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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Can't Drive or Walk All the Time.........

Sometimes, I just have to fly..........

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Come out! Come out! Wherever you are!

Yes, I admit it, my blogging has slowed down quite a bit. But, it appears that my counter is still logging visitors. Quite honestly, I'm both astonished and humbled to know that so many people stop by. People are knocking at my door and I'm not even answering. Which makes me a pretty lousy hostess. Not to mention a very rude one. I apologize. You know the old story.....I would have baked a cake if I knew you were coming. But,honestly, I don't bake. I'm not good with any activity that requires precision. Following directions is just not my thing. And, of course, there's also the whole LapBand lifestyle thing---I'm not eating cake. So, no cake. Put away your fork.

That brings me to this question----what can I give you when you stop by? Okay, okay.....I will come clean here---I need a little bit of proper inspiration. Yes, me--the girl with the gift of gab who has a seemingly endless supply of stories---I'm having a little dry spell---writer's block. Plus, of course, I want to be a model hostess. I aspire to be the blog hostess with the mostess. And, I'll own up to it---I'm a people pleaser. There's no shame in that, is there? Wanting to make people happy or more comfortable or wanting to enhance the lives of others is a good thing. I'm sure of it.

Most people tell me they stop by my blog just to see what's going on, to find out how I'm doing, to pass the time or to get a little bit of entertainment. And, that makes me happy. But, I often wonder if there's a person or persons out there who truly needs to know more about something---anything. And, they keep coming back to see if they can get it and find themselves leaving empty handed or worse yet--uninspired. And, that makes me sad.

You see, I'm a writer. Not a writer-writer. I mean, I don't get paid to write. I just write. So, that makes me a writer. And, sometimes we writers are so entrenched in words and how they sound and how they make people feel, that we get a little freaked out when good words don't spill out of our fingertips. Why, just last night, my very talented and sweet 20 year old nephew sat across the table from me and said "Aunt Judi, I wrote an outline for a book." The boy is smart---he knows how to get my attention. He labored over the outline. But, he tells me that he hasn't been able to start writing. Now, an engineer--like my husband--doesn't get it. An engineer figures that if you do the outline then the rest is easy. But, a writer gets it. My nephew's mother---my sister---said that maybe he should go to a writer's commune. Sounds nice. But, even if he did go to a writer's commune (or whatever they call those places where you just lock yourself away and write), if he could not find his "place" in his mind then he might as well just listen to his ipod while he's locked away in the commune. Which, come to think of it---that's what most 20 year olds would be doing when they're just hanging out--whether they're at a writer's commune with the most promising bards of our century scribing away in the adjacent rooms or if they are sitting in their bedrooms while their mothers cook and their fathers mow the grass. It's about living your life and finding inspiration in the moments of your life that are the most rewarding---to a writer.

This whole inspiration thing is a fickle thing. What will inspire me or my nephew or any writer to write? And, even more importantly---what will inspire us to write something that will actually inspire others or will make a difference in their days (or even their lives!)? These are the very questions that quietly speak to me. It's not like I walk around thinking about this all day. No, no. I do many other things. I don't peer around corners and think "now, there's something inspiring, I have to write about it". Although that very thing sort of happened the other day. A dear coworker and I took a quick little jaunt during our lunch hour into one of the more seedy neighborhoods to run an errand. And, right there, within plain sight--I witnessed a drug transaction. A young man was standing in the doorway of a boarded up store front. An older man crossed the street, approached the younger man. The younger man handed him something. They exchanged a few words and then they both vanished. "Look, it's a drug transaction!" I told my coworker. "Wow, I would have never caught that! You can write about that in your blog!" she exclaimed. Quite honestly, I wasn't inspired by it. More than anything, I was terrified by it. We got out of there pretty quickly. But, as I reflected on it---it wasn't the actual drug transaction that stayed with me in any important way. It was my coworker's reaction. I was touched that she sees that side of me---that part of me that finds stories in moments that other people don't capture. She gets it that the daily---sometimes mundane, sometimes exciting----parts of life inspire me. Which brings me back to this whole best blog hostess thing. I really want to know what you come here to read or to find. Oh, yes, I know.....I'm getting way too pretentious here....actually asking something of you! As if I have readers! (I'm having another Carrie Bradshaw moment!!!) But, honestly, a writer's dry spell is different than let's say a football player's dry spell. It's not that you can't write. It's just that you can't write. It's not a lack of motivation or skill. It's the inspiration thing. Motivation and inspiration are 2 very, very different things. And, sometimes there's so much in your head---so many words are swimming around in a writer's brain---that the inspiration can't break through it all. You feel like you have sooo much to say. You don't know where to begin. You need clutter control. It's like you need one of those organizational professionals to come to tell you what's important and what's not. I think that maybe what's plaguing me. That and the fact that I really do want to make a difference. My LapBand journey and the changes in my life have inspired me greatly. Plus, I feel so blessed that this blog is actually read! Now, I don't want to sound corny or big-headed here but now that I have your attention--I really want my journey to somehow inspire you. Even if that's not possible---I want you to walk away with more than what you came with. That's where YOU come in. Ask me some questions. No, no, not like a Dear Abby thing. I want to know what you want to know. I want to know if you want or need to hear about what I am eating. Or, if you want the gory details of how they filled my band. Or, maybe you are curious about specific changes in my life because of the band. Or, maybe my ramblings about my life and times as a banded person---regardless of how non-lapband oriented they are---is what you came here for. Whatever the case---let me know. Maybe I'm looking for purpose along with that inspiration......
My's not all about me. I don't want to travel alone. Hop in.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pigging Out...........

Lap Band Style..........

Yes, we made our yearly pilgrimage to the farm. I'm a city girl, you know. But, once a year, we travel the 45 minutes to my version of a farm. They grow things and have animals and stuff. Well, I know for sure that they have pumpkins and apples. And, they have this little petting zoo. Yep, it's a farm. They also have lots of yummy food stands---sausages, kettle corn, nachos, french fries, ice cream, hot dogs, cheeses, carmel apples, funnel cakes. You name it, they fry it, cover it with goo or melt butter on it. In addition to that, they have several lovely, to-die-for shopes on the farm selling crafs, antiques, china, Christmas decor, garden stuff---oh, you know---MY kind of stuff. However, in order to get from the parking lot to the stores---you have to walk through the pumpkin display area, the petting zoo area, the cornstalk maze area and then directly through the food stands. Anyway, you know me, the city girl that I am, as soon as I get out of my vehicle, I am on one mission and one mission only----I want to get into those shops. Yeah, yeah, the pumpkins are nice...not sure why anyone would want to grow so many. Oh, yeah, a cute little goat...seen one seen them all. The cornstalk maze looks fun.....not my thing. But, then.....OOOOH, the I EVEN need to tell you about the smells of kettle corn popping, french fries frying and sausage simmering in peppers and onions? Like Emeril says "too bad you don't have Smellivision" or in this case....smellacomputer. A world of tantalizing delectable temptations lies between me and my true destination. In my pre-lap band days, I'd loose my willpower somewhere between the overhormoned pumpkin and the snaking line to enter the cornstalk maze. Thus, delaying my visit to the shops and lightening my wallet---preventing me from buying some extra things I have to have but definitely do not need. And, of course, it would also cut into my shopping time. There's no way any shop owner worth his or her cash receipts who would allow a woman balancing a large drink, a bag of kettle corn, a plate of fries, a dripping sausage sandwich and a funnel cake into their quaint little shops. That food was standing between me and where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. But, not today.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Let's take a look at how far I've traveled.........

Now, I'm sure you remember this picture........a classic "BEFORE PICTURE". I mean, let's face it.....who would share this picture unless it was most definitely a BEFORE PICTURE? Yep, I was heading out the door for surgery........5 am August 10, 2007. The only good thing I can say (about the way I look) is that I have a tan and my painted crocks are cute.

So, here I am 9 weeks later........October 14, 2007. I'm getting ready to head out the door with my family. Things are getting and feeling better---for sure! With about 65 more pounds to loose, I do have a ways to go! But, at least I'm heading in the right direction! Do you like my new lipstick? It's my new Fall shade.....James at the Estee Lauder counter at Boscov's picked it......he said it's just fab with my Mocha Writer Lip Pencil!
And, look at that Fall decorating........

Thank you for following me on this journey. You are keeping me from
heading down that one way, dead-end street..........

Thursday, October 11, 2007


You know how it is when someone says something to you and you just can't think about anything else for next few hours? Well, that's what happened to me tonight. Now, I admit, sometimes my brain wraps itself around the most insignificant detail and before I know it, I'm analyzing it, dissecting it and vowing to spend the rest of my life researching it. Luckily, something else comes along sooner or later to steal my attention and I rid myself of whatever it was that was so damn important. And, I'm pretty sure that's what will happen with this. But, here's the thing----my daughter tells me that I am overbearing. Yes, overbearing. Me? No way. So, I've been thinking about the word OVERBEARING. And, of course, I've also been wondering about how in the world my own daughter would think that--- I----of all people, am overbearing. The insanity of it, I know!
But, I'm also thinking about the entire feeling of the word OVERBEARING.

Now, let me explain how this came about. My lovely, sweet daughter Toni is going to her Homecoming formal this weekend with her new beau. From what I know, this is her first "real" boyfriend. A very nice young man. Yes, he's cute too. And smart. He won the hearts of my sister and my niece--not an easy fete--by making a special effort to meet them. And, even Carmen thinks he's nice---even though he's not Italian (as far as we know....we haven't done a background check....). And, it seems like he comes from a very good family....his father called him right there as he stood on my porch in front of me at 10:30 at night to tell him it was time to come home. If it was planned to impress me--it was masterful. In any case--he does not go to the same high school as Toni so let's just say that she is importing her date. So, considering the situation, I thought it best that I contact the young man's mother and fill her in on what's going on. In our neck of the woods, these formals and the events surrounding them have a certain protocol. Naturally, there's the dress, the shoes, the jewelry, the make up, the nails and the hair. And, in our neighborhood---there's the group who will be going together, the home that will host the pictures, the mode of transportation, the restaurant where they will eat, the dance itself and then the after party. It's very orchestrated. The dress is, of course, of great importance. The stores around here keep very accurate records on which dresses are sold to which girls from which schools. So, even if you are in love with a dress and your mother has cash in her hand--if another girl has the dress, you are out of luck. If that store would sell the same dress to 2 girls who are going to the same dance, they might as well kiss their business goodbye. It's a law around these parts. Then, there's the shoes. Now, I like this part. I won't go into great detail about what we went through for the shoes. But, I'll say this---several of my wonderful, empathetic coworkers devoted precious time to researching the perfect shoes (if you must know--we needed brown patented leather). In fact, in a moment of sheer desperation, when I mentioned to them that I was thinking of secretly re-habbing a pair of her shoes from a previous dance, each of them showed up at my door and offered their advice--NOOOOOO! Like I said---I was desperate. Thankfully, after a weary weeknight spent shopping, we returned home with not one-- but two pair of the perfect shoes. The jury on which pair she will ultimately wear is still out. It's a tough choice. We're shoe stressed.
Anyway, back to me being an overbearing person. So, like I said--I called the young man's mother. But, I ended up leaving a message. So, she called me back tonight. In the meantime, the smart young man text messaged Toni to warn her that his mother was calling. Isn't technology helpful? So, Toni conveniently stationed herself at the top of the staircase that leads into our kitchen since I was having the conversation there. Now, I know I am talkative. My Grandma Carr kissed the Blarney Stone. That's not a bad thing. Right? I'm friendly, I'm fun, I love rock and roll, my heart is in the right place and I am nice---even though maybe I can be wee bit loud. But, geez, I really work hard to make sure I am kind and considerate. Overbearing---never. Anyway....back to this conversation with the boyfriend's mother. Let's face it, she needed to know what was going on. So, I told her. I gave her the facts---in a friendly way. I invited her and her husband to our home, I explained the schedule, assured her of our involvement in all of it and I answered her questions. And, I told her how nice I thought her son was. Now, does that sound overbearing? Evidently, my daughter thought it was. And, you know what else---I cleared my throat a few times during the conversation. Not good. Gets on her last nerve.
Yes, I know what you're thinking---our children are supposed to feel this way about their mothers. And, anyway---who cares? ME! Yes, I know, we mothers are supposed to expect this. But, not this mother. Anyway, besides all of that and besides the possibility that I must have real self image issues, I am stuck on this word OVERBEARING. All night long, I've been thinking about it. And I'm embarrassed to admit it, but---each time I think of a woman who is OVERBEARING.......I think of a woman who is overweight. Someone who "throws her weight around". I don't have an image of a thin person. An overbearing person is NOT a thin person. An overbearing person is a FAT person. So, that got me to thinking about what I might call a thin woman who acts in an OVERBEARING fashion? Why, a BITCH, of course. So, I year when I am not fat and I act OVERBEARING......will I be a BITCH? Hmmmm.......that might be one thing I won't like about being thin. But, I'll give it a whirl......

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Doing Happy Hour with my LapBand.......

So, last Friday, I decided it was time to return to one of my favorite activities---meeting friends for Happy Hour. To be honest, I don’t even know the last time we did this. Well, I think they’ve done it recently. But, not me. One of our regular watering holes is a small, local place---it’s one of those “Cheers” kind of places…..where everyone knows your name. You know what I mean……it’s not the kind of place to go for a drink, sit in a dark booth and have some serious conversation. It’s a place to chat with my kids’ kindergarten teacher, talk with old neighbors, find out what’s happening with old friends and share news with half the community I grew up in. As you can tell--- it’s a place to go if you want to talk and laugh and get caught up on gossip. The perfect stop at the end of a long week. Like their sign says….A Place Where Good Friends Gather.

Now, in my pre-LapBand life, my Happy Hour drink was always---gin and tonic with lime. And, at this particular bar—where the owners are dear friends…..they know Judi drinks gin and tonic with lime. Sometimes even double lime. And, it’s not just any gin, thank you. They know that it’s Tanqueray. But, as you know---I cannot drink carbonated stuff. The gin is okay. The lime too. But, put a shot of gin with a lime in a body that doesn’t eat too much and those good friends would be carrying me out the door. Not the thing to do in a place where everyone knows your name! Ah, the challenge of doing Happy Hour after LapBand.

Carol, the owner’s sister and Tessa, an adorable, sweet young woman, were bartending when I got there. “Oh my God, you lost a shit ton of weight!” Carol greeted me (as only a bartender could!) as I climbed on my bar stool next to Pam, a Friday Happy Hour regular. “OOOOH!” Tessa and Pam cooed in unison. Beaming, I accepted their compliments as Kate, one of my wonderful, spirited Happy Hour partners, walked towards us. “Doesn’t she look great?” Kate chimed in as she greeted me with a hug. “What is your secret?” Pam gasped. Hmmm. The moment of truth.
“Well, I had Weight Loss Surgery,” I said. “OOOOH….” they all nodded. “I had LapBand….” I explained. I could see their minds going. Pam leaned forward as if she wanted to know more. But, before anyone knew it, Tessa was dialing the phone. “You have to talk to my Uncle Mike” she told me as she dialed. “He is thinking about it. He really needs it…..he eats sooooo much…..Uncle Mike……here talk to Judi……she just had the LapBand……” she handed me the phone across the bar. As I was chatting with Mike on the phone, the owner walked in. Carol loudly called over to him, pointing to me—“Look at Judi! Look at Judi! She had LapBand Surgery.” Jim meandered over as I sat chatting with Uncle Mike (who I came to learn is a 57 year old man who says he doesn’t even know he’s eating!) and gave me a huge kiss on the cheek “You look great baby! Give her a gin and tonic on me!” he called over to his sister. Immediately, I put my finger up and asked Mike to excuse me for a moment….”No, I can’t have that….” I called over to Carol. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Jim’s body slump against the wall…..”What? No gin and tonic for Judi?” he asked, exasperated. “No tanqueray?” he asked in utter disbelief. “No, no tonic…” Kate answered for me since I was once again caught up in a conversation with Uncle Mike. “Oh, okay…..give Judi a gin and lime then……” he told his sister. Again, I tried to intervene but the conversation with Uncle Mike, the unconscious eater who was considering LapBand, took an intense turn. How could I tell Uncle Mike to hold on as he told me the most intimate details of his life. So, I watched as Carol poured the tangueray into a short, stalky glass. Then, as she squeezed the lime, she looked over to me “Ice?” she asked. I nodded affirmatively and gestured for her to put lots of ice……lots of ice........
And, thus began my first LapBanded Happy Hour.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Postcard from The my journey continues

Wish you were here!

As you can see from the picture, I'm still on the road. A little weary from my travels (thus the bad hair day). I need a Spa Day! So, I plan to stop at the next exit for a little R&R. See you then!