it’s a number, I’m going to add it up. My intention, or the object of the ‘game’, is to add or reduce so that everything equates to the numbers 1 or 7 or a combination of the two. If I simply cannot make this happen honestly, then I allow myself some cheats. For example, I will allow numbers to be reduced to equations that consist of equal numbers (no odds) with our without the use of 1 or 7. Here are a couple of examples:

*My age is 47….. (4+7) =11…..two ones is perfect!

*My house number is 3520….. (3+5+2+0) =10…..which is reduced to 1 since zero doesn’t count.

*My son is 6….. (7-1) =6…..Swell!

*Or the number 19….. (10+7+1+1) =19… I use my cheats!

I know this does not make sense…that is why it is so quirky. But I admit—I just love it! And oddly enough, I will remember a room number if I have ‘crunched’ the numbers better than just trying to remember the room number as it is. Go figure….

I am sure you see the senselessness of this little game, but beware—it does seem to be a bit contagious. Ask my friends!

Quirk 7: HANDWRITING—my handwriting has multiple personalities. Seriously! I write so many different ways, all depending on the mood I am in. While I generally prefer a keyboard to pen and paper, when I use the latter method, I must write with whatever pen just happens to fit my current mood. If I fail to meet this requirement, I simply cannot write worth a flip! There will be no flow and the handwriting will look terrible. Sometimes it is a particular color of ink that is demanded—as if my hand had a mind all its own. Err; make that ‘minds’ of its own! I have often been amused to see the differences in my handwriting. Sometimes I’m amazed at how neatly I can write, and frustrated that I cannot just sit down and duplicate that neatness at will. Noooo, I must wait for the hand to decide it wants to write neatly. Go figure!

Quirk 8: PERFECT PEN FIXATION (as my friend calls it)—It’s true. I am pickier about pens than you know. I hate fat pens. Can’t even wrap my fingers around them without recoiling inside. I don’t know why! They make me almost anxious. And then those thin and slim pens—forget it! Too thin to even take seriously--why bother! A perfect ‘June pen’ has to be the right thickness and the right weight—slightly heavy. I prefer blue ink—dark blue ink. Well, most of the time--unless I’m craving green or purple and once in a while….black! My demand of perfection toward pens changes from time to time and with mood, but for now I like the dark blue super fine rollerball ink. I even like super fine Sharpies, but their blue ink is not blue enough. Bummer! On a side note here, I also don’t want to have to spend a lot of money on a pen. I think $80 is the most expensive pen I own and it was a gift from my husband. I prefer the cheaper pens. I change my taste for pens too frequently to make a high dollar investment in just one, solitary pen. And, finally—I am on the lookout for a good fountain pen. Any suggestions?

Quirk 9: THE ‘HIGH BROW’---I have an unconscious habit of raising one single eyebrow—my left. I have received numerous comments about it—even from strangers. I seem to have no control over it as people ask me to do it again and I seldom can. The eyebrow seems to have a bit of attitude going on! I try to control it. I really do—especially in pictures…but more often than not—there it is—raised in attention and smirking in the way that only a lone eyebrow can.

Quirk 10: HOARDING—I am a packrat. At least that is what my husband would say. I prefer to think of myself as a collector of…well…almost everything. Even when I don’t mean to, I collect! I’m not like one of those certified hoarders you see on TV that can barely navigate their homes save for the narrow path they’ve made. No. I’ve not reached that level—yet! I find I seem to be unable to throw things away without anxiety issues. Take pens, for example. I have pens that are several years old stored in cigar boxes. It matters not that the ink has dried up or that lids are missing (and no way do I use pens with missing lids. Ever!!) Even when I know they have outlasted their function, the anxiety builds at the thought of tossing them. Sometimes I have to leave them out and tell my husband to toss them later, when I’ve forgotten about them, and not mention it to me. I have this problem with magazines too. Honestly, I try to throw them out, but as soon as I glance the cover I just know that I might want to read one of the articles featured there. I might...Really! (OK. Probably not!) This is my husband’s biggest sore spot with me, I think. The magazines. And then I have paper and notepads and crayons and markers and…well…oops—boxes. I love those decorative cardboard storage boxes. And indeed I should….I’ve got to keep all my collections—somewhere! Final thought here….you’d be surprised how many things come in handy when you keep them around. If you can find them, that is! (I was able to share special seashells with my son’s classroom this past year. I have had them for a good 20 years packed away in a box…and never used them…before now!)

Quirk 11: DOG-EARING—I have an obsession about people not dog-earing pages in books (magazines are okay.) I cannot stand it and will make it clear to my dog-earing friends (you know who you are) that under no circumstances will I lend them a book unless they give me their word that they will not dog-ear my pages. Books must be shown respect! My friend, Christi, pointed out to me how odd it is that I obsess over dog-earing but frequently highlight and write in my books. It’s simply not the same! Markings such as these merely enhance a book’s worth and beauty. Of course, I am precisely picky about which highlighter is used and how neatly things are written in the margin of my books! And…my book loving friend has a totally different approach on the subject. She has been known to tear out an entire page of a book to send someone. She does it in a most sacred way. If she ever sends me a page from a book, I will know it is an honor above all honors. Alas, I cannot embrace this action in spite of somewhat understanding it. Books are just…almost…sacred to me (not to be confused with idols, however.) Please, please---use a bookmark!

Author’s note: Notice I listed 11 quirks! Two ‘ones’=perfect numbers! I suppose I could have gone on to 17……

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Naked Emperor

The emperor has long been naked,
But no one seems to see.
Only a few dare to point it out;
A sin not easily forgiven—if ever,
And never understood.

In spite of thwarted reality,
We don’t want to know the truth.
Rather, we dwell in our prisons
Where we know what to expect.
We’d rather keep our comforts--
All things familiar.
Than risk standing alone

Yet, together we are entangled
In a web of falsities.
We will die here--
We will!

But we fool ourselves with our
Feel-good experiences.
We tell ourselves they validate our misconstrued truths.
We excuse ourselves--
while persecuting others;
When we focus on another’s failures
We forget about our own
How much easier to be the accuser than the accused!

Only truth can set us free,
And no one has the monopoly.
There is only One Truth,
And it resides not in walls made by man,
But in hearts formed by Truth, Himself.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Ink-Tipped Sword

She dipped her sword in dark blue ink and placed it on the page
Voices--memories of the past had joined as one and raged
She knew the best and final way to lay the beast to rest
So now with sword to paper swift she hopes to pass the test

Things long laid dormant start to rise and finally speak their minds
Scabs and wounds of old—oozing secrets lost through time
To be heard is their demand—each begging to begin
With ink-tipped sword she ventures on to free them with her pen.

So much to say--yet words so few to paint the picture just
And yet the story must be told, no second thoughts—a must
Battle raging—much to lose, yet so much more to gain
Run on now words and fill my page and take with you the pain

Now if my story you should read, don’t just make use your eyes
For only through an open heart is heard the battle cries
For victory! And freedom! From the haunting of a past
The beast—conquered! Put to rest! Silenced at last

Let Freedom Ring!