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Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo-li-icious!

It's a weekend filled with broomstick riding, visiting goblins, witch's brew and warlock stew.
Translation:
A college visit! (on the road again!)
Our boy Vince is home (YEAH!)!
A bonfire!
Yes, I'm cooking!
A bit of beer!
Happy Hallo-wine!

Just another weekend in my world.....


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May they never come back to haunt me!




Happy Halloween everyone!
Farewell October!
Don't forget to turn those clocks....FALL BACK!!!

STEP AWAY FROM THE CANDY!!!!

See you in November!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Emergency stylist needed ASAP......

.....'cause I need one.....bad....!

Okay, before I chicken out....I'm going to put this out there right now. See that picture below.....well....I have been depressed ever since I saw it. No, no...not because Carmen has a huge stain on his shirt (the man is hopeless....he spilled coffee on it as he raced home to see Toni go off the dance and there was no time to change....). And, not because Toni is growing up. Nothing quite that wifely or motherly. It's much more self-absorbed than that. It's because when I got dressed that day, I actually thought I looked good. I thought "wow....these jeans look pretty good"....."oooh, this jacket fits great"....."doesn't this scarf look adorable?"...."I am gonna skip the belt today, things looks okay"....."oh yes, the boots work"....."looking good Judi, looking good". How could I have been so damn wrong? I mean......look at it. LOOK AT IT. What a waste of good make-up that day was.....

Clearly, I need a stronger contact prescription.....or a stylist. Whatever it is....I need HELP! Here's the thing....I have always thought I had a good eye for what looks good and what doesn't. And, I take a good amount of pride in my fashion sense. But, this....oh my goodness. What the hell happened? I mean, just a few posts ago I was giving YOU fashion advice. Well, I'll bet after seeing this picture, you're ready to scratch that. Stop the presses....Judi has no clue what looks good and what doesn't! I've got some serious problems here....

And, there is no way that I look like I lost 80+ pounds! I'll be honest-- as much as I'm upset that I didn't get the fashion thing right, not looking like what I thought I looked like after having lost weight is what is breaking my heart! I admit it--I shed a few tears over this. Yes, it's true. I mean...I lost 80 + pounds. It seems horribly unfair that I can't look like it. Maybe it is a fashion thing. Maybe it's not my body. I don't know. Perhaps I need to get myself on one of those make over shows. Who knows. I'm just miserable and sad. In addition to that--with all the awful things going on in the world right now and with the election looming---I feel small and shallow that I've got myself in such a state over something as vain as this. But, really...you understand...don't you? I mean, let's face it....I've had my vision shattered here. That's really rough.....

Okay....just take a closer look and you tell me what you think. I mean, the jeans....they don't work. Right? They are too baggy or something. What do you think? And, they are just downright unflattering. Aren't they? What was I thinking with that t-shirt underneath the jacket? It was a bad choice--right? It hits at the wrong place and it does look too big (because it is!)....! And, the scarf....holy shit...it just does not work at all. Am I right or not? And, the hair. Yeah, what's with the hair? I mean...what is with the hair? The entire look....well...it just sucks. You have to agree! I mean, I had been working on coming up for a new look for myself as I approached my 50th b-day. But, I didn't know I needed it that badly. But, now I know. For sure. And, to think, I walked around that entire day thinking "hey I look pretty good..." Is my dimentia setting in already?

So....let me ask you....what do you think the problem is? What is not working here? What can I do to fix my look and take advantage of the fact that I just lost 80+ pounds..... ??????
Looks like we've got work do to......

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sole searching.....


So, I'm wondering.....why is it that I...and alot of women....absolutely love (and live for) shoes?

Being the shoe mogul that I am....you'd think I'd have this all figured out. Wrong. All I know is that I love shoes. Always have. Always will. Forever and ever and ever and ever. For all of eternity. I shall love shoes until they bury me in a great pair of shoes.

For sure, I'm not alone in my shoe adoration. I have sole sisters all over the place. Trust me, I've looked into their eyes and I've seen what's on their feet. I know them when I see them---no matter where I am. But, the ultimate high is seeing a kindred spirit in the shoe store. Oh yes, there's no denying a true sole sister in a shoe store. There's that very special look in their eyes, the little tilt of their mouths, the raise in their eye brows and the gentle reach of their hands as they reach out to....touch THE shoes. I can hear them thinking as I walk by them. I know what their head feels like...that little buzz.... I know what their heart feels like...as it pounds within their chests. I can feel the excitement that stirs deep within them and the tingling sensations they are feeling all over their bodies. Yes, there are so many of us....an entire universal sorority of shoe lovers who are dedicated to, invested in and completely immersed in shoe love, shoe lust and shoe bondage.

And there's more--I've actually met and befriended people because of their shoes. I've walked up to strangers in restaurants and department stores and funeral homes and concerts and PTA meetings just to tell them that I love their shoes....and to ask...."where did you get them?" I've stopped meetings because of shoes. I've squealed in libraries because of shoes. Yes, I've even drooled over shoes---in church. Plus, I've even comprimised by values.....because of shoes. I'm hopeless....when it comes to shoes.

But you know, I don't really feel all that badly about my affliction. I mean, not really. Oh sure, I might feel a little pained when I try to get from my door to my bed in the dark and trip over...not one...but several pair of shoes. But, I soon get over it. Hell, people have made careers out of their love of shoes. Think Sex In the City. I mean, this shoe love thing is big. Very big. There are shoe stores as big as parking garages all over the planet. And, they are staying in business. They are weathering the recession. They are doing okay. Because they sell shoes. They feed women like nothing else can. True shoe loving women will stay well-heeled despite rising gas prices and slumping stocks. For the love of shoes....some women will skip breakfast, lunch and dinner every other Wednesday (and every other Thursday if need be).....just to own the shoes of their hearts' desire. I know...because I am one of them. Thankfully, I haven't had to do that....yet. But, I would if I had to. Yes, dear friends, it's all about shoes. But....why?

Typically, I don't do alot of this self-analysis when it comes to my love of shoes. I accept it without question. But, a visit to one of my fav blogs got me to thinking about all of it and the phenomenon it has become. This particular blog is not about shoes or fashion. Although it's a known among the blogger's readers that the blogger loves shoes, we do not go there because of that. We come to her blog because she is an inspiring and talented woman who has weathered quite a few storms during her blogging time yet she is determined to live a beautiful life. We all root for her. Plus, she has a wonderful style about her. She restores furniture, she bakes cupcakes, she decorates her home, she loves junk.....oh, I could go on and on. What I'm trying to say is that here's this woman who never really writes about shoes and doesn't have readers coming to her blog because of shoes and yesterday she posted a picture of her new shoes (leopard stihletto peep toes...yum) and everyone was all a twitter. Readers left comments saying that they were drooling, they were in love, etc. Readers who come there to take a peep at her latest junking transformations or her latest cupcake adventures or to hear about her decorating....were gaga over shoes. Me included. So, it got me to thinking.....why do women love shoes? Are shoes like girlfriends.....they will never do you wrong and you can't have enough of them? Or, is it like this---a man can buy you diamonds but can't buy you shoes? Only you can buy YOU shoes. Maybe diamonds are a girls' best friend and shoes are a woman's best friend. Perhaps it's a little of all of that and a few other things. All I know is this....I love my shoes....they have never left me, they don't scream at me, they don't talk back to me, they ask nothing of me, they have never been unfaithful to me and they always stay right where I put them....
No wonder I love shoes....

And, here's my favorite shoe shopping partner.....my sole daughter...
Homecoming '08.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweet morning has broken.......

With the threat of snow flurries.......in October?

It's unusually cold here in my little suburban hamlet. But,no matter....I'm doing a little two-step and a few fancy twirls and a couple of girly pirouettes around my office and my kitchen. Me---all decked out in my early morning walking gear with my clunky walking shoes and my oversized hoodie and my hair askew....oh what I sight I am. So, why am I prancing around my house before the sun has even peeked out? It's all because of my sweet spot....

...time to celebrate Judi-style

Before you call Google and have my blog X-rated....let me explain...about the sweet spot thing (I'm pretty sure you get it about the buying shoes thing...). For the past week or so, I've found myself unable to eat as much as I was able to eat (volume-wise)throughout my Lapband journey. Not that I was able to eat a ton from day one until now. But, there were times when I was surprised as to how much I could eat these past 14 months. As evidenced from my weightloss, I was definitely eating less than I ever was in my pre-Lapbanded life. And, being the good Lapbander that I am, I really worked hard these past months at eating good, nutritious and protein packed food. Since August of 2007, I could mostly eat what I wanted (minus the pasta and bread)....just less of it. Most times I did choose good food. When I made my deal with the Lapband gods, I promised to really make this work and so that's what I did. And, it worked. I could not have done it without my Lapband....no way, no how.

Now, things are different. Not different in a huge way....just different. It's like my body and my mind have all caught up with one another. Although, to be honest....I didn't know they weren't in sync...

For the past week or so....it's seems like my band has reached a perfect restriction. Medically speaking....I can't explain why. In the world of Lapbanders...this is called "the sweet spot". Everyone arrives at this place at different times. Anytime you ask a Lapbander who has garnered sweet spot status, what it feels like or ask how you will know when you've reached it--you will be told that you will just know. Now I know what they mean. In fact, if I could describe it, I would do it this way--it's a state of mind as well as a state of being. Maybe that's why it took me so long....

As I said---I have no explanation as to why or how this all happened within the past week. It's not like I just had my band adjusted. That happened a few weeks ago. Even though I've been religious about my fill appointments and have followed the advice of my doctor with regard to fills, it has taken this long to get to this point. Although...let me be clear...I could always eat less even before I got to my sweet spot. I don't want to discourage anyone who is thinking of getting a Lapband or is already Lapbanded by leading them to believe that it takes this long to get to this "magical" point. It's just another part of the journey.....

Right now...I can eat a very small amount...a very small amount...and be completely satisfied---mind, body and soul. I can eat whatever I want and be done with it. What do they say....the first 3 bites are usually the best anyhow. Well, give me 3 bites of anything....anything at all. I can eat it and I don't want more. So, it's all good! If the first 3 bites are the best then damn it, I'm not missing a thing...right? Trust me--I'm not starving or eating crumbs by any means. I'm eating healthy and I'm eating enough protein. And, I'm not gagging or vomitting or anything like that. I'm just stopping when my body says "STOP". Stopping because I've had enough. I'm not trying to tuck in one more bite or push my Lapband to see just how much it will take. I'm not testing it. I'm accepting it. Very adult-like of me....don't you think?

Then there's the head stuff....I also just realized that my mind is not all-a-flutter about holiday foods and holiday weight gain. I want to cook all the typical, traditional foods and plan all the menus and look for new recipes but I'm not drooling and fantasizing about eating them. Nor am I miserable about the possible weight gain that typically goes along with the holidays. And, I'm not worrying about that awful feeling of my clothes feeling tight because I stuffed myself non-stop for over a month! And, I'm not stressing over having to deal with buffet tables and parties and huge displays of beautiful food. And I'm not trying to convince myself that "it's okay to overeat on holidays..". I'm just doing what I do. At my sweet spot.

Yes, it's a new day in Judiland. An unusual one too. It's a cold, dark, damp Tuesday morning with the threat of snow in October. But, a light bulb went off in my head and it's saying....this is your sweet spot Judi, THIS is what they have been talking about! I feel it. And, I know it.
Sweet Judi Blue Eyes....that's me. With a Lapband, of course.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tying up loose ends......


I'll be the first person to tell you that I don't like to be left hanging. That's one of my major pet peeves. I want all the information and I want it NOW. Don't you dare tell me that you have to tell me something....later. If you have something to say....say it now or risk life and limb by hinting that there's something you want to say to me! My vocabulary is filled with--who? what?where? and why?. If you've got a story or a piece of information to tell me--I want details. DETAILS!And, don't you dare leave one out...not even the minutest one! Yes, I'm impatient and curious like that.
Yet, I guess I don't subscribe to the old adage--do unto others and you would have done unto you. Because, clearly, I leave people hanging. At least here in Blogland....where my wonderful and loyal readers come to see what's happening in my life. One day, I go on and on about something that seems to be the bain of my existence and then the next day..poof....I'm on to something else that seems to be the bain of my existence. Perhaps that tells you a little bit about me....either that I'm ADD, overloaded on life, my world is one never-ending story or perhaps I see everything in my life as blog worthy. As Toni would say....whatever. Who knows. What I do know is that this leaving you hanging is just bad manners. And, very inconsiderate. So, I want to rectify that.
How am I going to do that? Well, I'll tell you.....
Ask me. Just pour yourself a cup of tea, a glass of wine or whatever it is that makes your thoughts whirl and ask me a few questions that are lingering in your mind about anything you previously read here on my blog. Do I need to finish a story? Do I need to explain something a little better? Do you want to hear more about something I mentioned in my blog or someone I mentioned in my blog? Here's your chance.....ask me now. Remember....I'm going to be 50 in 88 days. After that, you may have to wait for my Glinko Biloba to kick in before answering anything remotely connected to my memory.....
There are really no rules here. You can ask me anything about my Lapband, my weightloss or anything else that I talk about......
Ask away.....I owe ya.....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The weekend that was.........

When it's all said and done....it must be Sunday....

It's been a very long time since I spent a Saturday night in a fluffy pink robe, a pair of fuzzy slippers, with a cup of tea and a stack of magazines. But, that's just what I did last night. My reward for 2 solid days of being a supermom drag racer with a debit card. My feet were killing me, my legs ached, my head was spinning and my checkbook was bleeding. So, it was either the couch or a barstool. I chose the latter. Yes, yes, I know....I'm slipping. But, don't count me out quite yet. Sometimes a girl just needs a break. Carmen's week had been more intense that it's typical intensity, my work week was busy, I spent most evenings running errands, we did a whirlwind college visit, we had the Homecoming Dance prep work and then the dizzying picture party....plus I had fell (no, I tumbled...) on my morning walk on Friday. In the middle of all of that, I was determined to begin the process of getting the house ready and start my menu planning for the holidays (which, in our house seem to begin with Halloween!). It was a week that needed shaken off and put to rest. So, upon leaving the picture party last night, I was lucky I could make it down the magnificent steps of the lovely stone home where it was held. After bidding our dazzling daughter and her sweet date and all their decked out friends goodbye as they drove off to their fun filled night, Carmen looked at me and said "what's the plan?". The only word I could conjur up was
"nothing". The plan was nothing. I didn't feel like joining some of the parents at a local pub and I didn't feel like going to dinner with a group of parents. All I wanted to do was rest up for another week of living life in Judiland.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another all-about Toni weekend........

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...that's what she says anyway.....

The other night as we were driving home, Toni was telling me about an earlier phone conversation she had with her brother. Vince had been contemplating coming home this weekend. "So, I just told him, this weekend is all about me" she recounted. Which, to be honest---it is. Thankfully, Vince understands the pecking order at home these days--especially when it comes to college shopping and Homecoming dances. He didn't take offense to it nor did he care. I'm quite sure he didn't want to plop himself in the middle of her college shopping or the Homecoming Dance frenzy of hair, makeup,primping,posing, the date and the ritualistic picture-rama party. So, he said he'd come home next weekend---"for an all-about Vince weekend". Thankfully, things have a way of working themselves out. A friend and frat brother from Vince's undergrad days is going to be visiting the university where Vince is studying. So, he'll have his hands full with whatever old frat brothers do when they get together. If he really cares--we can just give him a blow-by-blow of how things went here on the homefront....

You know, Toni may think this is an all-about-Toni weekend. But, she is sadly mistaken. Just as Vince is mistaken when he thinks next weekend will be an all- about-Vince weekend. The truth of the matter is--they will both be all-about-being-mom weekends. Whatever it is that I do with my kids these days are days that I cherish. Those moments become fewer and fewer as time moves on. They have their lives---lives which I spent the past 20+ years getting them ready for. I want them to go out and live them. And, they are. So, whether it's just watching a movie, visiting colleges, blowing half my paycheck on everything that goes along with going to a dance or having them home, sleeping in the room across the hall from me--it's all-about-me.

On the road again....zipping up and down the highways and byways.....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thinful fashion.............

There's a nip in the air these days. Fall is here in all of it's glory. Time to go for long walks crunching leaves under our feet, go on sing-a-long hay rides, snuggle together around campfires roasting marshmallows and wrapping ourselves in tartan plaid blankets next to roaring fires,sipping mulled cider out of heavy earth-hued mugs.
Maybe in your life.
Definitely not in mine.
In my world, it means frantically digging out coats and gloves and hats and scarves and sweatshirts. It means hauling down last year's wardrobe from the big closet in the attic and dumping it all on the floor of my bedroom with the promise that I will get to it someday....soon. In the meantime, I have to rummage through them as I need them. So, the past few days--rummage I did. That's when it hit me---I have a lot of clothes. I mean....a lot. Especially blazers and jackets. Lots of them. Lots and lots of them. As my weight soared over the years, I was always looking for some way to cover it up---hide the fat, camoflauge the bulges, create a slimmer silohuette. So, I did it with jackets and blazers. Jackets. Blazers. And more jackets and blazers. As a result--I have an amazing collection. A collection that doesn't fit....anymore. Even the jackets and blazers I bought last year during the first months of my weightloss don't really work right now. They look sloppy. I can fix a few of them by adding belts. But, the rest of them just don't work. So....it's time to shop.
As much as I love to shop and as thrilled as I am to have to shop because I lost weight, the task is daunting--in both dollars and energy. Even though planful shopping is not really my thing--I'm more of an impulse, serendipitious shopper--I figured I should try to shop with a little more forethought than usual. And, with the economy the way it is--shopping in excess just feels wrong (even though I do need to....). Luckily, catalogs appear in the mailbox in droves this time of the year. So, I decided to put them aside and gather up a few fashion magazines to begin my pre-shopping project. I figured the magazines would clue me in on what's going on in fashion and the catalogs would show me what's available and how much it would all cost and then I would plan accordingly. Armed with that thinking, I started my little project in earnest, tearing out pages, earmarking other pages, putting check marks next to items, putting multiple stars next to things that I really, really love. It was actually a very fun project to do. But...as it turns out....an overwhelming one. Why? Because even though I had only been working on it for 2 days, I loved and wanted and needed more than $10,000 worth of clothing. Yes, in that very short period of time.
Most of what I wanted were....yes...you guessed it.... blazers and jackets. That result begged to ask--am I still shopping as an overweight woman thinking that I need to hide my body or do I just love jackets and blazers? As it turns out....the answer is: a little of both. And, as it turns out....using jackets and blazers is not such a bad idea in dressing thinful. But you probably don't need $10,000 worth of blazers and jackets....

















As I was doing my little research project, I came upon a "tips for dressing thin" section of a Chico's catalog. Now, if I haven't told you before, I'm telling you now--I love, love, love Chico's. What they did in this particular catalog was zero in on how certain items of clothing and accessories can take pounds off. The catalog directed you to thier website where you could get some insider fashion tips from their expert designer on dressing thin. What a great idea! Naturally, I was completely into it all. As I was going through the layouts and the website, I realized that these style tips are actually mine. Not that I had them copyrighted or anything. But, I've been doing these things for years. Blazers. Mono chromatic outfits underneath. Bold jewelry near the face, long chains to lenghten the look. Hip slung belts. All of this to make myself look thinner. To take off the pounds. Create the illusion of being a few pounds thinner. Ask anyone and they'll tell you. I've been using those tricks forever. I've got the blazers, the jackets, the belts and the jewelry to prove it. I was never a stylist or a design expert by trade. I was just an overweight girl who wanted to look thinner. Those were my credentials. Who knew I could have made a ton of money, become famous and helped tons of women look thinner with just those credentials? Thinful....isn't it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today calls for a visit to the Mind Spa.......


...no facials, no body wraps, no manis and pedis.....it's all about finding harmony in your rock and roll, happiness in your every thought, peace within your home and workplace, energy to do what you want to do and the physcial beauty you deserve....through living, loving and laughing.


When I yanked myself out of bed this morning, I knew I could not spend another day agonizing over whether I have a touch of the flu, I need more sleep, I need less stress or if I really do have a raging case of "the change". I'm extremely impatient with feeling lousy, down or miserable. I don't like it at all. No, not at all. I mean, one or two days--okay. But, beyond that--not a Judi thing. It plays havoc with my overall look. And, I'd bet dollars to donuts that it causes wrinkles, gray hair and bunions. So, for those reasons (and many more), I'm completely into denying I'm feeling this way and I wholeheatedly subscribe to the belief that, with a little work and creativity, we can coax ourselves out of any poor state. So, I figured I'd take a little break from my menopausal whining and hormonal combat and revive myself with good things. Because we all know there are good things. Yes, even when you're having night sweats.

Anticipation...is making me wait, is keeping me waiting

I love gifts...I mean, what girl worth her shoes doesn't? New things are fun. No matter what it is--a bauble or a dish or a plant or a hat or a pair of fancy socks...receiving them are delightful. Imagining myself wearing it or using it is even more fun. I love gifts in boxes wrapped in pretty paper or stuffed into fancy little bags with all the trimmings--the bows, the ribbons, the tags. Knowing that I'll have many more of these things in my lifetime makes me happy. Waiting for them is so worth it. In fact, waiting for anything to come...especially the little surprises along the way...feeds me in more ways than I can count. Just knowing that there will be friends at my door holding a gift in their hands, a loved one who will give me an unexpected surprise and many many moments in time when I will be overcome with happiness because of them all--feeds my heart with joy. Thoughts of gifts to come wipes out any woe-is-me thinking. Thoughts of all the good things to come in life...whether they are wrapped in ribbons and bows or not...completely obliterates all bad thoughts. In other words....why be Negative Nelly when there's so much to look forward to, so much to wait for?

Dream On, Dream On, Dream On......Dream until your dream comes true

With all the politico mumbo jumbo that's been going on lately along with the gloom and doom sprewing out of our TV sets, it gets tough to imagine anything good happening in the here and now. It's true--government, leadership and life itself costs something. But, it doesn't have to cost everything. We have our dreams. They are free. They haven't taxed them nor can they turn them into fodder for their agendas. The little dreams---like being a perfect size 12--to the big dreams--like being a perfect size 12--are ours to keep to ourselves or share with someone else. Whether I dream of going on wild adventures as a perfect size 12 or just dream of all the fancy size 12 holiday outfits I could wear...they are mine. I can sit and dream all day long....if I want to. Judi frolicking on the beach, Judi shopping in Volant, Judi walking into a big fancy party, Judi being crowned the Lapband Queen, Judi drinking wine from a pretty goblet sitting across from a dear friend, Judi visiting an Italian shoe store, Judi watching Toni graduate from high school, Judi going on a romantic getaway with Carmen, Judi watching Vince get hooded when he gets his PhD, Judi serving Christmas dinner with her adoring family seated around a beautifully set table.....as a perfect size 12.... Yes, those dreams can make even a shitfuck day not so shitfuck......

Show a little faith, there's magic in the night.....

And then there's the big mama of them all---FAITH. I'm not talking about hope. I'm talking about faith--real faith in life and the goodness of it. I'm talking about believing in the idea that life is good and won't screw you. That is what trumps it all. As long as I can hold on to my feverent and everlasting faith that the world is good, life is supposed to be good and all good things will come my way then I know that I can overcome anything at all. Anything. No matter how many night sweats I have as long as I know that the morning is on it's way and the sun will shine, then all is well.


Now, it's time for that pedicure.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Could it be.....

The M word?

I'm 94 days away from my 50th Birthday. 94 days. What that means is that I am not 50. So, could we please stop with the night sweating thing and the hormonal blues? I know, I know....I've only been experiencing it for 2 days now. But, it's seriously getting on my nerves. So, not only am I exhausted from this crazy heatwave that hit me the past two nights at 3 am, I'm this close to crying hysterically every twenty minutes and I'm pissed. That's right. I'm pissed. How dare this mid-life female malady hit me in the prime of my life! How dare it rip through my being without even a few warning signs that it was on it's way? I do not like to be caught off guard and I definitely don't want to deal with it right now. I'm busy. I'm young. And, damn it, I am pissed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday,Monday...




Mondays always have a way of sneaking up on me. Before I know it, the weekend is over but the remnants of it remain. It was a beautiful Fall weekend in Judiland. Our college visit was exceptional--perfect weather, lovely campus. Toni loved the school and felt very at home there. Our visit was made even better because we had the added bonus of Alexa's wonderful hospitality at her darling apartment. Plus, the cherry on top of all of it was a visit with Vince. We have a few more school visits to go..Toni may have a tough time with choices!

Despite our successful and fun weekend, I'm feeling a bit funky and out of sorts this morning. It's starting out as a day that I want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers up over my head, close my eyes and my ears and wake up when it's all over! I'm feeling very unJudi. I'm not sure exactly what it is. It's like a cross between the flu and nervousness--if that makes any sense. Whatever it is--it's here. My stomach is a little queezy, my head is thumping a bit, I'm fidgety yet sluggish and I'm cold one minute and hot the next. Perhaps it's the little extra wine that I drank or a let down from my lovely weekend or maybe it's the sadness that I feel over my sister's dear friend's passing or it could be the overwhelming sweating that I woke up with during the night (gee, that's a new one). All I know is, I don't like starting my week like this. I need a quick fix and I need it soon. I've got an entire Monday in front of me. Hopefully, by the time I leave for my morning walk, I'll be feeling normal (well, normal for a Monday morning!).
Someone should invent a Monday pill for days like this....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Here we go again........

Road Trip!!!


Well, I am pretty excited about this trip. It should be a wonderful day for a drive....a cool, crisp, Fall day. And, the foliage should be magnificent right about now. It should be very picturesque with all of the mountains and rolling hills along the way. We'll make a quick stop at Starbuck's for our Chai lattes with energy shots and then hit the road. This weekend, we will be visiting a university where my niece Alexa happens to be attending graduate school. We'll get to see her and her apartment. I just can't wait! Plus...on Saturday, Vince will drive down from his university (which is about 1 3/4 hours from there)! I'm in desperate need of a Vince fix (it's going on one month since I've seen him!). But, the most important thing is that Toni is excited about this University's fashion program. I have to admit...I'm anxious to hear all about it myself (maybe they'll take me on as their project next semester...do a fashion make over for my next 50 years!) Not only that...the University has been through a transformation over the past few years with a lot of new buildings and residence halls. I've heard rave reviews about the place so we're all looking forward to the tours as well. I have to be honest here--the thought of having Toni on a campus where her "big" cousin Alexa--who she idolizes--is attending school and having her that close to Vince's campus--is a wonderful thought. Wouldn't it be great to hop in the car---take a drive to see Toni and Alexa and then drive a little further to see Vince? That's, of course, if they want to see us....

As soon as everything is over mid-day on Saturday, we'll be able to spend the rest of the day with Alexa, her boyfriend and Vince. There's a few college watering holes friends have told me about that we'll probably check out and then there's another popular one that I have been to a few times over the past 30 years. A dear friend of mine who used to teach on that campus gave me a list of restaurants we might want to check out. From where I'm sitting right now....it looks like I'll be smiling quite a bit.
Now, it's time to go and see what I am going to wear....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where's the road block?

Here's what my personal astrologer emailed me yesterday.....
Dear Judi,
Here is your horoscope
for Wednesday, October 15:
It's a good time to reflect on your past and how you can move beyond it, because the present is stuck in a cycle of slow motion bumbling. You can make progress soon, if only you move past whatever is holding you back.



It's not that I'm all that into astrology. Unless of course, you count the fact that I have my own personal astrologer that emails me every day!!! I guess it does seem like maybe I am.
Alright, you caught me....I can explain-- ever since I heard the 5th Dimension sing the song "The Age of Aquarius" back in '69 (ya know....When the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars....),I felt a connection to the stars. I mean, there I was...a 10 year old Aquarian and there was this rock band singing about me and to me. Never mind that the song had nothing to do with people born in January and never mind the fact that I didn't even understand what they were talking about....they said Aquarius. I was an Aquarius. That was enough for a 10 year old Judi. And, as I've shared many times here on my blog....I'm still like that. I'm pretty positive that many of the most revered rock songs ever written and sang were done with me in mind. Just as the 5th Dimension was singing to me, so was Mick, Bob, Bruce, Nikki and many others. And, they still are....everyday.

So, back to this horoscope my astrologer emailed me yesterday. It sort of bugged me. I mean....really....what was he/she (I have no idea if my personal astrologer is male or female!) trying to tell me? I'm stuck in a cycle of slow motion bumbling? What the hell does that mean? I'm not bumbling and I am definitely not in slow motion. I'm walking tall (in my heels!) and living in the fast lane! I can make progress soon, if only I move past whatever is holding me back? Come on...what the hell IS holding me back? Why can't my astrologer just tell me....? Okay, okay, I shouldn't go postal here. But still! Listen, I do not enjoy or appreciate getting vague hints. If there's something big looming or if I need to do something specific....just tell me for heaven's sake! This "alluding to a problem" is a little cowardly...don't you think? If this emailing astrologer is so damn gifted then he/she needs to come right out and say exactly what is in the stars for me. At this stage of my life--I don't have the time or the inclination to spend a few years reflecting on my past just so I can move beyond it. What...so, I'll be 60 before I get beyond it? No thank you, Mr./Ms Astrologer. Sure, maybe I have a few things I need to deal with....who doesn't? But, right now, I'm doing pretty good. I spent the last year or so doing something pretty monumental. I dealt with my past--I got rid of those pounds from my past. I don't want to reflect on them anymore. And, let me tell you Mr./Ms. Astrologer, if there's a roadblock on my journey then so be it....I'm just going to bust right through or drive around it! So, there!
Now, let's just see what my astrologer has to say today.....



So, did you watch the debate?


OH....that reminds me....I want to send out a very special, Palin-free Happy Birthday to a blogger extraordanaire and an all around good Irish Catholic Democrat girl with lotsa purses--the one, the only... Eileen!!! Hope your Birthday-rama is rocking.....! Have a great AMG Thursday! Blow hard! (the candles...)
To all of my blog readers: Please take a moment and click (on Eileen) to leave a comment for Eileen on her Fifty-First Birthday (yes, I know...she's older than me!). I guarantee you....once you visit her, you'll keep going back.....!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Raise me up.......

....on high heels....


It's not an epiphany for anyone when I confess my love of shoes. In fact, I'm pretty sure the words shoes and Judi go hand in hand in some people's minds. Shoes are the one and only thing in my life that force me to commit sin. When it comes to shoes--I'm gluttonous,I'm lustful, I'm greedy and I live with a severe case of shoe envy. I wear my shoes with pride and tend to get angry over ugly shoes. Of the seven deadly sins, the only sin I don't commit is the sin of sloth...when it comes to shoes (because I care about shoes!).


























Shoes are like that bad boy your mother warned you about. The singer from the band who rides over to your house on a motorcycle in his Levis and black books, with his guitar on his back, long hair and a scruffy beard, smelling of beer and cigarettes. The boy who doesn't care that your mother thinks he's bad news. The boy who calls her by her first name....knowing he got to her...way down there. The boy who just makes you (and your mother) feel things....things you never thought you'd feel....

Shoes....they are just my thing. But never more so than right now. All of sudden....I can actually wear all those shoes that I never could before. I'm no longer relegated to wearing sensible but very cute shoes. I can wear heels....even high heels. High heels, pointy toed, not-so-sensible but oh-so-cute shoes. I can buy them without guilt because I know they won't be sitting in the bottom of my closet because I can't wear them. BECAUSE I CAN. And, oh, how they make me feel. And, how they make me look. As far as I'm concerned, high heeled shoes are a girl-with-about-20lbs-to-lose's best friend. They instantaneously knock off a few pounds. They have this magical power over your body. They make you taller. Sleeker. They push up your butt, your calves and every other body part. They make you walk with a little more wiggle and a little more sass and a tad bit more attitude. They scream "look at me" when you walk into a room. They give you that edge you need when you're dealing with one of those nasty but sensibly-shoed gals.

It's a shame that I couldn't wear these high heeled shoes when I was in the throes of obesity. I mean, they clearly could have given me a little boost when I really needed it. But, just as I've long suspected....all the good things go to the thinner girls. But, now I'm one of them . So, I can wear my high-heeled shoes....and I can walk from here to there in them too. Alleluia!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good Morning Lapband!


My Lapband is the first thing I think of when I open my eyes each morning and the last thing I think of before I drift off to sleep each night. And, I think about it many times in between. It's not that I don't have other things to think about or other things that are more important, it's just that keeping myself feeling well and on track is what helps me to keep the rest of my life in check. I'm a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, coworker and all around person when I'm taking care of myself and attending to my health. It has taken me a very long time to figure out that if I'm not well, I can't take care of the things that are important to me. Allowing my body and my mind to be ravaged by obesity without doing something about it cost me quite a lot. Not that anyone really knew it. In fact, I'll bet most people didn't give it a second thought. They just saw me getting fatter and fatter and fatter. My family was fed, my house was somewhat clean, the lawn was mowed, all the Christmas gifts were bought and wrapped, no one went without a birthday gift, the flowers were planted, the pumpkins were on the porch, I went to work each day and I paid my taxes. Who knew that by taking care of everyone and everything else, I had let myself drop to the bottom of the list? I didn't take the time to really look myself in the mirror and realize that while I was giving to everyone else, I was neglecting the person they all depended on--ME. In fact, I am pretty sure that I believed--in my heart of hearts--that I had to come last. Everyone else and everything else in my life had to come first. Don't even ask me how or why I held to that obsolete thinking. I wouldn't have admitted it even if I was called on it. And, quite possibly, I didn't even realize that's the way it was with me. I just woke up each day and went through the motions of making Judiland rock. When I went to bed each night, I thought about all the things I had to do for others and wondered if I did them right, if I did enough and how I could make it better next time. Every once in awhile, I might have let myself think about something else. But, mostly, my waking thoughts and my last thoughts of the day were about taking care of the rest of my world and not me.
My Lapband has changed all that....

Once I took the reigns and decided to take charge of my body and my health, things changed. All of a sudden--I had to put myself first. When it all started, I had to make the time for all of the things I needed to do to get the surgery. I had to ignore the schedules and the demands of others because I had to make sure that I jumped through every hoop, attended every session, made every appointment, scheduled every test, followed every step and did everything they told me I had to do so that I could be eligible and ready for the surgery. Then, afterwards, I had to make sure that I set aside the time to learn how to live with a Lapband. I had to plan meals, count proteins, schedule fills and go for my appointments. And, I had to take the time to do what I needed to do to be successful. I had to understand what my Lapband could do and what it could not do. It was a tool....not a miracle. I had to weave that into my life and make it work. It took time and energy and commitment and desire. And, it meant that sometimes I had to turn my back on things that I used to do for others. I had to make it known that I could not give 150% to everything and everyone else in my life. I had to tell myself...and others...that I came first. Me and my Lapband. And, along with that, I had to convince myself that I was not being a selfish egomaniac. That was probably the hardest part. But, now I know. I know that by taking care of myself, I am giving the best gift of all to others---a happy, healthy me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Party Pants!!


Columbus may have discovered America but I discovered my PARTY PANTS fit! As far as I'm concerned....that makes today a double holiday! Unfortunately, I didn't have time to get a presidential proclamation...


It was just one of those mornings.....my Saturday night illness seemed to stay with me all day Sunday, throughout the night and into the wee hours of this morning. I'm convinced it had nothing to do with my age or a newly aquired low tolerance for wine. And, just when I was ready to accept the fact that maybe....just maybe.....I am a lightweight, something happened. Something astonishing and quite exciting. Something that turned my life upside down and rightside up. Something that brought memories flooding back to my mind and warmed the cockles of my heart so much so that I shed a few tears. And, something that underscored my firmly held belief that being a lightweight does not take away my ability to party. You see, this morning, I fit into my PARTY PANTS. A pair of pants that I bought specifically for one of the wildest, all night parties of the decade---Angela's 40th Birthday. Now, for you daily blog readers--you will recall that it was only months ago that we celebrated Angela's 50th birthday. So, that makes these pants over 10 years old. Yes, fair friends, I am wearing a 10 year old pair of pants. So, let me tell you....if I could party in these pants 10 years ago, I could do it again today. If I could chug wine from a bottle, dance all night long, smoke like a chimney and not come home until the birds sang in these pants then by golly, these pants prove that I AM NOT A LIGHTWEIGHT when it comes to drinking wine, I am just a lighter weight.....
And...that's not all. Out the clear blue sky, my dear, dear childhood friend....the infamous and extremely fun friend, Debbie Dean...a girl that I have known since air, called me only moments ago, to commiserate about my Saturday night wine problem. Yes, she and her sweet and very lovely daughter...the mama-to-be Gretchen....read my blog. Now, Debbie knows a thing or two about consumption. Although she reports that she's living life as a 2-fer these days (she can only drink 2 French Martinis), she considered it her duty, as my forever friend, to weigh in on my situation. She is thoroghly convinced....and she has me convinced as well....that I have not lost my edge at all. "It had to be cheap wine,"...she pointed out. And, we all know.....Judi is no cheap wino. A girl who is wearing 10 year old pants---yes. A lighter weight girl---yes. But....a cheap wino....hell no.

Party on.......

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm a LIGHTWEIGHT........


No, I'm not talking about weight-weight as in getting on the scale and getting weighed. I'm talking lightweight with regard to alcohol.
Three glasses of wine last night and this girl is having one heck of a morning. Three glasses of wine. Not four, not five, not the whole bottle. Three. So, forgive me if I can't share a blow by blow about the weekend. Right now, I'm way too busy figuring out what the problem is here. I mean, three glasses of wine on a Saturday night and I'm practically ruined for the day? Let's see....about last night....we went to church, we went to my favorite crab cake place, I had my crab cake, I wanted gin but decided on wine, I drank wine, the guys watched the game, we laughed, we talked, we ran into some people, I drank wine, we came back to our house to watch the end of the game, we sat on the porch, we talked a little more, I drank wine...... Really, I just don't get it. I mean, who drinks three glasses of wine and feels like this the next day? Not me. No, no, not me. I'm a I could kill that bottle and then go marathon shopping the next day kind of girl. Not a three glasses of wine and I can't put out my Halloween decorations wimp chick. Believe you me....you can ask my spirited friends...I could put away some wine. We've had bar tabs that rivaled the weekly grocery bill for a family of four.

Clearly, something is happening. My head is throbbing. My stomach is churning. My thinking is clouded. I know I'm supposed to make a frittata for brunch, get things ready for Sunday dinner and then haul out the ladder and the decorations and start my work. But, my body is saying no. And, my mind is agreeing with it. Am I really destined to live out the rest of my days being one of those women who giggles "I just can't drink more than 2 glasses of wine.."? Am I now one those pesky women who moans about getting a headache from wine? What is the problem? Why did three glasses of wine do me in? Maybe it wasn't the wine. Maybe what my father always warned me about finally happened....someone slipped something in my drink so they could take advantage of me later. Na...I don't think so. Considering that my father was sitting to the left of me and my girlfriend Martha was sitting to the right of me. My father isn't quick enough plus he wouldn't want to incapacitate his cook. And, of course, Martha has no reason to render me helpless unless of course, she wanted to take over my cooking duties. So, I am 100% sure no one drugged me.

So...I'm left to ponder this fine mess that I'm in this morning. Will I be able to cure it with a Chai Latte with an energy shot? Should I suck down a triple dose of my mega vitamins? Maybe I better up my B-12 intake. Or, should I do what my father and his Irish cronnies used to recommend way back in their drinking days....hair of the dog ? Should I have a glass of wine...right now? Or, should I just march in there and tell Carmen to move over....I'm laying down too? Oh, I forgot to mention...Carmen is passed out on the couch. He's not feeling too swift either. He says it was the wings, the hoagie and the fries. I'm pretty sure it was the beer. Or, it could be a reaction to the work that I threatened to make him do today.....
Whatever the problem....I'm not liking it. I need a cure and I need it fast. This feeling lousy after only 3 glasses of wine is not a Judi thing. I'll take feeling lousy after 8 glasses of wine but definitely not 3. Three is out. I'm not sure if it's age related or food intake related or brand of wine related or I was just having an off night thing. It doesn't really matter. Well....unless, of course....I am a lighweight.....as in LIGHTWEIGHT..... Now, that's a whole other story....

Friday, October 10, 2008

On the road again.....oh how great it is to be on the road again.....;-)



It's another adventure in college shopping. But, we also have a few more items on our shopping list this time. A homecoming dress, shoes and all the trimmings. So, it will be a little of this, a little of that. In the end, it will be an all-about- Toni weekend. But, you know I don't mind. Savouring this final year with Toni before she goes off to college is my top priority from now until it's over. Everyone will probably get sick of hearing about it by the time I ship her off to her college of choice. It's just that it's all new to me. I mean, I've only been doing this having a daughter thing for 17 years. And, I'm having so much fun and enjoying it so much....I really don't want it to end. Oh, I know....it won't really end. It will just change. And, change is good. I know. I know. There will be drives up to see her at school, weekend visits home, holidays and breaks. And, I know we'll make the most of all of that. I promise you, I won't be one of those moms who will hang out on the steps of her dorm and I won't be whining 24/7 that I miss her. There will be new issues and new things that will take over my time and my mind. I know that. When one thing ends, something new always swoops in to take it's place. That's how life is. But, for now....this is my life. College shopping. Homecoming dress shopping. Shoe shopping. And Toni.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What's for dinner?



Honestly, it's not that I don't like to cook. Because...I love to cook. Just not night after night after night. This dinner thing is getting on my nerves. Coming up with a menu early in the day, coming home late from the office and cooking it and then serving it and then cleaning up after it amid everything else that has to get done in a short period of time is taking it's toll on me. I mean, I don't like to complain. But, sometimes I just can't help it.

People seem to think that having a Lapband makes the whole dinner thing (or any food event) harder. But, it doesn't. We Lapbanded folks can eat regular food. Sure, we have to be careful--as I've said many times before--about what we eat and how much we eat. But, for the most part...it's business and usual. That's the supreme beauty of a Lapband. We're not left to eating only diet food or just protein or just veggies or salads or tuna fish. At least for me, when I went on a diet in my pre-Lapbanded life, that's the way it was. Now, it's eat what you want, what you can and just be smart about it. Which, of course, doesn't make the whole dinner thing harder. The only thing that it's done to the way I eat is that I really want my food to taste good and I want it to be the food that I really like. Not that I wanted to eat lousy food before. But, when I was dieting in my pre-Lapband life, I expected to eat food that wasn't all that great. It was all part of the suffering and deprivation thing (you know...to lose weight, we must suffer...) So, I find myself thinking a lot harder about what I really want to eat....maybe that makes it harder, I'm not sure. I've developed this mentality that if I am going to eat something then it better damn well be good. Yes, I'm a foodie from way back. But, even as a foodie, before my Lapband, I would put up with sub par food...I mean, I had to eat so I ate. Whatever it was...I ate it. I guess that explains a little bit of how I ended up needing my Lapband.

People who know me have heard me say many times that every meal in my house has to be an event. I know I've said it a million times. Sometimes I say it with great disgust, other times I say it with pride. But, no matter--it's one of my standard lines. Because it's true. The "what's for dinner?" question is a standard line too. From my family. Somedays it haunts me all day long. Because, honestly, I have no f'in idea what's for dinner! I'm not organized enough to have something planned and my taste buds are not quick enough to know what I will want to eat. Like everyone else, we have our standard foods that appear on the dinner table (chicken, salmon, tacos, salads,hamburgers, pasta). But, since I'm not one of those kind of people who adheres to schedules or to keeping everything the same day-in-and-day out, I get tired of the same old, same old. Even so, that doesn't mean that I have a recipe box filled with great ideas for every night of the week. In fact, even though I have a shitload of cookbooks, recipe boxes, food magazines and stray recipes from friends, I don't follow recipes much anyway. I just use them for ideas mostly.

So, here I sit....it's Thursday....very early morning. I'm headed out to meet my dear friend Martha for our morning walk. And, I have no idea what the hell I am going to make for dinner. I have a feeling it's going to be one of those days when I think about dinner all day long. All day long. Now you know...my Lapband doesn't stop me from thinking about food from morning until night. It might stop me from eating tons of food. But, not from thinking about it.
So, I'm wondering.....what are YOU making for dinner tonight?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Embracing my inner hungry girl.......


"I'll have whatever she's having....."



There are times when we are just hungry for gumption and toughness and fortitude and yes....bitchiness...

Some days we need inspiration from higher beings, been-there-done-that types of folks and all those people who just don't give a shit and tell it like it is. Nourishment comes in many forms--the food we eat, the wine (or the gin!) we drink and the inspiration we devour.

In my everyday life, as I walk and talk amongst the masses, I subscribe to the belief that all people are worthy and their time is valuable. I make it a point to work hard at making sure that the people I come in contact with get the best ME. I like to smile, I like to acknowledge others and I really do expect that people will reciprocate. It's just how I'm programmed. Take it or leave it. Although I'd rather people take it. Just as I truly believe....in my heart of hearts...that accepting others for who they are is what everyone should do, I also understand that not everyone is like that. And, that's okay. It's like this circle....if I believe in accepting others as they are, I have to accept that others will not wrap their heart and arms around the same things that I think are important. Nevertheless, I try very hard to do my part in making the people around me feel like they mean something....not just to me but to the world at large. Sappy? Maybe. But, that's what I do....when I'm walking and talking amongst the masses. And, then there's the things that I do in my secret, bad-girl day dreams....when I'm feeling kind of skiddish or hurt or agitated or just in one of those moods.
It's then that I hunger for gutsy inspiration---not the touchy, feely, feel-good type of stuff. So, for those times when my hunger quotient is way up there, I reach for my breakfast of champions....
Here's a few morsels of gut food that I'm going to chomp on this morning. I keep these little goodies around my desk, in my purse, inside my kitchen cabinets, on my fridge. They are all calorie free but laden with moxy. They feed me when I need a little taste of attitude and a big helping sass....

-I cannot give you the formula for success. But, I can give you the formula for failure---which is: Try to please everybody.
-I don't edit myself, I say what I feel like saying even with it's the wrong thing. Sometimes I beat myself up for it, but you just have to let it go. Because if you aren't present, you're going to miss something good.
-If you bend over backwards to get or keep a relationship with someone, you're going to have a backache for the rest of your life.
-If we're not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn't settle for junk food. And visa versa.
-Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.
-There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.
-May those who love us love us and those that don't love us, may God turn their hearts. If He can't turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping.
-She knew she had a big fat ass, and her attitude was kiss it!
-Who invited all these tacky people?
-Be nice or leave
-How about a nice big cup of shut the hell up...think before you say something stupid.
-I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day....tomorrow is not looking good either.
-If you can't be kind, have the decency to be vague
-If it doesn't concern you, don't mess with it
-If you must undress me with your eyes please fold my clothes neatly
-As much as I try to be an easygoing, stretch your wings and fly type...I just can't stop trying to burst people into flames with my mind
-There comes a time in the day that no matter what the question...the answer is wine

Okay, I'm almost full. I think I'll pack the rest for lunch.

Now, it's your turn.....Any suggestions for dinner?





So, did you watch the debate?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm a lifer......


I know, you're wondering what the heck this picture has to do with the topic of today's post. In a very abstract way, it is all connected. Trust me. At least in my head. But, beyond that, it just makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile too. You can never have enough smiles!


The other day, in a feverish quest for just the right pants to fit me, I got a little frustrated in the dressing room. So, I let out a few naughty words. Not real naughty. But naughty enough. Immediately, Lora--a lovely woman who waits on me occasionally--came to my rescue. Or, maybe she was trying to quiet me, who knows. There I was, standing in front of the 3 way mirror looking at the 8th pair of pants I had tried on, damning the clothes designers for not making them for real people like myself. Everyone knows that feeling. Legs too long. Waist okay. Zipper pulls over tummy. Rear end looks like the moon. You get the picture.....everyone gets it....I have a valid complaint. So, Lora says to me...."did you try the other ones?" I pointed to the dressing room where the first 7pair I tried on were scattered about the floor. "Ohhhhh dear" she said, putting her hand over her mouth. "I just don't think your pants are made for me," I told her. At the point, she probably imagined thousands of dollars walking out the door. "Nooo, that can't be, honey. You always shop here!" she tried to soothe me. She didn't want to lose me as probably one of their best customers of the 21st Century. "Yes, I know. But, I must be in between your sizes or something because nothing is working for me! Those are too big, those don't work with my belly, those are too snug, those are way too long....I give up!" I whined. "Well, we'll just have to figure it out," she offered. "All I want is one pair of pants, maybe two. Pants that will go with everything. That's it. I don't need jackets or sweaters or blouses or skirts. I need pants!" I told her. She surveyed the floor, looked at the pants I had on and started to think. "You know, I swear by Spanx. It's the poor girl's tummy tuck" she offered. I told her that I am a Spanx devotee from way back. "Well, then, let's try them on with some Spanx!" she triumphantly suggested. "I have a few pair for just that reason right here!" she said, scampering off to the secret drawer where they keep their supply. Unfortunately, the Spanx didn't solve many problems. So, I headed back into the store to look some more....maybe I missed the perfect pair. A few moments later, Lora came over to see how I was doing..."what do you think the problem is?" she asked. I told her about my Lap band surgery and explained about the excess skin that seems to be hanging around my middle long after the weight has left my body. "Ohhhh....." she said with some degree of understanding. With that, she excused herself to attend to another customer. A few minutes later, she came back. "So, you had that band put on?" she asked me in a very hushed voice. So, I explained a little more about it and told her...as I tell everyone...it was the best thing I ever did...even if I can't find pants! Again, she went off to help another shopper. A few moments later, as I was eyeing up a pretty jacket that I definitely did not need, I could hear a voice saying "Pssst....". I looked around and saw no one. Again, I heard it. Again, no one. Then, I heard someone whispering..."Judi...." I turned around and saw Lora hiding behind a big rack of pants. She quickly motioned for me to come over....as if she was hiding from someone. I thought...."alleluiah, she found me some pants!". But, no. "So..." she said in a quick whisper..."do you have to keep that in there forever?" she asked--motioning to my stomach, looking around as if someone might catch us talking. Why all the clandestine behavior?--I wondered. "Yes, it's in there forever..." I began, my voice mimicing her hushed tones. "But, you can get it out if you want. But, why would you?" I told her. "Yeah, but it's in there forever?" she said, her eyes darting about looking for who-knows-who. "Yes," I told her, this time wondering why in the hell we were hiding behind the rack, bending down as if we were picking something up. "It's just that it seems like once you lose the weight, you might get it out," she continued to whisper. So, I quietly explained the whole procedure to her....filling the band, the restriction, etc. "Ohhhh...." she said with great interest, whispering again. "So, it's in there forever? Right?" she said, this time standing erect, talking a little louder. "Yes, for me, at least" I told her, talking in normal tones. "Okay, thanks," she said, touching my arm. Then, she returned to her salesperson mode and went to help a woman who was looking at sweaters on a nearby table. Honestly, I have no clue why we were hunched behind a rack of pants whispering. I can't imagine she would lose her job if she was caught talking to someone who practically keeps their store in business. The only thing I can think is that some people think wieght loss surgery is one of those topics that you don't discuss in public or among genteel folks. Who knows. Perhaps it's the whole stigma that goes along with obesity, I'm not sure. Whatever it was that kept Lora crouched down behind a huge rack of pants whispering about my Lapband, I want to fix it. Yes, you heard me. I want to fix it. I'm not sure how or when or how long it will take me but I want to bring obesity and weight loss surgery out from behind the racks of pants and out among the shoes and the purses and the accessories and the jackets and the cash register and all over the mall........
My Lapband is here to stay and I don't want to be quiet about it.....

Could this be one of the things on my "WHAT I WILL DO WHEN I'M 50" list?

Monday, October 6, 2008

'Tis Monday once more.......



So, I'm going to put on my new SIZE 12 pants and deal with it....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new..........

That's exactly the way I felt today.....

The college visit was everything we imagined. We had an absolutely wonderful time. We all enjoyed the tours and the programs (although Carmen seemed to have his cell phone attached to his ear talking with work folks most of the time!), we got to chat with faculty, staff and students, we had dinner and drinks overlooking the river valley with some old friends and we snuck in a little shopping. Toni fell in love all over again! She didn't even mind putting up with some of my stories as we meandered through the campus. And, I was in awe of all the changes. Although many of the old buildings are now gone and new ones stand in their place, the quaint courtyards and green spaces remain. The special feeling of the place is still there. Funny thing....I didn't miss seeing those old buildings. Not because they were old. But because they really weren't all that nice. But, the new ones are spectacular. Especially the residence halls. Private bathrooms. Large closets. Lots of floor space. Toni was thrilled with everything. So were we. Progress is wonderful. Change is good. But, it's even better when the heart stays the same. That's the way I felt when we drove away.....the place has changed dramatically but it's still the same in all the important ways. Just like me.

Today, I spent a few hours going through my closets....weeding out all of the old sizes to make way for the new ones. I didn't mind packing up the old clothes. I won't even miss them. I like the new ones so much better. My size and my appearance may have changed but my heart and soul are still the same. Just like my old college campus.....

Friday, October 3, 2008

Glory Days.......in the wink of a young girl's eye.....



Yes, we're taking to the road again.....
this time on a college trip with Toni...

Let me start with a little story....circa June 1976

I was a waitress at a little chain restaurant. One day,I happened to wait on a table with 2 couples....one older, one younger. The younger couple had come into town to visit with the woman's parents. During the course of ordering and subsequent conversation, I mentioned that I had just graduated from high school. The younger woman asked me my plans for the future. I told her that I would be going off to college at a little place about an hour or so outside of Pittsburgh. She was very interested in what I had to say. When I told her the college I would be attending, she became very excited. As it turned out, she was a professor at that very same college. So, she asked what I would be majoring in. I told her...."Communications". As it turned out, I was majoring in her department. Fast forward a few months and I found myself in her class. On the first day of class, not being a shy one, I introduced myself to her as the girl she met on that day in June when I waited on her and her family. She had not forgotten. Over the next 2 years, I took several of her courses. She was a fabulous instructor and I always aced her classes. She consistently encouraged me and applauded my abilities and my creativity. I loved the courses and I appreciated her support. The program required a lot of presentations, speeches and oral communications. Things I had always excelled at and enjoyed. However, after my sophomore year, the pull towards writing got the best of me. So, I switched my major to Creative Writing...which resided in the English Department. After that, I didn't see much of that professor. My head and my heart were fully immersed in writing and aspiring to pen the next great American novel. No more presentations or speeches. I was busy launching a literary magazine, writing Beatnik poetry and reading D.H. Lawrence. It was where I wanted to be and I reveled in the intellectual stimulus of being with people who shared my same love for writing and great writers. I busied myself with the serious,sometimes dark writings of Irish bards and the poetry of Alan Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac. It was a great place to exercise my passion for interpreting their words and understanding their motivation. Bantering with like minded folks, sharing a joint or two with them and having deep literary discussions were my thing during my academic hours. When I wasn't doing that---I was doing the sorority girl thing, going to frat parties and dreaming of the days when I could afford great shoes.
Fast forward about 10 years....
We were comfortably living in our first house. Vince was about 5 years old, Toni was only in our dreams, our careers were going well and our lives were very busy. The professor I met at that little restaurant called me. Out of the blue. On a weeknight when I'm living in suburbia. She was nearing the end of her career...she told me...and she had been thinking of me for quite some time. A few weeks earlier, she had been in Europe and she thought she saw me. Which, of course, she didn't. She told me that she had thought of me often throughout the years and had regretted not encouraging me to stay in her program. She told me that I was probably one of the most talented students she ever had and that not encouraging me to stay in her program was one of her great regrets. She said that she interpreted it as "a sign" when she saw me in Europe....she knew she had to find me. Now, to say that I was awestruck that night is an understatement. Unfortunately, with a rambunctious boy running about, a full day behind me and another one in front of me, I didn't have the mental capacity or energy or the wisdom that comes with age to understand that her phone call was important. Especially to her.

We're taking Toni to visit that same little college. It's now a university. Last year we took a little drive up there and Toni fell in love. Although she had visited there several times before, her college days were far from her mind....she could have cared less about the place. It was the place mom went to school and only that. When we took our son to visit during his college tour days, he couldn't get out of there fast enough. It was a little too sleepy for him. But, for Toni, the little campus nestled at the foothills of a mountain on a river bend felt just right. The quaintness of the buildings, the beauty of the landscape and the size of campus were perfect. She felt like she belonged. And, I couldn't help but feel a great sense of joy imagining my daughter's feet walking on the same paths as my 17 year old feet. My heart skipped a beat as I watched her look at the campus with a fresh eye, filled with fascination and excitement. "Yes" I thought to myself...."this is her school" So many times since then, I imagined her being there. Being at my school. The place where I learned and grew and loved and had fun and did crazy things and met wonderful people. The place were I scooped up a lifetime worth of friendships and lived the college life. There, at those foothills, at the bend of that river, I was a young and lively Judi....a prelude to the Judi I am today. Never did I even imagine or think that 30+ years later, my own daughter....my precious, sweet and gorgeous daughter....may find her way to the place where her own story will unfold. Whether she chooses to go there or not is her choice. We have several more college trips scheduled in the weeks ahead. But, for today....going there with her and knowing that she loves a place that I also love is enough for me. To walk those paths and sit in those buildings with my daughter beside me....life is good. But, the cherry on top of that is this....when I asked her what she would major in.....she said "Communications"
Now it's my turn to make an important phone call. I have to find that professor and let her know.








So....did you watch the debate?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I work for shoes.....

Shoes, shoes, I'll give you shoes.....

You asked for it, now you're going to get it.
Yesterday was a shoelove day if there ever was one. I started the day receiving a nasty email (that was cced to several other people) that I did not deserve . So, I took matters into my own hands. Before the clock struck 9, I decided it was time to self medicate. I spent my lunch hour seeing an old college roommate and buying shoes. Wrapping my arms around an old friend from bygone days and buying new shoes for my 49 3/4 year old feet was the perfect antidote to the pain that plagued me.....

#1--Ever since I saw these shoes in a magazine, I had to have them. Now I do.


Granted, they are not exactly sexy. But, I love them. Carmen did not. I drove to meet him for a late dinner. I wore these shoes. The first thing he said? It wasn't "gee, honey, it's great to see you"......it was "I hate those shoes, you look like a little Dutch boy". Well, at least he didn't say I look like a BIG Dutch boy!

#2--I desperately wanted leopard pointy toed boots. There they were. I now own them!


Now, these are sexy shoes. A night out with the girls for sure. They will look amazing with the new jeans I bought during my PhDland shopping trip....

#3--I just had to have these. This style of clogs are my absolute favorite ever since the 70's! To find them in leopard print sealed the deal....


Okay, Okay....I know....my third pair of Leopard print shoes in one day. I couldn't help it. I needed healing.....

#4--Then, there's these. They just spoke to me. No...they yelled at me. They said "JUDI, YOU DO NOT HAVE A PAIR THAT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE ME! BUY ME! BUY ME!" I never ignore "the calling" in a shoe store....


Yes, I know, they are a little bit unusual. But, damn, they are fun....



Yes, I know....4 pair of shoes in one day...sinful. Like I said....my day did not start off well at all. I was determined to fix it. Thankfully, I figured out the cure.

But, I have one lingering issue.
I need your help.
Last year I saw these boots and I had to have them. They are red paisley.

Aren't they amazing?
Unfortunately, they were out of stock everywhere I looked. I was very sad.
Today....I found them.....in 2 colors. Life can be so cruel. I loved them both. After buying 4 pair of shoes already, I vowed to buy only one pair of these. I must decide swiftly!
So....I need YOU to weigh in (no pun intended!)on which pair you think would be a great Judi pair of boots.... the red ones or
the brown and black ones....


If you can't see the difference on your screen....you can check then out at zappos.com to a better look...

I need ALL OF MY READERS (yes, that means you....) to help me out here. Please vote for which paisley print you think I should buy. The red? The black/brown?
I'm counting on you....


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good Morning October......

The final quarter of my 49th year....





I'm not much into looking at a year in quarters the way the financial world does it. But, it occurred to me yesterday...for some odd reason....that the year is 3/4 over. In my typical way of doing things, if that particular thought occurred to me, I'd see it more as a signal to think about Christmas shopping than anything else. Yet, at the moment, I am pondering it a bit differently. Sure, I guess I am still thinking that Christmas shopping is becoming more of a reality than it was a few weeks ago. But, mostly, I'm realizing that I'm slowly eeking out of my 40's and drifting into my 50's. Honestly, age is not a big thing for me. However, these years that end in zero kind of make me stand up and take a little more notice. And, let's be honest here....the number 50 is just a little more daunting than those other years that end in zero. Daunting in that 50 feels more grown up. More like the age of someone's mother or grandmother. Not the age of a young soul like me who hasn't begun to really live. I mean really live. I'm pretty sure I have lots more things to do. Lots more goals to reach and many more dreams to full fill. I'm not quite sure what any of them are. I just know I have to have them. Don't I? Am I that low maintenance or are my expectations that low or am I lazy or am I so damn content? If so, is any of that all that bad? Right this minute, if someone said to me that I should make a list of the 100 things I want to do before I die, I'd be hard pressed to do it. Mostly because I've never lived with any sense of urgency. I've always lived believing that I had a lot of time ahead of me. And, in that time, I'd not only figure out what I really wanted out of life but I'd also be well on my way to getting what it is what I wanted. I guess I always figured that by the time I reached 50, I'd have it all figured out. But, unless that all happens between now and January 23, my figuring was wrong. I don't mind being wrong. But, I don't know how I feel about maybe missing out on things.

I've always felt young. Maybe it's because my mother sent me to school when I was 4. Ever since then, I've always been the youngest kid in the room (the classroom, that is). Everyone was always older than me. I hung out with older kids. I reached the age to drive, the age to vote and the age to drink later than all of my friends. I was always lagging behind in the age game. In many ways, that used to make me feel pretty special. On the other hand, it used to piss me off. When everyone else was driving and getting jobs, I had to stand by and watch. When they legally went into bars, I'd have to figure out another way to get in if I wanted to hang with them. Yes, it made me that much more creative and filled my days with lots of anticipation. But, mostly, it was just the way it was.

So, here's the thing....I am going to spend the final quarter of my 49th year trying to come up with a plan and maybe a list. The other night, my 2 wonderful and spirited friends mentioned that they had been talking about what to plan to celebrate my birthday. I told them the only thing I was really planning was to get my teeth professionally whitened. How boring does that sound? It's the only thing I had really thought a little about. Getting whiter teeth. It's the only thing that made it to my list....so far. So, I'm wondering--what are the things that I'd really like to set my mind to doing? Do I want to take yoga? Do I want to go to Paris? I mean, what the hell do I want to do....really?