Sunday, June 29, 2008

Time for a New Post

I haven't done much since I last posted. I knit a little bit on a baby sweater--one I vaguely thought I would give to Marci for her new little girl, and I began a baby blanket, but haven't worked my heart out on anything at all. Friday I took my sketch pad to DD's house and sketched one of the twins. It came out surprisingly well, and I want to work on it some more, but DD can't remember to bring it back down here to me. If I had it, I would scan and post it. The little "Bless their Hearts" are busy girls these days, not content any longer with sitting quietly in their car seats. They have discovered Movement. Megn, the younger by one minute, and the one who hid behind Erica for most of her gestation, can sit up, and has pulled herself up to stand, unassisted, she loves to sing, and her favorite song is 'Mamamamamamamamamama". Erica gets up on all fours, then isn't sure what to do next. She never stops grinning. In fact, the only time I've seen them fuss is when their food is moved out of their sight. They truly follow in the family dedication to eating. Both girls get a little goofy when big bother Jack comes near them. They grin and chuckle, babble and wave their arms and kick their feet. He is already their hero. Now, I remember what kind of a little sister DD was to her brother, and I feel a little sympathy for what Jack will have to deal with -- and twins, yet!

When little twin boys lived across the street from Jack, Jack referred to them as "Robby and the other Robby". Those 3 little boys were such good friends that it broke our hearts to see the family move away. I hope St Louis is enjoying them. They called me "Gamma" from the beginning. I loved it. They would come running when I pulled into the driveway, and give me big hugs.

Jack will be coming down this week. He has had his older two cousins from Oregon here for a week, and has been the center of attention. The girls are 13 and 15; I am tickled that they call me Gramma Sherry. I feel like the Universal Grandma wherever I go. And I understand my mission: to give every child a smile and a few minutes of non-judgemental attention. That includes the little twits who roll past me in Target on their heelies. I hate those heelies. Kids come out of nowhere and startle me.

In other news, Houston has two new landowners today: my son and DIL have bought a home. i've seen pictures, and I can hardly wait to get there. It is truly beautiful. That home would cost close $300,000 out here, but they paid less than my little rambler is valued at. I'm amazed. Steve has repeatedly suggested we all relocate to Houston, but I'm scared of Houston. You can't go anywhere without fearing for your life on the freeways. I don't think I could adapt to driving there. And I don't know how else I would find a job and get to work.

On the plus side, it would be so wonderful to be altogether and have family gatherings, and let the cousins get to know each other. I could picture the six of them forming a little gang of desperados. The heat would dehydrate me so badly I might lose weight.

Speakin of losing weight: I have been good about my Opra/Bob Fit for Life or whatever it is. Yesterday I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, and the day before hat I went to Curves. I'm mad at Curves; I hope that worries them. They are changing the structure of our local club. I emailed them a long, scathing letter about it, and so far they have been too intimidted to respond. My son, the lawyer, says they probably can change everything in spite of the contract I signed. That pisses me off even more. Who do they think they are? Years ago I took aerobics from a local woman; she was great fun, and fashioned her classes so they fit everyone. I think she is still around. We ought to create our own club and let Curves go down in flames.

I didn't think I had much to write today, but look at this. And keep watching: "The Kissing Mouse" is a short story that will be coming soon. I'm off to the treadmill, aka grindstone. I love not working!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Success

I've had several days since I joined Oprah's Best Life campaign, and I have been successful at restricting my calorie intake and avoiding fast foods; I've also been able to not eat for at least 2 hours every evening before bedtime.

I'm feeling pretty good about these things. I never drink, so avoiding alcohol was not a problem for me.

Yesterday I saw my psychiatric care provider, and today I met with my doctor. Both have given me a big Thumb's Up. Both remarked about how much more relaxed I am looking. Obviously, not working agrees with me. (So does the new gentleman I have met) I have not made it to Curves since last Saturday morning. I have to get a handle on that exercise. In fact, I am going from here straight to the treadmill.

The son of a good friend is a computer tekkie. He spent 3 1/2 hours here today, killing bugs in my computer. It was worth the money. He is a very nice young man. I would gladly refer him to anyone who is having computer issues.

Back later!

Monday, June 16, 2008

End of the Day

I shopped almost til I dropped today. I hope that was enough walking! I was so tired by the time I got home, and Abby was fussing at me for her treats. She loves these Dingo Denta-treats I found at WalMart and also at Target. They are white, bone shaped, and are supposed tohelp her breath. She loves them. So does her cousin Francesca. I ended the day with a long phone call with a very nice man. It is kind of exciting to maybe have a new person in my life.

I was very careful of my eating today. I'm keeping to my contract with myself and Oprah and Bob. I am sure looking forward to finding some change in how my clothes fit.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day Three

I wonder if I need to give up my diet Cokes? I hear caffeine is a buster if one is trying to lose weight. It does seem to upset my stomach, and I've had enough of that kind of trouble, thank you very much.

I found a wonderful blog that I would love to add to my list; unfortunately it looks like it will have to wait until my DD has time to help me out. I'm so hopelessly NON-Tek, I'm amazed someone even let me have a computer. I'm like that old joke: "Do you still have the box your computer came in?" "Yes." "Good, now pack it all up and send it back. You are too stupid to own a computer."

I have high hopes for this day. I need to run to Target to pick up dogfood (my dog will be grateful). I'll get on that treadmill again, and I'll get some salad greens in the house. I can do this. I AM doing this!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day Two

In spite of no sleep all night, I got up around 9ish, got dressed, and headed out the door for Curves. By the time I got there it was 9:40 and I was due to meet my Saturday Sisters for coffee at 10:00. So I did a partial circuit and cut my workout short, thinking I would make up some time later today on the treadmill. I got home, and had the worst chest pain I've ever had. I never had pain like this before my heart surgery. I was pretty sure it was acid reflux, and Tums were not handling it. So I drove myself over to Urgent Care, where I received a lecture about never driving myself anywhere if I have chest pain, especially with my history. I was told I should have called the paramedics and gone to an ER. They did an EKG on me, and Dr said it didn't look quite right, so they called the paramedics who took me down town to Tacoma General. I probably got there about noon. They ran labs, gave me an IV, and let me take a nap. When the labs finally came back, the doctor (I really liked this man) said after that many hours of chest pain, the labs should have shown something, and since they didn't I was going to be discharged with a diagnosis of: chest pain of unknown origin.

Yep. State of the art medical care. I persuaded the doctor to prescribe Prevacid for me, which controlled my acid reflux for many years before my insurance company decided I didn't need it. My doctor's viewpoint is that I need to know the difference between a heart attack and reflux. I didn't know whethr to put a nitroglycerin under my tongue or eat another handful of Tums. The pain was at a 10 when I first arrived, and I hd tears in my eyes..I was so scared of what might be going on. It now is 11:30 and i am home. I picked up my prescriptions, grabbed a junior bacon cheeseburger at Wendy's, and I guess I'll get back on the train tomorrow.

I still have pain in my chest. OH! They weighed me, and the biggest news is that I now am Officially 300 pounds. I am happy about that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

To My Credit

I sat here and dithered, and finally decided to do 5 minutes on the treadmill before retiring for the night. It was such a comfortable, easy gait, i ended up doing ten minutes. It seems to have stirred up my heartburn, but I'm sure I will sleep well knowing I have moved today.

Living my Best Life

RE: Opray, June 13, 2008.
This looks like an opportunity to turn a bad luck day into a good luck day. Not that I really believe in luck. Bob Green's Best Life Challenge:
1. Get moving
2. Quit eating two hours before bedtime
3. Get hydrated (6 8-oz glasses of water per day)
4/5. restructure your eating: nutritious breakfast; cut out alcohol.

Well, I downloaded the contract, and I read it before I signed it. I am in the habit of getting over to Curves pretty regularly, and I can really tell the difference when I don't make it. Those days I am stiff and I ache all over.

Those stories featured on her show tonight are inspirational. I want something that will inspire me for more than tongight. I had open heart surgery at 314 pounds. The heart surgey was dangerous enough, but at that weight, I am a miracle of survival.

I am a Child of God, created in His Image, an imperfect human being, striving for happiness in this lifetime, striving to achieve what God has planned for me.

I will try to keep a journal here of my progress. This is about keeping my diabetes numbers appropriate, increasing my ability to move, and increasing my energy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Affirmation

Yesterday, with my therapist, I worked on my personal affirmation. I want something I can say to myself to help ease the pain when I am beating myself up too much. There is a perfect quote, something Gandhi said, and I cannot remember it. I am Sherry, a Creation of God, who knew me before Time. I am created in His Image, with many imperfections. I do not have to be perfect to be loved by God, and I am not defined by the people I work for. I am defined by those who love me and who are willing, through God's Grace, to forgive my failures and imperfections. I lay my imperfections at His feet, an offering.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cozy Mysteries

What is a cozy, you ask? Generally, it is a mystery set in a "cozy" setting, such as a small English village, a manor house, a train...a setting in which the suspects are gathered in a generalized location and are easy to watch and easy to contact. I think Agatha Christie invented the cozy with her Miss Marple series, and with Hercule Poirot to a lesser extent. The dastardly murder takes place off-scene, so the reader is saved the gore and grisly details, and are left with the puzzle to solve: was it the butler? the gardener? Mr Abernathy's second wife? Cozies have many red herrings, and the denouement at the end is most fun if it is a surprise and the last person the reader expected.

The Cozy genre is very popular in today's market. I belong to a Yahoo group called "Cozy Armchair Group," in which many readers and a number of authors share their thoughts and opinions on various mysteries currently in print. As I read others' opinions, my opinions become a little more finely developed. I have decided, for example, I don't like mysteries solved by cats and dogs with human cognitive thinking. That's just silly. Judging by their following, many other people really enjoy them, so it's great for those people that there authors who write those books. I have favorite authors, and I will read nearly anything these authors write: Joanne Dobson, for example, writes literary-related mysteries. I like the illusion that I am learning a little something about another subject while I am unraveling the puzzle. Another author, Barbara Michaels, also writes in this vein. Many of her mysteries have dealt with specific subject matter including Egyptology, vintage clothing, jewelry, and I absolutely love the smidgen of supernatural sprinkled into her stories. Unfortunately for me, she also writes as Elizabeth Peters, and has set a series of books in Egypt with a heroine many years ahead of herself as a Modern Woman. These books have become so predictable they aren't fun for me anymore, and these are the books that seem to sell best for her, as she throws most of her effort into grinding out more. (I realize this is heresy to her true fans--for this reason, my address will not be published.)

I like small village settings, especially England or New England: these setting provide the most likelihood for characters and resentments that can lead to mayhem. I like to have a plot that somehow transverses time...through an old journal, or the discovery of antiques, but somehow connects present time with time past.

Heroines these days, our amateur sleuths, have become cliched: they are shy young women who suddenly rear up on their haunches and take on the world. Not realistic. What about a protagonist who remains meek and mild? but still manages to unravel the details? I often find a love interest whose main role is to tell the protagonist to stay out of things and mind her own business. Wouldn't it be fun to have a hero who encourages the heroine? Someone who actually helps our sleuth? Someone who believes in her?

Another cliche these days is the title that is a terrible pun. While these punny titles do catch my attention, they don't induce me to buy. One of these days, I will be writing my own cozy, and I intend to break a couple of rules. It is a matter of getting around to it...