Thursday, October 30, 2014

This Halloween - Keeper the First

When our bichon was three I got him a Halloween costume. I do not even remember what it was. I don't think I have any photos of it. Maybe it didn't fit him? That was seven years ago - we had digital and film cameras then but I do not remember any photos.

This year I had an urge to dress him for Halloween. Temporary insanity? Maybe. Or maybe it is because I am not going to any costume parties and have no kids of my own to dress.

Oh my God, the dog really is our third child. Gadzooks, I am so glad he will not be needing higher education tuition!

Anyway, for your amusement this Halloween, I present Keeper the First

Happy Halloween and safe, healthy trick or treats to all! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Birthday Adventure of My Holy Unicorn

 It was perhaps two years ago when I first read Super Earthlings blog post that included the invention of the Holy Unicorn. She re-posted the story that includes Holy Unicorn and the Horrific Consequences of cheating on your diet on June 23rd but her links are broken right now so I won't send you over there today.  If you never read it, you should because it will make you laugh and laughing is always good.

Last year I went on eBay and bought a box of unicorns and it even included a teddy bear riding a unicorn. (her story also has a Holy Teddy Bear). I shared the box of unicorns with people who also read and appreciated Super Earthlings post. 

Holy Unicorn has become an inside joke between me and some of my dearest friends. One of these dear friends sent me a plush unicorn/minion character (from the movie Despicable Me or Me II) for my birthday. I opened it at dawn. It included a card about filling my day with rainbows and sparkles and sillies. 

I decided to let Holy Unicorn come with me everywhere all day and I chronicled Her adventure in photos and captions. 

I hope you will enjoy Her day with me on my birthday.

Holy Unicorn is unwrapped from her traveling cocoon of
Amazon gift wrap and cardboard just in time to see the sun rise 

She clears the road of traffic for a good, orderly
start to my birthday travels. First stop: a meeting! 

But then Holy Unicorn notices I am low on gas

She sends me to a gas station and makes
the price of gas magically drop below
$3.00 a gallon.

We get to the meeting and while I enjoy the
fellowship and sharing, Holy Unicorn protects
the treasure's money pouch.

We return home to find presents!
Here is Holy Unicorn checking out
my new Disney Haunted Mansion bookends!

She likes this view more

As a birthday gift, I suggested $200 to put towards a
 consultation with a nutritionist. 
My husband thought
that sounded 'un-fun.' 
I said it is fun to me.
Holy Unicorn reads the cute certificate my
husband made for my birthday. 

Holy Unicorn is touched by the gesture and blows her nose. 

She inspects the interactive magic wand from Ollivander's, a
special gift from my best friend, Joyce. Holy Unicorn is
impressed that my friend waited on a long line and stood through
an entire show at Ollivander's in order to purchase this gift. She is
even more impressed that Joyce knew the Ollivander's bag would
be at least as exciting to me as the wand!  

We drive up to Lake County to visit beautiful
Lake Yale but first we stop for coffee. Holy
 Unicorn approves of a venti dark roast with
unsweetened almond milk brought from home.

At this point Holy Unicorn saw something else that caught her attention. 
Holy Unicorn threw a rainbow of forgetfulness over the
case of bakery goods so that my magical magnifying mind
would not be inspired to remember how anything might
have tasted in my past life. I remain sugar free.

Then we continued on with the Journey of the Birthday

Holy Unicorn sees Lake Yale for the first time and is
excited at how peaceful the area is today. She takes time to
contemplate the mysteries of the universe while Larry
and I swat at blind mosquitoes and gnats.

She reminds me to stop and make a wish at the
artificially colored fountain of pool-looking water.

I decide we will have lunch as Bob Evans.
It takes forever for our order to arrive.
While we are waiting for my Heritage Salad,
Holy Unicorn makes use this handy
Table-Stable and rests. 

Refreshed, she checks out the remainder of
my salad and reminds me to eat my

We stop at the check out counter and donate toward feeding
a family for Thanksgiving. Holy Unicorn signs the
leaf with her initials H.U.C.
 It was at this time that I became distracted by something.  We left Bob Evans and drove to our next location about five miles away. When we arrived I went to reach for Holy Unicorn to pose for a new photo with her when I could not find her! We searched my bag, the car, the trunk -everywhere! Oh Holy Unicorn, where are you??  I insist we drive back to Bob Evans and check the parking lot. When we arrive I go inside and ask if they have seen any Unicorns today and poof!! - she was behind the counter, between the register and the barrier.

Holy Unicorn scolds me gently for leaving Her
behind but she is please we returned for her.

We return to the rest of the adventure:

Here we are at Renniger's Flea Market.
I didn't like it at all and neither did Holy Unicorn. She stayed in
my pocketbook and would not pose for photos here. 

We drive to Disney World and she pops her head out
of my bag and asks "What is this magical place??"

She enjoys her first Monorail ride. 

Oh my, she likes the pretty castle in the distance

As you can see from her face, Holy Unicorn really
enjoyed getting felt up by the security guard
who checked my purse at the entrance gate

While I visited the necessaries, Holy Unicorn
insists on a photo at a most inopportune time. 

We meet up with my daughter and visiting niece and nephew while in the park
and find another gift to open! 

Holy unicorn wants me to open the gift . . . .

 . . . so She can play in the bag! 

Holy Unicorn checks out her reflection in my
phone and decides she needs to be groomed.

Then she helps me read the many Happy Birthday
greetings I received on Facebook during the day.

Holy Unicorn thinks she is posing with the Great Pumpkin

Then Holy Unicorn realizes this is only a street light
decoration and not the real Great Pumpkin. 

We end our day walking under the carved pumpkin decorations
that spell out "See ya real soon!

It was a great birthday, devoid of sugar, overeating and bloating foods. It was filled with sunshine, rainbows, sillies and the best Holy Unicorn adventure to date!

To quote the carved pumpkins: See ya real soon!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry If I Want To!

I am feeling a bit weepy today. No reason. Could be hormonal. Boohoo.

It's my 53rd birthday. I've had lots of birthdays and I hope to have a lot more.

My husband and I are going antiquing today. A last minute client booked a proposal event for this evening so I will be getting them engaged around 6pm and after that spending  time with my niece and nephew as they are visiting from New York for the week and staying at WDW.

Three normal meals on my food plan for today. No issues with food. No one is force feeding me a birthday cake or demanding a sugar high for themselves. Simple and easy.

That sounds like a good birthday to me.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Easy or Smart? Not Necessarily the Same Thing

Monday was a 14 hour workday. I still got my 'October' time in because I was in a theme park decorated for Halloween and the weather was perfect for Florida.  I was delayed in the park a few hours and dinner was waiting for me at home. It would have been very easy to eat something in the park or stop at a myriad of places on the way home but it would not have been smart. I was tired and hungry. I could have easily picked the wrong foods.  I might have picked the right foods but I could have easily eaten too much of what I chose. Instead I went home where my dinner was already weighed and measured and waiting for me thanks to the single leftover meal saved from the previous Thursday. I don't always make the smartest choices but for today I know I did.

Update from last week:  I went to the great Satan of Wal-Mart and purchased a large, fat pumpkin in a near perfect shape and today it sits on my counter, waiting for me to decorate it on the 27th.

Last weekend's retreat was a happy event. Great weather, no mosquito bites, healthy meals and fun workshops. The entertainment was excellent  (I was  in the skit so I am extremely biased). Mostly I just enjoyed the quiet and serenity of the surroundings and drank in the Florida Autumn experience at its finest! The one sad note. On Sunday morning one of our members and a dear friend of mine learned that her healthy, vibrant sister, age 54, died in her sleep the previous evening. She leaves behind four daughters and questions that will never be answered. It was one of those sudden death-no explanation things that will always hurt for those left behind.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I had a lot of work to catch up on from the weekend. When you own your own business you do not work 9-5, 5 days a week. Not when you are still growing your company. I enjoyed my weekend but I also needed to make up for the lost time. This is a fallacy for me because I never catch up. I simply reach for a level that is acceptable/livable and then I dwell in that space as best I can.

On Thursday I took three 'October' themed books from my collection of childhood favorites and I am going to read all three before the 31st. They are simple reads and are all probably at a 4th to 5th grade reading level. It gives me great enjoyment to sit quietly and revisit my fictional friends from when I was nine. These were all library books when I was in grade school and over the past 15 years I have bought about 25 of my favorites from auctions, and private sales. I have not taken the time to sit and visit with them these past two years. I can taste my anticipation of reading them again - as silly as this may sound to anyone else. (I am also currently reading Robert Dallek's Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, so please do not think my mind has become mush).

Today, October 24th, is my cousin Donna's birthday. She has lived in Canada for the past 33 years and I only get to see her at funerals and on Facebook, where we do get to sing happy birthday to each other. We are born 364 days apart. Her birthday is first but I am older. We shared our birthday's growing up. She is always on my mind each October 24th.

Tomorrow I turn 53. I feel much younger inside. That is a good thing.


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?