Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Why do I want chocolate?
I can go an entire year and not once do I crave chocolate or candy. I've never been a candy girl. Even during some of my biggest eatathon days. My taste buds have always preferred salty, spicey, savory foods. Never cakes or cookies or candies....well, except for twizzler licorice--yeah I could kill a 5 pound bag of that in no time flat! But, chocolate---sure I will eat it but I don't crave it or dream about it or fantasize about it. I admit--I have had orgasmic moments over huge bowls of pasta, big fat meatballs, piles of nachoes, platters of sharp cheeses and home made hot sausage with peppers and onions . But...sweets....not so much. I don't even like sweet wine or super sweet girly libations. I'm strictly a girl who likes to taste her booze and savor her spices.
So, why is it that come the last week of October, I find myself wanting Reese's peanutbutter cups and Almond Joys??? Does it have anything to do with years of trick-or-treating? Does my body just know it's time to get candy???
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
A Lapband is a little bit like getting older.
You can taste the good things, nourish yourself with what you need and cut down on the excess stuff.
That's what I am thinking as I digest the latest rounds of changes in my work life.
A few years ago, these changes would have me crying and fretting.
Today....not so much.
Why is that?
Because I know what's good in my work life-- working with many of my colleagues, the work that we do and of course--payday.
And...the other stuff....I don't need it.
Not any more.
I'm old enough to be so over the career girl thing.
And my stomach isn't big enough to overeat because of it.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Yes, a little extra beauty sleep on a Monday was warranted this morning. So, no need to worry.....I had to forgo my early morning ritual in favor of vanity. There's no tales to tell of wild nights spent dancing in my brand new Donald Pliner Leopard Moc Croc boots or stories of illicit escapes after drinking too many gin gimlets. The fact of the matter is--sometimes weekends just do me in. And, this weekend was so exception......! When the alarm beckoned, I was just not ready for anything---much less coming up with anything remotely fascinating to share here on Stories From the Road.....
Now that I got that extra beauty sleep.....things will be fine tomorrow! I'll be back to my ravishing, blogging self.....
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I'm down on my knees and my mascara is running......
One of the sheer joys of not being obese is wearing amazing shoes. Although I've always loved...I mean absolutely worshipped....shoes and I always had a very respectful collection of some darn cute shoes, as my body grew, the most I could do was gaze upon many of them and love them from afar and just be content with owning them. Sure, I'd wear them around my bedroom, admire them in the mirror and maybe even wear them for a bit. But, soon, I'd have to toss them aside for a roomier, more comfortable pair. Yes, it was utterly heartbreaking.....
But, now God has taken pity on me for those awful days of having to abandon my shoes. He delivered these Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc Boots to me.
Yes, my beloved God gave me a brand new pair of Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc Boots in Size 8 1/2. And, he gave them to me for $38. And I only had to go around the corner to get them. It was a calling, I tell you....when I found myself at this amazing place.....only steps from my house. That is where God called me to get my Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc Boots.
The shoes I have been lusting over for months in the window of my favorite shoe store--Footloose.
These $299 Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc Boots.
The ones I would visit at least once a week....my Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc Boots.
The ones I would slip my foot into, gaze upon and tenderly return them to the box and hand them over to the sales woman.....my heart tinged with sadness, my eyes moist.
With each visit, it became harder and harder to say goodbye....to my Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc boots.
And, then, one day, I went to visit them and they were not there.
My Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc boots were gone.
And, a piece of me went with them....
Now I know that God had other plans for my Donald Pliner Leopard Congo Moc Croc boots. They were my reward for having to endure years of being too damn fat to wear great shoes. And, my darling God chose yesterday--a cool and dreary October Saturday to lure me to where my Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc boots lay in wait for me. He led me to my Donald Pliner Lola Leopard congo Moc Cros boots by convincing me that Avalon Exchange--only steps from my house--would hold a treasure trove of articles for Toni's Moulin Rouge themed Halloween costume. Oh, my sweet Lord is such a coniving fellow---we found no suitable articles for Toni's costume there.
Only my Donald Pliner Lola Leopard Congo Moc Croc Boots.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
As soon as I get through Friday!
Hope your weekend is as lively and rejunvinating as a Gin Gimlet!!!
And, I'm counting down the hours until my sweet little girl arrives home!
I need a major Toni fix. Can't wait to have her all to myself.....I won't have to share her with a boyfriend. Yes, it's the upside of her broken heart.....
Gotta go get dinner in the crock pot so the house smells like home when she gets here....
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This past Sunday, we celebrated my mother-in-law's 76th birthday. Being an Italian cook straight from Italy--what she wants for her birthday is to cook dinner for her la familia. What that means is--several courses of old fashioned home cooked Italian food, a table laden with her best made dishes--minestrone, home made pasta, home made meatballs, chicken romano, penne with marinara sauce, roasted potatoes with garlic--to name just a few. Nestled in big Italian crocks and spread on huge platters with all of us sitting around sharing the fruits of her labor, sipping on wine, talking about the things that families talk about when they get together, unwrapping presents and blowing out candles and eating ice cream and cake.
Last Saturday afternoon, as the rain fell outside, an old friend, her darling niece Abigail and I sat at one our favorite neighborhood haunts and chatted over a lovely glass of Montevina Sauv Blanc. I had a bowl of French onion soup to warm me up, my friend opted for an appetizer of hamburger sliders and Abigail had a French dip. We gabbed about the things that old friends chat about when they get together, we entertained Abigail with our banter and got the inside scoop on how a preteen views life. We swapped stories and advice, laughed and grimaced and enjoyed the respite from life out in the big, bad world. Afterwards, we went shopping--my friend was on a specific mission at Pottery Barn Kids and I went along for the fun. And, along the way, we found ourselves smack in the middle of a wonderful sale---so we shopped.
The night before that--Friday--with Carmen feeling a bit under the weather, we made no specific plans except to light a few pumpkin spice candles, dig out some furry throws and recharge after a long week. But fate had other plans for us. My sister and my nephew popped in after his hockey game--both them in need of some nourishment. I ordered some wings---hot, garlic and dry rub---from a local joint , poured wine for my sister and I and then we sat around watching the Pitt game. I nibbled on a wing or two and every once in awhile, my sister and I would sneak out on the porch---where it was chilly and damp--to have a contrand smoke.
So, why am I telling you all of this?
Just to give a little glimpse into what living with a Lapband is like......
Yep, it's not at all cult-like or crazy!!! We don't have to weigh and measure or write down everything we put in our mouths, we can eat and cavort with the everyday folks, we can go to restaurants and be in the presence of tables filled with wonderful food, we can eat foods that our restrictive diets of long ago forbade us to eat, we can drink wine, we can do whatever we want to do..... plus we can do it all--without worrying about dieting tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
............... please, please, please find me a source for the Starbuck's energy packets. Starbuck's has discontinued them and the supply I have been hoarding since the announcement of their demise is slowly but surely dwindling.
If you do not know what the energy packets are--they are a non-tasting powdered add-in that Starbuck's peddled for a few years. And, during that time period--I became addicted. Each and every day I add them to my Venti Non-fat chai latte. There is nothing...and I mean absolutely nothing.....like a Venti Non Fat Chai Latte with an energy shot. My barrasista buddies get them ready for me the minute they see me coming. Many of them share my broken heart and concern over it's ax from the menu. But, not one of them can help me in finding a supplier. From what I understand--it is made up of guarana, ginseng and concoction of B vitamins (maybe other things--not sure). They get me through the day.....everyday. Especially Mondays.
I'm counting on your help......
Sunday, October 18, 2009
And a few words of advice.....
*Always keep your girlfriends close
*Go to the sale at Coldwater Creek (it's only 7 more days....honestly....the prices are unbelievable)
*Never put off doing something for yourself and your health
And, one more thing....
Sunday night....the hardest night of all....
But, I'm getting through it counting my blessings.
Girlfriends, sales and no longer being obese. To name just a few.....
Saturday, October 17, 2009
It's been a bit of time here in my little suburban hamlet. But, I'm weathering it all with the same smile and optimism that gets me through most things. Some folks may say (and they do!) that I live in a state of denial. Whether that's 100% true or not...I plead the fifth. But, in those circumstances that it is true--I'm here to tell you that my state of denial is deliberate. Especially when it comes to things I cannot control. What I do know is this--when there's a choice of being negative or positive--I choose the latter. So, call it what you will--denial or optimism--I refuse, I absolutely refuse--to believe that all things--no matter what-- are doomed.
Carmen tends to look for trouble and problems in every corner. I call him Mr. Doom and Gloom. He doesn't like it when I tell him "it will be okay". He references all kinds of statistics to prove that maybe it won't be. Take for instance the latest episode with our furnace. The other day in the midst of a totally unrelated worrisome situation, I walked into a hot, hot house. I checked the temperature and found it was at 91 degrees. We had just turned the furnace on the day before and set it at a very low heat. When we did that, we noticed that our high tech computerized temperature control panel was on low battery. Thinking that we would go out and get new batteries over the weekend, we didn't think a thing of it. As it turns out, a low battery on a computerized heat control panel is a big thing. It can't regulate the heat. So, that furnace kept going and going---thus a 91 degrees house! Now, my take on the whole thing was--turn the furnace off, wait for the house to cool down, put in some new batteries and see if that's the problem. I turned the furnace off, called Carmen and made him aware of the situation and waited for the house to cool down. I opened windows and doors and went about my business. When Carmen arrived on the scene--he saw things quite differently. "Call the furnace guy now!" he panicked. Instead, on my way to phone, I somehow managed to find a package of new batteries in the junk drawer. This didn't sit too well with him---in that short period of time, he had already convinced himself that we needed an entirely new furnace. I used my "why do you always assume the worse" mentality on him (that he hates) and convinced him to try the new batteries. He scowled and stomped his feet and set out to prove me wrong. He put in the new batteries. Everything is now fine....
It reminded me of the time many years ago when my spirited friend Kate and I spent a lovely hot July afternoon drinking wine on my deck while the kids ran through the sprinkler. All of a sudden, the electricity went out. Kate--being the wife of an electrician--and I--the wife of an engineer in the power industry--didn't consider a power outage in the entire neighborhood. We assumed it was a problem in my fuse box. So, we marched down to the garage--with our wine--to check out the situation. We fussed with the fuses--pulling them in and out. As we did that, a neighbor came by to tell us the power was out in the neighborhood. With that, we went back to our perches on the deck and continued to drink our wine and enjoy the rest of the day. The electricity finally came back on and all was well. That following weekend, I was hosting a large party--with lots of people coming and lots of cooking that needed done. So, when I noticed that my stove was not working (I had an electric stove at the time) the day after our afternoon of wine drinking, I was a bit concerned. Carmen was this close to a meltdown. He had us within steps of heading out the door to buy a new stove. "Before we do that, let's see if we can get someone to fix it," I suggested. No, Carmen was sure the stove was a gonner and we had to buy a new one. He huffed and puffed while I tried to convince him that things could not be that bad. After a few go-arounds, he agreed to let me call someone to come look at the stove. Unfortunately, I could not get anyone to come to the house in time for the party. Feeling a bit stressed but not ready to throw in the towel, I called Kate to share my latest dilemna. That's when she reminded me of our escapade at the fuse box. Kate, being a like-minded soul--that things could not be that bad--suggested I check to see if we put all the fuses back into their spots properly. Upon mentioning Kate's theory to Carmen--he scoffed at the notion, still convinced we needed to run out right then and there and get a new stove or else call our entire guest list and tell them the party was off. Fortunately, I heeded Kate's advice on my own and spent the next few minutes screwing in the fuse for the stove and saving the party and several hundred dollars.
And, those are only a few examples of the way things go. I've got many more "it ain't that bad" stories in my arsenal. And, not all of them deal with heating elements and electricity. Some of them are much more intense. I've come to the conclusion that not only do I live optimistically and sometimes in denial, I also live hopefully. And I find that a much better way of living.
And, so, today, when many folks have lost hope, I have not.
I'm still absolutely positively--without a doubt--sure that things just aren't that bad.
And, to prove it....I'm off to Starbucks with the hope they have at least one energy shot left.
And, I know they will.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So, this got me to thinking about this age thing.
What is the difference between a 49 year old and a 50 year old?
Spare me the obvious, please.
I'll tell you what the difference is for this 50 year old.....
I am healthier and feel better than when I was 49....
and when I was 48......
Well, you get the picture.
I guess I'll just have to wait for the needle.....I might be able to defy age but I can't deny it.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Speaking of Italian......
Let's start the week off with a recipe that's screams ITALIAN!
It's the perfect comfort food for us bandsters (and everyone else too) who have had to give up traditional lasagna (and pasta in general!)......
1 pound bulk hot Italian turkey sausage (or 1 pound sausages, casings removed)
2 cups diced onions
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced zucchini
1/2 cup of basil leaves juliened
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
Two 14-ounce cans low sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 cups ricotta cheese
julienned basil for garnish
good quality romano cheese for dusting
In a saucepan or stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, onion, and garlic. Cook, breaking up with spoon, until sausage is browned and onions are softened. Add zucchini, basil, oregano, pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add spinach and cook about 7 minutes more.
Meanwhile in a small bowl stir the fresh, chopped basil into the ricotta cheese. When soup is finished, ladle into shallow bowls. Carefully add 1/4 cup of the ricotta to the bowl. Garnish with basil and dust with cheese!
Happy Columbus Day!
Friday, October 9, 2009
We'll be staying with my darling niece at her adorable apartment and meeting up with our fun friends Patty and Mike for a weekend of doing whatever you do at college!
So....off we go........
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I need to hear survival stories to share with a special young woman who is a part of my own heart.......
Her heart is broken in a million pieces and she doesn't think she can ever put it back together again.....
Her tears are stinging my soul
and I can't help but be broken hearted too.........
Help me rock her to sleep with your stories......
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
"You don't need to lose any more weight".
Monday, October 5, 2009
Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I have recovered enough to talk with some sense of clarity.
I can't believe I'm saying this.....but, I am glad it's Monday.
Yesterday was rough. I wasn't just nursing a headache, I was also suffering from all over pain.
I don't think I joined the land of living until much later in the day. Even though I managed to walk with through the day getting most of the things I set out to get done accomplished, I was definitely not very with it. Not at all.
It takes extra effort to get past a boozy day when you're 50.
Add that to the fact that I could not consume much food at all--especially 24 hours after a fill.
So, that explains it all.
It had nothing to do with the 2 French Martinis (yummy!) before noon at the casino, the lovely glass of wine with my lobster bisque at lunch at Atria's on the North Shore, the hour or so of wine tasting and the wonderful bottles of dry white wine we shared with some old friends who we ran into at the winery as we languished on the terrace listening to jazz in the autumn sunshine.
Hello Monday....be gentle with me.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
We are going grab hold of the day ahead of us and calling it our own.......
We are off limits to everyone. EVERYONE.
Do you hear that Vince, Toni and Dad?
Don't call unless there's blood and guts.....
And, just how are we going to go about doing this?
Then, it's on to the Rivers Casino....to try our hand at the slots! I'm not much of a gambler but this might be my lucky day!
Then, whether we become millionaires or paupers, we're on our way to
this place.....for their afternoon jazz and wine tasting. We'll either toast our good fortune or drown our sorrows. But, at least there will be good music....that always makes everything better.
well, we're still trying to decide that.
Which, I suppose, is another beauty of empty nesting.....we can decide.
Oh...by the way....
let me fill in the blanks....
Where was I the other morning?
I had an early morning scheduling adjustment....which gave me no time to blog.
How did my Lapband appointment go?
As suspected, it was a long one. But, it was all good.
Cumulative weight loss?
Drum roll please.....
One hundred and twelve pounds.
Count em baby.....! 112
State of mind?
Bought 4 pair of pants, black leather jacket, off-white leather ankle boots, 2 limes and a
bottle of the good stuff--Hendrick's gin
Have a great Saturday!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Did I go out last night and never come home?
Was I at an all night shoe sale?
Did I hook up with my Starbucks energy shot supplier for an all night chai latte party?
Did I usher in October with a night in the county lock-up?
I'll never tell.
What happens in Judiland, stays in Judiland.