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Thursday, April 2, 2015


Hippety, hoppety Easter is on it's way!  

We are taking the Bunny Trail on a little Easter weekend road trip.  
A much, much needed one.  
My resident engineer is just returning from a rather annoying business trip to Atlanta....where everything that could go wrong....did.  In fact, what did go wrong even managed to send me into a bit of a tail spin for a few hours. He somehow managed to lose his phone...dropping it in a parking lot.  When he finally found appears he had run over it....goodbye phone.  But, he didn't know anyone's phone number (they are all programmed in his phone!) and no one could reach him.  So, of course, I thought he was laying dead somewhere in an alley in Atlanta.....not a good way to spend the early hours of April Fool's Day!!  Like many of us.... his phone is his lifeline for everything---from is daily appointments, his email, his connection to his office....everything.  By the time he and I connected, he was not a very pleasant guy to talk to and although I was relieved that he wasn't dead in an alley,  I was in serious need of some sleep.  He was hoping to get an earlier flight out but due to the loss of his phone (where he had his boarding pass loaded and all of his flight info!), he had to take care of some details...which delayed him enough that he's on a later flight.....
Yeah, not good. 
And, if I haven't mentioned it yet---my dear fashionista daughter accepted a new job a few weeks ago....working for the first time "behind the scenes of fashion" the corporate office of a very large retail organization.   Although it was hard for her to leave a place she loved, she knew this was a great opportunity.  It's been a very overwhelming few weeks for her and I've found myself picking up my cheerleading pom-poms more times in the past few weeks than I ever had to with her!
But, it's all good

This year, for the first time in over 30-some years, I will not be shackled to my kitchen for close to 3 solid days whipping up the traditional Italian Easter favorites and I won't be entertaining a gadzillion family and friends.  Although many of the traditional foods are welcomed, there are a few that no one really cares about.  Except me.  I care about them so I make them.  And, then....I eat them.  For days and days and days.  
So, yes....we are breaking with tradition this year.  We are loading up the car and going to visit my son the doctor.
We're hoping to just relax and enjoy some very rare family time......just the 4 of us...and our darling grand dog.
Friday, we plan to visit a few of our favorite shopping spots and markets  and then enjoy what my son is telling us will be a culinary adventure in his gourmet kitchen.  I am so looking forward to that! He's a super creative cook and spends enormous amounts of time and energy on planning every aspect of a meal.  And.....he is extremely careful to hunt down local products and produce.  It fills me with great pride.....not to mention a great meal! 
On Saturday, we have some loose plans....visiting a new brew co op our son joined, doing the mid-day wine tasting at a wonderful wine, spirit and gourmet shop we stumbled upon a few years ago
and then we have reservations at a Latin tapas restaurant that's been getting rave reviews for Saturday night as our official Easter celebration. 
 No Easter Pizza Rustica (similar recipe) or Sweet Easter Pie (similar recipe, although I add chopped marachino cherries too) in sight.........

Sending you all the blessings of Easter.....

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Who is the FOOL?


Truth:  There's nothing easy about it........

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Confessions of a BAD GIRL.......

So, where was Judi?

I have NEVER taken a month off from blogging. 
Then, the past 7 years,  I have never taken a month off from exercise, good eating, taking care of myself, respecting my band and all of those things that keep the pounds away.
But, I did it.
And, boy did I DO IT! 
My bad behavior has caught up with the form of almost 20 pounds. 
THERE!  I SAID IT!  20. TWENTY......(hopefully, this the first step in my recovery.....)

There are pants that don't fit.
There are mirror reflections that I just can't bear to catch.
And, there's that daily ritual of blogging that is no longer happening.
It's all making me quite an unhappy girl. 
Unhappy is a very familiar way......where my avoidance, my reckless behavior and my weight gain makes me miserable. 
Those feelings from long ago when I could not  stop a fast moving train, of feeling defeated and ashamed....they are back. 
With a sad, sad vengance.
It's been a very long time since I've been so afflicted.
And, I can tell you.....I didn't miss it.
The havoc it is playing with every fiber of my being is not a fun place to be.
Sure, I am out there living my life and doing all the things that I normally do.
In the harriedness and busyness of my days, I manage to push it aside.
In fact, I keep myself even busier.  I tell myself that this must get done or that must happen.
I occupy my brain with self-manufactured to-do lists that are never ending and are humanly impossible.  But, I keep making those lists and finding those distractions.....
But, in the darkness of my bedroom as I lay my head down on the pillow, I am faced with the reality of what my world has become.....I am living in fear of the pounds and I am feeling powerless. In fact, I am doing everything I can to avoid it.  I have filled every second of my days with work and toil so that I can avoid what is really happening.......
At 56 years old, I know myself too well. 
What's a girl to do?
Sure, I know the answers.  But, what I really need is the true motivation to do what I need to do.
Where, oh, where has my motivation gone?  
As I sit and analyze it all....the only thing I can think of are poor-me reasons that I can't fix what is happening to me.....

I miss the newness of my Lapband. 
I miss those days when I didn't know how to eat around it or fool it.
I miss those moments when I was maniacally devoted to ridding my life of 100 pounds!  
I miss the daily challenges and rewards.
I miss the kinship of sharing my journey with new banders as we navigated the ups and downs and highs and lows of Lapbanded life.

 Sadly, I know exactly what I am doing to myself. 
I need to break the cycle. 
I need to find the courage and the strength to stop all this craziness.
I am just not sure how. 

Whoever said having weight loss surgery was the easy way out?
Off with their heads!!!

Yes, I have missed you.
I hope you missed me too.  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lapbanded Life......Seven Years and Half Years Later......

What's it like?

Well, let me tell you what it's like on the OUTSIDE...... 
It's  like this......
February 2015....out to dinner in the neighborhood...with my cutie husband and my pretty Goddaughter Ashley....

And, NOT like this......
Day of surgery.....August 10, 2007....don't ask what I was doing....
This is what Lapbanded life is like Seven and Half Years Later on the inside.....

In the early days of Lapbanding, it was all about getting used to a new way of eating.
Yes, there was quite a bit of work involved in it all.
I had angst and frustration and even misery.
But, I always had hope.
THIS was going to be my last attempt at getting the life that I deserved.
Failure was not going to be an option. NOT. AN.OPTION.   
Hope  is what helped me through the angst and the frustration and even the misery.
Although there were always new obstacles to tackle, I was pushed to make it work by holding on to hope and determinedly staying the course. 
I was not the perfect Lapbander.
But, I told myself that I wasn't on this journey to reach perfection.  Just smaller pants. 
There were pounds gained and moments when I ate nachos and ice cream.
But, I adopted a new way of thinking--I wasn't going to let those times stop me from where I was headed.  I was going to pick myself up, wipe myself off and remind myself that it was a new day and a new chance to get it right.  That new way of thinking was harder than I ever thought possible.  Old habits are hard to break....
There were times when I felt tired and overwhelmed by needing to lose 100 pounds. 
I would be knocked down and unmotivated and would feel tremendously sorry for myself. 
Those were the times when the only thing that helped me was to connect with other Lapbanders or write a blog post.  I needed tangible, living, breathing reminders of that I was not alone on my journey. 
That is what I needed and who I was.  I wasn't following a script. 
There was no magic formula.  There was no right way to do it. 
There was just hard work....+ hope+determination.
I'm NOT saying there weren't rewards and payoffs along the way because there were!  Lots of them.  
I was so right to have HOPE!
And that same HOPE will sustain me.  
Because I still need it. 
Because..this journey has NO DESTINATION, IT DOES NOT END.
Even though I thought I got my Lapband to help me get the weight off , what I really need it is to keep the weight off.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

50 Shades of Grey?

No, I'm not going to talk about that movie. 
You know how I feel about, let's move on.
Or, should I give up and dye?

 This past weekend, I got snowed in at the mall.
That's more of a fun fantasy that any novel or movie about 50 Shades of....oh you know what I mean. 
Ah, I digress.
So, how did I get snowed in at the mall and what does that have to do with grey anything? goes like this.....being the anxious parent that I am, I did not want my darling daughter to venture out into Saturday's snowstorm to go to work.  She had to get to work by 9 am.  It was 7 am and it was  the height of the storm and the news was blaring about road conditions and all of the storm that was still due to hit in the next few hours.   And, all reports pointed towards staying off the roads!!!  The salt trucks and plows had not had a chance to make the roads between the mall and our home safe to drive.
So, as any good mother---I told her she was not allowed to drive.  But, I didn't want to drive either.  So, as any good wife would do.... I riled my husband out of his peaceful slumber and ordered him to dig our 4-wheel drive vehicle out of the driveway and demanded that he chauffeur our daughter to work.  And, I promised to ride along.....
What does this have to do with grey anything....?
Stay with me will all make perfect sense soon enough.... 
Anyway....the trip to the mall:  blinded by the blizzard, barreling through slick side streets and coasting down a narrow, car lined, snow covered main road, then through the tunnel, over the icey river, on to the snow covered parkway, over another icey river and down a  hilly, windy, slippy road--- was not fun at all.  But, we got there after our harrowing and very messy drive and delivered our precious cargo to her door....just as the storm was bearing down even heavier.
Instead of turning around to go home, we decided to head into the mall to get our Starbucks fix and maybe walk around until the snow plows had a chance to clean up the main roads--with the hopes that  during that time, the snow would slow down enough to make visibility a little easier.
Needless to say, the mall was a complete ghost town.  Even as the stores slowly opened their gates, it was eerily quiet and unusually peaceful....for a mall.  
About an hour into our mall meandering, our daughter texted us that she would probably be leaving a little after noon due to the slow business.  So, we decided that we might as well stick around the mall instead of drive home and then drive back to pick her up.
Carmen decided he was going to get a massage so I opted to walk around and see what I could see.
That's when I ran into a storefront called "StyleOut" was a hair and make up bar for "quick makeovers and glamourizing".....
It was exactly what the doctor had ordered.  I was in between haircuts, I was feeling particularly unattractive and old, my grey roots had sprouted and were very visible and I was certain that a new hairstyle would fix me right up.
The blow-out expert was thrilled to see me enter the door and eager to have business and someone to talk to.  She had a great style about her, she wasn't some 20 year old with tatooes all over her arms and piercings on very surface of her face and I liked her hairstyle!  She could be trusted. 
 So, I told her my sad tale of woe---I had never had anyone other than my sister-the-hairdresser cut and color my hair, I was tired of my hair style, I was sick of dealing with grey roots and I desperately wanted to look like Lisa Rinna. (minus the lips).   Could she help me?
She sat me in her chair and examined my head and my hair carefully.
"Do you know that you are completely grey?"  she asked me.
How would I know....I'm addicted to the bottle!!!  
The fact that I was completely grey was not what I wanted to hear.
When I grimaced, she laughed--"the good news is that it's a beautiful grey!"  
I smiled a bit.
"And, you have wonderful hair!  It has such great potential!'  she told me.
Potential?  It has potential???? I am walking around with unused potential?
"I am going to suggest you consider letting your hair go completely grey!"  she said with great enthusiasm.  "It would go great with your coloring, your hair would be more healthy and I know you would love it.   I can tell from your style that you would be the perfect candidate for it!  You could carry it off!"  
I had to think about it.
In the meantime, she went about styling my hair......
And, I have to say--when I left, I felt fabulous.
A 20 minute blow out and a little pouf here and a little wisp there....was all it took.  
No, I didn't look like Lisa Rinna.  But, I could feel my mood lifted.
Always a good thing.

A little while later, I met up with Carmen and even though he thought I didn't look much different, I corrected him---yes, I looked much better.   Men!!
I told him about my blow-out experience and admitted that the idea of going grey was starting to appeal to me.
"Really???"  he asked in great shock.  "No!  I don't think so...."  was his reaction.
No man was going to tell me NO! I don't think so.  It was my hair.  I would decide. 
He is not Christian Grey.....

So, what do you think????
Should I go grey?
(well, I guess I am really grey.....) 
So, the real question is...should I stop hitting the bottle?  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dear Winter,

You have my permission to go now.   You are making me very cranky.  At least I hope it's YOU that's making me so cranky and not the gazillion other things that could possibly be making me a cranky girl.  
Because lately, I am becoming a girl I don't even know....
Yes, it's another cold day in the hell that is winter!

One of the many upsides of doing a blog for a long as I have is that I have a diary of what I was  thinking, what I was feeling, what I was doing and even how I looked day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month and year-by-year. 
Every so often, I take myself back to check on my past.  Sometimes it helps me to see that I really have come a long way and other times, it reminds me of past situations that may help me deal with something in the moment or something in the future.  Then, there's other times that I realize that as much as I think I've overcome something--it's still with me....reminding me that I just need to fight my way towards finally overcoming it or telling myself that it's okay that I haven't been able to do it!
Last night, as I was pondering my blog post for today, I was consumed by a feeling of dejavu.
I wanted to yell and scream at winter and kick my feet and pound my fists and share my weariness and  felt very familiar to me.  Like I had said it all before. 
Why was it so familiar?  Do I do that often?  Aren't I just a sunny, optimistic, happy person?
That's what brought me to check on my past blog posts.
I started with all the Februarys over the years.
Evidently, I bitch and moan my way through February all of the time.
Oh, my poor blog readers....having to put up with me!
Funny thing was that I didn't even recognize ME.
Although I am very sure that I wrote all of those bitching and moaning posts, I was shocked that I felt that way so often in almost. every. damn. day.   
Who would want to hang out with me?  
Who would find any kind of enjoyment from reading my blog?
Tinged with sadness but hoping it was just a February-thing with me, I decided to check on a few other random months in the past to see if my bitching and moaning was much less.
Although I am happy to report that on a bitching and moaning scale, February did seem to take the honors.  Shockingly, however....there are other months that aren't too far behind.
Every month seemed to fall victim to at least one, two or maybe ten bitching and moaning posts. 
Give me a holiday or a season or an issue or just a damn day and I bitch and moan.
It just goes to show you, it's always something...if it ain't one thing, it's another.... (I say in my best Roseanne Roseannadanna voice).
Perhaps bitching and moaning women are more funny than ones who gush about the beauty and wonderfulness that is their lives....??
If that's so, I'll bet my dear blog readers just howled laughing their way through all those Februarys.....
Should I apologize that I want/need to bitch and moan today and go into a blog rant about winter and how exhausted I am and how overwhelmed I am and how I hate my hair?
Or, should I just end it right here and thank you for your time?
You pick.....I'm too cranky to think right now........


Sunday, February 22, 2015

They like me! THEY REALLY LIKE ME!

Getting my OSCAR on! 

Happy Academy Awards Sunday!
Are you planning to join in the fun and fanfare of the Academy Awards?
Do you have a favorite movie that you are rooting for this year?
Are you rooting for a certain actress or actor? 
Or....are you like me and just tune in for the fashion and to have a little Sunday-night-dinner-on-the-couch party? 

Tonight, we are forgoing the fancy attire and the over-the-top menu.  
Not that we really ever did that.
But, we have went to a Red Carpet viewing party a few times and on occasion, we have had people in for a more elaborate spread and Oscar-related activities.  
But, this year,  it's just my fashionista daughter and I in our favorite jammies with some wonderful candles burning, a fire in the fireplace and a bottle of one of our favorite wines.....  
I'm going into menu planning mode now, then I'm going grocery shopping then I'm meeting up with  two of my favorite college friends for a winey, catch-up lunch.....
As I said last evening:
"Not every meal has to be AN EVENT....let the TV take the center stage, not the food!"
(the word according to Judi, February 21, 2015)