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Monday, November 30, 2009

It ain't over till it's over......

November, that is.....

If you recall, my new thing in November was to greet each Monday with a note of thanksgiving. A simple thank you for an insignificant, almost invisible thing in my world that gave me a reason to stop and say "gee, I'm thankful for that". Little things that on the surface would not seem worthy of thanks or even a second thought. Things like chili beans, Monday diet declarations, sturdy lawn and leaf bags and lip gloss. Not exactly earth shattering things. But, things that somehow made my life easier, made me smile or brightened up my day just a little bit. The exercise was intended to make me stop (and you too!) and think about Mondays in a whole new way and force me into realizing that all things--big and small--can be and should be looked at with gratitude. With the hope that it would turn into a habit. The thought was that after spending a few weeks doing this--all of a sudden I'd look at everything with new eyes and give thanks for it and I'd no longer greet Monday with the same "oh shit" attitude that's become the norm. And, so, it was with great intent that I pushed myself to find the small things--the seemingly unworthy things--that impacted me and that I really, really should have been thankful for. Thus, the choices that I made and journey I took.
Today....on this final Monday and the final day of November....I am considering this a bonus Monday. Mostly because I declared that last week was the fourth and final Monday of November....I somehow didn't realize there was one more. Caught me quite by surprise. Which sort of made me say..."oh shit, it's not bad enough it's Monday now I gotta think of something small to be thankful for." And, I almost tried to pull the wool over everyone's eyes and ignore that this was a Monday in November and not even mention anything to do with thankfulness. Then, I realized...I clearly didn't learn anything these past few weeks. Red-faced, I knew what I had to do.
So, when I contemplated what my blog topic would be today....I realized that if I was following my own guidance (that I was giving thanks on Mondays in November) then I had to keep to the plan and find something to focus on with appreciation and give it it's due. Which, to be quite honest, was quite a conundrum. Why? Well, mostly because the past few weeks--as I inched my way towards Monday, seeking out an ordinary thing to be thankful for became purposeful---making it much easier to wake up on Monday and talk about what I decided to be thankful for. You didn't think I just came up with those things at the last minute, did you? And, because I thought my Monday thankfulness was over with--I didn't even think about it. And, if truth be told--the past week, my mind has been cluttered with gravy-making, getting the mashed potatoes just right and the non-stop dirty dishes that kept appearing in my sink. So, how could I even begin to wade through all of that to uncover something to be thankful for? Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.
I'm telling you---here I am--not even out of the month that's dedicated to giving thanks by a presidential declaration and after having spent the past 4 Mondays on a self-imposed thankful quest and I'm struggling with finding one small thing (not a big one!) to give thanks for?
Yeah, sort of.
Let's try this again. Perhaps if I put another spin on it.
You see....I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot, a lot, a lot. From family and friends and good health to chili beans and lip gloss and lawn and leaf bags. It's all worth of thanksgiving. In fact, even Mondays are worthy of thanksgiving. Even this dark and rainy Monday morning when I'm not feeling the least bit thankful for my alarm clock...I'm thankful that I'm alive and well and that I had the opportunity to get those dirty dishes that are in my sink dirty. And, I'm thankful that the water was hot in the shower and the furnace was running when I got up and that my slippers were right beside my bed when I put my feet down on the floor. And, I'm thankful for Mondays. Especially bonus Mondays. Like today. Because they make me realize that my journey never ends, that I am a work in progress and that I still have quite a ways to go.....
So, what am I really thankful for today?
What small, insignificant thing am I giving thanks for on this truly final Monday of November?
That I have to go to work and not stay home and do more dishes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let the merrymaking begin.......

because today I've got some good-bying to do.....

It's hard to believe more than a week has passed here in my filled nest. In between all the cooking and the shopping and the celebrating and the talking and the movie watching and the eating and the waking up to beds filled with touseled hair peeking out from beneath piles of covers.....there was hardly enough time to breath. There were socks on the floor again and the lingering smell of Britney Spears perfume in the hallways. There were extra towels and piles of dishes in the sink. There were fights over the TV and there was waiting up on the couch and worrying over the little things--like where in the hell are they? Yes, it was life in Judiland......with 2 kids. Well....2 adult kids. My kids, nonetheless. A full house that filled my heart.
But,'s time to send them over the rivers and through the woods....back to PhdLand and CollegeLand. With the cars packed full of their clean clothes, the left over turkey and their baubles and treasures. My heart is heavy this morning as I plan a special breakfast. But, I'm comforted in the knowledge that Christmas break is only weeks away.......
And, I'm left to wonder.....will this empty nesting ever get easier?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

NOTHING tastes as good as thin feels.......

sometimes I just have to keep repeating that......

It wasn't the turkey or the stuffing or the pumpkin pie or even the beautiful bread that did me in this weekend.
I did just fine with all of that.

No, it happened yesterday.
My very own private foodie call.
Followed by a little pity party.

After a marathon shopping trip, Toni and I met some folks to go to the movies and then on to dinner. As I sat in my seat sipping on the Starbuck's non fat chai latte that I smuggled into the theatre....wearing my fancy 3D glasses....a Wendy's hamburger appeared on the massive screen. With cheese. And onions. And mayo. And pickles. And ketchup. A double decker Wendy's hamburger......right big as life. A beautiful 6 foot tall hamburger.....with all of my favorite things....busting off the screen....into my world. I never knew how amazingly gorgeous a Wendy's hamburger could be.....
After the to dinner at Cadillac Ranch. Where they have a menu filled with ......yes, you guessed it.....burgers. Hamburgers tacked high with condiments and sauces....stacked high with deliciousness. Oozing with beauty. Did I mention the fried onion ring toppers?
Yeah, well.....I decided to share a margarhita flatbread pizza with Toni. And, then, on a whim, I ordered their heavenly mashed potatoes. And, I topped it off with a martini. If I couldn't have a hamburger....a martini (or two).....would have to do.
Let's just say this....when you go to a burger joint....don't go ordering fancy pizza. It ain't their specialty. And, unless you have it on good authority that their mashed potatoes are something pretty special.....don't bother ordering them either. Sometimes you just have to have a burger.
Unless you have a lapband....
Then, you just have to order another martini.....
And a pity party.

NOTHING tastes as good as thin feels.......
NOTHING tastes as good as thin feels.......
NOTHING tastes as good as thin feels.......
NOTHING tastes as good as thin feels.......

But the martini was pretty good.....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday-ing......

This girl is not dropping........!

Welcome to my newest Blog followers....I'm soooo happy to have your here! I'd stop and say something amazingly prolific but I'm on my way out the door to shop. Now that you're one of my followers....I need you to be aware of the fact that I STOP FOR SHOPPING!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks, thanks giving and giving thanks.....


To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to
every person I meet.

To make all my friends feel that there is
something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything
and make my optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for
the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as I am about my own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater
achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile
to every living creature I meet.

To give so much time to improving myself
that I have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger,
too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side,
so long as I am true to the best that is in me

And to give thanks for all the blessings I am have been given and to strive to live the words I have shared here this morning......

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Going rogue.......

Lots of turkey wrestling today......THAT's life in America.....
I do not stuff my turkey. There I said it.....I do not stuff my turkey. (Unless you count the onion, apple, celery, sage, rosemary, thyme and peppercorn corsage that I stick up it' know). Even so, I do my share of turkey wrangling. I dig out the the innards, I give it a bath, I truse it up, I cover it in herbs and oils and potions and I give it a proper blessing before I shove it in my roaster, carry it down to the basement fridge and bid it farewell until it's time to cook it up tomorrow. And, then, I take on it's brother----get him all cleaned up and ready to take a dive into the brine that I prepared just for this occasion---I guess you can say I cool him off before Vince throws him into his hot oil treatment (frying). After that, I take on it's little sister--the cute little breast that this year I am going to clean up, cover in pretty herbs and stuff into a cooking bag.
Then, I'm taking on the stuffing.......

That's life in Judiland, USA today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Be nice to a turkey Tuesday......

In the spirit of Thanksgiving......drink with a relative......

Uncle Jacktini

1 1/2 oz. Laird’s AppleJack
1 oz. Cointreau
1/2 oz. Fresh lime juice
2 dashes of cranberry juice
Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Aunt Jackiescrew
Pour 1 1/2 oz. Laird's AppleJack over ice in a tall glass. Add 4 oz. orange juice with a splash of cranberry juice. Garnish with an orange slice.

Cousin Jackmopolitan

1 oz. Lemon juice
1/2 oz. Grenadine
2 oz. Laird's AppleJack
Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass, or serve over ice.

Grandpa Jackahattan

2 oz. Laird's AppleJack
1 oz. Sweet vermouth
Dash of bitters
Gently stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add cherry.

Get to know Jack!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful.....once again......

It's the final Monday of November.
It's time to give thanks.

Remember...that's what we're doing here on Mondays in November.
We're not bitching and moaning about the fact that it's Monday.
We're kicking off our week with a simple thank you....
I'm saying thanks for the little things I often overlook.....things that probably never get the respect and thanksgiving they deserve....
If you need a little here

So, what seemingly insignificant, simple, little thing am I thankful for on this fourth and final Monday of November?
Let's see--on the first Monday, I was thankful for chili beans.
On the second Monday, I was thankful for Monday diets.
On #3, I was thankful for sturdy lawn and leaf bags.
And, now as we usher out the month and begin preparing for the special day when we give a big thanks for all of the wonderful things in our lives, I am taking today to be thankful for Lip gloss.
Yes, that's right blog friends---
Lip gloss.
So self-explanatory.....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Overheard in Judiland.......

Yesterday, sitting at Houllihan's having lunch with my 2 children and my nephew.......
(after a marathon discussion on recipes, upcoming meals, menu planning, etc)

Toni: That's all we talk about is food!

Thankfully, talking about food still works with my Lapband.
Please don't take that away from me!

Back to the kitchen......

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What's your secret ingredient?

Cooking is just like life......we're always looking for a way to spice it up, make it better, get it just right...

It's that time of the year when we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. We're whipping up traditional favorites, family recipes and trying out new dishes. All of it to serve to those we love and those who love us. I find immense comfort and joy in all of it. Even when the world around me feels chaotic and uncertain--cooking in my kitchen brings me peace. I'll gladly get up at the crack of dawn to begin the process of putting together a special meal. I'm not crazy about cleaning up after a cooking marathon--I sure can make a mess--but it comes with the territory.

On this chilly November morning, as I think through my weekend cooking plans and dig through old menus of holidays past (yes, I keep detailed logs!), I find myself slowly letting go of the stress and the angst that gripped me this week. Life is not always perfect and many times we find ourselves at odds with even our own feelings and thoughts. And sometimes when we least expect it, we find ourselves hurt and confused. Yet, being in my kitchen this morning, I am coming to a final peace with what life served up to me this past week and I'm beginning to see some measure of comfort in having to do the dishes.
I'm pretty sure that means my secret ingredient is acceptance.

Recipe For Life

4 cups of Love
2 cups of Loyalty
3 cups of Forgiveness
1 cup of Friendship
5 spoons of Hope
2 spoons of Tenderness
4 quarts of Faith
1 barrel of Laughter

Take Love and Loyalty, mix it thoroughly with Faith.
Blend it with Tenderness, Kindness & Understanding.
Sprinkle abundantly with Laughter.
Bake it with Sunshine.
Serve daily with Generous helpings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Got 'VI's?

I do!!!

It's been a long while. In fact, the last time I remember buying a pair of Levi's, I was a waitress at Eat'n Park and had to scrape my tips together to buy them. But, buy them I did! And, I wore those Levi's everywhere--from the halls of Keystone Oaks High School to the lovely greens on California State College's campus and beyond. They were my 'vi's and I loved them. They were with me through smoking Salem cigarettes in the high school girls' bathrooms to drinking rot gut beer in fraternity house basements to rock concerts at the Civic Arena to shopping for wedding bands to signing the papers for my first house. Me and my 'vi's. We did it all....and then some. I wore them until they had frayed bottoms, holes in the knees and thinning fabric on the ass. And when I couldn't wear them anymore---when I became pregnant with Vince---I shoved them in a drawer with the intention of wearing them once again. And, I may have worn then again....for that little snippet of time in my late 20's when Weight Watchers did it's magic on me.

But, now, blog friends, I have myself a new pair of 'vi's. I got them a few weeks ago at Walmart and I couldn't be happier with them. When I slid my legs into them and wiggled them up my body and zipped them up with a quick deep breath (deep breaths while zippering are a must with jeans!)--I could feel my soul saying hello to that little tab on the pocket.....hello 'vi's...what kinda adventures will we share this time around? I almost wanted to run down to my old high school and light up a smoke on the second floor girls' bathroom. But, no, I figured it was time to wear my 'vi's doing the things I do in the here and now.

So, I snuck out on the deck and lit up a smoke.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whiskey, whiskey......

sometimes it's the only answer to the day.....

Whiskey has never been my drink. Probably because it was the very first alcohol I experimented with as a kid. In a 60's household where the patriarch is Irish--that's what you had--whiskey. It tasted lousy in my mouth, burned my throat, scalded my entire digestive system and completely fire bombed my stomach. After that...I was off the stuff. No more sneaking my dad's stash.
Haven't touched the stuff since I swigged it on my basement steps. Until last night.

Yesterday was just one of those days. Oh hell....the past few days have those kinda days.
I won't bore you with the details.
Let's get back to talking whiskey....

Last night, when I finally let myself sit down, I found myself needing a little something. I didn't want wine and I didn't want gin. You know it's a very different kind of day when I say wine or gin wouldn't do. I wanted something soothing and comforting....something that went straight to my soul.....the place where I needed it most. As I pondered my choices, I began flipping through magazines. Within moments--it was as if the magazine gods knew exactly what I needed and understood the urgency of my plight. Because without much flipping.....there it was--page 168--Rachael Ray Magazine....Fran Drescher's Green Tea Hot Toddy
Stir 1 tablespoon of honey into 3/4 cup of hot brewed green tea to melt. Stir in 1/4 cup of whiskey and garnish with a lemon.

I never knew how amazing a hot night cap and be. Until last night.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I've never walked alone......

on this journey.....and for that, I am thankful.

Often times, when we reach a milestone or a goal, as I have....with losing this weight....we find ourselves so smitten with the our accomplishment and the end result that we forget that we could have never done this alone.
When I think back to the moment when I decided to take on this blog, I vividly recall thinking that I would record my weight loss, maybe share my food intake and document my success in pictures and possibly little stories. It wasn't going to be all that fancy or creative or even time consuming. I just wanted to find a way in those early days to focus myself--make myself accountable to something or someone. I wanted to sit down a few times a week and devote myself to what I was undertaking and make it part of the program. It was not going to have a long was just going to get me through those first critical months.
I'll let you in on a little secret---the reason why I didn't see Stories from the Road having a long life is because at the same time I was starting this blog, I had my eye on starting another blog that was going to be about my passions---my creative endeavors--the things that made me tick. It was called Sweet Judi Blue Eyes. Oh, I had such grand plans for it (in fact, if you check my profile'll see it there "under construction").
Stories from the Road was going to be my starter blog, my test blog so to speak. I mean--how much could a girl talk about her Lap band and losing weight? I imagined myself sitting there writing and exploring the creative side of me--sharing my thoughts, my projects, my writing, the real me and whatever I was up to on my real blog---Sweet Judi Blue Eyes.

But, it didn't quite happen that way....

And, do you know why?
Because of you....
Having you travel this journey with me, my days took on new meaning. YOU made all the difference. Even if I couldn't see you or perhaps I didn't even know you--I knew you were there. I mean--come on--every morning sitting in this little office off of my kitchen typing into a machine to unknown people! Who would have guessed it would become as much a part of me as my shoes? Thus making you not only part of my success but a part of my life.
So, whether you like it or not--you are on this journey with me and it ain't over yet.
Keep those shoes on.
Hope that's okay with you travel buddies!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Silence is golden.......

especially when you've got nothing much to say......

Sure, I can always come up with something...we can talk about shoe shopping or why Starbucks got rid of their energy shots or the fact that I lost 115 pounds (putting me 5 pounds below my goal) or the dream-come-true of fitting into size 10 and sometimes even size 8 or I can tell you how darn pesky my band is being at the moment or I can really tell you how I feel about empty nesting.....
But, no.
Been there, said that and I'm quite sure I'll be saying it all again.....

Instead, I am going to softly walk away from my computer and tip toe into Tuesday.
Into the sounds of silence.....
Beginning now.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Three is a charm......especially when it comes to giving thanks....

It's the third Monday of November.
It's time to give thanks.

Remember...that's what we're doing here on Mondays in November.
We're not bitching and moaning about the fact that it's Monday.
We're kicking off our week with a simple thank you....
If you need a little here....

So, what simple, little thing am I thankful on this third Monday of November?
Let's see--on the first Monday I was thankful for chili beans.
....on the second Monday I was thankful for Monday diets.
Today I am thankful for sturdy lawn and leaf bags.....

Yes, friends...that's right. I'm grateful for those huge, strong lawn and leaf bags. They are now filling up my SUV.....stuffed with clothes.....heading to the Goodwill in about 2 hours or so. My vehicle is filled to the brim....I must have shoved 30 of them into my trusty Ford Escape. They didn't tear or rip even though I man-handled them quite a bit--forcing just one more thing into them, rolling them down the steps, kicking them out the door and squishing them to make room for more. We sometimes forget just how wonderful those bags are and just how easy they make our lives.
I am so damn thankful for lawn and leaf bags this Monday morning that I just feel like crying.....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Held hostage at the mall!

by my band......

Just when you thought I'd tell you that it was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime sale that hogtied me to the mall.....I defy my reputation and admit to the fact that it was my very own beloved Lap band.
Let me tell you all about it......

It was an absolutely incredible day here in Judiland yesterday---besides the fact that it was Saturday--the sun was shining, warm breezes were blowing and the sky was a clear blue. It was a roll your window down kind of day. We don't get many of those types of days in mid November here in my little corner of the world. It was the kind of day that screamed.....don't clean your bedroom! go to the mall! So, I slapped on my size 8 boyfriend jeans from Ann Taylor, my cute-as-be red sweater tunic from Anthropologie and my red and black cowboy boots and took to the open road. To ease my guilt over not really accomplishing much....I decided I'd do a little Christmas shopping, stop off at the Italian store for the sausage for my stuffing, run into the grocery store to pick up my turkey plus I'd do a few quick errands in between all of that. Sounded like a great plan.
As with every-out-of-the-house trip I make--my first stop was to Starbuck's for my venti chai latte (shit how I miss those energy shots....why did they go away? why?). So, I stopped at The Galleria....picked up my chai latte, chatted with a few other chai-lovin' customers, flirted with my fav barista and then shopped around a bit. I ran into a few great baubles that I just knew my college girl would love and then I did a few quick laps around Williams Sonoma, Chico's and Coldwater Creek. It was about that time that I figured I should possibly get something to eat. Since I was on my own--I didn't feel like ducking into Houllihan's for potato soup or Bravo for lobster bique. So, I headed up to the grocery store...figuring I'd grab a quick bowl of soup at their cafe, pick up my turkey (I had brought an ice filled cooler in the car so that I could still go shopping after getting the turkey), drop off some dry cleaning and pick up some magazines to read for a Saturday night on the couch.
First stop--to check out their soup selection. I decided on a butternut squash bisque. It seemed safe enough--smooth and creamy....not too chunky....which is what I needed considering that my band had been acting up quite a bit in recent days. Everything started out fine. The soup was good....not great....but it did the trick....I was full after eating close to 1/2 of it.
From there, I headed over to pick up the turkey....stopping by the seafood counter to pick up some fresh crab and collassal shrimp that were on sale. The store was crazy busy--people with carts overflowing, racing through the aisles. As I was dodging my fellow shoppers, I started to feel a bit odd---a sharp pain in the middle of my chest with sweat beads forming on the back of my neck. Was I having a heart attack.....right there in Aisle 7 with the condiments....before I even made it to the mall? This was definitely not the way I had planned on exiting this world. I had no time for a heart attack and I could not die at the grocery store next to the pickles...what statement would that make? And, listen...I could not go and die with my bedroom being such a family would never forgive me for having to clean it!
Plus, I had things to do....
Still feeling odd...and in a bit of a panic....I raced over to get my turkey (they were on sale for 40 cents a pound....), threw it in my cart and high-tailed it to the registers. But, on the way....I could feel it....that familiar eruption in my stomach. I was going to vomit. Yep...right there in the Health and Beauty Department.....50 feet from the bathroom with an old lady directly in front me meandering through the aisle. I could either ram her, yell at her, push her or knock her down or I could leave my cart and run past her. Yes, I took the high road....
Little did I know....I'd never return to my cart. (So, if anyone reading this happened to see a cart with a turkey, crab and shrimp in the Health and Beauty Aisle and did the good samaritan thing and put it away....thank you and I'm sorry....).
After about an hour of misery in the grocery store bathroom....I needed to get out of there and fast. Which is exactly what I did. I went directly to the mall (across the road), got myself a cup of tea and decided to try and salvage the day. But, I didn't make it too far. Apparently, the liquid from the tea re-erupted the situation....and I landed in yet another bathroom--this time at the mall food court. After was just one bathroom visit after another. I figure the folks in security at Macy's and Sears were probably having a field day watching the same woman return to the ladies room on their survelliance cameras.....there she is again....what the hell is she doing? Thank God they didn't apprehend me to try and figure it out. I would have messed up their interrogation room....
So, four hours later--I returned home. The sun was still shining, the warm breezes were still blowing and I was starting to worry about something I never before in my life ever worried about.....I don't want to get too skinny.
So, what's my plan for today?
Chai Latte with extra protein added.
Clean my bedroom.
Be kind to my band.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Peace be with you......

Yes, that's me (minus 115 pounds!) my very messy was Black & Gold Day (for the Steelers big game on Sunday!) at work yesterday......

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do you have paraskevidekatriaphobia?

if so.....I suggest you take cover today!

As for me--I'm going to make sure I have underwear that fit, that my chai latte is not too hot and that I'm wearing shoes with sturdy heels. Plus, I'm going to be oh-so-careful with the eating.....I'm having some band issues. Yes, that's band is very tight at the moment. I haven't even had a fill in awhile! But, there are other factors that cause band tightness and one of them is--stress! Do I have stress? Well, my band seems to think so. It's been acting up continually now for about 3-4 days---giving me quite a bit of discomfort after eating even the smallest, most benign things. Thankfully, at this stage of my journey--I know exactly when to stop. So, I do. But, it ain't been fun.
I think I might have to just have a liquid weekend.......

Nice undies.
Chai Latte.
Good shoes.
Lots of liquid (as in liquid libations?) for the next 2 days.......
Sounds like a great plan.....for Friday the 13th.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yes, I am fine with compliments......

...keep 'em coming!

Having spent a good deal of time this past week with family members that I don't get to see very often--I found myself in the enviable position of having to accept a lot of compliments....on my weight loss. I mean, aunts in their 80's, cousins from out of town and family friends from long ago all had something to say--over and over again. Everyone was ga-ga over the fact that I actually lost all this weight. It was like...."oh my really did lose weight!" What did they think I was going to do?
At times, it was quite embarrassing with all the talk about how I look, how much weight I lost and just how amazing it all is. There were times that I felt as if I stole the show--right there at the funeral home!! But, I am 100% positive that my Aunt Mary was up there in heaven thrilled that I managed to show up at her viewing---in a size 10. That was just the way she was. She didn't like being fat and she didn't like the people she loved to be fat either. She was one of those folks who always had something to say about, yeah, I know she was very happy I didn't come to say my final good byes to a fat girl.
By the end of the two days, the compliments were dwindling. Unless you count those few times my one aunt would walk by me and shake her head in disbelief and say "I just can't believe how good you look!"
Right before I was ready to leave the after-funeral luncheon--an older cousin who had not said a word to me about my weight loss the entire time--came over to me and whispered "can you stand another compliment?" Since I hadn't heard one in a while (and I was getting so used to being given them every 5 minutes for 48 hours straight), I turned to him and said "bring it on!" To which he replied, in a deep whisper-- "fuckingfabulous" .

That's just what I was going for.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Commando girl!

I'm having undies issues......
........and, I'm not afraid to admit it!

I am a girl who just loves her lingerie. So, even during my big girl days, I always had a very sweet collection of underwear. Every color, every style, every theme---you name it, I owned it. I couldn't pass up an underwear sale to save my life. I never had to worry about that age old mothers' advice--always wear nice underwear. Because, my dear blog friends--I always did. I'm not sure what deep seated issue I have that causes me to love pretty unmentionables. Perhaps I always liked the fact that underneath it all.....that's where the real Judi lived---separating me from the rest of the suburban working mom world. Under the black pants---leopard hi-cuts. Under the houndstooth--racey red silk. No white cotton for me. Not even a demure pink high-waisted Fruit of The Loom. No. No. No.

Loosing all this weight has done a number on my clothing budget. Oh, I'm not really complaining. Thankfully, the weight loss has happened at a slow enough pace that I haven't had to replenish everything at once. I've found that it's easier to find clothes in smaller sizes at places at T. J. Maxx, Marshall's and Burlington--at nice prices. And, of course--I lucked out with a few great sales plus extra cupons at Coldwater Creek and Chico's (my favs!). Plus, I've developed a healthy love of some very nice upscale consignment stores where I can find some great things. And, even better--I've been the recipient of some very fashionable, well-made pieces from friends and friends of friends. So, I'm doing okay when it comes to what I wear on a day-to-day basis. Thank God-- I have been able to maintain the style I have become accustomed to.....

Except when it comes to my underwear.....

I still haven't parted with the majority of my big girl undies. Hey...they are still pretty great undies...even if they are big! So, I haven't done much undie shopping these past 27 months. I've saved my dollars and cents for my regular wardrobe. I know....hard to believe--huh?

My undie avoidance finally caught up with me.....
And, it wasn't pretty......

As with most weeks of late--last week was a bit of a bear. So much so that one night, when I finally dragged myself into the house after a long and grueling day, I couldn't wait to take off my clothes, put on my big fluffy robe, light some candles, turn on some good music and hang out on the couch with the newspaper, a big stack of magazines and a cup of tea. So, after grabbing the paper and checking the mail--I went directly to my bedroom to start the transformation--from working girl to lady of leisure. If just for a few hours....
I was so anxious to get myself firmly planted on the couch that I whipped my clothes on the bed, grabbed my robe and headed down the steps in a flash. That's when it happened.....with nothing to hold my big girl underwear in place--they fell down to my ankles--sending me tumbling down 3 steps----right there in my empty nest. With no one to see me, no one to catch me and no one to see if I was okay....there I laid--with my pink robe askew, my underwear around my ankles and my body tangled.

That's when I knew--when your underwear start causing you to have's time to hit Victoria's Secret....

(sorry for the late post today.....I was having early morning problems getting this posted....)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Taking a pause......

To honor the woman in the chair......

The last time we were all together in 2006

Our family of strong and beautiful women will spend today send one of our own join those who went before us.

left to right
Front Row:
Cousin--Barbara Jean (kneeling)
Aunt Mary (in chair)
Me--Judi (kneeling)
Row 2:
Cousin--Mary Ann
Aunt Theresa
Aunt Phil
Back Row:
Cousin--Margaret Ann

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another simple thank you....

Once's Monday.....
It's time to give thanks.

Remember...that's what we're doing here on Mondays in November.
We're not bitching and moaning about the fact that it's Monday.
We're kicking off our week with a simple thank you....
If you need a little here.

Today, on this second Monday of November, I am thankful for Monday diets.
Yes, you heard me right--Monday diets.
You see--this past weekend, the world lost one of it's most notorious Monday dieters--my beloved Aunt Mary.
In my treasure trove of memories--Monday diets and Aunt Mary go together like peanut butter and jelly, like gin and tonic, like spaghetti and meatballs.
My Aunt Mary was always on a diet. On Monday. She'd talk it up every Sunday with equal parts ghusto and disgust. Ghusto--because this time she was going to do it. Disgust--because she couldn't believe she didn't get it right the Monday before or the Monday before that.
So, why am I so thankful for Monday diets?
For one thing--I like the memories.
For another--Monday diets was something my Aunt Mary and my mother shared. Every week. They were best friends. They shared everything---including their Monday diets.
It was a conversation that never ended between the two of them. Until my mother died...36 years ago.
After that, Aunt Mary was on her own with her Monday diets.
She still mentioned them from time to time....but never with the same ghusto or disgust.
I never really thought much about those Monday diets as time went by. Until Aunt Mary got sick several years back and started to wither away. That's when she told me that the diet was finally working.....just when she didn't want it to.
"Isn't that always the way?" she clucked in her Aunt-Mary-way...."all those years of going on a diet every Monday only to find that someday, without even going on a diet, I would lose all the weight I was supposed to lose!" ...her voice tinged with both sadness and amusement over the irony of it all.
Today....I am especially thankful Aunt Mary and her Monday diet buddy--Din (my mother)....can finally continue their conversation. They've been waiting a lot of Mondays for this.
Monday diet in heaven.
Better than Weight Watchers, the Grapefruit Diet, those Ayds carmels, TOPs and Dr. Cip's magic pills (yes, they did them all and then some).
Maybe even better than a Lap band.

I'll miss Aunt Mary. Very much.
But, it was time my mother got her back.
I'm okay with that.
And, I'm thankful.

Tell me, what little thing are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Heaven just got itself a fiesty, back-talking angel.....

and I can just see my mom running to the pearly gates to greet her......they've got lots to catch up on.

There's a reunion in heaven this weekend and I know it's a big one. I'll bet my mom and Aunt Congie have been cooking for a few days now.....just in preparation for the party.
Thank God there's no calories in heaven.....

Yesterday, almost immediately after I finished up my blog--my Aunt Tee called with the news. My dear Aunt Mary passed away. It was a sad phone call....not one that was unexpected but sad nonetheless. It's funny how no matter what the situation--when someone you love, who has been in your life forever and who is a part of so many of your memories dies--it takes your breath away. But, I'm not going to concentrate on that today. Because my Aunt Mary would be pissed. Lots of things pissed her off and lots of things made her happy. She was just one of those kind of gals.
A lovely picture of Aunt Mary and her beloved daughter--Annette.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Off to the fun park!

It's a sunny Saturday here in Judiland.....a perfect day to take to the road! With my two kids packed in the car and the music playing loud....I can't think of a better way to do Saturday! It's off to the foodie fun park....

It's a foodie weekend here in Judiland....

Vince and Toni are both here--tucked safely in their beds as pots simmer on the stove--filling the house with the aroma of family and home. Carmen is ensconced in yet another work project that's zapping his time, energy and patience so he slinked out of the house at some ungodly hour this morning to make the long drive back to his office. But, last night, we all managed to gather around the table at one of our favorite family restaurants to share libations, laughter and yes...some of our favorite foods. It was a wonderful kick-off to what I'm now dubbing a foodie weekend with the fun park trip today, a family dinner/birthday party tonight, a cooking demonstration at Williams Sonoma tomorrow and then capping it off with an old fashioned Sunday sit-down.....

Three years ago, a foodie weekend in Judiland would have meant tight pants on Monday. Today, it means skinny jeans with my Donald Pliner Moc Croc Leopard Booties.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Here we go again......

It's Friday......time to plan how I will save the planet, do my part for world peace, feed the hungry, do away with H1N1, beautify my community, lift the spirits of those whose spirits need lifted and pitch in to stimulate the economy.....all in a mere 2 days.....

Yes, it's a tough challenge.

But, someone has to do it.

I guess that someone is me.

Bring on the weekend.....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yes, I know.....I've been a little short......

no, no..... not in stature (although I'm by no means tall!) but in my communications.....

I'm not sure if the time change has caught up with me, if the cat got my tongue, or if I am just plum out of things to say. But, I have to confess--I have had a serious case of blog-block coupled with some big-time-yawning this week. Believe me--it's not like there hasn't been a lot going on here in Judiland. As a matter of fact--it's been active as all get-out. My days are busting at the seams. Thankfully, my pants are not. And, although my nights are not rockin' with major excitement, they have managed to do me in as well. All things considered-- you would think I'd be in a semi coma by the time night falls.


You see....I've developed a very bad habit this week. Halloween candy and Sex and The City on demand cable. Except for last night when I prefaced it with Sleepless in Seattle on-demand and Halloween candy.....followed by Halloween candy and Sex and The City on-demand.

Perhaps that's why I haven't blogged very much.

I didn't want to tell you what I've been up to.....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I know it's only Wednesday but I'm so over this week.....

Let's talk weekend......
......the countdown to the weekend has begun.....time to make some plans so we can have something to look forward to at the end of another week in the trenches!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

A simple thank you.......


Yes, because it's Monday!

Go ahead, beat up the computer. It's okay. I understand.

Are you finished?


Alright, go ahead, if you need to stomp your feet....I'll wait for you.

Done yet?

Now that you're all done greeting another Monday in your own special way....I've got a little deal for you.

Listen up.....

It's time to give thanks.
No, no, we're not celebrating Thanksgiving early.
This is not about the last Thursday in November.
It's about every MONDAY in November.
What I'm talking about is giving thanks for Monday things.
Little Monday things.
Not big things.
Save those big things for the big Thursday in November....

This is what we are going to do......

Each and every Monday in November...right here on Stories From the Road....
instead of bitching and moaning about the arrival of another Monday and the end of another weekend, we are each going to give thanks for one thing. One small thing. We're not going to give thanks for our families or our friends or our health or anything else that's big and worthy of huge thanks. We are going to look at our lives and find something small....teeny weeny.....and we are going to celebrate it and give thanks for it and focus on the wonderfulness of it. Yes, that's right...every damn Monday....that's what we are going to do. We are going to search our worlds and our lives and we are going to say THANKS for something that seems insignificant and unworthy. We are going to forgo the usual pomp and circumstance of thankfulness and we are going to dig deep into the ordinariness and simpleness of our lives and the mundaneness of our worlds and find something that we would have never thought was worthy of much--let alone thanksgiving. And, we are going to bow down to it and praise it and tell each other all about it. And, we are going to give a BIG ASS Thank YOU for it!!! A BIG STAND UP AND CHEER ABOUT IT THANK YOU.....that's what we are going to do.
We are not only going to be thankful for what we ourselves present but DAMN IT, we are going to be thankful for each other's thankfulness. Yes we are! That is what we are going to do each and every Monday in NOVEMBER! We are going to be so DAMN THANKFUL for one little thing that we are going to be jumping up and down and dancing around and doing the hokey pokey because of it....

Here....I'll start.....

Today, on this very first Monday of November, I am enormously thankful for chili beans. If I would have not eyed them up at the grocery store yesterday, I would have never had the idea to make chili last night. And, if I would have not maDe Chili last night then God knows what we would have ate and I would not have had anything to pack for lunch today and dinner tonight and probably dinner tomorrow night. Yes, I am thankful for chili beans. But, now I feel very guilty for saying that chili beans are a small thing to be thankful for. Because clearly they have a huge impact on my life.
Isn't it amazing how important chili beans are?
Who knew.....!
But, since I don't have time to come up with another simple, insignificant thing to be thankful for because I have to go and take a shower (yes, I am so thankful for soap), I'm going to have to say that today I am so thankful for chili beans!

Your turn.....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What time is it anyhow?

It's Let's Talk Turkey Time......

Happy November!
Did you turn your clocks back?

Blog reader Debbie and I are getting an early start on our turkey talkin'......we're meetin' up at Starbucks for some fuel and then headin' on over to our Turkey Tips Class.
Let's hope Debbie turned back her clock....

See ya on Monday......!