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Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Last Curtain Call for July....

Should I take a bow? Honestly, I could not have written a better script. Here I sit....wondering....could I have even imagined any of it? August 2008 is looming. A year ago, my new chapter began. When I started this journey, the biggest change I was expecting was size. And, for me, that was good enough. No, it was perfect. I figured my life would stay exactly the same but I'd be living it in smaller clothes. I'm pretty sure that's all I wanted. The smaller sizes happened. The same life didn't. Things have changed. Things I didn't expect. Big things. Little things. Life things. Important things. Not-so-important things. Things I didn't want to change. Things I thought would never change. I've blogged about some of it. I haven't blogged about some of it. It's not that I'm keeping secrets. Some of the changes just take longer to process than others. I'm still processing some it. You know, I'm wrestling with it or letting it simmer or trying to figure it out. Other things I've processed very well and am A-OK with it. Then, there's still other things....looming things that creep into my conscious when I least expect it. Reminding me that life is quite different. There's big things that have changed. Really changed. And, I'm not ready for some of those changes. But, I'm on vacation and I'm celebrating my bandiversary so I am not going to dwell on the things that are nagging at me. My life will be waiting for me when I'm done vacationing and celebrating.

Please, no encore.... the way, we're drawing the winner of the shoes later today....I'll announce it here as soon as it's done! Good Luck SHOE LOVERS!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No shoes...check, no pants...check....NO PROBLEM.....

Yes, my bandiversary continues here at the beach...........

Blues what blues...hey I forgot 'em
The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand
with no bottom...and no shoes, no shirt, no pants and no problems!
No problems!

Want to soak up life for a while
In laid back mode
No boss, no clock, no stress, no dress code

The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand....

Wish you were here!

Hey...anybody want an extra few points? If so, I'm looking for a Happy Hour drink to go along with the appetizers for my cooking night....
Here's my Happy Hour menu:
-Crab Nachos
-Salmon Balls & Crabs Balls with Dipping sauces: Basil Pesto Aoili, Lime & Chile Salsa and Apricot Garlic Dip
-Tequila Shrimp
-Cruidites with Roasted Red Pepper Spread
-Coconut Chicken Strips with Peach Teryaki Sauce

Any ideas? I'm coming up empty. Probably because we've had every drink imaginable. So....I'm giving 5 points for every drink recipe you share. Please keep my Happy Hour menu in mind. I'll need all recipes by 8 am on Thursday July 31 so I can go out to shop for whatever I need!

By the way.....we're doing the drawing for the shoes on Thursday!!!! Everyone here is sooo excited about it (yeah, they're all drunk....).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Advice from the Beach.............

Saving my Lapbanded drink at a time

Honestly, blog readers, this is one miracle potion in a bottle. Typically, I don't have much time to browse in liquor stores. I'm in, I'm out. I buy the same stuff. But, here on vacation....I've got time. So, there I was....heading in to pick up my favorite libation...Taqueray Gin. It was there, amongst all the gins, that I spotted a rippled bottle filled with bright green liquid. Being that I had the time....I inspected it. It said...A delicious blend of Seagram's Gin, Kiwi, and other natural flavors, Ginseng and Strawberry Juice. I was immediately inspired. Seagram's Gin & Juice--aka Green Dragon with GINSENG. Trust me, it's not called GIN-SING for nothing. Having had to give up my favorite summertime drink--Gin and Tonic (because I can no longer have carbonated beverages now that I'm lapbanded)...this stuff has saved the day. Yes, it's the GIN that made me SING. I'm not a great singer. But, with Toni's i-pod in my ears and a Green Dragon in my hand--I was one happy songbird. Toni even introduced me to a song called "Gin and Juice". Who knew? There's even a song written about it. It's not a nice song. But, still. There's a song. Trust me, if Snoop wouldn't have written the song first...I would have.
So, anyway....if you are looking for a refreshing summer party in a glass that will make you sing....try this. And, know what Ginseng does for you......

Oh, and a reminder...TOMORROW is the very LAST DAY to enter your shoe size (you can enter as many times as you want!) to win a new pair of these painted pink crocks. We'll be picking the winner mid-week so that I can drive up to the little shop up the road where they paint those shoes!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Am I more beautiful at the beach?

So, I was thinking this morning as I was getting ready to run to Harris Teeter....why haven't I put a speck of make-up on since arriving at the beach? And, why was I even considering going out the door without it? I looked in the mirror and decided "nope, don't need it". So, I just left. I wasn't self conscious. I didn't think I had to throw a paper bag over my head. I didn't secretly hope that I wouldn't run into anyone I knew (which does happen frequently here). I've been to restaurants, stores, cute little boutiques and on fun little jaunts--sans make-up. This would never happen at home. NEVER. I wear lipstick to answer the door for heaven's sake! It's not for lack of make up! I have a shit load of it with me. My toiletry bag rivals my shoe bag. Now, that's saying something. So, why do you think I don't bother to put it on here? Is it because I have a tan? Is it because I'm not stressed to the point of having circles under my eyes? Do I feel thinner and prettier? Or....does vacation change my priorities? I just don't know.

What do you think? 5 points for anyone to has the courage to answer.........

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Still beaching.....

The beaching continues. Earlier today, we moved out of our townhouse on the 13th hole at the Village Beach and Golf Club and headed to the northern beaches for another week celebrating my bandiversary in a much more remote setting. No more waitresses serving frothy concoctions at the pool. Instead, it's just us---all 21 of us--lounging at our private pool outside of our deck--yelling up to whoever is in the kitchen to bring down another beer, another glass of wine or another yummy cocktail. No more little shuttle to the beach. It's just foot power--only a few steps to the ocean. The crowds are much smaller, the beaches are much less crowded and we have no more golfers to cheer on from our back deck. There's just puzzles and movies and each other to entertain us. (hopefully no more WiiFit)

Yes, it's just one long party filled with an awesome array of home cooked gourmet meals and the surprise of a new beach drink each day.

As of a few moments ago--when my niece and her boyfriend arrived from the other end of NC--we are only awaiting 2 more people. Then, our happy beach crew will be complete.

So, Ashley---if you're reading this--HURRY UP!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obese and 77 in the world of Wii....

So, yesterday my nephew Jared and my sister arrived at the beach. It was the day after his birthday. Naturally, our first question was "what did you get for your birthday?" "WiiFit," he told us. After explaining what it was....he proceeded to inform us...a little sheepishly, I must add...that Wii declared that he and his mother were obese. OBESE? A video game told them they were obese? A 10 year old little boy and my not-obese sister were dubbed OBESE by a vidoe game that cost over $200? Shit, I had to go through 8 months of physical and emotional testing before my Lapband surgery to be declared obese! Where was WiiFit when I needed it? But, still....a bunch of computer geeks came up with this game and now it's the expert on obesity? Hmmm....wonder how much the diet industry had to do with that game? Imagine this....thousands of kids (and their mothers and aunts!) hop on this game and find out they are OBESE? What do you think will happen? Now, I can only speak for their mothers and their aunts. But, I'm guessing they are running out to buy the next diet craze in a pill, a book or an office!

Okay, I get it---Wii is a video game that gets kids up off the couch and moving around a bit. I applaud the whole idea. WiiFit goes even a little further--helping kids exercise and become more aware of their bodies and their health through gaming. It makes total sense from the standpoint that kids are in love with video games and are spending more time in front of TVs and on couchs and not getting out on the streets or in the parks or in the fields. So, yes, it's a super concept. But,come on....a little boy is told he is OBESE by his game? Even at my age, I'm not sure if I'd go back and tangle with it.

Case in point....
So, you have a beach house filled with relaxed, loose adults with a lot of time on their hands and a Wii Fit video game. What do you think happens? We test it. Clearly the beer, the wine, the gin, the vodka and whatever else we ingested gave us all a little bit of courage and a whole lot of "who gives a shit?" Of course, that's until that damn thing announced that I had the WiiFit age of 77. And, not only weighed me and said I was obese. Don't ask me how this game came to those conclusions. I mean, all I did was stand on one foot and then the other. Sort of like a sobriety test on the side of the road. I have to say....I'd prefer to do a sobriety test on the side of a dark highway and be told that I am legally drunk than take the WiiFit test and be told that I've got the body of a OBESE 77 year old in front of my closest friends and family! And, I think everyone else felt the same....

So, here we's raining at the beach. Is WiiFitness on the TV? No, there are reruns of Will & Grace and Spin City. The kids are sitting on Laptops, listening to i-Pods and munching on gooey taffy. The adults are reading magazines, sitting on Laptops, drinking beer and telling lousy jokes. And I---this 77 year old obese woman---am blogging. No one wants to tangle with WiiFit. Even when it rains at the beach.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Live and Learn!

Now, remember when I started my Bandiversary celebration questions? I said I might ask academic questions. I'll bet you thought you were in the clear with me here at the beach. I mean, who would expect me.....Ms. ask academic questions? Well, your gal Judi is one surprising beach babe. Denise Richards thinks she is complicated. Hell, she's got nothing on me. I'm Ms. Complicated-Plus. I'm complex. Oh yeah, I'm just one big question mark. Case in I am at the beach...sitting at the beach all day reading decorating magazines and smoking contrand cigarettes, drinking margaritas at happy hour and then climbing a famous sand dune at night. Now, if that doesn't scream "complicated", I don't know what does! A girl who loves rock and roll and the Food Network.
Just try to figure me out.....(no extra points for anyone who thinks they can.....)

As for the academic question....
-What is a fulgurite?
a)member of the NC Fulgur Church
b)enzyme found in hot dogs
c)preservative used for seafood
d)hollow tube formed when lighting strikes the sand
e)rock formation in a cave
f)sea urchin

5 points for every correct answer!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Very Important Questions From the Beach........

As I sit in my beloved beach chair and stare out into the endless ocean, I ponder such important things. Critically important things. Things that I don't have time to think about in my normal life. This is the place where I do the big thinking. This is where I explore the inner most crevices of my thoughts. As I was pondering some of my bigger and more complex occured to me that perhaps I should share some of them with my blog readers.

Here are the questions I've been exploring the past 48 hours....
*If I HAD to gain 10 lbs what would I eat to gain it?
*What is my favorite bad habit?
*What is my favorite tree?

How would you answer these thought provoking and important questions?

There's 5 points for each answer....

Friday, July 18, 2008

The journey back to the beach.......

Alright, Alright....I're wondering.....Judi with no shoes? Have no fear...there will be shoes. Remember....I'll be shoe shopping for one lucky winner! So, keep posting (yes, I'll check in every so often from the beach!) your shoe sizes (as many times as you like!)! My BANDIVERSARY CELEBRATION CONTINUES!
Oh, and, the whole no shirt thing may have you perplexed as well. Judi....with no shirt?
Let's just say this.....the no shirt thing may all depend on the beach drink of the day. And, the no problem thing? THAT will be no problem.

Yes, I'm off to the beach. I'm returning to those footprints in the sand. The ones left behind by an obese woman. But, just as the waves have washed those footprints away...that obese woman is gone as well. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

When I waved good-bye to the sand and the surf last year, I did so with a promise. And, I've kept it. The journey from that beach and back has been a blessing. As I take my place at the edge of the earth...where the water meets the land....I do so as a woman who climbed a mountain.

HELLO you remember me?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I want Bruce Springsteen to throw pebbles at my bedroom window.....

I have this lovely friend who lives on a daffodil filled hill. The other day, she asked her blog readers to ask her anything....anything at all. So, I pondered how to respond. I mean, I'm an asking questions kind of girl. I like to know a lot. I like stories and scoops and gossip. But, even more, I like to know what's in someone's heart. What's in their soul. What are their inner most secrets? What do they live for? What gets them up in the morning and keeps them going all day long? What do they dream about as they gaze out their window? What do they think about right before they drift off to sleep? It's not that I want to know because I'm nosey. I just want to a good way.

But, you know how it feel kind of silly and perhaps even rudely intrusive asking certain questions. So, I went with one of those last-page-of-Bonapetit Magazine type of questions--what famous person would you like to have dinner with and why? I figured that was an interesting enough question and when it was all said and done....the answer would provide a little peek into what makes them tick. In the end, I'd learn something new about them yet there would still be that aura of mystery about what really lies beneath their response.

So, I got to thinking....what famous person would I like to have to dinner with? And, I came up dry. I don't want to have dinner with anyone really. The whole idea of it made me feel a little uncomfortable....sort of like going on a date. I haven't been on a date in so long and the only thing I know about dating is what I see on Sex & The City reruns. And, it all seems like so much work. I don't think I'd be a good dater at this stage of my life. All that chit-chat and eye batting and wondering what the date is thinking and should I order food you can only eat with your hands and is it appropriate to have that 3rd glass of wine. And, then there's that whole thing about the check....I'm too much of a control freak to let someone pay the check. And, if they did...I'd want to leave the tip. Oh, it would be so weird. I'm sure things would only get weirder after dinner. You know...that whole thing about what do to after dinner? Would I just have to say something like..."I'm not that kind of girl" or maybe "hey let's have sex and get it over with"? Like I said....tough stuff. Dinner with someone famous would make it even worse. I'm sure of it.

I have this gorgeous friend. She is a serial dater. She was married once but she wasn't into that. So, she dates. She likes musicians. Hard core rock and rollers. Sometimes when she shows up with them, I sit there and think "boy, he must think he died and went to heaven!" I am positive they look good on stage. I mean, I get it. When I'm at a Tom Petty concert, I'm pretty sure I'm in love with him. When I see him in a tabloid shot, I'm pretty sure I'm not. A few weeks ago, my dating friend brought yet another rocker to a party. Before they showed up, my other friend informed me "this one has a real job too." Which, of course, was good news. It seems like most of the situations she gets herself into go from dating to having the guy move in because he's hit a rough patch with his rock n roll career. Happens quite a bit in that industry from what I have surmised. Anyway...that particular evening, my dating friend and her newest rocker didn't know many people there except for Carmen and I. So, we spent most of the evening with them. I've never spent that much one-on-one time with her and any of her dates in all the years I've known her. So, I got an up close look at what dating looks like. It validated my earlier notions---it's work. But, she was really good at it. She said things like "he is a great cook." So, I asked him what his specialty was...."pizza" he told me. "What's your recipe?" I inquired (I told you...I like to ask questions). "Chef Boyardee is the best." Okay, now....between you and me....CHEF BOYARDEE? I'm not a food snob but....CHEF BOYARDEE? Okay, okay...I didn't say that...I just thought it. So, my friend jumped in "oh, he has a way with it....he works his magic..." Alright. And, that's how it went all night. She bolstered his confidence. She said nice things to him in front of us. She said nice things about him in front of us. Her focus was on a good way. A very nice way. Not at all insincere or pretentious. I'm not sure if I would be cut out for that. Katie would be great at going to dinner with a famous person. Not me.

Some people might think the reason why I don't want to have dinner with a famous person is because of my war with diets and weight over the years. Even though having my Lap band makes going on to dinner a little more of a chore, the food and the eating has nothing to do with it. I think I'm just at that stage in my life that I want a little more than food and chit-chat. Sure, I could sit there and ask my millions of questions and maybe....just maybe...I'd be enthralled with the answers. But, even then, I'm pretty sure that won't do it for me.

Maybe you just get to a point in your life that you don't need or want to have dinner with anyone who is on a higher stage than you. Or, maybe it just feels odd having to focus so hard on someone who is sitting across from you having dinner. Maybe being in a long term relationship makes you lazy. I'm not sure. What I do know is that I don't want to have dinner with anyone famous. I want someone famous to want to meet me. Not for dinner. Nothing quite so conventional and boring. I'd like it to be like this---this famous person sees me (maybe even reads my blog!) and finds himself (yes, I'd prefer a male) so overcome by my presence that he just has to meet me or talk to me. Maybe I can even be in his dreams. could go like this....he wakes up in the middle of the night and is so overcome by yearning that he bolts out the door in search of me. He finds my house. He stands in front of it. He can't wait until morning to tell me that he really needs to meet me. So, he picks up a pebble on my sidewalk and throws it at my window. Then another. Finally, when I go to the window, I peer out and see him....he in his Levis and white t-shirt and black boots. He calls out to me....."Don't turn me home again,I just can't face myself alone again. Don't run back inside darling you know just what I'm here for. So you're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore. Show a little faith,there's magic in the night. You don't want to have dinner, but hey that's alright...."

What about you....what famous person do you want to throw pebbles at your bedroom window? And, what would that person say? It's worth 5 points!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Name that beach drink......!

So, there it is. My suitcase. The one that's going with me to the beach. We're leaving in 2 days.....yes, that's right.....2 days. I'm not packed. Not only am I not packed...WE are not packed. Trust me, this suitcase is only a very small part of what we pack for our annual 2 week odyssey to the beach with 24 or so of our family and friends.

Here's the thing....the days leading up to going on vacation are stressful, overwhelming and take me *THIS* close to a complete meltdown. Although this feeling happens every single year, why is that the year you are in seems the worse? So, yeah...the car needs inspected, my daughter has her senior pictures, I'm up to my eyeballs in work at the office, we are running out of deodorant, I can't forget to pick up a few gifts for parties we are going to miss while we are gone, do we have beach towels?, how many pair of shoes is too many?, dear God don't let me forget my cellphone charger or my walking shoes and holy shit....what about the laundry? The list goes on and on and on.

And then there's the food. Our group is a bunch of foodies. Good foodies. But, foodies nontheless. So, meal planning is taken to a whole new level....even before we set foot in our cars to drive down to the beach. Right now, I have several storage bags stuffed into my basement freezer filled with my home made gourmet sauces, appetizers, margaritas and mojitos. And, I have a box in my dining room filled with special spices, condiments and dressings. Then, there's the lists....foods I don't want to forget to pick up as soon as we get there. No wonder past vacations yielded upwards of 12 lbs!

But, I'm not THERE yet. No, I have more than just vacation to occupy my time and my mind right now. Like I said....the car needs inspected, Toni has her multi-wardrobe senior picture session, I have to wrap up several rather large items at work and then there's the other stuff....the day-to-day things that just need to get done! Add that all to stopping the mail, stopping the newspaper, paying the bills and finding my timer for the lights and I'm pretty sure shaving my legs will not happen in Pennsylvania (it will have to wait until I get to NC). Don't even mention a pedicure....unless someone can direct me to an all night nail salon.

Trust me, I'm not complaining. I'm whining. NOT complaining. There's a difference....I think. I know that I'm lucky. I have a fun and lovely 2 week beach vacation within my reach. I'll be spending time with some of my favorite people. Uninterrupted time with my children and my sisters. Carmen will not be on autopilot and have that dazed look on his face 24-7 (well, after a few days at least). And, hey...I'll be close to 80 lbs lighter than last year. I'd imagine getting in and out of my beach chair won't be quite the fete as it was! So...I'll have it all. But, not right now. Not yet.
In the meantime, a girl can dream.....can't she? Of the beach, my sand chair and my beach drink of the day.
Speaking of beach drinks.....that's *ONE* thing I won't have time to research this year. As much as we are foodies, we are also vacation libation lovers. Each year we try to come armed with a few new ones. There's no room on my list to do add that! When in the hell will I find the time to find yummy new beach drinks? Can you help me out? I'll give out 5 points for every beach drink recipe shared here through August 1.
Oh....and 5 more points if you have a fun story to share about that drink......!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bandiversary Blogapolooza Blog-A-Rama! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Yes, it's big doings here at "Stories from the Road". I'm hosting a Blogapolooza Blog-A-Rama as part of my Bandiversary Celebration. So, what does that mean? goes like this...
If you have a blog, I want to hear about it! And, I want to blab to everyone about it! And, if you have a favorite blog that you want to share, I want to hear about it too! It doesn't matter what the hell it's about. Stories From the Road is an equal opportunity blog place. And, I'll talk to just about anyone who will talk to me!
So, if you have a blog and you want to jump start your reader base...aka steal my friends....I want to help you out! Or, if there's a blog that you read that you think everyone needs to read....share it! My Bandiversary Blogapolooza Blog-A-Rama is all about showcasing everyone's interests, talents and personalities.
So, here's what you need to do.....
-Post a comment between NOW and Thursday (July 17) at noon with the following info:
Blog name (with a link to it) along with a brief discription of the blog
Over the next few days, I will create a permanent BLOG ROLL with links to all the blogs I collect!
Come on out you closet bloggers! Don't be shy! YOU are among friends! It's a Bandiversary Blogapolooza Blog-A-Rama right here, right now!!! Margarita's all around! Show your blogging spirit!!!

By the the spirit of'll get 10 points if you have a blog and share it and 5 points for each blog you share that is not yours. And, there's an extra 5 bonus points given for blogs related to either lap banding, shoes, lip gloss or clematis (it's a plant....I'm having an issue with thinks it's blooming but it's not....TMI, I know!).

Don't forget--you can continue to post to get those darling pink crocs!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I LOVE Lubomyr Kuzmak ........shhhhhhhhhh

It's between you and I, of course. Wouldn't want the word to get out....Carmen might get a little upset....

Not sure if I'm just tired and a bit delirious from all this bandiversary partying or if I'm just funky from the daily chores that don't seem to go away. I'd prefer to think that it's the partying. There's nothing fascinating about being tired from laundry and is there? And, I am all about being fascinating.....

Speaking of fascinating....I guess you're wondering about my new love interest. The man who has my heart all a flutter. Well, here he is.....
I am in love with this man.....Lubomyr Kuzmak

Yes, I know, he doesn't seem to be my type, really. And, I doubt he loves rock and roll or shoes. But, this man saved me. I love him. I really do. Every inch of him. Even that interesting hair do. I love him. I mean, I am definitely not into his wardrobe choices and I am pretty sure I could put a smile on his face. But, his mind---I love it. He understands me like no one else. And, he is smart. Smarter than any man on the face of this earth. His strong intelligence and compassionate heart exudes a quiet sexiness. I mean, look at those eyes. They are the eyes of my soul mate. My man. The man I love so deeply, so purely and so intensely that I can barely contain myself as I type these words. This man has done more for me than every man I know put together and multiplied by 10. This man has changed my life and carried me to places I have never been before. This man turned my world upside down, right side up and on it's side. This man makes me laugh. He makes me sing. He makes me moan with delight. This man has given me more pleasure and more joy than I ever dreamed possible. He's brought me to my knees, he's lifted me in the air....hell...he's spun me around and made me do cartwheels. He's laid me down on soft pillows and whispered in my ear. He told me I was beautiful and he made me believe it. And, shit, this man has balls. You better believe it! He would not allow me to give in or to give up no matter how many times I pleaded. He is strong. Regal. Handsome. Amazing. He is my knight in shining armor and my king. There is no man like Lubomry. Yes, he may be a bit older than I and yes, he has been dead for going on 2 years. But, my love for him cannot be harnessed by age or death. My love for him goes beyond conventional love. My love for him is huge. I owe him everything. This man has brought the woman out in me. Not just the woman. He's unleashed the vixen inside of me and released the hungry passion that laid dormant in my soul. He's coaxed me into push-up bras and racey little panties and then dared me to take them off. He's given me hope and joy and passion and confidence and happiness and euphoria and unmentionable things and things I could not even put into words. My Lubomyr. The man I love with all of my heart and all of my soul. He may be gone from this world but he remains inside of me every day of my life. His presence in my being brings me a pleasure and satisfaction that no living human being has ever been able to provide. Lubby...I love you so.

For 5 points.....why do you think I love Lubomyr so much?
a)he is well endowed (his manhood....duh)
b)his family owns a shoe conglomerate
c)he invented the Lap Band
d)he invented Lip Gloss
e)he taught me how to square dance

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's not always Happy in Happy Valley.......

Yes, friends, Happy Valley was the destination of my celebratory road trip. Sorry to disappoint anyone who wanted to hear all about Intercourse or Climax. Maybe next time.

This little road trip was not originally planned in conjunction with my Bandiversary celebration. Trust me, if I was planning a party time trip---it may not have been to intercourse or climax but I would have done my best to include both of them. However, since I didn't realize that I'd have this huge celebration on my hands, the reason for the trip sounds much more Martha Stewartish than Debbie-Does-Dallasish. We went up for the big Arts & Crafts festival and to check out the place. Our son will be moving there in August to get his PhD and teach. So, considering that the trip was during my big marathon party, it was only right that we interrupt the artsy-crafty stuff and all the sight seeing to have a few drinks at one of the college watering holes. And, given the fact that it was hot, humid and very crowded and I was feeling a little weepy about my son moving away for the next 5 years.....a bar stop seemed to be the only sane thing to do.

Now, the one thing about college bars is that it's filled with college kids. Young, smart, filled with youthful exhuberance and kinda cute. So, there we were, sitting at the bar, conversing with a few nice enough guys who were drinking pitchers of Long Island Iced Teas (the special of the day....only $6 a pitcher...what a steal!). They seemed to enjoy our conversation...we're hip like that. Or, maybe it was those pitchers of booze they were inhaling that made us so interesting to them. But, whatever the reason, we managed to command their attention for at least a little while.

After a few glasses of wine and idle chatter, my age took over and I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom. And, that's where it happened. Up until that point, I would have sworn I could have been mistaken for a college student myself. I mean...I was wearing a cute little top, a pair of jean capris and some funky, fun jewelry. But, the mirror in that bathroom said something different. It said...."okay, you 49 year old, you have a stray, wirey chin hair". The proof was right there--I was not a college student and there is no way in hell I could be mistaken for a college student. Trust me, if you are going to find a stray chin hair, a college bar is not the place to find it. I mean, it just puts a damper on any frat boy fantasies you may have. And, it certainly reminds you that this is not the place for you!

The last time I was in a college bar, I swear the lights weren't that bright. And, the mirror was not that clear. Okay,'s been awhile since I've been in one. And, yes, maybe I couldn't see very well last time I was in one. Who gives a shit, anyway! Aren't college bar bathrooms supposed to be dimly lit with graffiti filled mirrors? Why did this one have such good lighting and nice mirrors? Didn't they know I was celebrating my bandiversary? How dare they put a damper on my party! was back to arts and crafts for me and forget about college bars. At least I had a few glasses of wine to lessen the sting of reality.

Since it's party time and all, I just can't end on that negative note! So,here's some cute little signs I found to bring some chuckles.....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Taking the celebration on the road........

So, if one was going to take a road trip during a celebratory during my Bandiversary Marathon Party Days (which is happening right now in case you forgot).....where should one go? If you can't go to a place named Party Town just doesn't seem right. I mean, let's face it.....celebrating in a place called BlackLick or Smock or Library (yes, they are all PA towns!) just doesn't cut it. And, forget about Blueball and Bird-In-Hand (yes, more PA towns!). It has to be someplace that oozes celebration, gushes good times, conjurs up feelings of euphoria and makes you think "dancing in the streets".

Considering that I am this said person who is taking this said road trip and I am this said person who is celebrating and I definitely want to keep to the whole celebration theme (because I like themes).....knowing all of this....where do you think I am going on my road trip? Hint--it's in Pennsylvania.
You'll get 5 points if you get the answer right...bringing you one step closer to being a winner!!!

Here's the choices.....all of them are in Pennsylvania (check for yourself if you don't believe me!)
Happy Valley
Balls Mills
Zip Down

Good Luck! And, whereever your road trip takes you this weekend....if the place you're going ain't rockin', you gotta rock it!

Friday, July 11, 2008

TGIF.....Thank God I'm Fabulous......

Okay....let's get back to my big BANDIVERSARY hoopla.

Today, I decided I am going to embrace and celebrate my imperfections. The things that make me fabulously imperfect. I am going to celebrate it all with great delight. It's a party to honor the imperfections that I see in myself and the imperfections that others see in me. And, not just imperfections but the pleasures that go along with being an imperfect me. My endangered pleasures. You know what I mean....they are the ones that I take delight in but know that there's a whole world of really good and nice people who think it's not the right thing to do. They'd like me to stop doing these things. That's why they are endangered.... You know what I mean....things we do that illicit "that look". It's like when I go into CVS all dressed up on my way to work, looking oh so smart and professional and I ask the person behind the counter for a pack of Salem Lights. Yeah, you know the look. Or...those martinis I like. Oh yeah. Put me on a bar stool with one of those in one hand and a Salem Light in the other and I'm like a blue light special. Not a candidate for mom of the year. But, I take pleasure in a contraband smoke every once in awhile. And, I like martinis. And, sitting at a bar is one of my favorite things. Call it what you will but I'm comfortable there. Me. A bar stool. A little libation. A smoke. A juke box. It's a party waiting to happen. And, I take delight in a party.

Now, let's talk about laundry. I hate laundry. My bedroom is a testament to that. Considering that laundry is closely related to clothes and I love'd think I would like laundry. But, I don't. I like to send it out. I know there's people out there who think that's just a terrible thing. In the deep crevices of my heart, I know I'm supposed to do laundry regularly and not leave it on my front porch for someone to pick up. But, I can't help myself. It gives me great delight to come home on Fridays from work and find all of my laundry done....and sitting on my front porch (gee, what do the neighbors think?).

And, then there's food. Just the other night, Toni and I devoured an entire bag of multi-grain tortilla chips and a bowl of my friend Patty's amazing cheese nacho dip. Not very Saint Lapband of me....huh? But, I needed it. I had been puking up scrambled eggs, soup, salad, etc for close to 2 weeks. But, chips were working out just fine. My Lapband was welcoming chips and dip. So, I went with it. My day had been lousy, Carmen's schedule was getting insane, he was overstressed and unavailable and I had a list as long as my arm to get done that night. So, dips and chips it was. It was a small glimmer of delight in an otherwise not so delightful day. And, I got to spend some quality misbehaving time with my daughter. Double delight with a cherry on top.

I'm really just one big imperfection. But, I can dress up imperfections and make it all look pretty good. It's one of my gifts. I'm not mother of the year or wife of the year or even daughter of the year. And, quite honestly, I never aspired to be any of them. I aspired to be famous--if you really want to know the truth. And, in some circles, I'd like to think I am. I don't have the paparazzi chasing me or wads of cash coming in because of my fame. But, I do have adoration and love and friendship. And, I'd like to think that I have those things because I am so imperfect. I make people feel good about themselves because I am imperfect. That works for me. One time someone told me that if you met me for the very first time, I would intimidate you. So, I asked why. And, you want to know the answer? This person said it was because I looked like I was so damn perfect. And, then, they added "but it's great that you are not...that's the beauty of you." My beauty is in my imperfection. Or perhaps more accurately---I can make imperfection look good. You can take the girl out of Dormont but you can't take Dormont out of the girl.

Yes, there are moments when I look around and see people who seem to have it all together. But, then, I they really? Yes, they probably do. However, just in case they don't....I want them to know it's okay. But, hell, I'm not going to walk up to a complete stranger who looks perfect and say "you know, it's okay if you're not perfect and I think it's great that you are not! Let's be friends!" It wouldn't be welcomed, I'm sure. Although, I'd welcome hearing that sentiment sometimes. Especially when I'm sitting on that bar stool with my martini and Salem Light on the very day that I left the laundry on the porch.

And then there's diets. I did pretty good with diets. So many times. In fact, when I look back at all of those diets, I'm pretty impressed with my successes. But, with each diet came the end of it. And, more pounds. While I was doing it right, I did it with great gusto and superb perfection. I had applause and high fives and kudos and all kinds of compliments. But, just like the diets, they went away as the pounds piled back on. Yet, I soldiered on and greeted the next diet with hope. But, along came parties and vacations and the "I can't take it anymore" moments....derailing my efforts. Yes, I was a perfect dieter who yielded imperfect results. So, I just bought bigger sizes and perfected my make up a little more and bought better shoes. Delightfully so.

So, what is life if it doesn't allow for a little imperfection? My imperfections are the bits and pieces of me that I sometimes keep hidden from the delicate folks out there. And, yes, I'd be lying if I said I didn't worry about the consequences and the stares and the rolling eyes. Yet, when it's all said and done....I'm absolutely sure that my imperfections are what make me who I am. And, it's what gives me my ability to forgive and understand and have compassion. Living imperfectly with great delight is what I aspire to do. A simple plan for a not-so-simple girl.

And, what about my endangered pleasures? Well, that's where you come in. I'm starting up a foundation to protect them. The Preservation of Endangered Pleasures Society Inc.....PEPSI. I'm writing up the charter right now. And, I want to be sure that I cover each and every endangered pleasure out there. So, I'm looking for other endangered pleasures that need protecting. What are yours? Post a comment and let me know. For each of your endangered pleasures that you share, you will get 5 points. Those 5 points will go towards winning one of my 52 Favorite Things. See here for more details. And, please don't censor yourself. Be sure to share them all. If nipple rings are your thing or you are a closet thumb sucker....let me know. I don't want to forget any. I want to save them all! Why? Because I'm pretty sure if people felt safe to give in to their private pleasures, we would have world peace. Yes, I know...I'm fucking fabulous. I swear, if I had a tiara and a cape, I could save the entire world! Oh...did I mention that I say bad words sometimes? Delightful....aren't I?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Age is just a number........

Yes, we're still celebrating Toni's birthday. Did you ever notice that when you're under 20, the entire month is dedicated to YOUR BIRTHDAY? We started the celebration on July 4. We had scads of people over to the house to eat, drink and be merry. And, to sing Happy Birthday. Now, here we are 6 days later and we are still in all-hail-to-Toni mode. And, we will continue in that mode for at least the next 24 hours. Today was "wake up to presents" day. Tonight was "out to dinner" night. Tomorrow is "shop, shop, shop" day. We'll probably sneak a chai latte and a nice little lunch in there. All in celebration of SEVENTEEN.

You know how you sit there and calculate how old you'll be when your kids get to certain milestones? It's one of those things you do during those times when he/she is a baby and won't sleep. You are up all night and you have to think about something other than if you really wanted kids in the first place. You're rocking this kid. You're trying to feed this kid. You're burping this kid. You're walking the halls with this kid. And, you're thinking.....when this kid turns 17, I'll be INSERT AGE. It always seemed so far away......Toni, 17 and me, 50. Yes, age is just a number.....when you're 50.
Thank God I'm celebrating my Bandiversary!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Edge of Seventeen.......

Amid my Bandiversary festivities comes yet another celebration. It's a moment in time that came without sufficient warning. One that tip-toed up behind me like a winged angel. A moment that is stopping me in my footsteps--leaving me teary one moment and tongue tied the next. An occasion that is tugging at my heart and making my arms feel weak. Toni will be 17 tomorrow.

My dearest Toni---my beloved shopping partner, my darling, sweet gift from heaven...will become that age that I always considered myself. I--her mother--always felt 17. How can this be...a woman who has the heart and soul of a 17 year old is now becoming the mother of a 17 year old woman?

I cried the day Toni was born. That summer day not so long ago. When they told me I had a daughter, I cried. A daughter. A little girl I could name for my mother--Antoinette. A daughter....just like I was a daughter. A little girl....just like I was a little girl. Someone to play Barbies with and read Cinderella to. A little girl to dress up and shop for silly little baubles with.

My daughter. A sweet child whose smile never stopped. A wee little girl with a surprising sense of humor who once declared that I looked stupendous in a new haircut that I wasn't so crazy about. A little girl with the soft face and the delicate soul of an angel.

Toni came into this world a perfect little person. Other than a few to-be-expected teen frowns, she has retained that same perfection. Glowing and dainty and delightful. Even as a tiny infant, she had this aura about her that drew others in. Women would come up to me in the grocery store and awe over her beauty. And, I know they weren't just being nice. One time, as I was strolling Toni through the mall with Vince dutifully walking beside us, a woman stopped to take a closer look at her. This occurred after many other such instances during that same shopping trip. (Now, I have to tell you that I always had Toni dressed in the most darling outfits with matching hair bows and perfect little shoes and socks. Her attire alone always commanded alot of attention.) As the woman bent down towards the stroller, Vince jumped in front of the stroller with his arms spread eagle as if he was protecting his sister from a stranger. As you can imagine, the woman was quite startled! Later when I asked Vince about it, he told me that he was tired of people stopping us when we were out with Toni. Now, one would think that type of behavior would signal sibling rivalry. Not with Vince. He was entirely too practical for that (still is). He was just sick and tired of having to stop for people to look at his sister. We had places to go, people to see. And, of course, it was the last place a 6 year old little boy wanted to be--the mall. And, yes, in his own little way--he was protecting his sister. She was worth protecting.

A daughter is a special blessing....we all know that. But, for me, having Toni was a dream come true. Not just having a daughter. But, having Toni as my daughter. It's as if God said I deserved something really special and amazing and He sent me her. She lights up my days and gives me a joy that only her smile can bring. And, she keeps me young and light hearted and not too dowdy. A stylist, a shot in the arm and a youth tonic all in one.

Toni's sense of humor is and always has been beyond her years. She can do a sophisticated deadpan, she can find laughter in the silly things and yet she always manages to keep her brightness, her star quality. I often tell her she can do anything on this earth that she wants to do. She can be anything she wants to be. She has a gift. A rare gift that is not measured by beauty or brains but by soul and heart. There is no one like my daughter Toni. Yeah, I know....all mothers say that. That's because we are all so be mothers.

Toni has been my rock and my biggest supporter since my Lapband surgery. As young as she is---this girl gets it. She has been with me every step of the way. She has encouraged me, watched over me, educated me and inspired me. She's kept me on track and keeps me motivated with her determination. You see, right around the time I had my surgery, Toni decided it was time for herself to get fit. Now, I'm not sure if it had anything to do with me. Maybe I became the anti-role-model---she looked at me as I struggled with my weight and decided "NO WAY". Or, perhaps she couldn't imagine ever having to have surgery just to fit into cute clothes. Or, maybe it was just her time. I'm not sure. And, honestly, it doesn't bother me if she looked at me and shuddered. Because all I want for her is health and happiness. If she learned to find either through watching me then I have given her the gift that I always intended.

I could not have come this far on my journey without Toni. In many ways, it brought us closer. We discuss food, we grocery shop together, we share diet tips, we drink chai lattes together and we SHOP together. These days we can go into a store together and we can both find something that fits. There is a simple beauty in that alone. And, of course, we love shoes.

On that day...17 years ago...when my little girl was born...I dreamed of today. I dreamed of this feeling. This magical, sweet feeling of Toni and sole sisters.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bandiversary Celebration starts rockin'........

Think of me as a party girl. Not just a one-night-stand type of party girl. A girl with stamina. A girl who will party all the way until August 10. That's right, party mates, I'm celebrating MY BANDIVERSARY. And, you are coming along for the festivities. Get your party hats.

It all started with My 52 Favorite Things and the painted croc giveaway. As a can enter as many times as you like....just by dropping a comment right here on my blog...along with your shoe size, of course.

Now, it's time to PARTY!!!!!!!!!!! Remember, I promised games and prizes. Here we go!

Up until August 10, I will randomly pose a series of fetes that will award points. All responses received within 24 hours of the posting will be awarded. After that...tough luck! Sometimes you'll be able to find the answers from previous blog entries. Sometimes not. Sometimes they will be "dares". Other times they will be academic. The entrants who gather the most points by August 10 will be awarded one secret prize (of my choosing) from My 52 Favorite Things. I'll announce those winners and their prizes right here on my blog on August 10!!

Who knows what I'll ask you to do! Remember....I'm a girl who just lost 76 pounds. I've repressed a lot of fantasies....

Competition #1 begins now....
And, I can't think of a better way to put this party into full throttle than to talk rock and roll. So, tell me.....what is your favorite rock and roll song? Not just a song you like...I'm talking your all time favorite song. The one that overtakes your being. The one that stirs your soul. The one that melts your heart. The one that makes you jump up out of your seat and groove. The one that unleashs the rockstar that lives inside of you. The one that makes you purrrr. And, just for fun....tell me why it's your all time favorite. Oh come on.....share. It's a party for heaven's sake! Alright....alright....maybe you need something to loosen you up.....
Try this....
Red Headed Slut Martini
1 oz peach schnapps
1 oz Jagermeister® herbal liqueur
cranberry juice

Better now?

For those of you who share your fav song will get 5 points. Anyone who tells the reason why it's your fav song will get another 5.

Bonus Round--2 extra points: Name my favorite rock star. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm feeling very Oprahish today........

52 Of My Favorite Things
(things I fell in love with along my journey)
.....not in any particular order

In celebration of my upcoming
ONE YEAR BANDIVERSARY (August 10).......

(that's me!)

1. My Magic Bullet
2. Spanx
3. Starbucks Venti Non-fat Chai Latte w/ Energy Shot (hot or cold)
4. Royal Elastics Chedal Leather Mules
5. Yoplait Y+ Digestive Health Peach Yogurt
6. Special K2 O Iced Tea Protein Water Mix
7. Quaker Rice Cakes—Multi-Grain Cinnamon, White Cheddar varieties
8. Bumble Bee Tuna Easy Peel Bowls (all varieties!)
9. International Coffees Sugar Free Instant Chai Latte
10. Suburban Room (Dormont, PA) Crabcakes
11. Amel’s Restaurant (Baldwin, PA) She-Crab Soup
12. Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup
13. Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Flavor Wedges
14. Athenos and Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
15. Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Vanilla Chai Tea with Soy Protein
16. Gin Gimlet Martini (Tanqueray Gin & Daily’s Lime Juice—shaken, not stirred)
17. Trader Darwin’s Lemon-Lime Vitamin+Mineral Drink Mix Booster
18. Williams Sonoma Chili Lime Spice Rub
19. Coldwater Creek “Shape Me” Jeans and Crops
20. Victoria’s Secret Ipex Bras
21. WLS Magazine
22. Trader Joe’s Organic Polenta
23. Trim Advantage Roasted Garlic & Herb Crunch Zone Snacks
24. Barlean's Flax Seed Oil
25. BuiltNY Neoprene Bottle Sacks
26. Live Active Individually Wrapped Cheese snacks
27. Cabot White Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Light)
28. Quaker Oatmeal Low Sugar Apples & Cinnamon
29. Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer
30. Newman’s Own All-Natural Bandito Chunky Peach Salsa
31. Fresh Express Butter Lettuce (bagged)
32. South Beach Living High Protein Cereal Bars (Peanut Butter)
33. Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Almonds
34. Special K Protein Bars (Chocolate Peanut)
35. Lipton To Go Apple Cranberry, Peach & Lemon Tea Mixes (individual packets)
36. Starbuck’s Unsweetened Shaken Black Tea with a splash of Lemonade
37. Footloose Shoe Emporium (Galleria, Mt.Lebanon)
38. Houllihan’s Fish Tacos
39. The Crazy Ate’s @
40. Forever 21 (clothes)
41. Anthropologie (clothes now but I’ve always loved everything there!)
42. Bath&BodyWorks Sensual Amber Scented products
43. Ann Taylor Loft T-shirts
44. Belts—Chico’s, Coldwater Creek
45. Tostito Multi-Grain Tortilla Chips
46. Book--Living & Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery by Susan Maria Leach
47. Rita's Italian Ice--Sugar Free Mango mixed with Sugar Free Rasberry
48. Old Navy Scoop Neck Long Sleeved T's
49. Planter's NUT-trition Heart Healthy Mix
50. My hand painted crocs....the ones I wore to start my journey
51. My Blog
52. My Blog readers

Now that I have my Oprah mojo going,I'm feeling very generous and celebrity-like! So, I want to do it up bigger and flashier and with a really big WOW factor. (although, most importantly, I want to show all of you just how much you mean to me and how much you have meant to my journey!!)
Ta-da...drum-roll's GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!!!!
Yes, that's right Blog reader friends--
I am giving away that special pair of shoes(#50) that got me here! The shoes that took me from my life of obesity to where I am today! The shoes I was wearing when you and I met! Remember them? YOU know you love them!

No, no....I'm not giving you MY shoes (I have grown to love them!). I am headed to the beach and will pick up a matching pair especially for the lucky winner! So, between TODAY and July 28, anyone who leaves me a comment on MY BLOG along with their shoe size will be entered into the random drawing. I'll announce the winner right here on my blog on my Blogiversary.... August 3 (the very day in 2007 when I started my blog!) The winner and I will work out the details after that! It's important that I get those shoes to the winner by 5 am on August 10 so that we can wear them TOGETHER to commemorate my 1 Year Bandiversary!!! Infact, the winner will be required to take a pix wearing them and send it to me so that I can post it right here! This is just way too exciting!
What better way to celebrate than with shoes!!! Yeah, I are psyched!
Come on blog readers.....take a shot....send in your comments (please tell me more than just your shoe size!) You can comment as many times as you like! I will print them all out, cut them into little strips, put them in my left pink croc and have my shoe shopping partner Toni pick the lucky winner!!
Good Luck to everyone!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday............a day of rest.....

If that's what you can call it. In comparison to the rest of this holiday weekend and the weeks leading up to it, today did seem quite restful. No parties. No incredible feats of kitchen workouts. Just the usual stuff--driving here and there, gabbing on the phone, organizing schedules, grocery shopping, getting the house back to some semblance of order and dragging my ass to the last Mass of the day. The sun was shining. No rain was falling. And, no chaos to compete with the usual madness that has become the cornerstone of my existence. Comfy but oh so cute shoes. Jeans that fit. Not feeling like I gained 10 pounds. And, most importantly, knowing that I successfully maneuvered the gauntlets.

As I sit here on this Sunday night, there are many things left undone. But, I'm not one of them. I am not undone. Even though Monday is only hours away, I'm ready for it. Ready to get back to the treadmill of life and back to the business of living. It will all begin again. Ready or not. Here is comes. Another week. What will a new week bring with it? What shall happen next? Stay tuned as Judi meanders her way through it all. Another week on this journey. A journey made so much easier without having to carry 76 extra pounds around with me.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

And the party continues.......

Holiday weekends. It's one party after another. You cook, you clean up and then you do it all over again. Yes, we're celebrating all kinds of things.....independence, birthdays and graduations. Food. Food. And, more food. There's no stopping the party. Holy many dips can you make? How many times can you load a dishwasher? How many things taste fabulous perched upon a chip? How many crackers and cheese can you load on a plate? How much gooey stuff can you stuff into your mouth?

I am a big time party foodie. I love dips and chips and appetizers and cheeses. Give me a table filled with antipastos and cream cheese laden spreads along with a crisp summer wine, icey margaritas and a refreshing gimlet and I am one happy girl. I am not just happy....I am euphoric. Lots of snacky foods and an open bar is my idea of heaven. Throw in a little rock and roll and I am *this* close to orgasmic.

You know, these are the moments when I am especially thankful for my Lapband. No, it can't help with the cooking. And, it can't help with the clean up. But, it sure can help dealing with the buffet table. It keeps me in check. And, most importantly, it reminds me that I need to appreciate more than the food when it comes to party time. It forces me to focus on who is wearing what and who may have nicer shoes than me. Even though that never really happens, it keeps me alert just in case it does. And, considering that immediate action is required should someone show up in more amazing shoes than I, it's best that I am not distracted by food. So, in short---my Lapband keeps me in great shoes. Just another thing to love about my Lapband! Everyday I find more reasons to love my Lapband.......
PARTY ON..............

Buffalo Chicken Dip

(compliments of my sister Cathy)


  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup pepper sauce, such as Franks® Red Hot®
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
  • 1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored crackers


1. Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, cook on low for a few moments. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.
2. Eat a little and then start looking at everyone's shoes.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Born In the USA.............

I've claimed my independence from obesity
I'm reborn in the USA - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thank God for my Sisters...........

I'm not sure if I mentioned that I have 2 sisters. The 3 of us.....Judi, Denise and Cathy. Our aunts refer to us as "the girls". In fact, sometimes our names mesh together as one ...JudiDeniseandCathy. We are the motherless daughters of our beloved mother. And, because of that one heartbreak....we are one. We are more than soul sisters. We are each others lifeline. Our lives are connected in more ways than blood. There is nothing in this world we would not do for each other. They are my sisters and I am theirs.

I am the oldest sister. Yes, I'll admit it. We have no qualms about our ages. Denise is 16 months younger than me. Cathy is a little over 4 years younger. Denise is our hairdresser. She makes sure we look good and our grays are covered. Cathy is our voice of reason. And I am me.

My mother named me after St. Jude...Patron Saint of the Hopeless (it makes sense if you knew my mother). She named Denise after some singer (again, it would make sense if you knew my mother). And, I named Cathy after my Chatty Cathy Doll (once again...makes sense....).

My journey would not be the same if it weren't for my sisters. We celebrate and mourn everything together. We stand by each other. We are lucky. The 3 of us. What God took away from us, we overcame. We have sass and heart and love. No matter what we lost or what we will lose...we always have each other. No matter what.

And, so, today....on the third day of July...I just want to say.....I love my sisters.
They are in my heart, in my soul and in my Lapband.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What I wouldn't give for a big, fat, juicy burger right about now.....

Did I mention that I'm having some pbing issues these days? My Lapband is being very fickle. It will accept popcorn but not chicken or fish. It will accept protein bars but not tuna salad. And, don't even mention a green salad...whoa, not good! This is quite a conundrum. And, it's sort of pissing me off. No, it is pissing me off. And, when I get pissed off, my natural instinct is to eat. Something really decadent. And big. And juicy. And sloppy. And over the top.

Typically, a Lapband may react squeamish the first few days after a fill. If anyone doesn't know what a fill's when they "pump up" your band with saline...thus tightening it a wee bit. So, for a few days after a fill, you stay on a semi-liquid or soft food diet. My most recent fill happened early in June. So, I'm about a month into it. This shouldn't be happening. It shouldn't be happening that is--- if I were a text book case. But, I'm not. I'm Judi. And, with Judi comes all kinds of stuff. Did I mention that I'm complex? And, when I'm feeling complex, my natural instinct is to eat. Something really spicey. And fattening. And piled high with pickles.

As with anything--there are many factors that can impact your band. One of them is stress. Hmmm. Stress. Yep, I've had some stress. Meatballs. Sauce. Pasta. Electrical fires. Water logged flower boxes. Weeds. Motherhood. Wifehood. Career. Shoe choices. Not to mention my messy bedroom, the piles of laundry busting out of hampers and the dishes that seem to procreate in my sink. When I'm feeling stressed, my natural instinct is to eat. Something really meaty. And salty. And smothered in mayonnaise.

So, this pbing is getting on my nerves. Do I call my Lapband doctor and report the problem or call my primary care doctor and get a prescription for chill pills? Or, do I wait it out and figure it will get better (my typical mo)? If I do the latter, I figure I could spend the time I normally spend on eating to go shopping for shoes and lipgloss. If I do any of the previous choices (get medical intervention), I would actually be taking time away from time I don't have. You know, I'd have to make an appointment, go to the appointment and maybe go to the pharmacy. There would be no shopping involved in that scenario. So, I'm confused. When I get confused, my natural instinct is to eat. Something comforting. And filling. And somewhat nourishing.

Did I ever mention that I'm not good with rules? If not, I'm telling you now. I don't like rules. They just aren't for me. I like to go with the flow. Sure, I will follow them if I promised I would. Case in point--the love, honor and cherish thing. I told God, my priest and the 400+ plus people who watched me say those words that I would. So, I'm doing that. And, I have a healthy fear of jail time so I pretty much stay on the right side of the law. Now, if I like the rule, then, of course, I will follow it. Unless, of course, it becomes borish or starts to make no sense. Sometimes when I'm told that I can't do something....I automatically want to do it. Like I said...I am bad with rules. So, I start to feel very ornery when there's rules. And, when I get ornery, my natural instince is to eat. Something completely outrageous. And bad. And loaded with fried onions. And gooey cheese.

My Lapband is not cooperating with me. Hence, my body is not behaving as it should. I can't do anything about it. It's limiting me. I don't like limits. And, I don't like things I can't control. It makes me feel very out of control. Which, of course, I am...when it comes to this pbing thing. And, when I am feeling out of control, my natural instinct is to eat. Something on a big bun. Something that smells enticing sizzling on a grill. Something like a hamburger.

Damn it. I haven't had a hamburger in close to a year. I haven't wanted a hamburger in that same amount of time. But now.....all of a sudden, the fact that I can't have it, I'm craving one. With all of my heart and soul. This is pure Judi behavior---my body says I can't have it and I want it. I don't want yogurt or protein shakes. I don't even want tuna salad or my beloved crabcakes. And, it's made all the more miserable by the fact that we're smack in the middle of hamburgers on the grill season. And, there's a whole holiday devoted to the great American cookout. And, it's only 2 days away. And, that makes me bitchy. When I get bitchy, I want revenge. So, I'm making Mexican food for the 4th of July. The ultimate revenge.....going Mexican on an All-American-grill-hamburgers holiday. It always comes back to food....and margaritas.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Good Morning July!

The month of July means SUMMER to me. I love all the red, white and blue and the picnics and the little girls wearing summery bows in their hair. I love hamburgers and hotdogs sizzling on the grill, little kids twirling sparklers and stolen kisses under firework filled skies. I love blankets laying on the grass and whole peanuts in the shell and fresh cherries with their stems attached. I love daisies popping out in the garden, the sounds children's laughter as I pass by a swimming pool and wild tiger lillies reaching towards the sky. I love watermelon and water balloon battles and fire flies at night. I love sunny mornings and warm nights. I love sitting on the deck gazing at a fully grown garden. I love margaritas and ice cones and trips to Dairy Queen. I love planning a big party and making a big jug of sangria. I love July. And, July loves me.