Friday, October 17, 2014

The Great Pumpkin will not be pleased

In Wednesday's post I took stock of my intentions vs. actions and concluded I was missing the mark. I made a decision to get out there and celebrate October as I had originally intended.

Whoa to the person who waits until October 15th to make that decision! The craft pumpkins are gone! The Halloween decorations are mostly gone. The craft stores are in the middle of setting up their Christmas stock and displays and Halloween is still a full two weeks away.

I am sure you will be not surprised to see that all the stores are still fully over-stocked with enough Halloween candy to give everyone in the country a raging case of diabetes.

Alas, I traveled to several stores and have given up the chase of a craft pumpkin for this year. I will buy myself a pumpkin at the church pumpkin patch sale next week and carve a real one instead.

"You didn't tell me you were going to kill it!" Linus, Charles Schultz
On Thursday I enjoyed a change in weather. In Florida that means I was outside without sweating. That is certainly a happy October day in Florida. This was followed by a great deep tissue massage, which has nothing to do with October but everything to do with taking cake of me. I also changed my nail polish to pumpkin orange and will add a tiny spider motif to one toenail today.

Speaking of today, it is Friday and I am off to a retreat for the weekend. This is a great stress buster for me because I have nothing to do with running the weekend. I am there to get nourished. This week I heard (and read) that this time of year is full of stress factors which include lack of sleep. Stress factors and a lack of sleep add up to a lowered immune system. I am doing this to be in better shape for whatever is coming our way in the next few months.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend doing something that is keeping you healthy!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th Update

Hey, this is my favorite month! I love October STUFF - pumpkins and leaves, the Great Pumpkin, classic movies, witch books, decorating and costumes. . . . the purpose of taking the time to write something about each day was to help me focus on making sure I didn't miss out on the things I wanted to do because of everything else I have to do. It took me until today, the the 15th to realized I am doing the exact same thing - missing out on the things I want to do because of everything else I have to do. The only difference is that I am writing about it.

Ah, but one difference can be enough. By writing about it I can see my month more clearly

October 11th - I worked all day in my office and into the evening
October 12th - I worked all day into the evening and stopped only to watch Boardwalk Empire
October 13th - I worked all day but stopped for a massage in the evening and got a god night's sleep
October 14th - another work day. This day I paused and became aware that October is passing me by

October 15th - Stop the madness now. Yes, there are responsibilities and things I have to do but there are things I want to do and if I do not take that time for me I will experience the 3Rs: Regret and Resent will grow until eventually the third R becomes Relapse.

It is time to mix the potion that mixes well with the brew of work responsibilities and brings me back into the spirit of the month.

A little Hocus Pocus and yes, I still have to work today, but I can take the time to wander through the craft store for a half hour and buy a carving pumpkin and take the Dremel drill to copy a design I saw on line. While I am there, if the mood strikes me, I will buy something else colorful and start my third decorated shelf of Halloween decorations.

There is still half of October left to enjoy~ get to it!

What are you going to do to restore your soul/energy in these next 16 days of October?


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Oct 4-10 - 31 Days of October continued

On October 4th I had the blessing of a really good hour of listening/sharing with my fellow food addicts at our Saturday morning meeting. Later that day I decorated our home for Halloween. Very few additions to what I did last year but there are some small new items. I think I want to start a pumpkin shelf above or below one of the other shelves. Thoughts?

October 5th was the day I took my husband for his first visit to Diagon Alley. See my post on Diet Gone Alley for the food experience. As for the rides and entertainment: it is all magical. I held off on buying an expensive interactive magic wand until the day next year when both our daughters will be there with us - but I AM getting myself a wand at that time. Until then I will settle for a Cornish Pixie with chatters.

October 6th is my youngest's actual birthday. I also had an event at Magic Kingdom. Afterwards I came home and enjoyed my first Greek yogurt in over two weeks. I also wrote a post and no one  commented on it, which made me sad but does not alter my enjoyment of writing that post so I can live with it.

October 7th I was in Disney Hollywood Studios for an event followed by a trip to Whole Paycheck - I mean Whole Foods. I bought one sweet potato and a bag of sugar-free, soy-free, vegan protein powder.  Then I found a new product: No-sugar added, non-dairy coconut milk ice cream (not legally ice cream but mentally it works). 100 calories per half cup serving.  They had three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and mint chocolate. I bought two flavors home and tasted them. Not bad. They are in the freezer and I have not had any urge to finish either one off. That is a good sign.

October 8th was the day I caught up on Real Housewives of New Jersey. (stop judging me). All I can say about RHONJ is I thank God for my own life and the world I live in. It hurts to watch sometimes yet I still watch it.  Some people watch prize fights and claim it is a sport. I watch RHONJ and claim it is entertainment.

October 9th was a therapy appointment and it was a really good session filled with  identification, affirmation and awareness. I left feeling energized but not soaring. Energized is a really good feeling for me. Soaring - not so much. Soaring leads me to deep pitch plummets. I like feeling energized because it lasts longer. Earlier this day I got back on the treadmill after two weeks of 'tomorrow' and did 3.1 miles watching an old Dallas episode.

October 10th - I met with a former client who became a friend over the course of several events. Her position at that time involved setting up the cell phones and Internet for everyone in the White House. She is the cool lady who got us into the West Wing of the White House in 2009 when I took photos of the bathroom outside the oval office, sit in Helen Thomas' seat and walk barefoot around the White House grounds. I just  (long story involving high heels and sore feet). I've looked and it appears I never posted the photos from that trip. Here are some of the photos. The one in the bathroom is directly across from the Oval Office. I wanted a photo inside the White House and the bathroom is the only place I could get away with it.

I cannot remember my hair being that short.

I cannot believe how fast this month is going! 33% over already!

How is your October going?


Monday, October 6, 2014

Diet Gone Alley

If you grew up in a muggle
household you will enjoy
the window here. 
My husband and I went to Universal Studios to enjoy a few hours at the new Harry Potter attractions in the Universal Studios park. (the other Harry Potter attractions are in Universal's Islands of Adventure park). I was sending a text (using voice-to-text) to my daughter to let her know where we were. I said we were in Diagon Alley and the phone texted "we are in diet gone alley."

I thought that was pretty funny. I didn't take it as permission or an accusation. Siri, my phone spirit, made a determination based on what she thought I was saying, not on what I was doing. 

Sirius Black London Home
However, I cannot help but think of how accurate that determination would be if I was eating sugar. For me that does not work.  My history is proof that MY story will not end with "and she learned to eat sugar and lived happily ever after." And that's okay today as I am learning to live happily without. On the days when it is not happy, I work harder to maintain my sugar sobriety. Two hundred and twenty-nine days and counting. 

The park opened at 8AM. At 8:15am (yes 8:15 in the morning) we saw a father and son eating chocolate chili ice cream cones. 

I didn't have any butterbeer, chocolate frogs, ice cream, sugar quills, pumpkin juice, Draught of sugar water, treacle tarts, rock cakes, crisps or chips - all readily available throughout Diagon Alley.  I do not know what I would have started with but I know that once I started I would not have stopped.   

I had a hot cup of tea, a Quest bar (which I brought with me) and a pineapple spear. 

The fantasy world of Diagon Alley includes the smaller, darker area of Knockturn Alley. It is filled with lots of shops devoted to the Dark Arts, including shops which specialize in objects that have curious or strong magical properties. Knockturn is a bit 'dodgy' (on purpose). It is the area where Slitherins would be happy to hang out. There is not a single sugary food or beverage sold in Knockturn Alley. Am I meant to be a Slitherin? 

sign from inside
Knockturn Alley
Hmmm, could Knockturn Alley be safer than Diet Gone alley? While no one tries to force feed me in Diagon or Hogsmeade it can be a bit daunting to hang out where ice cream and butterbeer are the norm. 

Think it is safer on line for the attractions? Taking the train to Hogwarts? At Kings Cross Station a queue line runs directly THROUGH a snack shop in case a guest needs a fix of sugar/salt/fat between London and Hogsmeade (which is only a ten minute trip). 

Perhaps my phone-spirit Siri culled my words wisely. It might be sound thinking for me to remember Diet Gone Alley the next time I head to Diagon. 

What do you think? 


Friday, October 3, 2014

31 Days of October

October has always been my favorite month. Birthday events, Fall leaves, cooler temperatures, Halloween, apple picking, cinnamon in the air. October is also a busy work month for me. Sometimes I wake up on October 31st and think 'where the hell did my month go?'

Okay, in all honestly,  I often think that on the last day of the other eleven months, too. This October I am determined (define determined as stubborn), to make each day of October 2014 count in some way. On the 31st I want to be able to say 'wow, every day was memorable.' To do that I need to plan to make it happen and not let the tides of responsibilities and fatigue carry me through the month. Each Friday of October I am going to list the October dates and what I did each day to savor my favorite month of the year.

October 1 - My husband and I went to dinner with Lisa and her husband Bobbie. Lisa is my second cousin on my father's side. Lisa and I had not seen each other in 28 years. We had a wonderful evening sharing family stories and getting to know each other as adults. Our husband's share a common background of growing up in the Bronx and both being the same age they had the same memories of places and things of that time. We had a really nice time and I look forward to when they come back to visit in January.

October 2 - I picked up my husband's belated anniversary gift and presented it to him. A few years ago we purchased an animation cell from the Beatles' movie Yellow Submarine. I finally had it custom matted and framed. Larry loves the frame and colors of the mats. They really make the artwork pop. We can't wait to hang it in its place of honor.

October 3rd - Rory and I went to see the movie Gone Girl with Ben Affleck. I liked the movie. I enjoyed the twists and was kept guessing on how it would play out. I found the ending was less satisfying. My preference in artwork, be it a painting, a poem, a fictional story, a song or a gourmet meal; I prefer art to have a denouement - an ending that says it is finished.  Tonight I will join Rory and two of her friends for dinner at Disney's California Grill. My eating guidelines for dinner are sugar free, wheat free, cheese free - I am sure it will be a lovely dinner.

Next Friday: October 4 through 10.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Ah, the Hell with It

Don't believe it. 
This weekend had me out of town, situated in Charlotte, NC for a cousins weekend with my sister and four other female cousins, most of whom I have not seen in 25 to 30 years. It was FANTASTIC - more on that in later posts. We shall sip it slowly, like a fine wine.

I mention where I was only as a setting for what was happening this weekend on the other side of the world: the wedding of George Clooney to Amal Alamuddin.

I was too busy to think about it. Not so for my kindred in the Georgian Sisters of the Clooney Chase. Hundreds of thousands of the brethren saw this weekend as apocryphal and a mass suicide the size of which the world has never seen was certainly on the horizon. When the announcement was made that the marital deed was done and the happy couple were being chased on the waters of the Venice Canal by boats stuffed with paparazzi (picture that scene in JAWS when hundreds of fishermen stuff into small boats to find the shark that killed the little Kitner boy to win a $3,000 reward), there was no collective sigh of pain to affect a the flight of a swarm of butterflies near St Louis, MO. There was no mass suicide of George fans. 

Or so the world thinks -
Perhaps the Sisters found solace elsewhere. Perhaps they said "Ah, the hell with it" and binged on food instead. Little does the press realize that many of The Sisters simply choose some version of Death by Chocolate and linger still in that decision - as overeating is a slow and painful way to die. Some picked up chocolate, some went with ice cream and some found a combination was necessary. 

I was too busy enjoying in the warm company of the women in my extended family from Thursday through today, so I did not have any opportunity to think about what was happening 5000 miles away in Italy. I have a wonderful husband and a happy life. George was simply a fun diversion of thought on the occasions when my mind turned to fantasy. I am one of the many lucky people for whom this announcement really has no meaning in my own life. I didn't pick up chocolate or any other sugar. Life goes on and I am grateful. 

I hope no one really felt the need to pick up food and abuse it to numb any pain this weekend - or for any reason. 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Naturally Half-Baked Apple Recipe for Travelers

It is the EASIEST METHOD I have ever used for having a baked apple on the go. This just happened (by accident) to me so I thought I would write out all the steps and share it here.This is a single serving recipe. At the end I will give you a good method for increasing the number of servings.

  1. Buy a single whole apple. 
  2. Drive to Florida between April and October. (Alternatively you can fly and rent a car)
  3. At 10am on a sunny-to-partially sunny day, park your car outdoors in the sun, windows up. 
  4. Exit the car taking all children, pets, spouses and in-laws with you (no excuses)
  5. Return to the car 4 hours later. On your way to the car chew on a piece of cinnamon gum
  6. Start car and kick up the AC to high
  7. Apple will be hot to the touch but should not burn your skin. Hold  apple in front of AC vent for 15 seconds just so the skin membrane will not burn your lips.
  8. Bite through the peel into the apple, sucking in the juice as you bite off each piece. Apple will be hot and very juicy but will not require a bowl, plate or utensils.
  9. If you neglected to buy gum and miss the taste of cinnamon you can search the folds in the car seats for a cinnamon-flavored tic-tac. 

To increase servings: Buy more than a single whole apple. You do your own math.