Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Cue the shark music. Dunh, dunh, dunh, dunh. Step on the scale. Deep sigh of relief. Down another for a total of 8 lbs.

I didn't think I was going to lose this week. Had a downfall on Saturday. I didn't bother the bag of Hershey Kisses in the pantry. I thought that would be a huge trigger, but it wasn't. Chocolate cupcakes abound this week. I had one for my birthday celebration and one on my actual birthday. There are still a dozen and a half cupcakes left, and they haven't been calling my name. So what was the temptation? There was a box of Big Cheez-Its in the pantry. I couldn't stop thinking about that box. Snacking on carrot sticks wasn't going to cut it. Decided it would be best to give in and took the portion size, 9 crackers. Was I happy? Yes. Did it satisfy me and stop me from going back for another handful and then another and another? No. Guess there are some things I just can't have in the house.

What about you? Are there things you can't keep in the house because you can't control yourself? How do you handle the cravings?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Boot Hill

The girls found the perfect addition to the garden so dragged Himself to haul it home. The Eldest picked out the star gazer lily. I don't think she understands the significance, but I love it. Guess I got me my own tombstone. ROTFL

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I love movies especially old movies. There are some movies I can watch over and over again. No matter how many times I've seen them, I still enjoy them. So, today's seven: Seven Movies I Can Watch Over and Over Again And Never Get Tired of Watching

1. The Day The Earth Stood Still, classic sci-fi starrring Michael Rennie and Patricia O'Neal. This is my all time number one movie. Fifty-six years later the message is still as fresh as the first time I saw this film when I was six or seven. Not to mention I have always dreamed of having my own Gort to vaporize to oblivion people that tick me off.

2. How Green Was My Valley, Roddy McDowell's screen debut. A charming story of growing up in a family of Welsh coal miners. A good cry.

3. The Quiet Man, my favorite John Wayne where he isn't a cowboy or a soldier. Sparks fly between Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The sexiest scene ever filmed has to be the rainstorm in the church yard. Wayne's wet, white silk, Arrow shirt. THUD

4. Kiss of Death, Richard Widmark's screen debut. His performance as gangster, Tommy Udo, is electric.

5. Broken Lance, Spencer Tracy, Richard Widmark and a very young Robert Wagner in a classic story of parental control and sibling rivalry.

6. The Long Ships, my favorite Viking movie teams Richard Widmark with his best friend, Sidney Poitier in a quest to find and possess "the mother of voices", a great golden bell made of solid gold.

7. Down to the Sea in Ships, Richard Widmark, Lionel Barrymore and little Dean Stockwell in a coming of age story.

There are many more movies I could add to this list, but seven is enough. Do you have any favorite movies you never tire of watching?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blueberry Freezer Jam

My friend, Lambie, is an Earth Mother. Everything she cooks or bakes is made from scratch. I used to be an Earth Mother when my babies were little. Baked my own bread without a breadmachine, made my own baby food. Though I couldn't claim to be in the same league as Lambie. Then the girls got bigger and somehow we became busier with Brownies, soccer, karate, school functions. I traded in my Earth Mother apron and became a suma cum laude graduate of the Jane Jetson Culinary School. You know, push a few buttons, ding! Supper's ready.

This summer, Lambie is the 4H Farm Kitchen Camp Director. She's been busy with her campers picking veggies, making salads, churning butter and making pancakes to put the butter on. Last week she told me she was making Freezer Jam with them.

Well, Freezer Jam, who woulda thunk? No cooking the fruit. No boiling Mason Jars. No sealing jelly with parafin and capping in a water bath. Freezer Jam was a process worthy of a Jane Jetson culinary school graduate. Lambie said you mash up fruit, add sugar, add pectin, put into containers and voila, jam. Lambie told me I could find the pectin at Wallyworld in the kitchen area and inside were directions for making Freezer Jam as well as the traditional cooked stuff.

A trip to Wallyworld where the Young One and I found the pectin, plastic Mason jars that would go in the freezer, and 2 pints of blueberries, The Young One's favorite fruit of choice.

The process isn't difficult, but you need to follow the directions exactly. We mashed, stirred, mixed, and ended up with 5 cups (just like the package said) of blueberry jam. The Young One was disappointed when I told her the jam wouldn't be ready for 24 hours. Hopefully it will set and then we can see if the proof is in the jam.

You can find the recipe for Certo Blueberry Jam by following the link. Other fruit jam recipes are also there if blueberries don't float your boat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Another week to weigh in. I was a little nervous about stepping on the scale this week. I had jumped on the scale on Sunday and was elated to be down two pounds. Then I jumped on the scale on Monday and I was up two. Another run at the scale on Tuesday and I was down one. PoutyI told Erica, and she had excellent advice: Stay off the scale! Watching the scale bounce up and down as the body adjusts is frustrating. Once a week weigh in is enough. So this morning, I weighed myself and I lost two more pounds for a total of 7 lbs.

It's not enough of a drop to make a noticeable difference, yet. I don't know where I have lost the weight. Maybe my ears are smaller.

I've also started an art journal about the journey. The journal is entitled Goddess: A Weight Loss Journey. The front cover has Raphael's Venus stepping out of the clamshell decoupaged on it. The picture is a self-portrait and one of the reasons I decided to try to lose weight. I was teaching at the museum and I wore my favorite stripe shirt, a dark blue and kelly green polo shirt. On my way to the education office, I caught my reflection in the large, glass windows that look out into a courtyard. My lord, who was that fat woman?! I looked like a beach ball with legs. So I hope to document my journey from beach ball to goddess.

If you're on a weight loss journey, how do you handle the ups and downs? I've found it helpful to have someone who has gone through the journey or is going through the journey to talk to. Misery loves company. What strategies work for you? Do you have a buddy? Do you have a journal?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


This is a slightly different take on Erica's Friday Five, Five Favorite Musicals and Kaye's Fun Friday spotlighting State Fair

I'm not a big fan of musicals. I almost feel anti-American in light of those who chimed in how much they loved musicals. There are a few I enjoy: The King and I, Pippin, the Music Man. Muppet's Christmas Carol, Wizard of Oz. There are some I'll even admit to liking: Oliver, Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof But for the most part, I don't like musicals. So today, seven reason's why I don't like musicals:

1. Singing detracts from the drama. I gotta wash that man right outta my hair. For heaven sake's don't sing about it, pull up your big girl panties and give that man the brush!

2. Real cowboys don't sing. Real cowboys sing Git along little dogie and sing badly. Just listen to Charlton Heston in Will Penny singing Git along little dogie. He sings and sings badly. Real cowboys don't sing junk about a surrey with fringe on top. Yeah, I know there was a whole group of singing cowboy's. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry. Don't care much for them either. You don't hear the Duke singing Outta My Way, Pilgrim.

3. It's embarrassing to watch Clint Eastwood paint his wagon. I'm glad he learned his lesson and went on to do the man with no name movies without singing his lines. Real cowboys just don't sing.

3. Lumberjacks don't sing either. Otherwise, it sounds like I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok. I want to wear a bra just like my dear papa.

4. Soldiers lustily singing We'll follow the Old Man wherever he wants to go ain't goin' my way. Soldiers sing cadence. I heard 'em when I was a kid visiting my brother who was in basic training at Fort Dix, NJ. Your eyes are straight. Your pants are tight. Your er...boys are swinging from left to right. Sound off! One, two. Sound off! Three four. Bring it on down. One, two, three, four. One two. Three four.

5. The heroines seem so ditzy when they sing.

6. Heroes too.

7. I saved the best reason for last. Cats. What was the point? Two thumbs pointing way down to the litter box.

Anyone else out there dislike musicals?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Toy

I like working in the sunroom, but sometimes it's a hassle bringing tools and toys up from the studio. I was reading The Decorated Page, a how to book about keeping an art journal. The book had a suggestion about keeping a set of items so if you wanted to journal on the go, you could without hunting up the items you needed. With this in mind, I went on a trip to Michael's to buy some items like watercolor pencils and markers. While there, I found this wonderful tote. On sale! It has tons of pockets to hold pens, pencils,paints, inks, etc. It has large inside pockets to hold a book, a cutting mat, and my current WIP. I'm working on a journal to document my weight loss journey. Now I can sit in the sunroom and work to my heart's content. If I'm arting,Painter I'm not eating!

Now if only I could organize the studio space as efficiently!

Do you have a vocation or avocation that you like to be portable? How do you tote the supplies you need?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Another week has gone by. Another pound lost. Down five so far. I'm smiling. Jeans haven't got looser yet, but they will in another couple of weeks.

July is birthday month here. The Eldest just celebrated her 20th. last week. Instead of a cake, she asked for Key Lime cupcakes. I found the recipe at Betty but instead of making the filling with whipped cream, I flavored whipped, lite frosting with lime juice. The cupcakes were much easier for portion control for everyone, and I brought a bunch to a friend recovering from surgery so I didn't have to drool over the ones left. You can have you cake and lose weight too. We'll see how I do next week, with another birthday coming up.

How do you handle special occasions and weight loss?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Writer's Meme

The Writer’s Meme
What’s the last thing you wrote? The first chapter of a Big Valley fanfic story called Spurred On. All my fanfics can be found at my site Heathwave's Corner. Shameless plug

What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have? A very dreadful poem I wrote in high school. Heath going off to war

Favorite genre of writing? Western

Most fun character you ever wrote? Besides Heath, Asa Waters from Just Heath

Most annoying character you ever wrote? Corporal Wessel from Just Heath, enjoyed tormenting the men in Carterson prison

Best plot you ever wrote? Just Heath. It’s a story within a story, and I was told I did near graduate level research. ROTFL

Coolest plot twist you ever wrote? Having Heath be a drummer boy during the Civil War.

How often do you get writer’s block? From time to time. Right now I'm blocked on Spurred On

How do you fix it? Dunno, I’m still blocked

Write fan fiction? Yes, and I whine.

Do you type or write by hand? Usually I use Word to compose my stories. It’s easier to cut and paste to move paragiraffes around. I did write the last chapters of Just Heath in longhand as I was sitting in the car waiting for my parents to finish grocery shopping

Do you save everything you write? Yup, save my fanfics and blogs

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? Haven’t yet

What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written? I’m quite partial to Just Heath. I’m proud of the way I worked bits of canon and series dialogue into the story and had a unique view of Heath as a drummer boy during the Civil War.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? I don’t think I could write Romance.

How many writing projects are you working on right now? I’m stalled on Spurred On. I've been too busy whining at my other blog, Whine and Cheeze

What are your five favorite words? Not sure I have any favorites, at least not that I can print. Gyromausolate is a favorite, but I have yet to use it in a story. Looking over this meme, Just and Heath.

What character that you’ve written most resembles you? When Heath mouths off, that’s me.

Do you ever write based on your dreams? No, but I have composted my stories in my dreams.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write? I is trying

Does music help you write? No, I work best in silence

How do people react when they find out you write? When they find out I write fanfiction? Like this Rolling Eyes

Quote something you’ve written. The first thing to pop into your mind. “I want justice! I want justice like you got when you put a bounty out on the man who murdered your husband. You didn’t give him a job. You didn’t invite him to sit at your table. You didn’t invite him for a roll in between your sheets!” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Heath realized he had gone too far, but there was no going back ." Heath to Victoria in Guilt

This meme came from Kaye Dacus. If you mosey onto her blog, you can enter her 500th blog post contest.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Morning Glory and Roses

The earliest I've ever had blooms on the morning glory. Roses seem to be doing well too.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Seven things I like about the Yankee Candle Flagship store in South Deerfield, MA

1. Always a good time spent with the family. No matter how many times we have visited, the girls love this place.

2. Miles of candles to sniff. Miles of candles and candle stuff to buy along with kitchen stuff, gifts, linens, candy

3. You can talk to Santa. Really! Santa works the off-season in the toy department. He always has time for a chat.

4. Walking through the Black Forest and Bavarian Village where it's Christmas time year round. I love all the Christmas ornaments.

5. The German Christmas music that plays in the background in the Bavarian Village.

6. Tossing pennies in the moat of the Bavarian castle to make a wish. The pennies are donated to charity.

7. The gargoyles figures outside the Bavarian castle. I was tempted to buy one for the garden, but had already spent my money on Christmas ornaments.

Got a favorite place you like to visit?

Friday, July 11, 2008

'Tis Himself

Yesterday, we took a ride to the Yankee Candle Factory flagship store. Besides miles of candles, there's a year round Christmas shop decorated like a Bavarian village. That's my favorite place in the whole store. I love Christmas ornaments. As we were wandering through, Himself happened to spot a tree decorated with Irish ornaments. Well, I just couldn't resist. Here they are hanging on the year round wall tree of the girls' ornament pictures.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

After a standing still last week, I lost two pounds this week! SneakersToday, walking on the treadmill increased to 30 minutes. I walked a few minutes over the 30 minute mark just so I could make a mile. Last week, I had tried ramping up my walking speed, but only ended up with a sore hip and knee. The knee pain was most likely caused by old, ill-fitting shoes. For me the 30 minute time frame each day is working well. I don't feel as if I'm spending my entire day exercising and if need be, I can break the walk time into two sessions. So for me, at this point, the important factor is just to move, not to break speed records. Treadmill

One problem I encountered during this week, was the craving for sweets. I have a saber-sized, sweet tooth especially for cookies and chocolate. I also have no control when it comes to amounts. I can demolish a box of cookies by myself or half a bag of Hershey Kisses. It was hard watching the girls enjoy a Little Debbie brownie, but I didn't give in. Instead, I've been substituting the cookie urge with graham crackers. I bought some chocolate ones and also Teddy Grahams. Three graham cracker squares is equal to one bread serving. Teddy Grahams come in a bunch of flavors and one serving is a whopping 24 little bears. It's amazing how long a box of cookies will last when you eat just the recommended serving.

Underneath the Cool Whip label, I found a recipe for an "ice cream" sandwich. I made them yesterday to rave reviews. They taste naughty, but aren't too bad for you, if you plan for them.

Frozen Yogurt-wich

1/2 c. any flavor non-fat yogurt
1/2 c. thawed Cool Whip Lite (I used Sugar Free Cool Whip)
8 graham crackers, broken in half (16 squares)

1. Mix yogurt and Cool Whip until blended.
2. Spoon onto graham cracker and top with a second graham cracker. You will end up with 8 sandwiches. Place on a foiled, lined baking sheet.
3. Cover with foil and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen.

The exchange plan counts this as one bread.

A variation on this recipe:

Coolwich Delight

1 1/2 c. thawed, Cool Whip Sugar Free Whipped Topping
24 squares low fat graham crackers

Spread 2 T. whipped topping on each of 12 graham squares
Top with remaining graham squares to make 12 sandwiches
Place in single layer on baking sheet
Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Wrap individually in foil. Store in freezer up to 1 week

Lambie also sent me a Weight Watcher's Recipe for a dip for fruit.

1 cup Weight Watcher's yogurt mixed with 1/4 c. fat-free Cool Whip. The entire amount is worth 2 points. I'd count this as 1 milk exchange.

Do you have cravings? What do you do to get around them? Any other ideas for sweet, but good for you treats?

Monday, July 7, 2008

ATC Exchange

I'm participating in a new ATC exchange. The theme for this month was a free choice which I find more difficult than a set theme. What to do, what to do? Too many choices.

I'm not sure where the idea for this card came from, but it's close to being a self-portrait. Black bear is my animal totem and usually how I am first thing in the morning until I've had that first civilizing cup of tea.

The watercolor/plastic wrap background was done on Canson Mi Tientes and the clipart images were printed out, glued on and then a coat of Mod Podge. Before the caption was added, I proudly showed my card to The Eldest. She looked at the card, announced "I don't get it", and mumbled "The Emperor is naked." ROTFL That puts the ego into perspective. The caption was added using Ziller's Glossy Black and a Gillotte 1068A

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

TCM is showing Goodbye, Mr. Chips starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson. It's a very sweet, sentimental movie of a shy school teacher at a boys' boarding school who finds love and overcomes his shyness. Robert Donat won the 1939 Oscar for Best Actor beating out Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. If you've never seen this film, tune in so you can be edumacated. I'm getting a box of Kleenex Crying Into Tissueand a bag of popcorn ready.

TCM is showing the film at 8PM EDT. Check your local listing.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Seven things I love about my favorite season: Summer

1. The sunroom. I step into the sunroom and instantly I'm on vacation.

2. The hazy, hot, humid days.

3. The slower pace. No school or school activities to drive to and from.

4. Being able to wear tee shirts and shorts without freezing.

5. Playing on the laptop in the sunroom.

6. Taking a nap in the sunroom.

7. Watching thunderstorms and listening to the rain pelt the metal roof in the sunroom.

What's your favorite season?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

500th Blog Post Contest and Giveaway

Author, Kaye Dacus, at Write Place, Write Time is sponsoring a contest to celebrate her up coming 500th blog post. There are lots of prizes including an autographed copy of Kaye's first book, Stand -In Groom and gift certificates from

The contest is easy to enter. All you have to do is visit Kaye's blog and post a comment at least 10 times from now until 31. July. How easy is that! Details of all the rules and how to win the Grand Prize can be found at Kaye's Contest Rules

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

A friend of mine has been changing her eating habits, exercising, and losing weight. That and while wearing a striped shirt and catching a good look at my reflection motivated me to join her. I looked like a beach ball with legs. Not a pretty sight.

After The Young One was born (almost 16 yrs ago), I joined Weight Watchers. I lost 25 pounds on the plan, and then got lazy and promptly gained it all back plus another 25 pounds. I decided I would follow that old Weight Watchers plan. I did well on it and liked the fact that I could eat real food inlcuding goodies as long as I planned for them. The plan was based on exchanges from the American Diabetes Association using the Food Pyramid. Portion control was the real key. All foods eaten to be weighed and measured. You also had to watch how many carbs, fruits, milk, meat, fats you ate. I also decided to cut out the sugar in my tea. Some days, I can drink 5 or 6 cups of tea. Add a heaping teaspoon, and that's a whopping amount of sugar each week. I did try Splenda. I found it sweeter than regular sugar so I've only been using half the amount I would normally dump in.

Two weeks ago, I made a spreadsheet. Using the healthy weight range tool at Weight Watchers, I found my goal weight. I dusted off the treadmill. I found a 10 week walking plan from the Mayo Clinic deisgned for the beginner. It called for walking for 15 minutes two times a week. Over the 10 weeks, you built up to walking 30 minutes a day for 5 days. That didn't sound too bad. I decided I could manage 15 minutes a day, every day.

So, after my first week on the plan, I lost two pounds. Sharing that excitment with my friend was a good motivator too. It's good to have a buddy to share ideas, tips, strategy and encouragement. We talked about setting small goals and celebrating little victories.

Week two, I followed my plan and increased my walking to 20 minutes. I'm not concerned about running 3 minute miles. I walk at a leisurely pace. The object is walking for the set time and moving.

Today was my weigh in day. I was disappointed to see the scale stand still at last week's weight. Ok, I didn't walk for two days, but I was certainly moving more than I had been before. I did snitch some Cheeze-Its, maybe 5 or 6, but I can easily eat an entire box in one sitting by myself. I did go out to lunch with a friend, but I didn't think my choice was all that bad. I had an unsweetened ice tea (I didn't add sugar or Splenda), an 8 oz flat iron steak, a baked sweet potato with butter and brown sugar, and a salad. No cheese and balsamic vinaigrette on the side. I didn't eat many croutons. Before I ate my meal, I cut the meat and potato in half, ate half, and saved the rest to be boxed up and brought home. I didn't order dessert. My friend came home with me. I had made a dessert from a Weight Watcher's recipe, given to me by my friend, Lambie, and it fit into my plan for the day.

Yogurt Pie (5 points for the entire pie if you're following the Weight Watchers Flex Points Plan!)

2, 6 oz. containers of Weight Watcher's Flavored Yogurt. (I used Key Lime)

1, 8 oz. tub of Fat Free Cool Whip, thawed (I found sugar-free Cool Whip)

Ready-made graham cracker crust pie shell

1. Mix together the yogurt and the Cool Whip.

2. Pour into the pie shell

3. Cover and freeze. (Apologies to BVMom because I didn't read the directions thoroughly and just chilled the pie in the fridge. It was good, but didn't have a lot of body to it. Thanks, BVMom for being a good guinea pig.)

Each slice is one point.

Frowning at the number on the scale, I wondered where I had gone wrong. I didn't drink as much water as all the weight plans suggest (8 glasses). I'm not a huge water drinker to begin with and find this the hardest thing to do. Guess there must be something to drinking all the water. I'll have to make an extra effort to do this.

Even though I was disappointed that I didn't drop another pound, on the bright side, I didn't gain any extra weight either.

So, if you're losing weight or have lost weight, what tips can you suggest for drinking all those 8, 8oz glasses of water?